Syrian official: State will make no concessions during talks

A senior official in Syrian President Bashar Assad's ruling Baath party says the government will not make any new concessions in future peace talks.

Hilal al-Hilal's comments come ahead of scheduled peace talks in Geneva in the coming days to work on ending Syria's nearly five-year conflict, which has killed more than 250,000 people. His remarks were carried by state media Sunday.

The Geneva talks, which were to begin Monday but will likely be delayed, are part of a U.N. plan that envisions an 18-month timetable for a political transition.

The Syrian opposition says Assad should have no role in Syria's future, even during a transitional period. Assad, whose family has governed Syria for more than four decades, has said he will only step down if voted out.