Macron recognises Russia's stance, says Assad can stay in power

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Paris [France], July 16 (ANI): Recognising Russia's stance on Syria, French President Emmanuel Macron said that Paris is also favouring President Bashar al-Assad to stay in power to resolve the six-year-old civil war in Syria. There is a significant shift in the French Middle East policy as President Macron confirmed that France no longer insists on Syrian President Bashar Assad's ouster, and sees the fight against terrorism a more important priority. Speaking to reporters after their talks, U.S. President Donald Trump and Macron proposed the creation of a contact group to develop a roadmap for a settlement in Syria. The French president specified that this group should include permanent members of the UN Security Council, stakeholders in the region and representatives of the Assad government, Sputnik reported. President Trump said that Washington was working on a second truce in Syria with Moscow, emphasising that the first ceasefire was successful due to Russian-U.S. contacts. Reacting to the French President's change of policy concerning Syria, Senate Foreign Affairs Committee deputy head Vladimir Jabbarov said that a real opportunity has emerged, perhaps for the first time, "to unite the efforts of the Syrian Army, the Russian Aerospace Forces, and the Western coalition in the fight against terrorism in Syria." On the other hand, the seventh round of intra-Syria talks aimed to resolve the Syrian crisis ended on Friday, and Staffan de Mistura, the special U.N. envoy for Syria, said they featured "no breakthrough, no breakdown, no one walking out, incremental progress." The U.N. Syria envoy said that the eighth round of indirect peace talks between President Bashar Assad's government and opposition leaders will convene in September and has asked Assad's envoys "to be ready to address the political process" in the next session in Geneva. (ANI)