Syrian Vice President Faruq al-Sharaa said in an interview with Lebanese daily al-Akhbar that neither the Syrian regime nor the opposition can win a decisive victory in Syria, and called for a “historic settlement,” to end the everlasting crisis there.
"No opposition can end the battle militarily, just as the security forces and army cannot achieve a decisive conclusion," Sharaa told the paper.
He said "every day that passes, we are moving further away from a military or political solution," adding that "we must position ourselves to defend Syria's existence – we are not in a battle for an individual or a regime." He did not define ‘he’, however.
"The various opposition forces – whether armed or civilian, or linked to foreign powers – cannot claim they are the sole legitimate representatives of the Syrian people," he added, calling for confidence-building measures between the regime and the rebels.
"This accord must first bring about an end to all forms of violence and establish a national unity government with broad powers," he added.
In the regime’s relations with the Arab League, he blamed both sides. “Both the (Syrian) authority and the AL have made unforgettable mistakes,” he said.
He said “No investigation committees have been formed, and when a few were formed, the findings were not published in the media, which affected the regime’s credibility and image in front of the victims inside Syria and the observers outside Syria.”
“We are convinced that the clock arms shall not go back,” he added.
“The President, who holds all the state decision in his hands, may not give you an answer (on what to go from here.)”
This is the strongest criticism which a high-ranking political official in the Syrian regime addresses to the regime itself and even partly to president Assad. The following need to be highlighted:
Sharaa, 74, has served the regime for decades, both under Assad and under his father and predecessor Hafez al-Assad, but has been seen in public only a few times since the uprising erupted in March last year.
In his interview, he did not attack the opposition and although, he criticized it in certain places in his interview, he did not accuse it of treason or of being agents to the West.
He did not mention the word ‘conspiracy’ on which the entire discourse of the regime is based on.
His comments to Al-Akhbar were his first published statements since July last year, when he presided over a dialogue conference, which none of its recommendations have been ever implemented.
In October, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu suggested that the Vice President would be a suitable pick to lead a transition government, calling him "a man of reason" who could stop the civil war in the country.