Syrian daily says it is premature to talk about new constitution, presidential elections

An official Syrian newspaper says any talk about a transitional period, amending the constitution or early presidential elections is "premature."

The Baath daily editorial came after Russia circulated a document on ending Syria's conflict that calls for drafting a new constitution within 18 months that would be put to a popular referendum and then be followed by an early presidential election.

Al-Baath, which is the mouthpiece of the ruling Baath party, said Thursday that the prospects to achieve progress in the second round of talks in Vienna this weekend over Syria's crisis are dim due to the failure to reach a clear definition of the moderate opposition.

The Syrian government calls all insurgent groups terrorist organizations and says opposition groups outside the country are foreign-paid agents.