Muallem: Reconciliation and Combatting Terrorism a Priority

Deputy PM claims Syria prioritizes cutting off sources of terrorism while supporting Syrian-Syrian dialogue in press conference with Belarusian Foreign Minister

Deputy Prime Minister Walid al-Muallem said that Syria’s priorities are combating terrorism and carrying out local reconciliations as a path towards a political solution, affirming the government’s commitment to defending national sovereignty.

 

In a joint press conference with Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei in Damascus on Monday, Muallem said that Syria responds to any initiative based on international law, prioritizes cutting off sources of terrorism, and supports Syrian-Syrian dialogue.

 

He said that Russia succeeded in holding meetings in Moscow between delegations from the government and opposition groups while the West failed to do so.

 

“Jordan is part of an international alliance led by the US, and is instrumental in a process that sends terrorists through its borders after training them in camps under US supervision,” Muallem said, adding that Jordan – which is fighting ISIS for personal reasons – does not fight the Nusra Front on its borders.

 

Muallem asserted that so far, there has been no Syrian-Jordanian cooperation in the field of counterterrorism, adding “regarding all that is published by the press on land forces entering Syria, I will clearly say that we are committed to defending Syrian sovereignty, and we will not allow anyone to breach our national sovereignty. We do not need land forces to enter and fight ISIS; the Syrian Arab Army is carrying out this task valiantly.”

 

Regarding visiting UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura’s proposal for freezing the fighting in Aleppo, in light of developments on the ground favoring the Syrian Arab Army, Muallem said that de Mistura’s initiative was focused on Aleppo city and not its countryside, and that he was welcomed because the Syrian government wishes to implement an agreement that keeps Aleppo stable while restoring normal life.

 

He noted that de Mistura’s assistant, Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, held talks with Syrian Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Faisal Mikdad, claiming de Mistura had no further ideas he’d like to propose, adding “we’re ready to hear him out.”

 

Regarding cooperation with international humanitarian organizations, Muallem reiterated the Syrian government’s commitment to cooperation, particularly in the humanitarian field, stressing the need to depoliticize aid, while ensuring cooperation between these organizations on the one hand, and the Syrian government and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent on the other.

 

He said international organizations regularly complain of their own lack of financial resources due to donors’ hesitation to increase funds, which led to the Syrian government contributing over 70% of the aid provided.

 

“We keep hearing from states that conspire against Syria, and that pay billions of dollars to terrorists, that they are concerned about the Syrian people and their lives, and these same states don’t ask themselves about who is causing the shedding of Syrian blood,” he said.

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