Assad may claim asylum in Latin America, according to reports

Published December 5th, 2012 - 09:31 GMT
Protestors outside the UN General Assembly in New York hold anti-Assad signs
Protestors outside the UN General Assembly in New York hold anti-Assad signs

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has reportedly been looking into the possibility of claiming political asylum in Latin America.

In an official visit to Venezuela last week, Syria's deputy foreign minister, Faisal al-Miqdad, brought a classified letter from Assad to President Hugo Chavez.

A government spokesperson refused to reveal details of the letter but told Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, that Assad's message touched on "the personal relationship between the two presidents."

In the past, Chavez has been open about his support for Assad, sending fuel into Syria to be used in regime tanks and armored personnel carriers. The close relationship between the two countries has led commentators to suggest that Assad's letter explores the possibility of claiming political asylum for himself, his family and his associates.

Suspicions have been fueled by further visits by Miqdad to Cuba and Ecuador over the past week, in which he is also said to have carried classified letters.

However, these claims run contrary to statements from the Syrian president. 

Last month, in an interview with Russia Today, Assad said he would "live and die in Syria."

Meanwhile, the U.S. government is rumored to be considering classifying opposition group, Jabhat al-Nusra as a terrorist organization, according to online reports. 

The Islamist group has been one of the key allies of the original Free Syrian Army.


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