CAIRO - Leaders of Muslim nations called on Thursday for a "serious dialogue" between Syria's government and an opposition coalition on a political transition to end nearly two years of civil war, but pinned most of the blame for the bloodshed on the state.
A two-day summit of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation backed an initiative by Egypt, Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia to broker negotiations to stop the fighting in which at least 60,000 people have died.
"We all agreed on the necessity to intensify work to put an end to the tragedies which the sisterly Syrian people are living through," Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi told the closing ceremony.
The final communique, issued hours after the summit ended because of last-minute wrangling over the wording, said President Bashar Assad's government was most to blame.
"We stress that the primary responsibility is on the Syrian government for the continuation of violence and destruction of property, and we express our deep concern at the deterioration of conditions and the spread of killings that led to the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians and the Syrian authorities' commission of massacres in cities and villages," it said.