French FM: Assad time is over
The French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Sunday that the agreement reached in for a political transition in Syria meant that "Bashar al-Assad's time, ultimately, is over." The "unanimous" agreement by the diplomats of the Task Force on Syria, including Russia and China, "says precisely that there will be a transitional government that will have all the powers," he told TF1 . "It is said that (its members) will be subject to mutual consent. The opposition will never accept Assad. So, it implicitly means that Assad must go. Bashar al-Assad, term, it's over. "
Fabius added that during the next meeting of the Friends of Syria Group, scheduled for Friday in Paris, "we will put additional pressure on Bashar Assad." "If what we decided (Saturday in Geneva) is not enough, we will return to the UN Security Council and ask the application of Chapter VII of the UN Charter," he said."
Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition considered the Geneva agreement as "too vague". However, the opposition highlighted few positive points in this agreement. The final declaration of the Geneva meeting on Syria "appears to suggest some positive elements," said Sunday Bassma Kodmani, spokeswoman for the Syrian National Council (SNC), the main opposition group.
"Important elements are too implicit and too ambiguous and too vague," she said. It holds two "positive" points: "The first is that the final declaration indicates that the participants were in agreement that Assad family can no longer run the country and they can not be part of the period of transition."
"The second positive point is that there is an agreement that the transition must meet the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people. This expression for us means the departure of Assad since the Syrians have already spoken to this effect," Kodmani added.
Following the conference, the Americans and Russians were trying to convince everyone that they had been successful in the power struggle which divided them: "We opened the door to a future without Assad," said the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who spoke after Kofi Annan. "Assad must go, he will never obtain the consent of the Syrian parties to stay, with blood on his hands."
For his part, Sergei Lavrov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, has disagreed, saying the departure of Bashar al-Assad "absolutely is not part of the plan."