Asylum debate for al-Assad

Asylum debate for al-Assad

Asylum debate for al-Assad

President al-Assad is seen with his wife Asma in this 2009 photo. ABACA photo

The debate over asylum for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad continues, with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hinting he would not favor an exile for the leader amid claims the embattled leader is seeking an opportunity to live in a Latin American country.

Israeli daily Haaretz claimed yesterday that al-Assad has been looking into the possibility of claiming political asylum for himself, his family and his associates, in Latin America. Al-Assad sent his Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad to Cuba, Venezuela and Ecuador last week, with classified personal letters from the president to the Latin American leaders.

Promise to ‘live and die in Syria'

U.N. Secretary-General Ban also suggested he would not favor an asylum deal for President al-Assad as a way to end the country’s civil war.

Ban was asked about the potential for such a deal. He refrained to comment directly on the matter but told The Associated Press that the United Nations doesn’t grant anyone “impunity.”

“Whoever commits [a] gross violation of human rights must be held accountable and should be brought to justice. This is a fundamental principle,” Ban said. Al- Assad vowed in an interview with Russia Today last month that he would never be forced into exile and that he would “live and die in Syria.”