Moscow said Tuesday it had not considered President Bashar al-Assad’s stay in power as a prerequisite for resolving the conflict in Syria. “We never said or made a condition that Assad must necessarily remain in power at the end of the political process,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told the Itar-Tass news agency.
In late May, the New York Times reported that the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama wanted Russia to agree to a plan to end the crisis for Syria, including the ouster of President Bashar Al-Assad. This would be the core of the plan similar to the plan which ended earlier this year the presidency of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, after 33 years in power. According to the US plan, some members of the Syrian regime, which suppresses the protest movement for a little over a year, would remain in place. Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin should discuss this proposal during their meeting to be held on 18 and 19 June in Mexico City.
Meanwhile, Syria allowed Tuesday to UN bodies to provide humanitarian aid, as stipulated by the plan of UN and the Arab League envoy Kofi Annan to end the crisis. The delivery was reported in four provinces. After initial missions on Sunday, humanitarian organizations allowed to move into Homs (center), Idleb (northwest), Deraa (south) and Deir Ezzor (east), to distribute food and medical aid. Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Meqdad reaffirmed the willingness of Damascus to implement Annan’s plan and “protect the observer mission”.