US focus no longer on removing Assad in Syria: UN ambassador

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US Ambassador to the United Nations NIkki Haley speaks in Washington, March 27, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

The United States is no longer interested in removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, says the US ambassador to the United Nations, suggesting that the new US administration is changing its priorities in Syria.

"Our priority is no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad out," Ambassador Nikki Haley told reporters on Thursday, according to Reuters.

"Our priority is to really look at how do we get things done, who do we need to work with to really make a difference for the people in Syria,” she added.

"We can't necessarily focus on Assad the way the previous administration maybe did. Do we think he's a hindrance? Yes," the ambassador stated. "Are we going to sit there and focus on getting him out? No."

Earlier in the day, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the fate of President Assad is up to the Syrian people to decide.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks during a joint news conference with the Turkish Foreign Minister in Ankara, on March 30, 2017. (Photo by AFP) 

"I think the longer term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people," Tillerson told a joint press conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara.

The latest remarks by top officials of the Donald Trump administration are significant departure from the position of the previous administration of Barack Obama, which had chanted “the Assad must go” mantra on major international forums for several years.

US must stop attacking Assad: Trump 

In his first interview after winning the November 8 presidential election, Trump told The Wall Street Journal that he had “an opposite view of many people regarding Syria.”

Trump said the United States should fight the Daesh terrorist group, and stop attacking the Assad government.

He suggested a sharper focus on fighting the Takfiri group rather than trying to oust President Assad.

Trump criticized the Obama administration's policy of attempting to find “moderate Syrian opposition groups” to boost fighting against Assad, saying he will seek a possible rapprochement with Russia and find a solution for the Syrian conflict.

Since March 2011, the United States and its regional allies, in particular Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, have been conducting a proxy war against the Syrian government of President Assad.

The conflict has left more than 470,000 Syrians dead and half of the country’s population of about 23 million displaced within or beyond the Arab country’s borders.

Read More:

'US hoping in vain for Assad ouster'

In September 2014, the US and some of its allies started conducting airstrikes inside Syria against Daesh terrorists, many of whom were initially trained by the CIA to fight against the Syrian government.

In September 2015, Russia launched its own air offensive against the terrorists who were still wreaking havoc in Syria. The Russian campaign, analysts say, has broken the backbone of ISIL and other militants.

US in no position to dictate Assad govt.'

Syrian President Bashar Assad

Time is on the side of the Syrian-Russian alliance and the United States is in no position to impose a solution to the years-long foreign-sponsored war in Syria, according to American political analyst Dennis Etler.

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