Russia dismisses comment on Assad asylum

MOSCOW, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- A Russian official Saturday dismissed a suggestion by Tunisian President Munsaf al-Marzuki that Russia grant asylum to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The unidentified official said Marzuki should offer proposals aimed at reaching a peaceful outcome in Syria, where the government has engaged in a violent crackdown on protesters seeking Assad's removal from office, RIA Novosti reported.


"The Tunisian president should make proposals on behalf of his own country instead of calling on other countries to do anything," the official said. "Such proposals should be aimed at achieving a peaceful settlement of the internal Syrian crisis."

During a "Friends of Syria" meeting in Tunis, Tunisia, Friday, Marzuki said, "A political solution must be found, such as granting the Syrian president, his family and members of his regime judicial immunity and a place to seek refuge, which Russia could offer."

Russia did not attend the meeting in Tunisia, where representatives of more than 60 countries discussed how to resolve the crisis in Syria.

The group endorsed the opposition Syrian National Council as a "credible" voice and urged an immediate end to the violence. Delegates also called on Assad to allow humanitarian aid to be distributed and threatened more sanctions against Assad's regime.


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