The G7 foreign ministers insisted there can be no peace solution in Syria with Bashar al-Assad in power, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Tuesday. The ministers agreed that “no future in Syria is possible with Bashar al-Assad,” Ayrault told reporters.
Ayrault said the message for Russia was: “That’s enough now. There must be an end to hypocrisy and a very clear return to the political process.”
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday echoed Ayrault’s statement while speaking to reporters, saying that “it is clear to us the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end.” Tillerson added that it is the United States’ “hope” that Bashar al-Assad will not be part of Syria’s future.
Comments by Ayrault and Tillerson came at the close of the two-day ministerial meeting of the G7, which groups Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.
The group also held a special meeting on Syria on Tuesday with counterparts from Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the UAE.
For his part, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Monday said: “I think we have to show a united position … We should do all we can to get Russia out of Assad’s corner, at least to the point that they are ready to participate in finding a political solution.”
Also on Monday, Britain and Canada said sanctions could be tightened on Moscow if it continued to back Assad. Later in the day, Trump spoke by phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the U.S. strike on an Assad regime’s airbase last week – launched in retaliation for the chemical weapons attack – and thanked her for her support.
The G7 ministers called for ratcheting up diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict and bring about a lasting peace in Syria. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)