Photo: AP
President Bashar Assad
Photo: AP

EU official: Assad losing grip on power

In conversation with Ynet, senior European Union official links signs of instability in Syria to impending United Nations report on Hariri assassination

As time goes by Syrian President Bashar Assad has been getting weaker and losing his grip on power, a senior European Union official said Tuesday.


Assad's relatives and members of his father's team of senior aides control Syria nowadays, the official told Ynet.


The instability of the Syrian regime hinges on the impending release of results of a United Nations investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri last year. Syrian official have been implicated in the plot to kill Hariri.


Belgian Judge Serge Brammertz is set to submit the investigation's provisional findings to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan next week.


The EU official said a coup to oust Assad from within the Alawit clan which controls the army is probable.


The official added that economic and social cooperation between the EU and Syria will remain frozen until Damascus agrees to fully cooperate with the UN investigative team.


Peace talks with Israel


In recent talks with EU officials, Ibrahim A-Dardari, Deputy Prime Minister, alluded to Damascus' readiness to renew peace talks with Israel, the official said.


Shifting his attention to the region, the official said the European Union will implement a decision taken last month to transfer funds to pay the salaries of Palestinian Authority workers as of July.


Asked how the EU will ensure that aid moneys don't end up in the hands of Hamas, the official said Brussels possesses the complete list of Palestinian Authority workers before Hamas' rise to power, which will allow it to monitory the transfer of salaries.


He added the EU will ensure that most of the aid will be funneled to health and other humanitarian purposes.


פרסום ראשון: 06.06.06, 20:35
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