US representative to the United Nations Nikki Haley says that the US is no longer prioritizing the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Ambassador Haley said yesterday US cannot necessarily focus on Assad the way that the previous administration did.
“Our priority is no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad out,” Ambassador Nikki Haley told a small group of reporters on Thursday.
“Our priority is to really look at how do we get things done, who do we need to work with to really make a difference for the people in Syria.”
Earlier in the day, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the future of President Assad “will be decided by the Syrian people.”
Under President Barack Obama, the US said Assad must go and backed the rebels fighting against him. But US resources shifted after the rise of the so-called Islamic state. Speaking during a visit to Turkey yesterday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Mr Assad’s long-term future will be decided by the Syrian people.
A representative for the Syrian opposition called Mrs Haley’s announcement unfortunate, adding that American representatives are sending contradicting messages. They clearly said Assad has no role in the transitional period.
President Donald Trump has vowed to work more closely with Russia, which has been supporting Mr Assad with its military might during the Syrian civil war.