President Obama In Berlin Promises Possible Transition in Syria

Time: 8:20 p.m. CEST

President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke on common news conference in Berlin, where two leaders open sets of issues for the future of Trans-Atlantic alliance, considering the outcome of the presidential elections in the United States. One of the questions raised during the common news conference in Berlin was about Syria, country, which is entering the sixth year of bloody civil war.

A day before the final meeting of President Obama with European partners in Berlin and after face-to-face meeting today with Chancellor Merkel, Obama talked about shared values of the Trans-Atlantic partnership. The President said that in the remaining two months of his presidency, “they are going to continue to work,” as “we have over the last five-six years to push toward political transition and settlement.”

Obama said, he would be naïve to suggest that after “barbaric tactics of Assad regime to crash the opposition, indiscriminate bombings,” would be “naïve of me to suggest that would be a sudden 180 degree turn in policy by either Assad, Russia or Iran.”

The President said the only way to resolve this is Russia to recognize and push Assad that, “a lasting, endurable peace without functioning country, requires the consent of people. You cannot purchase people’s consent through killing them.”

German Chancellor Merkel expressed her position on Syrian president Bashar al- Assad, as someone, whom she does not see as an ally.

“He has bombed them with barrel bombs in a most terrible way, he has brought intolerable suffering to his people,” Merkel said, pointing out to the personal stories of refugees and said the great majority of them fled from Assad.” “I don’t see him as an ally,” Merkel said.

Post-election phase in the United States was a subject during the news conference; with President Obama giving his opinion on what stance the President-elect Donald Trump could have with Russia. Praising Russia’s influence in the region, Obama said he “hopes that President-elect coming in takes a similarly constructive approach, finding areas where we can cooperate with Russia, were our values and interests align.”

But, considering the Russia’s behavior in Syria and Ukraine, Obama said he also hopes, ”the President-elect also willing to stand up to Russia were are deviated from our values and international norms,” and “does not simply take realpolitik approach and says we just cut some deals with Russia.”

On President-elect Trump, President Obama said it is “cautiously optimistic.” “The President-elect is going to see quickly that demands and responsibilities of the U.S. President are not once that you can treat casually,” Obama said in Berlin.


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