The United States no longer wants the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad to fall, Russia’s Envoy at the United Nations Vitaly Churkin told CBS in an interview published on Tuesday.
"I think this is one thing we share now with the United States, with the US government: They don't want the Assad government to fall. They don't want it to fall. They want to fight (Islamic State) in a way which is not going to harm the Syrian government," Churkin said. "On the other hand, they don't want the Syrian government to take advantage of their campaign against (IS). But they don't want to harm the Syrian government by their action. This is very complex," he added.
The diplomat said that the US position was getting closer to the Russian view on Syria. "They [US authorities] have made a lot great progress in understanding the complexities of the situation. To me, it is absolutely clear that...one of the very serious concerns of the American government now is that the Assad regime will fall and (IS) will take over Damascus and the United States will be blamed for that," Churkin stressed.
CBS reminded that the US has repeatedly stated that Assad must step down for the conflict to be resolved, and last week President Barack Obama said Russia's ongoing support for Assad was "a big mistake."
On Monday, US Ambassador at UN Samanth Power told CNN that "doubling down on a regime that gases its people, that barrel bombs its people, that tortures people who it arrests simply for protesting and for claiming their rights - that's just not going to work." "Even if you were Machiavelli and all you cared about was ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - former name of IS], to support a regime like this and to not take account of the views of the vast majority of the Syrian people that want to go in a different direction is not going to either bring peace or actually succeed in defeating terrorism," Power added.
The US diplomat said that Russia and Iran bear the biggest responsibility for the deterioration of the situation in Syria. Churkin noted, in turn, that it is pointless to point fingers and blame anyone for the Syrian crisis. "Everybody's responsible. It is easy for me to point the finger but I think simply the situation was misjudged from the outset and then it was allowed to degenerate and how far it will go, I don't know," Churkin noted.
First published by TASS.
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