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Syrian opposition ready for serious talks, wants Assad out: spokesman

GENEVA (Reuters) - Syria’s opposition delegation is ready to engage in serious talks to end the five-year-old war but believes there can be no role for President Bashar al-Assad in a transitional government, a spokesman told reporters after arriving in Geneva on Sunday.

“We are looking forward to the start of negotiations tomorrow to discuss the transitional governing body that would carry executive powers, including those of the presidency, which would not have a role, in that phase or any phase, for any criminal who has perpetrated crimes against the Syrian people, including Assad,” said Salim al-Muslat, spokesman for the rebel High Negotiations Committee.

“We hope to reach a solution very soon. We want to see an end to the bloodshed.”

Reporting by Suleiman al-Khalidi, writing by Tom Miles; Editing by Kevin Liffey