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Syria's VP calls for peaceful resolution to crisis – possibly without Assad

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Bassem Tellawi/AP/File

(Read caption) Syrian President Bashar al-Assad reacts during a speech at the Damascus University in this file photo.

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In an interview with a pro-Assad Lebanese newspaper, Syria's vice president called for a peaceful political resolution to the ongoing conflict in his country, and suggested that President Bashar al-Assad may not play a role in Syria's future – marking the highest-level acknowledgment yet from the Syrian government that a victory for the Assad regime looks increasingly unlikely.

Farouk al-Sharaa, current vice president of Syria and a long-serving member of the Assad family's regime, said in an interview with the Beirut-based Al Akhbar newspaper that “With every passing day, the solution [to the Syrian conflict] gets further away, militarily, and politically.” Noticeably omitting the political survival of President Assad, Mr. Sharaa says that “We are not in a battle for the survival of an individual or a regime.”

In an indirect, verbose fashion, Sharaa seems to demarcate a divided mind-set within the Syrian government, with Assad seeking a decisive military resolution to the conflict, while others, like Sharaa, push for a political solution.

Sharaa tells Al-Akhbar that "If anyone has the chance to meet Mister President, he would hear from him that this is a long struggle, a big conspiracy with many actors (terrorists, rabble, smugglers). He does not hide his desire for a military solution that achieves a decisive victory, and only then would the political dialogue be actually possible."

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