President Barack Obama has said since 2011 that Syrian President Bashar Assad lost legitimacy and must resign, although America’s foreign policy on Syria has been harshly criticized. But Obama has failed to propose a credible alternative besides certain rebel groups, many of which are allied with terrorist branches of al-Qaida and Islamic State.
The Daily Caller News Foundation recently spoke with Jean-Clément Jeanbart, the Greek Catholic archbishop of Aleppo, Syria. The archbishop has held that position in Syria’s largest city for 20 years. He suggested the United States is “funding” and “furnishing weapons” to Islamist factions in the war, and said the U.S. should instead put pressure on Middle Eastern allies to seek a diplomatic solution.
Some highlights from our interview:
TheDCNF: What role do you see the United States playing in that solution?
Archbishop Jeanbart: I’ll say that if the United States wants, they can ask some allies in the region to stop funding, stop helping, stop furnishing weapons, stop giving facilities to ISIS. And if they do, I think the time would come to sit down and to discuss. United States can make pressure on both sides to sit at the table. Because I am sure that even the Syrian government, the Iraqi government cares about what United States says.
TheDCNF: Some say that the Christians in Syria, because they were protected for so long by Assad and his father, that they don’t have any other choice. That Bashar al-Assad, it’s either him or it’s ISIS.
Jeanbart: What they want is to have a government, a regime which respects their freedom of faith, which let them the possibility to be their selves, to make their own choice, to have their dignity. Whoever may come will be welcome, but he has to give the country democracy, freedom, respect and rights to all the citizens.
Previous installments in this series are available here, here, here and here.
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