TUNISIAN PRESIDENT OFFERS ASSAD ASYLUM
TUNIS (AFP) - Tunisia is ready to grant asylum to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad as part of a negotiated settlement to the crisis, President Moncef Marzouki said in an interview to be published Wednesday.
Marzouki had last week called for judicial immunity for Assad and his family during an international conference on Syria held in Tunis.
'Tunisia is ready to grant asylum to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his relatives in the framework of a negotiated settlement to the Syrian crisis,' he told La Presse newspaper.
During Friday's Friends of Syria meeting in Tunis, Marzouki had called for an Arab peacekeeping force for Syria in tandem with diplomatic efforts to try to persuade Assad to quit.
'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,' he said Friday.
World powers have piled pressure on the Assad regime to end its deadly crackdown on dissent, which human rights groups estimate has killed more than 7,600 people since March last year.