US sceptical over Assad resignation talks

2012-08-22 08:05
AP, File

AP, File (Syria)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - The United States expressed deep scepticism on Tuesday about suggestions by Syria's deputy prime minister that the regime was open to discussing Syrian President Bashar Assad's resignation.

"We saw the reports of the press conference that the deputy prime minister gave. Frankly, we didn't see anything terribly new there," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.

Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil said after talks in Moscow Tuesday that Syria was ready to discuss anything in negotiations - even Assad's resignation.

"As far as his resignation goes - making the resignation itself a condition for holding dialogue means that you will never be able to reach this dialogue," he said.

But Jamil added: "Any problems can be discussed during negotiations. We are even ready to discuss this issue."

The United States has said for the past several weeks that it wants to speed Assad's departure.

No military intervention


"The Syrian government knows what it needs to do, and the Russian government, as you know, joined us in Geneva in setting forth a very clear transition plan," Nuland said.

She added the Russians should encourage the Assad regime "to start now to be following through on a transition plan, but, you know, there's no need to complicate it, as the deputy prime minister appeared to do there".

"Obviously, the longer this goes on, the harder it is, but we still believe that the faster Assad goes, the more chance there is to quickly move on to the day after," she said.

The US has so far declined to intervene militarily in Syria.

But on Monday, President Barack Obama warned the Syrian regime that using or moving its chemical weapons would cross a "red line" and could open the way for a military response.

Washington's support for the rebels so far has been limited to giving 900 sets of communication gear to Syrian rebels through its nonlethal assistance programme and dipping into a $25m fund "to run training programmes for a broad cross-section of activists", Nuland said.

Clashes in Lebanon


The State Department also expressed deep concern over the violence in northern Lebanon, which Nuland said was part of "the spillover effect from what's going on in Syria".

At least five people were killed and 43 wounded in clashes between pro- and anti-Damascus regime supporters in the Lebanese city of Tripoli on Tuesday, security and army officials said.

The fighting erupted late on Monday in Tripoli - home to a Sunni community hostile to Assad's regime, and a community of Alawites, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam to which the Syrian leader belongs.

Read more on:    bashar assad  |  barack obama  |  syria  |  us  |  syria conflict  |  uprisings

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.