With many former Trump supporters sharpening their proverbial knives, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has given an interview with Belgian television where he expresses cautious optimism for the Trump administration.
President Assad pointed out that Trump and some of his Republican colleagues spoke of the need to fight ISIS as a number one priority. This of course could not be achieved in the Middle East without working with the legitimate government of Syria, which has led the global effort against Wahhabist/Salafist terrorism.
Speaking of the potential of America to transform herself from ISIS enabler to ISIS fighter in the event of a pact with Russia, Assad said,
“That’s what we’ve been asking for during the last six years”.
“So, I think this is promising, we have to wait, it is still early to expect anything practical. It could be about the cooperation between the US and Russia, that we think is going to be positive for the rest of the world, including Syria”.
In the same interview, Assad criticised the EU for siding with terrorists in Syria, “..from the very beginning”.
This is a manifest truth and it is why Syrians have no time for any further EU involvement in their country. By contrast, China who have quietly sided with the Syrian government since the beginning of the conflict, have promised $16 billion in aid to help rebuild the country after her war against terrorist forces is won.
The schism between China and Russia on one side and the EU and US on the other could not be clearer. The US and EU have acted as enemies of Syria, working with head-chopping Salifsts against the interests of one of the few remaining secular, tolerant, modern regimes left in the Arab world. The rest have been either weakened or totally destroyed by NATO. Egypt is a notable exception as she slowly rebuilds after the disaster of Muslim Brotherhood rule.
Assad clearly knows who his friends are and appears unfazed by the poorly drafted proposed constitution for Syria that even Sergei Lavrov admits, was little more than a conversation starter.
For those who doubt the fruitful prospects of a possible US-Russian pact to fight terrorism, if President Assad can remain hopeful, so can others who have not faced the brunt of terrorism that Assad and Syria have done since 2011.