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    British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond (File)

    UK's Hammond Says Assad’s 'Handpicked' Transition Gov’t 'Not Sufficient’

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    British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond called for a creation of a new Syrian government, which would “not be led by Bashar Assad.”

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond described Syrian President Bashar Assad’s vision of his country’s course toward political settlement as insufficient on Thursday.

    In this week’s interview with Sputnik, Assad outlined the need for a unity Syrian government that would include “opposition, independent, the current government and other” political forces.

    “Assad talks about a unity government, by which he means bringing one or two handpicked, regime-friendly oppositionists into minor posts in the government…That is not sufficient,” Hammond told reporters on a visit to Lebanon, as quoted by US news services from Beirut.

    Hammond called for a creation of a new Syrian government, which would “not be led by Bashar Assad.”

    Russia and the United States, as co-chairs of the International Syria Support Group, are coordinating a cessation of hostilities between the government and rebel forces, while the United Nations mediates proximity talks between the sides in Geneva.

    Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US State Secretary John Kerry offered an August target schedule for a new Syrian draft constitution.

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    Syrian crisis, Bashar al-Assad, Philip Hammond, Syria, United Kingdom
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