BEIRUT - A core Syrian opposition group is proposing that the leading National Coalition set up a transitional government in areas outside regime control, according to a document on Wednesday.
The Syrian National Council called on the Cairo-based umbrella group the Syrian National Coalition to "appoint an interim government, with guarantees that it will be internationally recognised and supported."
The SNC's "plan for the transfer of power and the start of the transitional period," which was presented to the National Coalition, proposed a government with full executive powers be based in areas rebels refer to as "liberated territories."
The road map also said the interim government must push for the removal of President Bashar al-Assad.
The SNC, a key opposition bloc since early on in the revolt that began in March 2011, united with other anti-regime groups in November to form the National Coalition, which has been widely recognised internationally as the sole representative of the Syrian people.
Large swathes of northwestern and eastern Syria are out of regime control. Areas in the north serve both as rebel rear bases and as locations for civil society groups transferring aid from neighbouring Turkey to work from.
The transitional government should also oversee an agreement between rebel and regime forces to "organise a ceasefire and withdraw troops to their barracks, while rebel fighters are absorbed into the army and security forces."
The SNC added that the transitional government should "disqualify Assad and the symbols of his regime (from power) and bow to the demands of the Syrian people."
The plan emerged four days after Assad offered, in a rare speech, a dialogue with the opposition to end the conflict -- but only with elements he deemed acceptable, not rebel-affiliated groups he termed "killers" and "terrorists" led by foreigners.
The National Coalition immediately dismissed Assad's offer, sticking to its pre-condition that the president step down before any talks are considered.