DAMASCUS – Arab foreign ministers have backed Kofi Annan’s plan to see Bashar al-Assad removed from power by accepting Nick Clegg’s job in the coalition government.
The proposal would see Assad become David Cameron’s deputy; allowing the Syrian president to remain a governmental position while removing any political power that could be to make an impact in his country.
Drafted by the former Secretary-General, he told the UN Security Council the proposal had been modelled on the last two years of the Liberal Democrat leader’s time inside the coalition government.
Mr Annan explained that seeing Nick Clegg reduced to a virtual bystander in government operations provided the blueprint for a draft agreement aimed at diminishing the Assad regime’s power over the Syrian people.
On a day in which further explosions could be heard from the captial, the former Secretary-Genera stressed: “To bring an end to the suffering, Assad must have his ability to influence government to all intents and purposes neutered like a dog.”
The international resolution includes demands for a ceasefire, the immediate withdrawal of artillery from residential areas and the acceptance that he Syrian leader will be treated with the same respect as a five-year-old at a Mensa debate.
It is uncertain at this point whether the deal will be accepted by Assad himself as it is understood he has self-esteem and may be unwilling to serve in such a deputy position.
With pressure mounting, the Assad government is said to be seeking clarifications including whether the dictator would physically need to have his spine removed as part of the deal.
Transition of power
Speaking from Downing Street, British Prime Minister David Cameron backed the plan as an “excellent strategy for bringing an end to Bashar al-Assad’s political influence,” and confirmed he did not really “give a toss” who was deputy as he would be ignoring them anyway.
The Conservative leader promised that “as my number two, I would ensure Assad could do no further damage to anything other than his reputation.”
Mr Annan said an agreement would be an “important initial step” to bringing an end to the violence, and described how Mr Assad must implement the plan by forgoing his integrity and reducing his power to the equivalent of a 60 watt light bulb.
UN members privately hoped that the reduction of power would pave the way for Assad and his allies to be completely disposed in the next General Election.