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EU members disagree among each other when it comes to the presidency of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, an anonymous diplomatic source from Greece told RIA Novosti.

The new members of the EU from Eastern Europe, as well as France and Britain are against the al-Assad government in Syria; meanwhile the majority of EU members believe his participation is vital for finding a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis, the Greek source informed.
"Al-Assad is the legitimate president of Syria. How can you look for political solutions without him?" — the source told RIA Novosti.
Al-Assad is a key political actor when negotiating with the Syrian government. Who else is the EU supposed to negotiate with, the Greek source asked.

One could call it a sign of progress that the members of the EU agreed that al-Assad could stay in power for a few years during a transitional period until various Syrian factions try to come up with another government.

The diplomatic source also revealed to RIA Novosti that the opinion of many EU members regarding Syria is gradually changing.

According to the source, Russia played a key role in 2013 by preventing the escalation of the Syrian conflict. Russian diplomatic channels are cautious and "wise," the speaker added.

Right now there are three real options in Syria to choose from: the government of al-Assad, ISIL or al-Nusra Front, the al-Qaeda-linked Sunni jihadists. A victory for ISIL or the al-Nusra Front would be certain genocide for Alawites, Christians and other minority groups in Syria, Kinzer argued, reminding how Islamic militants exterminated and pushed Christians out of Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. The same would happen in Syria if either ISIL or the al-Nusra Front gains control in Syria.

Syria has been in a civil war since 2011, with the government fighting multiple opposition factions and militant groups, including the Islamic State jihadist group. Since the beginning of the war, the United States and some of its allies supported a so-called moderate Syrian opposition, while urging Assad to resign. Russia meanwhile recognizes Assad as the legitimate authority in the country, observing that Syrian people are free to choose their leadership without outside intervention.