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Differences remain over Syria as Washington objects to Assad staying

(Global Times)

13:56, July 18, 2012

World powers wrapped up the Action Group meeting on Syria by agreeing on a Syrian-led transition, while divisions remain as to whether the current president Bashar al-Assad should be included in a new unity government.

The final communiqué of the meeting, held in Geneva on Saturday, mentioned the establishment of a transitional governing body which can establish a neutral environment in which the transition can take place.

It could include members of the present government and the opposition and other groups and shall be formed on the basis of mutual consent, according to the communiqué.

It stressed that the future of Syria should give space to established and newly-emerging political actors to compete fairly and equally in elections.

Special envoy Kofi Annan said the international community has taken its cooperation to a stronger level, by being clearer and more specific and has therefore laid out a path that the Syrian people can embrace and work with.

"Today's words must not become tomorrow's disappointments," he warned.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said following the conclusion of the meeting that its outcome was of great significance for a political settlement of the Syrian issue.

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