GENEVA - Syrian opposition negotiator Mohamad Alloush said on Saturday that Syria's political transition could only start once Bashar al-Assad was no longer president of Syria.

"We consider that the transitional period starts with the fall of Bashar al-Assad or his death," he told reporters in Geneva, where a round of peace talks is due to begin on Monday.

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"There's no possibility to start this period with the presence of this regime or the head of this regime in the power."

He described as "worthless" a statement by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem earlier on Saturday that the presidency was not up for discussion at the talks.

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