The European Union said Monday that the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad could not be a partner in the fight against Daesh.
In an EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels, the Council of the European Union concluded Monday that the Assad regime’s war against its people had led to the rise of extremist groups such asDaesh.
“As a consequence of its policies and actions, the Assad regime cannot be a partner in the fight against ISIL/Da’esh,” the Council said in a statement.
“The Assad regime’s brutal war against its own people, massive human rights violations and systematic obstruction against democratic reforms have heavily contributed to the flourishing of ISIL/Da’esh in Syria,” it added.
The statement came after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told the American network CBS News on Sunday that talks with Damascus were necessary in order to find a solution to the Syrian crisis.
“We are working very hard with other interested parties to see if we can reignite a diplomatic outcome,” Kerry said in Lausanne, Switzerland. “We have to negotiate in the end,” he added.
“Everybody agrees there is no military solution; there’s only a political solution,” Kerry said.
Later on Sunday, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said on her Twitter account that Kerry had made no mention of Assad in his remarks.
“(John Kerry) repeated long-standing policy that we need negotiated process (with) regime at table — did not say we (would) negotiate directly (with) Assad,” she wrote.
Syria’s civil conflict, which entered its fifth year, has left tens of thousands of people dead and millions of others displaced both internally and externally.