EU says Syria's Assad must quit to allow political transition

BRUSSELS Sun Jan 6, 2013 7:15am EST

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must step down in order to bring about a political solution to the war in his country, the European Union's foreign policy chief said on Sunday.

The statement followed a speech by Assad in which he said he would not negotiate with the forces trying to overthrow him.

"We will look carefully if there is anything new in the speech but we maintain our position that Assad has to step aside and allow for a political transition." a spokesman for EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said.

(Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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