Report: Russia Wants Assad to Remain in Power until Next Presidential Election
TEHRAN (FNA)- Russia has proposed a new plan to resolve the crisis in Syria, based on which President Bashar Al-Assad will remain in power until the next presidential election in 2014, a report by an Egyptian daily said.
Egypt's Al-Ahram daily quoted an informed Syrian opposition figure as saying that Russia is trying to solve the present crisis in Syria based on the establishment of a new comprehensive government to be comprised of the current ruling system and opposition figures.
Based on the proposal, the defense and interior ministries will be governed by the current government, while opposition parties will have other ministries, the report said.
The Russian proposal stresses that the Syrian presidency will remain intact until the end of Bashar al-Assad's current term in 2014, which will be the time for new presidential elections in the country.
The report came as President Assad said he could only leave "through the ballot box".
Assad told state-run Russia Today (RT) that whether the president can "stay or leave" is a "popular issue" and "the only way (it) can be done (is) through the ballot boxes".
"It is not about what we hear. It is about what we can get through that box and that box will tell any president to stay or leave very simply," said the president, speaking in English.
He also denied Syria was in a state of "civil war" but said the conflict with rebels could be "a long-term war" if they continued to receive support from abroad.