France, allies want 'precise timetable' for Assad departure: minister

28th October 2015, Comments 0 comments

France and its allies have agreed on the need for a "precise timetable" for the departure of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as they met ahead of international talks, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Wednesday.

"We worked on the details of a political transition guaranteeing the departure of Bashar al-Assad within a precise timetable," Fabius said in a statement.

He was referring to a meeting late Tuesday in Paris that included officials from the United States, Britain, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

It did not include Assad's main backers, Russia and Iran, although both are due to take part in major crisis talks in Vienna on Thursday and Friday.

Fabius said the group also discussed "the necessity of continuing its efforts to fight (the Islamic State group) in Syria while supporting the moderate opposition, whose role in future negotiations was emphasised."

© 2015 AFP

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