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Macron Does Not Rule out Dialogue with Syria’s Assad

Macron Does Not Rule out Dialogue with Syria’s Assad

Tuesday, 19 December, 2017 - 10:15
French President Emmanuel Macron. (Reuters)

French President Emmanuel Macron once against revealed his “political pragmatism” when he announced during a recent televised appearance that he does not rule out dialogue with Syrian regime leader Bashar Assad.

Macron said: “Bashar Assad will be present because he is protected by those who won the war, whether Iran or Russia. Therefore, we can’t say that we don’t want to talk to him or his representatives.”

Once again, Macron favors the concept of “political realism” and the role of Paris in this regard.

His statements can be summed up in three points.

First, the end of war on ISIS in Syria is imminent. It should end by mid or late February at the latest. Second, Macron sees that Russia and Iran actually won the war, therefore, Assad is still in his position.

The French president however reiterated the violations committed by the regime and which cannot be ignored. From this, Macron, who considers ISIS France’s enemy while “Assad the enemy of Syrian people”, called for holding Assad accountable for his crimes both before his people and the international justice.

The third matter is the dual message Macron wanted to deliver through his televised interview. When the French president spoke about a specific date for the end of war against ISIS, he wished to draw attention to the French military and the practical role they played.

The second message tackles the role which France seeks to play in the peace process in Syria given its role in the war against ISIS.

The peace process it seeks to launch next year will bring together Assad and opposition representatives, said French sources. The opposition will include figures who left Syria to escape regime persecution, not ISIS, explained Macron.

On Tuesday, Assad declared: “France spearheaded support for terrorism and their hands are soaked in Syrian blood from the first days and we do not see they have changed their stance fundamentally.”

“Those who support terrorism have no right to talk about peace,” he told a Russian delegation.

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