Washington: The United States has rejected any role for the incumbent Syrian president Basar al-Assad in the future of Syria or the transitional authority, even as the opposition in Geneva rejected a government communique that largely focused on preserving sovereignty.
"The transitional governing authority has to be one that is reached in accordance and by mutual consent, and that`s why Assad cannot be part of the future of Syria or part of this transitional authority," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said yesterday.
Responding to questions about the development in Geneva, he said the issue of Assad not being a part of transitional governing authority is not one for the US to decide.
"The reason why it`s non-negotiable is not because the United States says that."
"It`s because the people of Syria have said that and the opposition has said that," he said.
The transitional governing authority has to be one that is reached in accordance and by mutual consent, Carney maintained, and that`s why Assad cannot be part of the future of Syria or part of this transitional authority.
Hailing the ongoing Geneva talks, he said, what is important is that the two parties have sat in the same room over the past several days to discuss critical issues.
Anticipating hiccups in the talks, Carney said: "I would expect quite a few ups and downs along the way. This was, as I said last week - and others, including the President have made clear - always going to be difficult."
"But it is the only way to end the conflict in Syria. It has to be ended through a negotiated political settlement."
So negotiations like this are, by their nature, long and complicated. But the aim is to find consensus, he said.