West pushes Russia to host Assad in exile

Reports claimed Wednesday that Western countries, led by the US, are pushing for efforts to send Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in exile in Russia.

Last Updated: Jul 04, 2012, 14:01 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Moscow: Reports claimed on Wednesday that Western countries, led by the United States, are pushing for efforts to send Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in exile in Russia.

While the West is viewing this as he only way out of the escalating crisis in Syria, Russiais reportedly not receptive to the idea.

The when Moscow, as per sources, acknowledges that Assad`s has only "10 per cent" chances of political survival.

The Kommersant daily quoted a Russian diplomatic source as saying that Western nations were making "active attempts" to persuade Russia to host Assad in exile.

However, the source added: "We (Russia) have no and have had no plans to host Assad."

The development came as Russia accused the West of seeking to distort an agreement for a political transition in Syria, after international peace envoy Kofi Annan said a ceasefire was imperative.

According to News 24, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the Geneva accord based on proposals by Annan as an ``important step``, but accused the West for interpreting more in the final statement than what was written on paper.

"These (Geneva) agreements are not there to be interpreted. They mean exactly what is said in the communique and we need to follow the agreements that were made," the report quoted Lavrov as saying.

Lavrov comments came soon after Annan spokesperson Ahmad Fawzi said that a ``shift`` in positions by Russia and its diplomatic ally China at the Geneva talks should not be underestimated.

On Saturday, world powers had agreed to a plan for transition in Syria that did not make a clear call for President Bashar al-Assad to quit, but the West swiftly made clear that it saw no role for Assad in a unity government.

(With Agency inputs)