Assad sends envoys to seek deal with opposition: report
DAMASCUS / UNITED NATIONS
Le Figaro claims al-Assad sends envoys to seek dialogue with opposition. AP photoSyrian President Bashar al-Assad has sent envoys abroad in the hope of reaching some kind of deal with opposition leaders to form a unity government, French newspaper Le Figaro reported yesterday.
Journalist George Malbrunot reported that al-Assad had sent two envoys one to Paris and another to Dubai to pursue this option. Malbrunot also wrote that Russia was working behind the scenes on a resolution that could see President al-Assad relinquish power to the vice president much like the manner in which outgoing Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh handed power to his deputy.
According to the Russian proposal, Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa would be fully in charge while al-Assad would stay on until the next elections. The Foreign Ministry meanwhile rejected Qatar’s proposal of sending Arab troops to Syria. Syria “absolutely rejects” any plans to send Arab troops into the country, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday. The leader of Qatar, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, was quoted Jan. 15 as saying Arab troops should be sent to Syria to stop the deadly violence.
Furthermore, the U.N. said Jan. 16 that it would start training Arab League observers monitoring the deadly crackdown in Syria within days. A formal request for help has been made by the Arab League and the U.N. has agreed to start the training in Cairo after League foreign ministers meet this weekend, a U.N. spokeswoman, Vannina Maestracci, said. The training is to be carried out by staff of the U.N High Commissioner for Human Rights, Maestracci said.