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Kerry says Syria peace conference should be held soon

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a joint news conference with Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai (not pictured) in Kabul O
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a joint news conference with Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai (not pictured) in Kabul O

LONDON (Reuters) - Secretary of State John Kerry called on Monday for a peace conference on Syria "very soon" but said peace would not be possible without a transition government to replace President Bashar al-Assad.

"We believe it is urgent to set a day, to convene the conference and work toward a new Syria," Kerry told reporters after meeting United Nations special envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi in London.

"We believe that President Assad has lost the legitimacy necessary to be a cohesive force that could bring people together," he said, adding: "there has to be a transition government in Syria to permit the possibility of peace".

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; editing by Patrick Graham)

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