Syrian End Game?

European media are reporting that Russia and the United States are preparing a joint ultimatum to President Bashar al-Assad through the special envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League, Lakhdar Brahimi, to encourage Assad to leave power “with dignity.” Washington and Moscow reportedly have “exchanged the names” of acceptable leaders who could appear in the transitional government. As reported by a member of the Syrian opposition, a realistic political solution could be that “the Assad family leaves Syria and a transitional government is created with representatives of both parties, the government and the opposition coalition, that have not participated in the violence.” National dialogue would establish a cease-fire with the prospect of “free and transparent elections within six months” and “compensation to the families of the dead and wounded.”

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Pope Francis listens to a question from Vera Shcherbakova of the Itar-Tass news agency while talking with journalists aboard his flight from Cairo to Rome April 29. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
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Pope Francis greets children dressed as pharaohs and in traditional dress as he arrives to celebrate Mass at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo April 29. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano)
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Pope Francis greets the crowd as he arrives to celebrate Mass at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo April 29. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
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