The U.N. envoy for Syria said on Wednesday, January 9 that Bashar Assad could have no place in a transitional government to end the country’s civil war, the closest he has come to calling directly for the embattled president to quit, Reuters reported. A peace plan agreed by major powers in Geneva last year envisages an interim administration. “Surely he would not be a member of that government,” envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said in an interview. He reiterated that the Geneva plan remained “the base for a solution in Syria,” ravaged by a war the United Nations says has killed 60,000 people. Brahimi described a speech by Assad this week as “uncompromising.” saying he had “narrowed his initiative by excluding some parties” from his own peace proposals. Assad’s speech offered no concessions and included a vow never to talk to foes he branded terrorists and Western puppets.