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Syrian interim gov't plan due in 10 days

Jan. 21, 2013 at 9:39 AM   |   Comments

DAMASCUS, Syria, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Proposals for an interim Syrian government will be drawn up within 10 days, opposition leaders said Monday.

After a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, opposition leaders named a five-person committee to consult with others before releasing a plan.

A spokesman for the Syrian National Coalition, formed in November, said the committee will consult with opposition forces, the Free Syrian Army and "friendly" countries before developing its proposals, Voice of America reported.

A statement issued by the coalition said the proposals would be drawn up within 10 days.

The coalition is recognized by more than 110 countries as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people. It is calling for President Bashar Assad to step down.

The United Nations says at least 60,000 people have been killed since the civil war began in March 2011.

In Syria, the government accused rebels of attacking a key power line, leading to a power outage that affected Damascus, areas to the north and territory reaching south to the border with Jordan, The New York Times reported.

Speaking on government broadcasts, Electricity Minister Imad Khamis said power was gradually being restored.

During the weekend, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem said a political solution to solving the Syrian crisis is possible, government-run media reported.

"The program stems from the Syrian people's aspirations and fulfills their demands, as it also depends on participatory approach among all the Syrian components, and when negotiators reach a national charter it will be presented to a popular referendum," Moallem said on the Syrian TV Channel Saturday. "Hence, when a new constitution is set it will be also presented to a popular referendum, as new parliamentary elections are expected to be held."

Syrians know that they are experiencing a "huge international conspiracy" led by the United States that is targeting the country's infrastructure, community and ethics, Moallem said.

He stressed the necessity of dialogue and respecting each other's views.

"We depend on our people, and if support for violence or terrorism is not halted, that does not mean that a massive national dialogue will not be launched, but rather we should go on the way of solution," he said.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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