08:05 GMT23 September 2020
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    The US thinks that Syrian President Bashar Assad has a role to play in the transitional process in the country.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States is not calling for the immediate removal of Syrian President Bashar Assad and believes he has a role to play in the transitional process in Syria, US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Monday.

    Toner was asked to respond to statements from Saudi and German officials who are now reportedly considering Assad remaining in power for a transitional period.

    “We have not said that he [Assad] has to leave tomorrow, that he cannot be part of that transitional process,” Toner said.

    Western countries have repeatedly called for the removal of the Syrian president from power, while Moscow believes that Assad is the legitimate authority and only Syrian people can decide his fate.

    Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with the Syrian government army fighting several opposition factions and numerous militant groups, including Islamic State and the Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate.

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    Tags:
    State Department, Mark Toner, Bashar al-Assad, Syria, United States
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