Is Germany revising its relationship with Bashar Assad?
It seems that Germany starts to realize the need to revise its position on the situation in Syria due to the fact that Russia and Iran have defeated the West in this geopolitical confrontation. At the expert level, more and more famous political scientists have expressed a similar position, among them - director of one of Germany's leading analytical centers Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik Volker Perthes. SWP is a "think tank" of the German government and analysis of its expert often reflects position of German official circles.
Volker Perthes said in an interview with Swiss publication Tagesanzeiger that international terrorism will not be defeated without achieving peace in Syria. At the same time, he noted that such terrorist organizations Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra must be defeated through military means. He suggested that these measures will be half-hearted without achieving complete political settlement in Syria and Iraq. "You can defeat Daesh, but its ideology will remain. There is also a possibility that another terrorist group will emerge in its place," he warned.
According to Perthes, right now it is observed that Russia is ready to start talks on the Syrian conflict. "Political changes in Syria without President Bashar Assad are impossible at the moment. And its no longer just Russia's position, but also position of the United States, most European countries and NATO," he said. When journalist asked whether this means that soon Bashar Assad will once again be a guest at international conferences, he answered: "It can't be excluded - regardless of whether we like it or not. But if we want to achieve peace in Syria, we have to talk with those who have weapons. I mean opposition groups and Assad regime. We can't pretend that we can negotiate without him. Peace is discussed with those who wage war, not with peace-loving people," he noted.
Perthes is a well informed expert, so we can conclude that Western countries' position of complete isolation of Syrian government will likely be adjusted, and the relationship with Bashar Assad will be resumed in the foreseeable future. Moreover, he also pointed out that Europe can play an important role in the restoration of Syria, and assistance to the Syrian government should be linked to the involvement of Syrian opposition in the governance process.
This point is particularly interesting. Perthes is absolutely right that in the near future Syria is going to need huge funds for the restoration of war-torn country - and the EU is one of the few organizations able to allocate this large sum. In addition, Europe itself is very interested in speedy restoration of Syria, since hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees who settled in the EU should be sent back as soon as possible - there are too many problems with far-right parties and their discontent with the fact that there are too much refugees in the European society. But a logical question arises: after everything that has been said by European politicians and shown in the media about atrocities commited by the Syrian government, how can refugees be sent back to "murderous regime" of Bashar Assad? Perhaps that is why it is necessary to insist on the "inclusion" of opposition in the Syrian government's composition. Even if opposition representatives will have symbolic positions, or even if the opposition will just be a fake. This way West will be able to save face by showing that it "forced" the Assad regime to make concessions and achieve democratization, so refugees can be sent back to "peaceful" Syria, which has a political dialogue between the government and the opposition.