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West Trying to Find Asylum for Assad in Russia — Newspaper
RIA Novosti - 7.4.12 - JRL 2012-120

MOSCOW, July 4 (RIA Novosti)-Western countries are trying to talk Russia into inviting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and granting him political asylum, but Moscow opposes such plans, the Kommersant business daily reported on Wednesday citing a Russian diplomatic source.

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov
"Western countries, first of all the United States, are actively trying to convince Moscow that it should grant the Syrian leader political asylum," the daily wrote.

"[But] we have not had any such plans," the source said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in March that Moscow was not offering political asylum to al-Assad.

Kommersant's source in the diplomatic mission of a Western country has neither confirmed nor denied the report on the offer allegedly made to Russia.

The Geneva conference of foreign ministers of the "action group," which includes the Western powers, Russia and China, on Saturday supported creation of a "transitional government body with full executive powers" in Syria, proposed by UN and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan.

Western powers, including the United States, say the Geneva agreement makes it clear to Assad that he must go. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius insisted on Tuesday that "mutual consent" was a key phrase in the statement, and that "no one can imagine that the opposition can agree to [Assad's] appointment" as a transitional government member.

Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition, which comprises a large number of disparate political groups and movements, needs to elect a common representative to hold future talks with Syrian authorities.

The UN estimated in May that some 10,000 people have been killed in Syria since the beginning of a revolt against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based organization with a network of activists in Syria, revised the death toll to 16,500 on Monday. Of those, some 5,000 were government troops and army defectors, the group said. June had been the bloodiest month of the conflict so far, with around 100 deaths every day, it said.

The UN Security Council has so far failed to find a way to settle the conflict. Russia and China have refused to support any plans for outside interference in Syria.

Keywords: Russia, Middle East, Syria - Russian News - Russia

 

MOSCOW, July 4 (RIA Novosti)-Western countries are trying to talk Russia into inviting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and granting him political asylum, but Moscow opposes such plans, the Kommersant business daily reported on Wednesday citing a Russian diplomatic source.

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov
"Western countries, first of all the United States, are actively trying to convince Moscow that it should grant the Syrian leader political asylum," the daily wrote.

"[But] we have not had any such plans," the source said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in March that Moscow was not offering political asylum to al-Assad.

Kommersant's source in the diplomatic mission of a Western country has neither confirmed nor denied the report on the offer allegedly made to Russia.

The Geneva conference of foreign ministers of the "action group," which includes the Western powers, Russia and China, on Saturday supported creation of a "transitional government body with full executive powers" in Syria, proposed by UN and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan.

Western powers, including the United States, say the Geneva agreement makes it clear to Assad that he must go. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius insisted on Tuesday that "mutual consent" was a key phrase in the statement, and that "no one can imagine that the opposition can agree to [Assad's] appointment" as a transitional government member.

Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition, which comprises a large number of disparate political groups and movements, needs to elect a common representative to hold future talks with Syrian authorities.

The UN estimated in May that some 10,000 people have been killed in Syria since the beginning of a revolt against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based organization with a network of activists in Syria, revised the death toll to 16,500 on Monday. Of those, some 5,000 were government troops and army defectors, the group said. June had been the bloodiest month of the conflict so far, with around 100 deaths every day, it said.

The UN Security Council has so far failed to find a way to settle the conflict. Russia and China have refused to support any plans for outside interference in Syria.


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