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Damascus says Syria envoy is ‘flagrantly biased’

International peace envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi attends a meeting with Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby (unseen) at the Arab League's headquarters in Cairo December 30, 2012. — Reuters picInternational peace envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi attends a meeting with Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby (unseen) at the Arab League's headquarters in Cairo December 30, 2012. — Reuters picBEIRUT, Jan 10 — Syria criticised international peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi today, a day after he said he did not see President Bashar al-Assad being part of a transitional government.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement Syria was very surprised by Brahimi’s comments, which showed he was “flagrantly biased for those who are conspiring against Syria and its people”.

Brahimi said today that a peace plan agreed by world powers in Geneva last July to form an interim administration in Syria should be the base for a solution. But he added: “Surely (Assad) would not be a member of that government.”

He described a speech by Assad this week as uncompromising and flawed as it excluded some parties from his peace proposals.

The pro-Assad al-Watan newspaper said Brahimi’s comments revealed his true face as a “a tool for the implementation of the policy of some Western countries”.

It said the United Nations-Arab League envoy had taken off the “mask of impartiality he has worn ever since he was appointed to take over from Kofi Annan,” his predecessor who stepped down last August.

Assad’s speech offered no concessions and he said he would never talk to foes he branded terrorists and Western puppets. Russian and US diplomats, who back opposing sides of the war, will meet Brahimi in Geneva tomorrow. — Reuters

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