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Assad Prioritizes Russia Relations, Overlooks Domestic Turmoil

In a revealing interview with Russian journalist Vladimir Solovyov, Assad bypassed crucial discussions on Syria's economic and political future.
Assad Prioritizes Russia Relations, Overlooks Domestic Turmoil

In a revealing interview with Russian journalist Vladimir Solovyov on March 3, 2024, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad offered an in-depth look at Syria’s stance on both domestic and international issues, underscoring a pronounced affinity for Russia while conspicuously avoiding mention of Syria’s internal crises. Conducted in Damascus and covered by SANA, Assad’s dialogue spanned a wide range of subjects, from national interests and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to Western perceptions and the global role of Russia.

Assad highlighted the importance of unwavering commitment to national interests and principles, even at the cost of short-term setbacks, as essential for long-term national unity and the achievement of the homeland’s goals. He depicted Palestinians as rightful landowners, suffering under approximately eighty years of occupation, and criticized Israel’s aggressive stance.

The Syrian leader attributed the negative perception of the West among Syrians to media manipulation and stressed the need for truth and transparency. He praised Russia as a key global player, with President Putin playing a vital role in issues including the fight against terrorism in Syria.

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Assad criticized Western nations for their transactional approach to politics and their reluctance to engage Russia as a partner, which he believes has hampered significant progress in international relations. He also ridiculed Western-imposed blockades against nations, including Syria, predicting these actions would ultimately backfire, promoting cooperation among the blockaded countries and undermining the dollar’s global dominance.

Moreover, Assad lightly mocked the sanctions imposed on him and Putin by Western countries, humorously suggesting they might discuss their American bank balances. His disdain extended to Ukrainian sanctions, which he dismissed with sarcasm, and he labelled Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as “essentially a clown.”

However, the interview notably bypassed crucial discussions on Syria’s economic situation, the progress of the Constitutional Committee, efforts towards reconciliation with Turkey, the refugee crisis, and measures purportedly taken by the regime to alter the “power structure.” Similarly, issues like drug smuggling from Syria and the protests in Suwayda, calling for Assad’s resignation, were overlooked, with a focus instead on topics more relevant to Russia, including its presidential elections.

This interview, thus, sheds light on Assad’s priorities, showcasing a deep alignment with Russia while seemingly neglecting the pressing issues facing Syria today.

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