French President Emmanuel Macron's comments at a press conference with President Donald Trump last week launched a new era of Middle East policy-making with Russia and China's playing major roles, ex-Canadian diplomat Patrick Armstrong told Sputnik.
On July 13, Macron told the conference with Trump that France did not require Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down as part of the process of building an inclusive and sustainable political solution in Syria.
"I think that we are possibly in the early days of important changes regarding the West and Syria," Armstrong said on Monday.
Armstrong said the recently-elected French leader's comments marked a major policy change in Paris.
"Hitherto Paris was one of the main centers of the ‘Assad must go' cry. But Macron seems to have dropped the condition," he recalled.
Macron's further comments on the need to bring the "P5" - the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - fully into the Syrian peace process marked a sharp departure from previous Western policies, Armstrong added.
"The Western consensus used to be that the Syria question must be settled from outside. Settled by the Western powers, that is: not with Russian involvement, let alone Chinese and certainly never with the involvement of the Syrian government," he recalled.
However, Macron had clearly abandoned that old consensus position in his press conference comments, Armstrong pointed out.
"Moscow has insisted, over and over again, that important issues can be only settled with the involvement of all parties and, in particular, the UN. And, however short the UN may have fallen from its lofty intentions, it cannot be denied that there isn't anything any better," Armstrong claimed.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team