In a rare public speech today, Syrian President Bashar Assad laid out what he called a “peace plan” aimed at reconciling with combating forces in the ongoing civil war, offering political reforms and a new constitution.
The offers were predictably endorsed by Assad’s supporters and angrily condemned by his opponents, with the US claiming the whole offer was an attempt to “cling to power” because Assad didn’t explicitly promise to resign immediately.
Assad’s offer of talks directly ruled out talks with Western-backed rebels, making them pretty much meaningless in the first place, but since those rebels have ruled out ever negotiating with Assad anyhow, both sides could rightly be accused of being stubborn and dragging the war on rather than accept a settlement.
In the end, the rebels are holding out for a “deal” that will unconditionally install them as a new regime, and Western supporters of those rebels seem content to egg them on under the assumption this will eventually be on offer.
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