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Geneva – Germany said talks with the Damascus government might still be necessary in order to reach a political solution in Syria, which contradicts its ally’s position, the U.S., towards negotiations with the Assad regime.
The German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier hosted talks of the international coalition against Islamic State on Wednesday, which included the U.S. special envoy John Allen.
Steinmeier and Allen appeared to contradict each other on how to handle the Assad regime regarding the four-year crisis in Syria.
“The only way to an end to the violence is via negotiations for a political solution, even if that makes talks with the Assad regime necessary,” Steinmeier was quoted by the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung as saying.
According to Steinmeier, the prime responsibility for reaching a solution in Syria lies with the Assad regime, “which must halt the massive violence against its own people.”
“Yet there is a risk that a success against the insurgents in Iraq could further complicate the situation in Syria,” he added. “ISIL (Islamic State) has grown strong in Syria and there is a risk that success in Iraq may push ISIL back into Syria, where Assad has so far shown little enthusiasm to fight them.”
On the other hand, the U.S. special envoy John Allen said that the U.S. position on Assad and his regime hasn’t changed.
“The United States believes that he (Assad) has lost all legitimacy to govern, that conditions in Syria under his rule have led to the rise of ISIL (Islamic State) and other terrorist groups, and that we continue to seek a negotiated political outcome to the Syrian conflict that does not in the end include Assad.”
In the meantime, the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in a statement on Tuesday that negotiating with the Syrian leader “would be like shaking hands with Adolf Hitler.”
Reporting by: Lorin Silo