Trump, EU urged to pressure Assad
18 January, 2018, 12:00 am
LONDON – US President Donald Trump and European Union leaders should increase pressure on President Bashar al-Assad and his allies Russia and Iran to return to talks to end Syria’s civil war, Syria’s chief opposition negotiator said on Monday.
Nasr Hariri said that unless the West forced Mr Assad and his big power allies to seek peace, Syrian civilians would continue to be killed.
“I would like to ask all those countries that promised they would support the Syrian people and their aspirations for democracy and peace: why didn’t they fulfil their promises?” Mr Hariri, speaking in English, told Reuters in London.
The chief negotiator for Syria’s main opposition grouping, Mr Hariri called for Mr Trump and EU leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May to get tougher with Mr Assad.
All diplomatic initiatives have so far failed to yield progress in ending the war, which is now entering its eighth year having, killed hundreds of thousands of people and driven 11 million from their homes.
Mr Hariri suggested Western powers still had enough influence to push the government to negotiate.
“It is time for President Trump, Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister May to say: ‘Stop’,” the former cardiologist said.
“It is time for Mr Trump, Ms Merkel and Ms May to increase pressure and bring the international community together to get a genuine and just political situation in Syria.”