WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says President Trump could be a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize after his announcement that the U.S. will stop arming anti-Assad rebels in Syria.
The Washington Post, which cast the move as in the interests of Vladimir Putin, reports:
President Trump has decided to end the CIA’s covert program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels battling the government of Bashar al-Assad, a move long sought by Russia, according to U.S. officials.
The program was a central plank of a policy begun by the Obama administration in 2013 to put pressure on Assad to step aside, but even its backers have questioned its efficacy since Russia deployed forces in Syria two years later.
Officials said the phasing out of the secret program reflects Trump’s interest in finding ways to work with Russia, which saw the anti-Assad program as an assault on its interests. The shuttering of the program is also an acknowledgment of Washington’s limited leverage and desire to remove Assad from power.
Assange took to Twitter to say Trump’s move is a step towards peace:
At long last we have the first serious steps to peace in Syria. If @realDonaldTrump can avoid attacking Iran he might have a Nobel Prize.
— Julian Assange (@JulianAssange) July 20, 2017
“At long last we have the first serious steps to peace in Syria,” Assange wrote.
“If @realDonaldTrump can avoid attacking Iran he might have a Nobel Prize.”
In 2009, the Nobel committee gave President Obama the Prize only months after entering office. In 2015, the former director of Norway’s Nobel Institute said he regretted the award.
“[We] thought it would strengthen Obama and it didn’t have this effect,” Geil Lundestad said, according to the Washington Times.