Assad May Be Offered Clemency Deal
Syrian leader could get invite to Geneva peace talks
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2012 4:27 AM CDT
Updated Jun 21, 2012 7:56 AM CDT
Assad supporters wave flags and portraits during a demonstration.   (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)
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(Newser) – To end the conflict in Syria, American and British officials are considering offering Bashar al-Assad safe passage to peace talks in Geneva and a chance to avoid being prosecuted for his regime's crimes against civilians if he gives up power, according to the Guardian. "It is hard to see a negotiated solution in which one of the participants would be willing, voluntarily, to go off to the International Criminal Court," notes one senior British official, adding that Prime Minister David Cameron hasn't yet made a final decision on the matter. Under a clemency deal, Assad may be allowed to leave Syria for Russia or Iran.

After talks at this week's G20 summit, officials are optimistic about the chances of holding peace talks involving the Syrian regime and the opposition, the permanent five members of the UN Security council, and major regional players like Turkey and Saudi Arabia, reports the Independent. One stumbling block, however, could be a Russian proposal to give Iran a seat at the table. In Syria, meanwhile, the Red Cross is preparing to evacuate hundreds of civilians trapped by 10 days of fierce fighting in the city of Homs.