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European 2017 Elections May Affect Syrian Crisis, Weakening Opposition

© REUTERS / SANAA Syrian government soldier gestures a v-sign under the Syrian national flag near a general view of eastern Aleppo after they took control of al-Sakhour neigbourhood in Aleppo, Syria in this handout picture provided by SANA on November 28, 2016
A Syrian government soldier gestures a v-sign under the Syrian national flag near a general view of eastern Aleppo after they took control of al-Sakhour neigbourhood in Aleppo, Syria in this handout picture provided by SANA on November 28, 2016 - Sputnik International
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Numerous parliamentary and presidential elections set to be held in European countries in 2017 may influence the course of the Syrian civil war, shifting the international backing of opposition, David Vergili, a representative of the European Syriac Union in Brussels, told Sputnik on Wednesday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — France will be the first to cast ballots in a general election next spring, while German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel may challenge Angela Merkel as chancellor next fall.

"It is clear that Syrian government is in powerful position and opposition is weak and divided with less international backing. Next months will be scene of new process amid elections in Europe which can influence the path of Syria civil war," Vergili, who represents the alliance of Assyrian/Syriac political and cultural organizations in Europe, said.

He added that with the latest development in Aleppo, civil war in Syria had reached a crucial point with the victory of Syrian forces, but international and humanitarian concerns were yet to be addressed.

Syrian men walk past a poster bearing a portrait of President Bashar al-Assad in the capital Damascus, on February 27, 2016, as the first major ceasefire of the five-year war takes hold and an international task force prepares to begin monitoring the landmark truce - Sputnik International
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France will elect a successor to President Francois Hollande next spring. The country’s former Prime Minister Francois Fillon as well as National Front leader Marine Le Pen are expected to participate in the vote. Both politicians are calling for changes of the country’s foreign policy, including on the Syrian issue.

Germans will vote in the federal election in 2017. The political landscape of Germany could change, as such parties as the support of such parties as the right-wing Alternative for Germany party (AfD) is growing, amid a number of problems in Germany, such as the influx of refugees, including from Syria. The party supports the idea of tackling the migration processes and is supportive of settlement of the civil war.

Since 2011, Syria has been engulfed in a civil war, following the protests that had turned violent, as part of the so-called Arab Spring. Over the recent months, Aleppo became a major battleground in the country.

On December 16, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that Aleppo was under full government control with the Syrian army operation to retake the eastern districts completed. Civilians and militants were leaving the city amid a ceasefire agreement between the remaining pockets of resistance and government forces.

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