Syria slams West for rejecting Assad peace plan

In this Sunday Jan. 6, 2013 photo Syrian rebel fighters take their positions on the frontline of the ongoing battle for the military airport in Taftanaz, Syria. Syrian President Bashar Assad, in a rare speech Sunday, outlined his own vision for ending the country's conflict with a plan that would keep him in power. He also dismissed any chance of dialogue with the armed opposition and called on Syrians to fight what he called "murderous criminals."  (AP Photo/Mustafa Karali)
In this Sunday Jan. 6, 2013 photo Syrian rebel fighters take their positions on the frontline of the ongoing battle for the military airport in Taftanaz, Syria. Syrian President Bashar Assad, in a rare speech Sunday, outlined his own vision for ending the country's conflict with a plan that would keep him in power. He also dismissed any chance of dialogue with the armed opposition and called on Syrians to fight what he called "murderous criminals." (AP Photo/Mustafa Karali)

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's information minister has slammed the international community for rejecting a proposal by President Bashar Assad aimed at ending the country's civil war.

Omran al-Zoubi says countries like the United States and its Western allies, who have called on Assad to step down since the uprising against his rule began in March 2011, have dismissed Assad's initiative "before even having the time to translate it."

Al-Zoubani was speaking in Damascus late Tuesday after an emergency Cabinet meeting to discuss the proposal.

In a rare speech Sunday, Assad outlined his vision for ending almost two years of bloodshed with a plan that would keep him in power. He called for dialogue, but only with those "who have not betrayed Syria."

The opposition rejected the offer, which also drew harsh international criticism.