French president Emmanuel Macron attended a summit this weekend hosted by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul.
The summit was meant to address the current unrest in Syria, where the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has been in a civil war with rebel forces since the 2011 Arab Spring revolutions. And every other country in the world seems to have skin in this game, with Russia backing Assad, Turkey supporting Assad’s opposers, and everyone else caught somewhere in diplomatic limbo. The summit was spearheaded by Russian president Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Erdogan, and Macron, a tableau cementing Merkel and Macron as Europe’s firm but fair Mom and Dad, and causing a few whispers in the castle over who wasn’t invited to dinner.
The main goal for Europe in this matter is to secure a promise of ceasefire between Assad’s army and the rebels in Syria, which would cut down on the overwhelming waves of Syrian refugees pounding on Europe’s doors, an issue which has turned many European leaders towards nationalism and isolationism. While no such promise has yet been made, France can at least remain at ease knowing that its leader will always have a seat at the world’s table.