STRASBOURG (Sputnik) – Excluding Syrian President Bashar Assad from the diplomatic solution to the Syrian war will only further destabilize the country and the situations in the Middle East, a Cypriot lawmaker told Sputnik on Tuesday on the sidelines of the Parliamentary Assembly for the Council of Europe’s fall session.
"We consider and strongly believe that a diplomatic solution should include Assad as well. If the western countries — the US, NATO, and its allies continue insisting on diplomatic solution excluding Assad, I believe it will bring more disaster to our neighboring country," George Loucaides from the AKEL party said.
The Cypriot lawmaker said that intervention into Syria was never backed by the party because of the obvious outcome.
Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011. Assad’s government is fighting a number of allegedly moderate opposition forces, as well as radical Islamist organizations, including Islamic State.
The United States, its Western allies and a number of Middle Eastern partners have advocated removing Assad from power, whereas Russia has supported the Syrian president, providing assistance to his efforts to fight terrorism in the country.
The prolonged military conflict in Syria has killed hundreds of thousands of people, and displaced millions externally and internally, contributing to a global refugee crisis.