German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that the goal of diplomatic efforts to end the four-year-old conflict in Syria is to reach a long-term solution that does not involve Bashar al-Assad.
“This is about ending the war in Syria without Assad … Assad can never be part of a long-term solution,” Merkel told German lawmakers in the Bundestag lower house of parliament, drawing applause.
The United States’ ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said the U.S. position on Syrian President Bashar Assad has not changed: “There is going to have to be a political transition, and Assad will have to go.”
Power spoke to reporters Wednesday ahead of Friday’s major international conference on Syria in New York.
Power said the talks will look at the “gaps” between American and Russian and Iranian positions on the fate of Assad — and that those gaps remain “very real.”
Power said the resolution would be the first high-profile gesture by the often divided council to “show its unity around the importance of achieving a political settlement and a political transition.”
Power stressed that a transitional period is needed to restore peace in Syria, reiterating Assad cannot play a role in Syria’s future. She added that question marks are still hanging over the nature and shape of the transitional period. But from the American point of view, Power said, there is no doubt Assad must go for a transitional period to be initiated. (Source: Agencies)