In what might be a surprise for Spiegel readers, but not for EIR readers, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated at the EU summit on Sep 23: “We have to speak with many actors. This includes Assad, but others as well,” Merkel was speaking at a press conference after an EU summit on the migration crisis sparked by the Syrian war, France 24 reported today. “Not only with the United States of America, Russia, but with important regional partners, Iran, and Sunni countries such as Saudi Arabia,” Merkel added. It is significant that Merkel mentioned Iran, a key nation undoubtedly seeking stability in Syria.
“It was only a short remark, but it confirms a coming diplomatic shift in the search for solutions to the war in Syria,” commented the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Both parties in Merkel’s coalition immediately signaled strong support for her. The leader of the CDU Bundestag faction, Volker Kauder, said “maybe we should have spoken with Assad earlier.” And SPD faction leader Thomas Oppermann said: “We must talk also with Assad,” because we should talk with everybody who can help to achieve peace.
Also noteworthy is the statement of former Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs Juergen Chrobog, who said in an interview with Deutschlandfunk on Sept. 23, that the West needs Russia in the Middle East. A solution without Assad is not possible, Chrobog said. “We need the existing structures to achieve victory over ISIS. Russia wants to keep the system; if they want to keep Assad in the long term is another question,” Chrobog said in that interview.