French President Emmanuel Macron said Paris no longer insists on the removal of Syrian President Bashar Assad from power.
In a press conference with his US counterpart, Donald Trump, the French leader added that “the departure of Assad is no longer a necessary condition for France.”
“We have one main goal, which is to eradicate terrorism, no matter who they are. We want to build an inclusive and sustainable political solution. Against that background, I do not require Assad’s departure. This is no longer a prerequisite for France to work on that,” he said.
Meanwhile, Macron said that a contact group was proposed by France and the United States, and will outline a ‘roadmap’ for the future of Syria after the conflict. He added that this group must include permanent members of the UN Security Council, as well as a Damascus representative.
“We share the desire to include permanent members of the UN Security Council and interested players from the region in the contact group. And, obviously, [Syrian President] Bashar Assad’s representative will be involved in these negotiations, which will allow us to create a ‘roadmap’ for the post-war future [of Syria].”
Macron’s policy on Assad completely differs from his predecessor, Francois Hollande, as he calls for dialogue and a peaceful resolution in Syria.
On the other hand, Trump downplayed the significance of a meeting between his son Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer, Trump as saying: ““it is very standard where they have information and you take the information. In the case of Don, he listened” but asserted that “nothing happened from the meeting. Zero happened from the meeting. And I think that the press made a big deal over something that really a lot of people would do”.