A statement released by State Dept. spokesperson Victoria Nuland following Bashar al-Asad’s speech on Sunday said the speech was “yet another attempt by the regime to cling to power and does nothing to advance the Syrian people’s goal of a political transition. His initiative is detached from reality, undermines the efforts of Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi, and would only allow the regime to further perpetuate its bloody oppression of the Syrian people.
“For nearly two years, the Asad regime has brutalized its own people. Even today, as Asad speaks of dialogue, the regime is deliberately stoking sectarian tensions and continuing to kill its own people by attacking Sunni towns and villages in the mixed areas of Jabal Akrad and Jabal Turkmen in Lattakia province.
“Asad has lost all legitimacy and must step aside to enable a political solution and a democratic transition that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people. The United States continues to support the Geneva Action Group’s framework for a political solution, which was endorsed by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, the Arab League, and the UN General Assembly. We will continue our efforts in support of Joint Special Representative Brahimi to build international unity behind it and to urge all parties in Syria to take meaningful steps toward its implementation.”