No lasting peace with Assad

SyriaFighters from Ahrar al-Sham militant group fire during a battle against the Syrian government forces, in an eastern neighborhood of Damascus, Syria.(Ahrar al-Sham, Syrian militant group, via AP)

The United States believes that it must be up to the Syrians to decide President Bashar al-Assad’s fate. Norway does not necessarily agree.

Both US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and UN ambassador Nikki Haley  this week stated that it must be up to the Syrians themselves to decide whether President Bashar al-Assad should remain in office.

– We no longer prioritize getting Assad out, said Haley.

Norwegian authorities do not share America’s view of Assad.

– Norway has long believed that there will be no lasting peace with Assad as president and that the conflict must be resolved through a political process, head of communications of the Foreign Ministry, Guri Solberg, said.

 Splitting

The question of Assad’s fate has for a long time divided the international community and made it very difficult to find a political solution for the conflict in Syria.

Both Turkey and the United States have previously demanded that Assad must leave, while Russia and Iran has support the Syrian president. All of these countries participate militarily in the Syrian war.

The Obama administration’s line was that Assad no longer had any legitimacy as Syria’s leader as a result of human rights violations against the population.

Since the United States now, under Trump, has changed its view, it is fewer important players left in the Syria conflict that could help to push Assad from power. The Syrian rebel alliance HNC will not accept Assad to have any future political role.

– There will be no change in our position, HNCs spokesman Monzer Makhos said Thursday.

Acknowledging Assad

Secretary Marit Berger Røsland stressed that Norway recognizes Syria as a sovereign state, which under international law is represented by the Assad regime.

Norway recognizes that Assad’s regime has the right to use armed force against armed insurgents.

The Norwegian criticism is related to the reports that have come about extensive and serious violations of international humanitarian law.

– The international law principle that relate to the general rules regarding the use of military force, including the UN Charter, has not been doubted, Røsland said.

 

Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today

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