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Published: Wednesday January 22, 2014 MYT 7:25:01 PM
Updated: Wednesday January 22, 2014 MYT 7:26:32 PM

Saudi minister says no role for Assad in transition

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal attends the opening of the Geneva-2 peace conference in Montreux January 22, 2014. REUTERS/ Jamal Saidi

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal attends the opening of the Geneva-2 peace conference in Montreux January 22, 2014. REUTERS/ Jamal Saidi

MONTREUX, Switzerland (Reuters) - Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said on Wednesday that there can be no role in Syria's transition for President Bashar al-Assad and those whose hands are "stained in blood".

In a speech to an international conference on Syria, Prince Saud called for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Syria, including Lebanese Hezbollah fighters and Iranian Revolutionary Guards who are backing Damascus against rebel forces.

The United Nations conference must not lose sight of the goal of a political transition in Syria, he said, adding: "The time is right not to let down the Syrian people again."

(Reporting by Samia Nakhoul and Dominic Evans, writing by Stephanie Nebehay)

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