BERLIN, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Germany will not coordinate with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad simply because the Islamic State is "even worse than Assad," a foreign policy adviser to German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday.
"We should not consider Assad as somebody who is an interlocutor, as somebody we should work with only because now there is an organization like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant with human rights violations, even worse than those of Assad," Christoph Heusgen told the Berlin Foreign Policy Forum.
The U.S. has maintained a similar policy.
In August, deputy National Security Adviser Benjamin J. Rhodes observed that "Joining forces with Assad would essentially permanently alienate the Sunni population in both Syria and Iraq, who are necessary to dislodging ISIL" (another name for IS).
On Tuesday, at a Veteran's Day ceremony in Munich with U.S. officials, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen emphasized the importance of Germany's bilateral ties with the U.S. and cited recent collaboration to counter the rise of the Islamic State and Russia's aggression in Ukraine.
"We can fulfill our international responsibility by standing side-by-side with our trans-Atlantic allies," von der Leyen said.