HAARETZ (Israel), THE GUARDIAN (UK)
Syria's ambassador to Venezuela has denied allegations Wednesday that President Bashar al-Assad is considering seeking political asylum in Latin America.
On Tuesday, Israeli newspaper Haaretz suggested President Assad's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad had previously held meetings in Venezuela, Cuba and Ecuador in order to ensure the President's safe southbound exit, along with his entourage.
The Guardian reports that Syria's ambassador to Venezuela, Ghassan Abbas, has issued a statement Wednesday, in which he says: "It is not worth honouring these claims with a response. You can ask our Venezuelan counterparts.
"In several interviews Assad has said he was born in Syria and will die in Syria. Right now he is not afraid. He is in a strong position. There is no probability that this news is true," Abbas said.
Latin America is merely the latest in a long list of rumored regions where Assad could possibly seek exile, away from international condemnation for the conflict in Syria. Below is a map showing the countries previously linked to Assad:
Screenshot from Google Maps
A. Syria: Where Bashar al-Assad was born, and vows he will stay until his death.
B. Cuba: A possible destination, owing to its particular anti-Western policies.
C. Venezuela: Ditto.
D. Ecuador: The country currently hiding Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in its London Embassy.
E. Russia: Has frequently vetoed proposed UN Security Council resolutions aimed at putting heat on Damascus.
F. Belarus: The black sheep of Europe.
G. Tunisia: President Moncef Marzouki reportedly offered asylum in February in order to end the conflict.
H. Qatar: One Arabic nation that has so far resisted Arab Spring-style uprisings.