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Syria opposition urges Assad to respond to dialogue call

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian opposition leader Moaz Alkhatib urged President Bashar al-Assad on Monday to take a clear stance on his initiative for dialogue, adding that it was aimed at ending the bloodshed and to "help the regime leave peacefully".

Alkhatib, speaking after meeting Russian and U.S. officials in Germany, told Al Jazeera news channel that major powers had no vision for a solution to the war in Syria and only Syrians could decide on a way forward.

"The regime must take a clear stand (on dialogue) and we say we will extend our hand for the interest of people and to help the regime leave peacefully," he told the Qatar-based channel. "It is now in the hands of the regime."

Last week Alkhatib said he was ready to hold talks with Assad's representatives if the government released around 160,000 detainees. But his call was met with criticism from within his own coalition, which refuses dialogue with Assad and says he must leave.

Alkhatib said that his initiative was "humanitarian" in order to save Syrian lives and what remains of the country's infrastructure after nearly two years of conflict.

"The big powers have no vision (for a solution) ... Only the Syrian people can decide on the solution."

He also said that forming a transitional government with full powers was one of the options under discussion after the meeting in Munich. He did not elaborate.

"We will find a solution, there are many keys. If the regime wants to solve (the crisis) it can take part in it," he said. "If it wants to get out and get the people out of this crisis we will all work together for the interest of the people and the departure of the regime."

(Reporting by Mariam Karouny; Editing by Alison Williams)

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