RT                  25/11/2016

Donald Trump should surround himself with “realist” advisers, who understand the necessity of Russia-US cooperation in battling radical Islamists before any “political transition” attempts in Syria, one member of the secular opposition, Randa Kassis, told RT.

Donald Trump Jr. accepted the invitation from the founder of the Center of Political and Foreign Affairs (CPFA) Fabien Baussart during his father’s electoral campaign. He attended the private high-profile dinner party in “a really narrow circle, some 30 people,” according to Baussart’s wife and one of the prominent figures in the Syrian secular opposition, Randa Kassis, who provided RT with exclusive commentary.

“I talked to Trump Jr. about Syria at the dinner party, we exchanged ideas on the political solution and achieving an agreement between the Americans and Russians. It looked like Mr. Trump Jr. is pragmatic enough and understands the complexity of the Syrian crisis. It’s definitely a good thing that he understands we cannot have a political solution without an agreement with Russia,” Kassis told RT.

At least some people in the new US administration aim at battling radical Islam and terrorism, according to Kassis.

“We don’t know all the people, who will form the new American administration, but I have hopes, since I see several ones among them who, just like us, oppose Islamism, radicalism, who want to see radical Islam terminated.”

The untangling of the Syrian crisis, however, is not all about “fighting terrorism,” but also requires “peaceful political process.”

“We should not only battle terrorism, but start a real political process and achieve an agreement between Russians and Americans, to end this bloodshed.”

Secular Syrian immigrants, opposing Bashar Assad’s government, want “cooperation between the Russians and Americans” in order to “exterminate radical Islamists,” before launching the desired political processes. Donald Trump Jr. is well aware of the true nature of the various jihadist rebel groups, operating in Syria, according to Ms. Kassis.

“They are head-chopping, throat-slitting extremists, who are accused of war crimes. But I’d call that crimes against humanity, since they exterminate certain minorities, living in villages and towns. He [Donald Trump Jr.] understands that.”

Randa Kassis said that the Obama administration proved to be very untrustworthy and expressed hopes that the situation would change under the new administration. She said the US will manage to separate “moderate” rebels from “not-so-moderate,” and, specifically, will be able to actually fulfill the possible future agreements.

“Unfortunately, we’re well aware of the fact, that Americans with Mr. Kerry and Obama’s administration have always engaged in double-dealing. Even when Kerry agreed to separate the so-called ‘moderate’ opposition from extremist rebels … he did absolutely nothing upon his return to the US,” Kassis told RT.

“We’re looking forward to continue the work, continue the dialog with the Americans to achieve Russia-US agreement, to define who’s ‘moderate,’ and who’s not that ‘moderate.’ It should be noted, that there’re plenty of Islamists in Syria, especially in the northern part of the country, who are really far from being ‘moderate’ and are truly radical Islamists.”

Kassis said that last six years have shown traditional “Assad must go” rhetoric to be completely unrealistic. The secular immigrant opposition realizes now, that some sort of an “alternative” must be readied beforehand.

“The opposition for six years already, and before that the Syrian National Coalition, along with such countries as Saudi Arabia, France, Britain and others have always wanted Bashar Assad to leave before any political transition. It’s impossible, since an alternative must be readied.”

Bashar Assad “is not the main problem at the moment,” though secular immigrant opposition still believes that “Assad must go” but later, after a “true transitional period“ is achieved.

“We need to cooperate with parts of the regime, since we understand that a military solution is not an option, since the regime can’t win, the others can’t win either. We need a compromise between all the parties and all the Syrians. We’re ready to start the political process with those, who are partially responsible for the war, we have to cooperate to move ahead and achieve a true transitional period,” Kassis told RT.

The Syrian conflict cannot end without Russia-US cooperation, Kassis said. Donald Trump Jr. seemingly understands that, and possesses “knowledge and understanding of the region.”

“We need both sides, we definitely need Russia, but we also need the US [to untangle the conflict]. I believe that the cooperation will be possible, it won’t be easy, but we evaded the worst with [the election of] Clinton. Mr. Trump, the President-elect, is a realist, I think he understands our fears and precautions about Islamism. And he shares the opinion on the gradual transition. I believe in that.”