U.S. Dismisses Assad Speech

The U.S. State Department has openly dismissed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s Sunday speech in Damascus calling it “meaningless,” and yet another attempt retain power. “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,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. Assad’s rare address—delivered before a photo collage of the war’s victims—proposed a peace plan made of a national reconciliation conference, a new government, and constitution. The State Department continues to urge President Assad to step down.