Ankara’s transition process plan for Syria, which was discussed with Russian President Vladimir Putin and which gained his support, calls for Assad to give up power in three months. Details of Ankara’s formula, seen as Assad’s last chance, are slowly emerging. Here is a summary:
The plan Putin termed as “creative”’ foresees ending the clashes in Syria and the start of a transition process. Both sides have to abstain from using guns and Assad has to stop shedding blood. The formula sets out a detailed calendar of six months for the transition process, starting from the first day.
While Assad wants to govern the process until the elections, the opposition wants Assad to relinquish power immediately at the start of the process. Assad’s demand to govern the transition process is the most important impediment to further positive steps. According to the formula being developed, Assad will not give up power immediately. He will hand over authority to another figure within three months of the transition and vacate his seat. This will satisfy the opposition’s demand.
A transitional government, which will be fully empowered, will be set up in three months. It will be made up of opposition members, but civilians who served in the Assad administration and whose hands are not bloody will not be excluded. The Syrian army will be under command of the civilian administration. The Free Syrian Army will continue to exist during the process. The UN will have an active role in implementing the formula.
There are concerns that Assad might not accept the transition process formula. Since Russia supports the plan, if Assad rejects it he may well lose all his supporters in the international arena.