France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has dismissed the idea of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad playing any role in the country’s peace talks, describing any such move as a “gift” to ISIL.
“Any other solution which would keep Mr. Assad in the saddle would be an absolutely scandalous, gigantic gift to Daesh (ISIL),” the minister said on Monday.
Fabius also reiterated that “the solution [to the Syria crisis] is a political transition which would preserve regime institutions not Mr. Bashar al-Assad,” insisting that the so-called opposition must be part of the future administration.
The remarks came as US Secretary of State John Kerry said in an interview with CBS News on Sunday that Washington should eventually negotiate with the Syrian leader to reach an agreement over the country’s conflict.
“Well, we have to negotiate in the end. We’ve always been willing to negotiate in the context of the Geneva I process,” Kerry said.
However, US State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf (shown below), later modified the remarks, saying Kerry was not specifically referring to Assad and that Washington would never negotiate with him.
Fabius added that he had been assured in a phone conversation with Kerry on Monday morning that “there was absolutely nothing new in the American position on Syria.”
Meanwhile, President Assad (pictured below) reacted to Kerry’s comments by calling on the US government to translate its words into action. “We have to wait for the actions and then we’ll decide,” Assad said on Monday.
The US had repeatedly said that Syria’s future political system should not include Assad.
Assad, who was reelected last year, said that any “talk about the future of the Syrian president is for Syrian people alone.”
Syria has been grappling with a deadly crisis since March 2011. The violence fueled by Takfiri groups has so far claimed the lives of over 215,000 people, according to reports. New figures show that over 76,000 people, including thousands of children, lost their lives in Syria last year.
Over 7.2 million Syrians have reportedly become internally displaced due to the ongoing crisis.
The Takfiri terrorist groups, with members from several Western countries, control swathes of land in Syria and Iraq, and have been carrying out horrific acts of violence such as public decapitations and crucifixions against all communities such as Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, and Christians.
By Press TV