Syria: Assad urged to take asylum in Arab world
Washington: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has reportedly been urged to avoid meeting a similar fate like Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi by taking asylum elsewhere in the Arab world.
Political leaders across the Middle East have concluded that Assad is doomed after eight months of bloodshed since the uprising against his rule erupted in March, US officials have said.
Jeffrey Feltman, a US Assistant Secretary of State, told a Senate committee that several Arab states have signalled their willingness to give Assad refuge and immunity from prosecution in the hope of ensuring a rapid resolution to the Syrian crisis.
"Almost all the Arab leaders and foreign ministers whom I talk to say the same thing: Assad''s rule is coming to an end. It is inevitable. Some of these Arabs have even begun to offer Assad safe haven to encourage him to leave," The Telegraph quoted Feltman, as saying.
Although he avoided specifying which states were willing to take in Assad, Feltman said political figures in the region gave warning that time was limited for him to make a decision.
A Jordanian official said: "He basically has two options. He can either stay in Syria and die in ignominy with his body being dragged through the streets and his country facing bloody chaos. Or he can choose salvation, both for himself and for Syria, and live a quiet life abroad."
The official, however, did not confirm whether Jordan was among the states that had offered Assad refuge, though he suggested that Saudi Arabia may have done.