Jan 23 - The Arab League proposes a new peace roadmap for Syria calling for Assad to hand over power to a deputy and set up a new unity government. Michaela Cabrera reports.
Arab League foreign ministers propose a new roadmap for peace in Syria. The proposal calls for President Bashar al-assad to hand over power to a deputy and set up a new unity government. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) QATARI FOREIGN MINISTER AND HEAD OF CURRENT ARAB LEAGUE MINISTERIAL ROTATION, HAMAD BIN JASSIM AL-THANI, SAYING: "The Arab initiative discusses the regime's peaceful departure, that it hands over power to make way for elections and for a clear process of transition." The League said they would ask the UN Security Council to endorse the new plan, which also calls for multi-party elections and a new constitution. (SOUNDBITE) (English) QATARI FOREIGN MINISTER AND HEAD OF CURRENT ARAB LEAGUE MINISTERIAL ROTATION, HAMAD BIN JASSIM AL-THANI, SAYING: "This is the initiative which all the Arabs even the Algerian accepted. And this is what we need, the Security Council to endorse it and to try." It appears highly unlikely that Assad would agree to the proposal. He has mocked the Arab League and recently, he vowed to intensify the crackdown against what he calls "terrorists" and "conspirators". It's unclear as well how the Arab League might enforce the plan, given the failure of a team of observers to end the bloodshed. In the latest sign of divisions within the league-- the Saudi foreign minister announced on Sunday that his country would withdraw its monitors from Syria, citing that Syrian authorities have failed to implement an earlier peace plan. Video posted on a social media website on Sunday showed a funeral for a man described as a martyr. Reuters cannot independently verify the video. Another video shows protesters plowing past snow in Aleppo. The revolt against Assad's 11-year regime has been going on for 10 months. The UN says 5,000 people have died as a result of the military crackdown against protesters. Michaela Cabrera, Reuters.