UN chief disappointed at Syrian leader's speech

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Associated Press

Posted on January 7, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 7 at 2:33 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is expressing disappointment that Syrian President Bashar Assad has rejected the most important elements in a roadmap to end his country's 22-month conflict — a political transition and establishment of a transitional governing body.

Assad in a speech Sunday dismissed any chance of dialogue with the armed opposition and called on Syrians to fight what he called "murderous criminals."

U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky on Monday said the secretary-general is disappointed that Assad's speech "does not contribute to a solution that could end the terrible suffering of the Syrian people."

Nesirky said Ban and U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi will continue to work for a political transition that leads to U.N.-organized elections.

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