Merkel says Assad must be involved in Syria talks

Picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R) meeting with Hussein Amir-Abdollahian, Iran's deputy foreign minister for Arab-African Affairs, on September 3, 2015 in DamascusGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that President Bashar al-Assad should be involved in any Syrian peace talks, amid mounting pressure to end the four-year conflict. “We have to speak with many actors, this includes Assad, but others as well,” Merkel told a press conference after an EU summit on the migration crisis sparked by the Syrian war. The comments by the leader of Europe’s biggest political and economic power come amid increasing signs that Western powers who were once insistent on Assad’s departure may be softening their positions in a bid to end the war.

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