US: Some Arab leaders are offering Assad safe haven

November 10, 2011 02:59

WASHINGTON - Some Arab leaders have told the United States they are willing to provide safe haven to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to hasten his "inevitable" departure from power, a senior US official said on Wednesday.

Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman did not identify the countries that had offered a place for Assad to go after seven months of protests against his rule in Syria.

"Almost all the Arab leaders, foreign ministers who I talk to say the same thing: Assad's rule is coming to an end. It is inevitable," Feltman, who is in charge of near eastern affairs, told a Senate panel.

"Some of these Arabs have even begun to offer Assad safe haven to encourage him to leave quickly," Feltman said. He hoped Assad and his inner circle would "head for the exits voluntarily."

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