Syrian govt to US: No right to remove Assad

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MONTREUX, Switzerland (AP) -- Syria's foreign minister, directly addressing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, says no one has the right to remove Bashar Assad except Syrians.

Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem addressed the Wednesday opening of a peace conference on Syria just after Kerry, who said Assad had lost the legitimacy to lead and would have no place in a transitional government.

Al-Moallem also refused to give up the podium to Ban Ki-moon, telling the U.N. chief: "You live in New York, I live in Syria."