Syrian President welcomes US-Russian peace initiative

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said he welcomed a US-Russian peace initiative to end Syria’s civil war but had no plans to resign.

“To resign would be to flee,” he said on Saturday when asked if he would consider stepping aside as called for by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

“I don’t know if Kerry or anyone else has received the power of the Syrian people to talk in their name about who should go and who should stay. That will be determined by the Syrian people in the 2014 presidential elections,” Assad said.

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