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    Poster bearing a portrait of President Bashar al-Assad

    Trump Takes Smart, Realistic Approach to Mideast by Accepting Assad

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    US President Donald Trump is taking a realistic approach to the tumultuous Middle East region by accepting President Bashar Assad as Syria’s leader, analysts told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — White House spokesperson Sean Spicer said in a briefing on Friday that the United States should accept the political reality with respect to Assad and focus on eliminating Daesh.

    Spicer’s comments reflected one of the most positive decisions Trump had made since taking office more than two months ago, Gulf Affairs Institute Director Ali al-Ahmed told Sputnik.

    “[It is] one of his smartest decisions,” al-Ahmed stated.

    Historian and international affairs commentator Matthew Dal Santo told Sputnik that Trump is taking a more constructive and realistic approach to ending the Syrian conflict that has cost 500,000 lives and generated millions of refugees since it began six years ago.

    “This is promising. If carried through, this will represent a major departure from the policy of the Obama administration — and significant reckoning with reality,” Dal Santo claimed.

    Trump needed to do what his predecessor Barack Obama had not been prepared to and take the necessary step of recognizing that Assad remained the effective and lawful ruler of Syria because the US policy of regime change had only brought endless suffering to the Syrian people, Dal Santo said.

    “Assad… is head of the only legitimate set of government institutions Syria has,” Dal Santo explained.

    Recognizing Assad as the legitimate leader of Syria was also essential so that Syria, the United States and US allies could all be freed up to focus on the primary goal of destroying Daesh, which still is trying to hold on to the Syria city of Raqqa, Dal Santo added.

    “Let us hope the Islamic State will now be eliminated — and an end to Syria's civil war reached by diplomacy and compromise,” he said.

    Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Friday that Ankara presented Trump a plan for liberating Raqqa from Daesh.

    However, the decision on what force will be used to liberate Raqqa is yet to be made, US Department of Defense spokesperson Eric Pahon told Sputnik on Monday.

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    Donald Trump, Bashar al-Assad, Syria, United States
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