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Syria’s Assad is war criminal but US may need him: US Envoy Nikki Haley

US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, called Syrian president Bashar Assad a “war criminal” who has been an obstacle to peace for years.

world Updated: Apr 06, 2017 08:36 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press
United Nations
Bashar Al-Assad,Syrian president Assad,Nikki Haley
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. US envoy Nikki Haley has said Assad is a “war criminal” but the US needs him to defeat Islamic State.(AP File )

US Ambassador Nikki Haley says Syrian President Bashar Assad is “a war criminal” who has been an obstacle to peace for years — but she says the United States isn’t ruling out cooperating with him to defeat the Islamic State extremist group.

Haley told a news conference on Friday that what Assad has done to the Syrian people “disgusting.”

She echoed the Trump administration’s declaration on Friday making clear that the US focus is on defeating IS. She said last week it wasn’t pursuing a strategy to push Assad out of power.

Haley said on Friday the US focus is on negotiations in Geneva aimed at ending the more than six-year Syrian conflict, though that could change.

“Right now Assad is not our number one person to talk to,” she said.

First Published: Apr 04, 2017 08:50 IST