Call it a hopeful sign. The Wall Street Journal and other media reports indicated Donald Trump Jr., the president-elect’s eldest son, held talks last month in Paris with diplomats, politicians and businessmen – focused on cooperating with Russia and Assad to end years of war in Syria.
French think tank Center of Political and Foreign Affairs founder Fabien Baussart and his wife Randa Kassis, a Syrian national, hosted the meeting – Kassis saying “(w)e have to be realistic…Without Russia, we can’t have any solution in Syria.”
She praised Trump Jr., calling him “very pragmatic (and) flexible.” Her Facebook comment on the meeting said:
“(Syria’s) opposition got hope that political process will move forward and Russia and the United States will reach accord on the issue of the Syrian crisis, because of Trump’s victory.”
“Such hope and belief is the result of my personal meeting with Donald Trump junior in Paris in October…I succeeded to pass Trump, through the talks with his son, the idea of how we can cooperate together to reach the agreement between Russia and the United States on Syria.”
Commenting on the meeting, Trump senior advisor Kellyanne Conway said his son “address(ed) a roundtable in Paris, and she was present for that talk and at a group dinner for 30 people. This event featured a number of opinion leaders from all over the world who were interested in the US elections.”
Repeatedly while campaigning, Trump indicated wanting cooperative relations with Putin in combating terrorism, along with normalizing ties.
Last week, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Moscow began communicating with Trump representatives on working cooperatively on resolving Syria’s conflict.
Putin’s foreign policy advisor Yuri Ushakov explained Russia’s president and Trump, when they spoke by phone, expressed a “shared desire to join efforts in the fight against terrorism” as part of providing a “good basis for future work on the Syrian problem.”
He indicated Trump supports Putin’s call for normalizing bilateral relations – accusing Obama of undermining them, making restoration challenging, especially given strong congressional and scoundrel media opposition.
Interviewed on Portuguese television last week, Assad called Trump a potential “natural ally” in combating terrorism – hopefully so.