Reuters Exclusive: Russia to propose Syrians launch 18-month reform process
Russia wants the Syrian government and opposition to agree on launching a constitutional reform process of up to 18 months, followed by early presidential elections, a draft document obtained by Reuters showed on Tuesday.
The eight-point proposal, drawn up by Moscow before international talks on Syria this week, does not rule out President Bashar al-Assad's participation in the elections – something his foes say is impossible if there is to be peace, Reuters wrote.
"The popularly elected president of Syria will have the functions of commander-in-chief of the armed forces, control of special services and foreign policy," the document said.
The document also said the Syrian sides should agree on such steps at a future conference to be organized by the United Nations and added that the reform process would not be chaired by Assad, but by a candidate agreed by all sides.
Read alsoU.S. National Intelligence chief says Putin has no strategic planA Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman denied that any document was being prepared by Russia for the international meeting on Syria this week in Vienna. "This information does not correspond to reality," said the spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova.