Assad’s future blurry as world powers sketch new Syria transition plan

Bloomberg reports: World powers agreed today on a plan for a Syrian transition government that doesn’t directly address the fate of President Bashar al-Assad.

The parties altered a draft agreement proposed by Kofi Annan, the envoy for the United Nations and Arab League, after Russia objected to language that would prohibit Assad and members of his inner circle from being part of a transitional government. The document also added a Russia-backed provision opposing “further militarization of the conflict,” alluding to Arab nations’ shipments of arms to the opposition.

International efforts to mediate a peace deal have stumbled over whether Assad must leave power before a transition can begin. The communique from foreign ministers in Geneva — which declares a “firm timetable” for actions without any dates or deadlines — may draw scrutiny over whether the U.S. and allies France and the U.K yielded too much to get a transition “road map” embraced by Russia and China.

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