The Secretary General of the Spanish government, Bernardino León has recently paid a secret visit to Syria in order to propose a peaceful solution to the revolution which has been rocking the streets of the country since March .
According to the plan, which was crystallized by the close aides of PM Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, indicates the Spanish government’s willing to offer President Bashar Asaad a political asylum.
Leon traveled alone using its ordinary passport, not a diplomatic document. He met discreetly with a close aide to President Bashar Assad.
Zapatero’s initiative includes three components: immediate halt to the repression and arrests, organizing a national conference in Madrid of all Syrian forces to outline the timetable for a transition and form a government with prominent representatives of the opposition. Turkey supports this plan, El Pais newspaper reported on Monday.
“My impression is that he (Assad) will not compromise on anything substantial,” says a diplomat who heard Leon upon his return from Damascus. “My partners are far from reality,” he lamented. The special envoy now believes that the carnage by the Army made the Spanish proposal outdated and that the opposition seeks just the downfall of the regime.
If this occurs, the Spanish Government would be willing to provide asylum to Assad but for now, no one in Syria has requested nor offered this, diplomatic sources have indicated.
It should be mentioned that there is a long tradition of Syrian exile in Spain. This started in the 1980s with the arrival of members of the Muslim Brotherhood, and continued with Rifaat al-Assad, the uncle of current president and former vice president of Syria.