The hints and signals that have been flickering on and off from Washington and Paris since the change of governments in the US and France that the regime change attempt in Syria is being officially abandoned has now received formal confirmation.
This has come in a joint news conference by Presidents Trump and Macron following President Trump’s talks with President Macron in France.
The statement of abandonment of the regime change policy in Syria was set out in the clearest language by President Macron
Indeed, we now have a new approach in Syria, because we want results and we want to work closely together with all our partners including the United States. We have one main goal which is to eradicate terrorism, no matter who they are, we want to build an inclusive and sustainable political solution. I do not require Assad’s departure, that’s no longer a prerequisite for France. For seven years, we did not have an embassy in Damascus – and still we have no solution.
(bold italics added)
A more straightforward admission of failure in Syria than the highlighted words it would be difficult to come up with.
Inevitably some health warnings are in order. The US and France have not suddenly become converts to the cause of President Assad. As Macron’s words show, their acceptance that he will stay as President of Syria is simply a recognition of reality: that with Russia protecting him and his armies on the offensive on all fronts there is no longer the wherewithal to remove him.
It has taken six bitter years of conflict and five terrible years of war to arrive at this point. Though Trump and Macron are not to blame for this – the regime change war in Syria was not their work but the work of their predecessors – that it has taken so long and has required so much devastation and loss of life is a terrible indictment of Western policy.