Tunisia repeats offer of asylum for Assad

2012-03-08 14:05
London - Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki repeated his offer of asylum to Bashar al-Assad in an interview to be shown on Thursday, after Russia said the Syrian leader was not welcome there.

Building on a proposal he made last week, Marzouki agreed that Assad was a "murderer" but said the north African country was prepared to grant him refuge if it helped bring peace to Syria after nearly a year of violence.

"If we want to stop the killing the only way is to have a solution like the Yemeni solution: that the president leaves power and that he has safe haven, somewhere to go," the Tunisian leader told BBC World News.

"Otherwise he will continue to kill and to kill and to kill.

"And this is why we said: look, if the price of peace in Syria is to give a safe haven to this guy, why not?"

During an international conference on Syria in Tunis last month, Marzouki called for judicial immunity for Assad and his family and suggested that Russia could offer him refuge as part of a political solution to the crisis.

However, Russian president-elect Vladimir Putin on Wednesday rejected this idea, telling Kremlin reporters: "We are not even discussing this question."

Marzouki told the BBC that Tunisia felt some responsibility for the anti-Assad protests in Syria, which followed the uprising that ousted Tunisian leader Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011.

"The Syrian revolution comes just after our own, so we feel that we have a kind of moral responsibility towards Syrians," the Tunisian president said in the interview recorded on Tuesday.

"And Syrians, also, are Muslims, they are our brothers so I really can't accept that every day you have 100 people killed by the regime. So my obsession is to stop the killing, this is my main problem."

He added: "I proposed Russia but Russia didn't want, they weren't very happy with the idea and they said: look, why you, Tunisians, don't take this man.

"I said OK, if this is the price, I accept to pay this price. This is a high price but we have to pay it because life is much more important than justice."

Read more on:    zine el abidine ben ali  |  bashar al-assad  |  moncef marzouki  |  russia  |  syria  |  north africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.