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UN chief: Assad's speech doesn't help resolve Syrian crisis

Jan. 7, 2013 7:54 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 7, 2013 7:54 A.M.)
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced disappointment on Monday with Syrian President Bashar Assad's rejection of peace talks with his enemies made in a defiant weekend speech that his opponents described as a renewed declaration of war.

Ban was "disappointed that the speech by President Bashar Assad on 6 January does not contribute to a solution that could end the terrible suffering of the Syrian people," UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said of the president's Sunday speech at the Damascus Opera House.

"The speech rejected the most important element of the Geneva Communique of 30 June 2012, namely a political transition and the establishment of a transitional governing body with full executive powers that would include representatives of all Syrians," Nesirky told reporters.

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