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Syria’s President Assad should be involved in battle against Daesh: Austria FM

Austria says Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should be involved in the battle against the Daesh Takfiri terrorists.

“We need a pragmatic common approach in this respect including the involvement of Assad in the fight against ISIL,” said Austria’s Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz on Tuesday during a state visit to Tehran.

Some Western states and their allies support militants fighting against Assad’s government, saying he must leave power for peace to be restored to the crisis-stricken country, while some other countries, including Iran, Russia, and China, back him as an important part of the peace process.

“In my opinion the priority is the fight against terror. This will not be possible without powers such as Russia and Iran,” noted Kurz.

Kurz is in Iran on an official three-day visit along with Austrian President Heinz Fischer and Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner.

Syria has been facing a foreign-backed militancy since 2011. The violence has also forced over four million Syrians to take refuge in neighboring countries, including Jordan and Lebanon. More than 7.2 million others have been displaced internally, according to UN figures. Daesh currently controls swaths of land in Iraq, Syria, and Libya.

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