International envoy Kofi Annan said today he is optimistic that talks in Geneva tomorrow on Syria will produce a positive outcome . . . the foreign ministers of major international powers are meeting in another attempt to end the 16-month Syrian crisis . . . Annan has proposed a government of national unity to end the violence and move the country toward democracy . . . Russia proposed changes but the United States, Britain and France opposed them . . . President Bashar al-Assad again rejected Annan’s plan, saying the solution will have to come from Syria . . . Iran was not invited because of Western complaints that it is supporting the Assad regime and helping carry out the violence . . . to assuage Russia objections to the exclusion of Iran, Saudi Arabia also was not included because of its alleged efforts to arm the Syrian rebels . . . despite Annan’s optimism, it will be difficult to cobble a solution from the next round of talks . . . Russia is already backing away from the plan, and Assad shows no signs of willingness to accept a negotiated settlement.