By Mick Krever, CNN
A Syrian “opposition prime minister” could be named within a few days, according to France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.
Last month, France became the first European power to recognize the Syrian opposition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people, and in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday, Fabius said he has faith in the leadership of the group.
“If we want to get rid of Bashar al-Assad, we have to show that the alternative is reasonable, and efficient,” Fabius said. “And we’ve met this coalition. The leaders of the coalition are nice people. They are not corrupt. They are dedicated to the country. And they are more and more united, which was and is an absolute necessity.”
Fabius declined to speculate on who could assume the position of “opposition prime minister,” insisting “it’s their decision, it’s not my decision.” He did say, however, that there are several names that have been floated, and they are all “reasonable and wise.”
There are still international powers that back Bashar Al-Assad – chief among them, Russia. But Fabius said that, in private conversations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has told him several times that Russia is “not married [to] Bashar al-Assad.”
Rather, according toFabius, Russia is trying to protect its regional interests by avoiding uncontrollable chaos.
“I hope that it will be possible in the coming days to find, maybe not an agreement, but a common way,” Fabius said.
As to whether Assad is forced from office or, as some have suggested, shown the door and given a free pass to leave the country?
“I think the most important point is that he quits his function,” Fabius said. “The question of either being judged or going to another country is a secondary issue.”
CNN’s Claire Calzonetti produced this piece for television.