July 31, 2012 | 12:18

YEREVAN. - A compromise figure who will replace Bashar al-Assad at
the helm of power is found in Syria, and that person is the former
Defense Minister's son, Manaf Tlass, Arab Studies specialist Suren
Manukyan said during a press conference on Tuesday.

In his words, Tlass is al-Assad's childhood friend and they are
connected with each other through very strong ties. At the same time
Manukyan noted that it seems there is consensus with respect to Tlass,
but this is difficult to carry out simply because many are involved
in this matter.

Against the backdrop of the developments in Syria, Suren Manukyan also
pointed to the Kurdish issue because the Kurds, whose number reaches
tens of millions, do not have statehood and they need to materialize
this somewhere.

The Arab Studies specialist also reflected on the foreign pressure
regarding this matter.

"It is not a domestic conflict issue in Syria. Otherwise, this problem
would have been resolved in one week. The [Persian] Gulf monarchies are
losing patience and they can ask their main ally, the United States,
to no longer follow-at least formally-the norms of international law.

But Russia is full of determination to defend Syria. We should also
note that the Russians have remained as the Syrians' only hope. Iran
itself is in a very bad condition. [And] China will never go against
the US and other superpowers on its own. Furthermore, if the Russians
allow for a little chance to doubt their determination, there will
be a foreign invasion to Syria," the Arab Studies specialist noted.