Syria's Assad rejects dialogue with "puppet" opposition

BEIRUT Sun Jan 6, 2013 5:46am EST

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BEIRUT Jan 6 (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad announced what he described as a peace plan on Sunday, calling for a reconciliation conference with "those who have not betrayed Syria", to be followed by the formation of a new government and an amnesty.

"The first stage of a political solution would require that regional powers stop funding and arming (the opposition), an end to terrorist operations and controlling the borders," he said in a speech in central Damascus, his first public comments in months.

"We will not have dialogue with a puppet made by the West," he said.

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