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BEIRUT, February 02, 0:26 /ITAR-TASS/. The Syrian government's delegation refused to have directs talks with the Syrian National Coalition of Revolutionary and Opposition Forces after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's speech at the conference in Montreux (January 22), Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem, who headed the government delegation, told Syrian reporters aboard the plane returning from Geneva on Saturday
"The United States demands to start direct negotiations with the National Coalition, but we said we would not do it until Kerry apologized for the words he said in his speech in Montreux," the minister noted.
The U.S. Secretary of State unflatteringly spoke of Syrian President Bashar Assad, stating that after the cruelties committed by the Syrian leader against his people, there would be no place for him in Syria's future.
Moualem completely ruled out the possibility of transferring some powers of President Assad to a provisional body or a government, on which the opposition insists. In his words, such a step would be contrary to the constitution, which was approved by Syrian people in a referendum.