Syria opposition rejects Annan transitional plan
The Syrian opposition on Sunday rejected a plan agreed by world powers that called for the formation of a transitional government to end the crisis but fell short of calling on President Bashar al-Assad to step down, dpa reported.
"We know that a political treatment is required for this complex situation, but it is not acceptable to jump over all sacrifices made by the Syrian people who demand the ouster of the regime," Syrian National Council head Abdul-Basset Sayda told the pan-Arab Asharq al-Awsat newspaper.
World powers agreed during talks in Geneva on Saturday that a Syrian transitional government that includes members of al-Assad's regime and the opposition be set up to end the violence, which the opposition says has so far killed more than 14,000 people.
In a victory for Russia, international envoy Kofi Annan, who convened the meeting, dropped a demand backed by Western powers that al-Assad step down.
The plan did not state what role al-Assad might play in the transition.
Annan said time was running out to end the escalating violence, which could spiral into a regional or international crisis.
At least 27 people were killed on Sunday, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that government forces had shelled the central province of Homs, the northern province of Idlib and suburbs of Damascus.
Civilians who escaped the besieged town of Zamalka near the capital Damascus told dpa that a car bomb on Saturday killed at least 35 mourners at a funeral procession for people killed by government forces.
At least 130 people were killed across Syria on Saturday, the Observatory said.
Opposition members on Sunday arrived in Cairo for Egyptian-sponsored unity talks, diplomatic sources told dpa. Delegates, including members of the Syrian National Council and the Muslim Brotherhood, will try to bridge their differences.
Division among the opposition has damaged its credibility as a possible alternative for al-Assad.
Annan, who convened the talks at the United Nations building in Geneva to rescue a peace plan agreed in April, cast doubt on Saturday that the Syrian people would agree on government that includes members of the al-Assad administration.
"I would doubt that the Syrians who 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," he said.