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Transition of power in America feeds urgency to find political solution in Syria

U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel jointly admonished president-elect Donald Trump during a press conference on Thursday in which they urged Mr. Trump to take seriously the geopolitical crises, including heightened tensions between  Russia and the West, that currently threaten global stability.
Merkel had many questions for Trump, who has said he wants to keep Syrian reugees out of the U.S., about the Syrian crisis and other issues.om
“Assad as president has actively tried to kill his own people with barrel bombs, in a most terrible way,” Merkel told reporters at the conference.
Obama, whose administration has called for the investigation of the bombardment of civilians by Russia, expressed concern that Trump would bring a myopic approach to international affairs.
Obama expressed determination to seek a transition to a democratic government in Syria, but also sounded a pessimistic note regarding the potential for a political solution in the near future.
“It would be naive of me to suggest that there is going to be a sudden, 180-degree turn in policy by either Assad or Russia, or Iran at this point”, he said.

“But we are going to continue to make the argument. We are going to continue to try to find humanitarian steps that can reach the people there. We are going to continue to try to obtain cessations of hostilities that lessen the human tragedy,” Obama added.

He also criticized Russia’s support of Bashar Al-Assad’s regime, saying they used “barbarous tactics” to fight the Syrian opposition.

“You cannot purchase people’s consent by killing them,” he said.

Assad has called Trump a “natural ally” in the fight against terrorism.420-a

Anas Abdah, President of the Syrian Coalition, urged the new U.S. administration to take action in Syria to end the conflict and the devastating bombing campaign that Assad and Russia have conducted against civilians in Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria.

Mr. Abdah called on Trump to undertake a balanced approach regarding the Syrian conflict and emphasized the need to condemn foreign intervention in Syria’s internal conflicts.

He also called for the international community to hold all war criminals accountable for their actions through legal means at the national and international level.

General Coordinator of the Syrian opposition’s High Negotiations Committee Riad Hijab also called for an increase in pressure on the Assad regime and its allies to stop the attacks on Aleppo, Homs and Idlibl.cxkk4e-xuaafzmf

He noted that Iran and Russia have profited from the diplomatic void created by the cessation of U.S.-Russian negotiations to resolve the conflict by military means.

“We asked our friends in the UN Security Council and European Union to exercise pressure on the Russians and the Iranians to commit to a cease-fire,” Hijab noted.

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