A top defense official said Sunday that there was no cause for celebration following a report that Russia and US had reached an agreement on terms to end Syrian President Bashar Assad's rule.

On Saturday, London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported that two possibilities for Assad's departures were under discussion.

Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad, director of policy and political military affairs at the Defense Ministry told Army Radio, "We are talking about national security, this is an international issue."

"We have to look at the situation soberly, and evaluate them on a day-today basis based on the picture emerging.. without clinking glasses and without fanfare."

According to the Asharq Al-Awsat, one option under consideration is for Assad to be a partner in the transfer of power and as a result enjoy international protection. Another possibility is that world powers negotiate a transfer of power in his absence, and he would lose the protection that a settlement would produce.

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