Summit of US and French Presidents provides final confirmation that the West’s regime change war in Syria has failed and is being abandoned.
July 13, 2017 by Alexander Mercouris
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.
BEIJING: China set to help rebuild Syria
With many in Damascus increasingly confident that Syria will win the war against the terrorists who have invaded their country, focus is starting to gradually shift to re-building Syria’s damaged infrastructure. China is set to be the key player in this respect and preparations to increase China’s business ties to Syria are already in the works.
On Sunday the China-Arab Exchange Association in cooperation with the Syrian Embassy in Beijing held the Syria Day Expo where Representative from over 1,000 Chinese business specialising in redevelopment, infrastructure and investment met with Syrian officials.
The event itself is something of a prelude to a forthcoming larger event, the Syrian Reconstruction Expo.
Imad Mustafa, the Syrian Ambassador to China confirmed that China will be given priority in the rebuilding of post-conflict Syria.
Far from just being a large repair initiative for Syria’s damaged infrastructure, Chinese developmental and investment cooperation could lead to long term mutual benefits for both Beijing and Damascus.
Due to Syria’s position on the Eastern Mediterranean and its good relationship with both its Iraqi neighbour and Iraq’s eastern neighbour, Iran, Syria is well placed to be an important stop on China’s New Silk Road, the global trade superhighway which forms the One Belt–One Road initiative spearheaded by China.
The idea that in a few years time, Syrian ports could be an important export rout of Chinese goods into other parts of the Mediterranean is a concept that could likely come to fruition.
The clear losers in such a deal would be the United States which thus far has distanced itself from the One Belt–One Road project. Because the US, Turkey and many EU states have been in an adversarial position vis-a-vis the legitimate Syrian government for the duration of the conflict, Syria will likely have little interest in working with such countries in the medium term future, even if crippling, damaging and inhumane sanctions are lifted.
China by contrast has consistently supported the Syrian government as well as Russia and Iran’s military participation in Syria’s anti-terrorist coalition.
While China’s support of the Syrian led war against terrorism has been far less visible than the active support offered from Moscow and Tehran, it is China that in the months and years to come, will emerge as the key economic player with the ability and desire to improve Syria’s economic and commercial fortunes once peace returns.