September 29, 2013
Syria’s foreign minister has said the government won’t accept any
peace plan that excludes President Bashar al-Assad. On Friday, the UN
Security Council unanimously voted to destroy the regime’s chemical
Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem made the statement Saturday on the
sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Friday’s Security Council
resolution had also endorsed the outcome of a June 2012 conference in
Geneva between the regime and the opposition, which called for the
establishment of a transitional government with full executive powers.
The Syrian opposition, embroiled in the bloody conflict with Assad’s
forces for two and a half years, has repeatedly refused to take part in
any transition government that includes the president.
“For the Syrian people, Bashar Assad is the elected president until
mid-2014, when presidential elections will be held,” al-Moallem said. He
added that anyone could run for the post.
The Council’s decision Friday came after the authority tasked with
implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention – the Organisation for the
Prohibition of Chemical Weapons – had approved the plan. According to
the resolution, the UN will work to assist the OPCW in its effort to
eliminate all of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons by
mid-2014. The 15-member council agreed that non-compliance would prompt a
vote on punitive action by passing another resolution under Chapter 7
of the UN Charter, including sanctions or military strikes.
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