Friday 4 January 2013

Assad's roadmap for peace in Syria

President Bashar al-Assad is just about to go on air and announce his roadmap for a political settlement to end the Syria war.
His two semi-official mouthpieces in Lebanon – al-Akhbar daily and Hezbollah’s al-Manar portal – carry the report (authored by Nasser Sharara) saying Assad’s five-point roadmap for a political transition is based on the Geneva Declaration of June 2011 (see post, “Syria Action Group leaves open Assad question”).
Sharara says the Syrian president’s peace plan, has already been communicated to Moscow and suggests the following:
If there are no objections to his joining other candidates in running for the presidential elections in 2014, Assad agrees to the roadmap dubbed Geneva Two.
Its provisions are:
1. A ceasefire
2. Deployment of international observers to oversee the plan’s implementation
3. Establishment of a founding committee to amend the Constitution
4. Formation of a National Unity Government
5. Free parliamentary elections under international supervision
Sharara quotes regime sources as saying they would prefer equal representation of “Independents, Baathists and Opposition” in the national unity government, each group getting one-third of the members.
The sources also float the name of academic and human rights activist Haytham al-Manna’ to head the transitional government.
The report expects Assad’s plan to be discussed at a meeting later this month of the three Bs: U.S. Undersecretary of State William Burns, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.
The report says Assad might reiterate in his “peace plan address” that Syrian upholds the causes of Palestine and Lebanon and their resistance groups and its right to claim back the occupied Golan Heights from Israel and Iskenderun (formerly Alexandretta) from Turkey.