Muallem: Syria-Russia Relations Enter Strategic Phase of Multi-Dimensional Alliance

Economic, cultural, military and political ties between Moscow and Damascus have reached new phase, Syrian FM tells Russian deputy PM

Bilateral relations between Syria and Russia have stepped into an unprecedented strategic phase of the multi-dimensional alliance, with both sides bolstering ties in the economic, cultural, military and political sectors, Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said on Thursday.

Muallem’s remarks came during a meeting with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who is co-chairing a Syrian-Russian dialogue for economic and scientific cooperation in Moscow.

Stressing that the economy is an essential part of Syria’s steadfastness, Muallem voiced readiness for holding a new round of committee talks as soon as possible.

He noted that the Russian companies, among other companies of other friendly countries, have been given priority in the post-crisis reconstruction stage in Syria.

Rogozin, for his part, reaffirmed Russia’s support for Syria on all issues, saying Russia is participating in fighting terrorism and is supporting the Syrian army in its war against the terrorists.

Recent days, Rogozin said, have revealed those who are really fighting terrorism and those who are backing the Islamic State (ISIS) and other terrorist organizations, stressing that Russia’s presence in Syria is legal as it is aimed at fighting the “common evil”.

The deputy PM referred to countries that talk of standing against terrorism only in words, but are actually directly sponsoring terrorism and providing support to terrorists.

Rogozin cited Turkey’s recent downing of the Russian jet fighting terrorists in Syria as an example of such countries.

The objective of this Turkish “crime”, he said, is to keep things as they are on the ground and support ISIS’ control over territories in Syria, especially in the oil-rich areas.

Ankara, he elaborated, is gaining millions of dollars from the oil that is stolen from Syria and transported on a large scale into Turkey.

The Russian official warned that those who seek to “intimidate us” will have counter results, because “we are committed to achieving all the goals we have set in front of us, and I mean primarily the Russian air operation in Syria to fight terrorism.”

Moscow, he noted, will thoroughly assess the international reactions to Turkey’s downing of the Russian aircraft “especially after all masks have been dropped and it has now become clear who to work with to achieve the political solution in Syria.”

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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