Kerry says Syria's Assad cannot in any way be part of transition

by Reuters
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 09:21 GMT

(Restores dropped word 'man' in final quote)

MONTREUX, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Syria's Bashar al-Assad can have no place in a transition government because he has lost legitimacy to lead, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday at the launch of peace talks to end Syria's civil war.

Kerry said the conference in the Swiss town of Montreux was a test for the international community to find a solution to end the fighting.

"We see only one option, negotiating a transition government born by mutual consent," Kerry said. "That means that Bashar al-Assad will not be part of that transition government. There is no way, no way possible, that a man who has led a brutal response to his own people can regain legitimacy to govern." (Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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