Putin Told Assad That Syria’s ‘Devolution’ Is Inevitable

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, in this October 20, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/ Files
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, in this October 20, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/ Files

The U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said on Tuesday that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump should help push forward against the Bashar al-Assad-led authoritarian regime, and seek political reforms to stop ISIS from gaining more war-driven recruits.

Russia has maintained its strong and weaponized support for Assad— while the United States has said Assad must leave power under any political transition.

De Mistura said Assad and his team were probably “feeling comfortable” at the moment, but they should be aware that Russia had no interest in “inheriting” a broken Syria with constant guerrilla warfare for years ahead.

“By the way, President Putin himself has told me … that he has told Assad twice: ‘Listen, we are helping you, but there is a moment when we will be expecting you to actually apply a political devolution’,” de Mistura said.

Speaking on the BBC’s Hardtalk programme,de Mistura said it was crucial to fight the hardline group ISIS, but a long-term victory required “a completely new approach” to a political solution.

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SOURCE: News Now / ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

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