Arab League offers Bashar al-Assad ‘safe exit’ from Syria
The Arab League has offered President Bashar al-Assad a “safe exit” from Syria as rebels claimed the opposition was “at the gates of victory”.
Nabil Elaraby, the Arab League’s secretary general, called on Mr Assad to resign immediately, and offered his family safe passage out of Syria.
However, he gave no further details on his proposal at an Arab League foreign ministers’ meeting in Doha, Qatar, on Monday morning.
The League also promised $100 million (£64 million) for Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries.
Tunisian President President Moncef Marzouki also offered Assad asylum in February if it would end the conflict.
Assad has shown little inclination to step down. On Sunday, his forces attacked remaining rebel pockets of resistance in the capital Damascus.
In his first public statements since a devastating rebel bombing wiped out his top security officers, Assad told his new army chief of staff Sunday to “continue the armed forces’ pursuit of terrorists.”
Despite being forced out of several Damascus suburbs on Sunday, SNC spokesman George Sabra said in the statement the heavy fighting that has broken out in the capital and the country’s second city Aleppo in recent days was an important sign of rebel progress.
“What is happening in Damascus and Aleppo and other Syrian towns in recent days is a crucial step to establish a new phase of history in our country and the region as well,” he said.
“This is a message provided by the revolution to the people that says very clearly that the regime is going to its inevitable end.”
Sabra called on the Syrian population to back the rebels, urging that to do their best “to facilitate the new birth of their nation after the fall of tyranny.”
Meanwhile, William Hague and his French counterpart called for a boost in European Union aid to the tens of thousands of fleeing Syrians.
“We have to step up humanitarian assistance for the people fleeing,” said the Foreign Secretary as French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius too stepped into the meeting saying: “We must help neighbouring countries.”