June 30 - International powers agreed on Saturday that a national unity government should be set up in Syria to resolve the conflict. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
International powers agreed Saturday that a national unity government should be set up in Syria to resolve the conflict between President Bashar al-Assad and opposition forces trying to oust him. Peace envoy Kofi Annan said that the government should include members of Assad's administration and the opposition. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PEACE ENVOY KOFI ANNAN, SAYING: "It is for the Syrian people to determine the future of the country." At a press briefing after the meetings Annan was asked about the role of the government in the transition. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PEACE ENVOY KOFI ANNAN, SAYING: "I think that the government will have to be formed through discussions and negotiations and by mutual consent. And I will doubt that the Syrians that have fought so hard for their independence to be able to have a say in how they are governed and who governs them, will select people with blood on their hands to lead them." U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday strongly endorsed a new international plan for a political transition in Syria, saying it would send a clear message to President Bashar al-Assad. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON, SAYING: "He needs to hear loudly and clearly, that his days are numbered." The Geneva talks were billed as a last-ditch effort to halt the worsening bloodshed in Syria, that has claimed more than 10,000 lives according to the U.N. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters