UN-Arab League special envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi described on Wednesday a plan outlined last week by President Bashar al-Assad for Syria, as "perhaps even more sectarian, more one-sided" than previous initiatives by the embattled regime.
"I told Assad to be certain that, an initiative should be different from what has been done in the past and has not worked," Brahimi said. He added, "I'm afraid that what has come out is very much a repeat of previous initiatives that obviously did not work."
He stressed in his interview with BBC news that the time of reforms granted magnanimously from above had passed. People want to have a say in how they are governed and they want to take hold of their own future, he said.
It is worth mentioning here that Russian media reported that Brahimi has apologized for calling Assad’s position “sectarian," which he said was a slip of the tongue.
News of the apology has not been mentioned by other media. At the same time, the spokesman for Brahimi did not comment on the apology.
In response to Brahimi's declarations, the Syrian foreign ministry said in a statement that Syria is shocked by the statements of Brahimi, who has overstepped his mandate and exhibited a flagrant bias for those parties known to be conspiring against Syria and its people.
The official newspaper Al-Thawra also slammed Brahimi's comments and accused Great Britain of a role in coordinating US operations in the coming phase, after France's failure to execute a universal campaign against Syria.
Following a meeting with cabinet ministers to review the means to implement Assad's magic proposal to end the ongoing conflict, the regime Information Minister Omran Zuabi criticized the United States and its allies for calling for Assad's ouster and rejecting his initiative before even having the time to translate it.
Earlier, Zuabi said that Assad's road map rejects violence, terrorism and any foreign interference in the country. It also outlines a future for the country through a comprehensive political process.
On the other hand, the Syrian National Coalition welcomed Brahimi's comments against Assad's speech.
The coalition's representative to Britain, Walid Saffour said that the statement by Brahimi had been long-awaited. He hasn't criticized Assad before.
Saffour also said Brahimi had no other choice than to the say to the world that this rule is a family rule, and more than 40 years is enough for Syrian people.
We hereby express our sincere thanks to Brahimi, who said the truth that was supposed to be known since the beginning of his mission as an envoy to Syria. At the same time, I apologize for Brahimi, as I personally accused him for not being fair with the Syrian people. The reason for these thoughts was due to movements and announcements of Brahimi as he previously determined that Assad would be part of the solution to the crisis in Syria.
It is normal to know that the Syrian regime is now assaulting Brahimi and accusing him with the dirtiest descriptions. Moreover, the Syrian television called him "envoy of evil countries" to ruin Syria. Brahimi is now the center of attention to all the Syrian media.
As for Brahimi's apology, it was only mentioned in the Russian media, which backs the Syrian regime. Therefore, we have to wait for a statement from Brahimi's Office to confirm or deny this news. I personally do not expect these news to be true, because the Russian and Iranian media are concerned about the trilateral meeting between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns Brahimi, which will be held in Geneva on Jan. 11. The outcomes of this meeting are expected to be according to the Russian vision on the Syrian crisis.
It is worth mentioning that many Syrians are asking via social sites how Bashar came to the rule in Syria. He did not have an official position during the reign of his father and was not known to the majority of the people. Others are asking themselves, if my father was a president, will I become a president too? Of course, these questions bother the Syrian regime, in particular that the Syrian regime is a republican regime and not royal like Jordan or Morocco. These questions indicate that the Syrian people feel that Assad must not be their president anymore and a certain conspiracy by the Syria's Baath Party led to Assad being the president of Syria.
After all, most of the Syrian people are aware that Assad and his family have no place today in Syria. Furthermore, the Syrian people will not give up on their demands that Assad be tried for war crimes committed against them.