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Syria's Assad rejects dialogue with 'puppet' opposition

BEIRUT - Syrian President Bashar Assad announced what he described as a peace plan on Sunday, calling for a reconciliation conference with "those who have not betrayed Syria," to be followed by the formation of a new government and an amnesty.
"The first stage of a political solution would require that regional powers stop funding and arming (the opposition), an end to terrorist operations and controlling the borders," he said in a speech in central Damascus, his first public comments in months.
"We will not have dialogue with a puppet made by the West," he said.
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