David Cameron is leading a new push for peace in Syria and the U.K. Prime Minister is saying that he’d be okay with Bashar al-Assad remaining in power for the short term. It appears that the British leader is willing to allow someone that Great Britain and its allies have said needs to leave his leadership position previously to remain, in part likely because his removal looks less likely every day. At the same time, David Cameron is saying that al-Assad might be able to remain at the helm for now, but he cannot be any part of Syria’s future.
Some might call this some mixed signals, but it appears David Cameron is just looking to get some kind of movement when it comes to peace talks. The BBC reports that the comments were made as Great Britain’s leader was heading to the 70th anniversary meeting at the U.N. Despite saying that Syria’s leader could remain the leader for at least a little while now, David Cameron also said that al-Assad “butchered his own people” and was “one of the great recruiting sergeants” for the Islamic State. This is one of the reasons the British have long said any chance for long term peace in the region relied on a change in leadership there.
This has been the goal of allied countries such as the United States and Germany along with the British all along. On the other side of the issue is Russia, who has decided to stand with al-Assad despite most of the rest of the world viewing him as something of a villain. The mirror reports that David Cameron and all of those working for peace in Syria are looking for whatever routes they can possibly find. So far, all of the routes have been closed because of the fact that the opposition to Syria’s current government are all pushing for a change in leadership. David Cameron’s people are among those who are claiming that “Obviously conversations about how we bring about transition are very important and that’s what we need to see greater emphasis on,” according to the Mirror.
One of the reasons some feel the Tory chief has started watering down his opposition is precisely because Russia has been so vocal in support of al-Assad and his government. It’s possible David Cameron simply doesn’t feel as though he can possibly fight a war against Syria on two fronts. David Cameron also knows that Vladimir Putin has already been acting quite a bit more aggressive over the last few years, even as the United States and other countries have tried to push back against the former Soviet Union’s land grabs in its former territories.
Some observers have claimed that David Cameron’s position hasn’t changed that much, but political insiders are saying this is indeed a rather large change. Allies of the prime minister are reportedly wondering if this kind of backtracking might not actually hurt the negotiations. Opponents inside the British government are also not happy that David Cameron won’t be taking a harsher tone this week at the United Nations.
“It’s so disappointing that David Cameron isn’t showing leadership and, unlike other world leaders, won’t be speaking at the UN this week,” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn recently said. Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn is also expected to launch into an attack this week, and is also expected to ask British Parliament to push for another U.N. security council resolution on Syria. It’s likely David Cameron will not be supporting such a move at this time.
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