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Tony Blair on Syria conflict "both sides need to feel they can't win"

Tony Blair on Syria conflict "both sides need to feel they can't win"
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The former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has told euronews that the situation in Syria can only be resolved when both sides agree to a transitional government.

“The only way we’re going to get an agreement to a transition, to a new form of government, a new dispensation for the country, is if neither side feels they can win the military battle and therefore realise that they are going to have to resolve it through negotiation. But over these past six to nine months I think the situation on the ground has shifted back towards the regime.”

Speaking at Davos in Switzerland, where he was attending the World Economic Forum, Blair said the West must consider what it can do.

“For us in the West, what we’ve got to ask ourselves is how do we put the opposition in a position where they are going to be bargaining on equal terms? Now, the complicating factor of course is the opposition has also got elements within it that we feel deeply unhappy about.”

When asked about the withdrawal of Iran’s invitation to the Geneva II peace talks, Blair dismissed it as unimportant.

“I don’t frankly think the issue is whether Iran’s invited or not invited. The issue is, as I said, that we alter the balance of power on the ground so that President Assad knows that he’s got to come to an agreement about the transition.”

The full interview with Tony Blair will be broadcast on Euronews on Thursday evening.