Turkey: Syria VP Sharaa Can Lead Syria in Shift After Assad Ouster

Speaking to Turkish media, Ahmet Davutoglu says Sharaa can head interim cabinet since he isn't linked to Assad's attacks on civilians.

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Syrian Vice President Farouk Sharaa should lead Syria during the transitional phase following the possible ouster of beleaguered President Bashar Assad, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in a recent interview.

In late August, Sharaa made a rare public appearance, putting an end to claims by the Syrian opposition that he had defected and fled to Jordan. Sharaa's cousin, Colonel Yarab Sharaa, defected two weeks prior.

Speaking to Turkish media concerning the possibility of a transitional government that would lead Syria in the wake of Assad's downfall, Davutoglu said that he felt Sharaa was the right person to lead an interim government, since the Syrian vice president was both versed in the matters of state and wasn't linked to Assad's attacks on Syrian civilians.

In the interview, Turkey's foreign minister added that Syria's opposition was beginning to understand that a person such as Sharaa must be chosen to lead Damascus' transitional government.

Sharaa was born in Daraa in 1938. He entered public service in 1963, and in 1976 was appointed ambassador to Rome. In 1984 he was named foreign minister, and in 2006 was appointed as vice president replacing Abdal-Khalim Khaddam, who defected to the West a year before.

Sharaa's name has been coming up as a possible replacement for Assad since the civil strife in Syria began, in the eventuality that a transfer of power like that which took place in Yemen in February 2012.

However, both regime and opposition officials have voiced their objections to such a plan.

Syrian defense minister Fahd Jassem al-Freij, second left, and Farouk Sharaa, Bashar Assad's vice president, center, attend the funeral of members of President Assad's inner circle. Credit: AP

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