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Dec 5, 2012 Comments Off Chuck Biscuits

Al Arabiya: The embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is considering the possibility to claim political asylum for himself, his family and his close circle in Latin America if he has to cede power, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

“Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister held meetings in Cuba, Venezuela and Ecuador over the past week, and brought with him classified personal letters from Assad to local leaders,” the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, reported.

During trips to Ecuador, Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, Syria’s deputy foreign minister, Faisal al-Miqdad, received mostly symbolic backing for his government’s 20-month battle against rebels.

But it noted Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez’s support for Assad.

Chavez has gone even further than his neighbours to prop up Assad, sending at least three shipments of diesel oil to the Syrian government, which is straining under economic embargoes imposed by the United States and the European Union.

Al Bawaba: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has reportedly been looking into the possibility of claiming political asylum in Latin America.

In an official visit to Venezuela last week, Syria’s deputy foreign minister, Faisal al-Miqdad, brought a classified letter from Assad to President Hugo Chavez.

A government spokesperson refused to reveal details of the letter but told Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, that Assad’s message touched on “the personal relationship between the two presidents.”

In the past, Chavez has been open about his support for Assad, sending fuel into Syria to be used in regime tanks and armored personnel carriers. The close relationship between the two countries has led commentators to suggest that Assad’s letter explores the possibility of claiming political asylum for himself, his family and his associates.

Suspicions have been fueled by further visits by Miqdad to Cuba and Ecuador over the past week, in which he is also said to have carried classified letters.

However, these claims run contrary to statements from the Syrian president.

Last month, in an interview with Russia Today, Assad said he would “live and die in Syria.”