An exclusive article published in the Guardian quotes former Finnish president and Nobel Peace laureate Martti Ahtisaari saying Western powers failed to seize a proposal made by the Russians in 2012 with Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad, could step down as a part of a peace deal. If they had accepted the offer tens of thousands of lives could have been saved, and millions that have been uprooted, causing the world’s gravest refugee crisis since second World War could have been avoided. Ahtisaari was quoted as saying that he held talks with envoys from five permanent members of the UN Security Council in February of 2012. During those discussions, Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin laid out a three-point plan, which included a proposal for Assad to cede power at some point after peace talks had started between the regime and the opposition.

Director of IPS’s New Internationalism Project Phyllis Bennis joins The Real News Network to discuss the findings:

Read the full transcript for this interview on The Real News Network’s website.

Phyllis Bennis directs the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. 

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