Bashar al-Assad, Syrian President, Could Be Offered Clemency
American and British officials may be forced to offer President Bashar al-Assad clemency in exchange for him relinquishing his power in Syria peacefully.
The decision has come after the G20 summit, and would include safe passage for Assad to a UN-sponsored conference in Geneva on the political transition in Syria. If necessary, the deal would include clemency, and the Syrian president would not be charged for crimes committed by his military, according to The Guardian.
A senior British official stated about the possible deal that:
“Those of us who had bilaterals thought there was just enough out of those meetings to make it worth pursuing the objective of negotiating a transitional process in Syria.”
According to The Independent, a clemency offer for Assad would protect him from prosecution by the International Criminal Court, and could even involve allowing him to flee Syria for another country, like Russia or Iran. The UK source stated that, while the clemency option for Bashar al-Assad has not been confirmed, it was “a question you have to look at.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron has not yet taken a view on the matter, according to The Independent.
Newser reports that the UK source stated that, ”It is hard to see a negotiated solution in which one of the participants would be willing, voluntarily, to go off to the International Criminal Court.” Meaning that the clemency possibility for Assad may be a requirement, in order to knock his regime out of power peacefully and allow fighting to cease in the unstable country.
The Guardian reports that, after the G20 summit in Mexico, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is hoping to persuade international envoy and former UN secretary general Kofi Annan to change the format of his plans for peace in Syria. Instead, he will be encouraged to use the same transitional model as Yemen, where the president, Ali Saleh, was allowed immunity, despite civilian massacres. He ceded power to his deputy, who is currently drawing up a new constitution.