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Sat May 30 04:27:32 SAST 2015

Britain's Hague says Assad's speech 'beyond hypocritical'

REUTERS | 06 January, 2013 14:55
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad. File photo.
Image by: REUTERS TV / REUTERS

British Foreign Secretary William Hague accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of hypocrisy and said his call in a speech on Sunday for a peace initiative to end the civil war would fool no one.

"Assad speech beyond hypocritical. Deaths, violence and oppression engulfing Syria are his own making, empty promises of reform fool no one," he said in a message on Twitter.

EU says Syria's Assad must quit to allow political transition

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must step down in order to bring about a political solution to the war in his country, the European Union's foreign policy chief said on Sunday.

The statement followed a speech by Assad in which he said he would not neogiatate with the forces trying to overthrow him.

"We will look carefully if there is anything new in the speech but we maintain our position that Assad has to step aside and allow for a political transition." a spokesman for EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said.

Assad's speech aimed at foiling diplomatic solution - opposition

Syria's opposition rejected a proposed peace initiative announced in a speech by President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday, saying it was aimed at wrecking diplomatic efforts to end the civil war.

"Assad simply wanted, with the initiative he proposed, to cut the road to reaching a political solution that may result from the forthcoming American-Russian meeting with (U.N. mediator Lakhdar) Brahimi, which the opposition would not accept unless he and his regime leave," National Coalition spokesman Walid Bunni told Reuters.

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