G7 leaders reject normalization with Syria, support anti-ISIS mission

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – In a statement, the G7 leaders meeting in Japan called out normalization with the Syrian government, but reaffirmed their commitment to a political solution as well as their support for anti-ISIS operations in northeast Syria.

The leaders of the US, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, and Japan (as well as the European Union) met in Hiroshima between May 19-21. Syria is mentioned among other global issues included in a concluding communiqué.

“We reaffirm that the international community should only consider normalization and reconstruction assistance once there is authentic and enduring progress towards a political solution,” the statement reads.

On Friday, Bashar al-Assad had re-taken Syria’s seat at an Arab League summit after over a decade of suspension. Further regional integration is expected. Washington has continually pushed against normalizing ties with Damascus, and demanded Middle East states obtain commitments to political reform from al-Assad.

“We remain firmly committed to an inclusive, UN-facilitated political process consistent with UNSC Res. 2254,” the statement read.

It furthermore endorsed the work of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and demanded unfettered access of humanitarian aid to all Syrians, including UN cross-border aid.

Direct UN cross-border aid to northeast Syria was suspended by Russian and Chinese vetoes in 2020. In opposition-held northwest Syria, a special mechanism has to be renewed every six months. Russia has repeatedly threatened to cut off this aid access.

“We remain committed to the enduring defeat of ISIS,” the G7 statement added, “including durable solutions for ISIS detainees and displaced persons remaining in Northeast Syria.”

The US-led Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS has been active since 2014 and partnered with Kurdish and Arab forces in northeast Syria. France, the UK, and Canada have supported the mission in Syria with boots on the ground and missile strikes.

Reporting by Sasha Hoffman

Editing by John Ahmad