President Bashar al- Assad on Sunday in an interview with CBS ’60 Minutes’ said that he is open to negotiations with United States and that all Syria has wanted was a good relationship with the US.
This was in reaction to earlier comments made by the US Secretary of State John Kerry that Washington was working with other parties to find a solution for the Islamic State issue as they had exhausted all military solutions and only a political solution would help.
Assad said that the airstrikes on ISIS by the US-led coalition have only helped the group expand to Libya instead of defeating them seeing as some Al Qaeda affiliates have pledged allegiance to ISIS. However he said there were general benefits enjoyed by the Syria people since the strikes.
Assad on dialogue he said that he was willing and pen to any dialogue that is based on mutual respect and that would help deal with ISIS menace was welcome. This was as long as it did not involve him stepping down seeing as outside actors have no authority on who rules the people of Syria. He said he would only step down once he lost the support of the Syrian people.
Assad told off the West who question his legitimacy as president saying it is because of his independence and the West is used to have ‘puppets’ in power.
He accused Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogen of being a Muslim Brotherhood Fanatic and political power lustful person which makes it easier for ISIS recruits to get into Syria and Iraq through Turkey expanding the group. This is evidenced with the number or IS recruits who have been nabbed on the way to Syria and Iraq through Turkey as it is becoming more difficult to fly to Syria directly without raising suspicions.
Assad’s optimism and readiness to dialogue, to deal with Islamic State group is a step in the positive direction towards eradicating the group. All eyes are on the US to see what step they will take towards the call for dialogue that could and will result to a lasting solution to IS once and for all.