Iraq floats plan to get Syrian opponents talking

By the Associated Press | September 28, 2012 | 6:35 PM EDT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari has proposed a two-stage plan to bring both sides of the Syrian conflict together to discuss a political transition.

Zebari said in an interview that he made the proposal at a ministerial meeting Friday of 20 countries mainly opposed to the government of President Bashar Assad of Syria.

The first stage would be to bring together the countries that endorsed a blueprint leading to a political transition that was adopted in Geneva on June 30 to now focus on implementing that blueprint, he said.

Zebari said the second stage would be to invite representatives of the government and the opposition to a conference in a neutral place.

He said that international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi would have to carry the plan forward.