(MOSCOW) — Russia is asking the world not to dismiss Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s purported “roadmap” for peace out of hand.
Earlier this week, the embattled Syrian leader made a fiery speech in which he vowed no surrender to his enemies but offered a proposal for a transitional government, new constitution and permanent post-war regime.
What al-Assad didn’t say was what rebel forces and most of the international community want him to say: that he won’t be part of any new Syria.
However, Russia’s foreign ministry insisted on Wednesday that at least some of al-Assad’s ideas should be considered, given the intransigence on both sides of the conflict that has cost more than 60,000 lives since March 2011.
Later this week, U.S. and Russian officials are due to hold talks with United Nations and Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who is seeking ways to bring a quick resolution to the ongoing civil war.
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Brahimi has held direct talks with the Syrian president and will interpret his comments to U.S. and Russia negotiators.
However, Nuland told reporters that Brahimi’s opinion will reflect those of most Syrians who believe the al-Assad regime has gone past its expiration date.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN