State Dept.: No Possible Immunity for Assad

The State Department has denied reports that the West was considering offering Syrian President Bashar al-Assad immunity and safe passage if he stepped down, saying there was "no truth" to them. Earlier Thursday, British newspapers The Guardian and the Telegraph had reported that U.S. and British leaders had discussed initiating a "transitional process" in Syria and that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was pushing United Nations envoy Kofi Annan to host peace talks Assad could be offered safe passage to attend. "There is no evidence that Assad has any interest in doing what is the right thing for his people, starting with ending the violence," a State Department spokeswoman said, however. She added that decisions on Assad's accountability were solely for the Syrian people to make. Meanwhile, the death toll in Homs continued to rise Thursday, despite a truce intended to allow Red Cross aid into the city.

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