Senior Arab diplomats said the governments of Iran, Russia, China and other Syrian allies have concluded that there is no solution to the Syrian crisis that will see President Bashar Assad stay in power, Kuwaiti newspaper al-Rai reported on Saturday.
The report quoted the Arab diplomats as saying that the countries are now trying to advance a proposal by which Assad will leave Syria and receive asylum elsewhere. Syria has denied the report.
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According to the sources, during the transition period, Syria will set up a strong army consisting of members of the Free Syrian Army and uniformed personnel who "do no have blood on their hands." The paper claimed that the plan also received support from the United States and Europe.
The report, which has not been confirmed by any other source, claims that Assad has agreed to the parameters of the proposal, and told his allies that while he can no longer rule over the country, he does not want to hand it over to terrorists.
Assad in rare public appearance
Shortly after its release, Syrian Information Minister Umran al-Zuabi denied the report, stating that it is nothing but "the dreams of opposition groups outside Syria."
"President Bashar Assad will not leave his post. Any decision regarding his retirement will be made by the Syrian people," he said.
"The polls are the only way in which the people will express its wishes over who will rule the country," he noted, adding that "Assad still enjoys a great deal of support from the people of Syria."
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on Friday said that Iran will present a proposal to end the Syrian crisis during the summit of Non-Aligned countries slated to take place in Tehran at the end of August. According to Salehi, Iran is willing to host talks between the Syrian government and Syrian opposition members after the summit.
However, Lebanese paper al-Akbar, which is affiliated with Hezbollah, quoted Salehi as saying that he staunchly supports the Syrian regime, which he claimed is "a center pillar of Iran's foreign policy and a central element in the resistance against Israel
Meanwhile, the head of the intelligence unit of Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was quoted as saying on Saturday that Iran has a responsibility to support Assad's government as it fights an armed uprising.
"We all have a responsibility to support Syria and not allow the line of resistance to be broken," Fars news agency quoted Hossein Taeb, the intelligence unit head, as saying.
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