President Bashar al-Assad of Syria suggested in an interview published Friday that he could foresee cooperation with the Trump administration and might even countenance the deployment of American soldiers in the country one day.
The remarks by Mr. Assad appeared to signal that he might be more amenable to dealing with Mr. Trump than he was with President Barack Obama, whose administration repeatedly called on the Syrian leader to step down, accused his government of repeated atrocities and supported rebels seeking to topple him.
“We don’t have any contact with the Americans,” Mr. Assad said. “We’re not in that position.”
Mr. Assad not only held himself blameless for the conflict but expressed confidence that the millions of refugees who had fled would eventually come home. He also asserted that some had already returned and that life in Damascus, the capital, was safe and “nearly normal.”