During the meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers, which is set to take place on June 30 in Geneva, the offer of UN Special Envoy Kofi Annan to create a new national government in Syria will be discussed, as diplomatic sources claim.
It is planned to include both the opposition and supporters of the current Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in this new government. Meanwhile, some individuals «whose presence would complicate the process of transferring power, or would pose a threat to establishing peace and stability», are planned to be excluded from the new structure. According to some reports, this applies to al-Assad, who is becoming a «common allergen» in the Syrian issue, Izvestiya reports.
Members of the UN Security Council (Russia, USA, Britain, China and France), EU, Turkey, Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar will participate in the Geneva meeting. Iran, al-Assad’s closest ally, and Saudi Arabia, his most consistent ill-wisher, were not invited to attend the meeting in Geneva. In addition to that, representatives from the Syrian opposition and al-Assad were not invited as well.
There are already rumours, spread by representatives of Western diplomatic circles, that Moscow supports al-Assads resignation and the creation of a national government under the condition that the Russian navy base remains in the Syrian city of Tartous. But it would be odd to bet everything on just one military base because Russia’s interest in a peaceful resolution of the Syrian issue – is a means to take back its influence in the Middle East, and a rematch for Libya.
Representatives of the Syrian opposition say that it is too soon to speak about the creation of a national government.
Bashar al-Assad is avoiding the press, but, on Thursday, June 28, he said in an interview to the Iranian television that he must protect his civilians for terrorists, who claim to be the «opposition». He declined any methods of resolving the crisis that were externally imposed.
However, al-Assad support the plan of the UN Special Envoy Kofi Annan: «Yes, it is a good plan. We believe it can work. I especially like the part about ending bloodshed, which, in our understanding, obligates the terrorists to lay down their arms, and the countries that support them – to stop supplying them with arms and money. I still believe that Annan’s plan is effective now and will be in the future.»