Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi said Thursday Syria is facing a two-year multi-faceted war aimed at fragmenting the country's social fabric and sidelining its pivotal role as a bulwark of Arab resistance.
Halqi said the conspiracy included efforts targeting the Syrian Army and the economy to destroy the Syrian state and reduce its defensive capacity against the Israeli enemy.
Halqi made the comments during a meeting with an international peace delegation, headed by northern Irish peace activist and Nobel Prize winner, Mairead Maguire in Damascus Thursday. The delegation included some 16 activists and journalists from Australia, the U.S., Canada, Brazil and Lebanon who met with members of the Syrian Committee for National Reconciliation.
Halqi said terrorist groups, backed by funds and weapons supplied by Arab and regional countries are methodically working to destroy Syria's infrastructure and economy, targeting the agricultural, industrial, service and development sectors.
''The government, despite [the arms ]embargo and unjust sanctions targeting the Syrian people, is exerting all efforts to expand the national economy, provide basic needs to citizens and rebuild the country's infrastructure,'' Halqi said.
He said the government is determined to push ahead with efforts to engage with all political parties, economic and social representatives to start a comprehensive national dialogue.
He also noted that dozens of armed men are already handing over their weapons and have expressed a desire to defend their homeland and return to their normal life.
He said the Syrian government is committed to the national reconciliation project and is open to all initiatives for a political solution to the crisis in the country, that rejects foreign interference and ensures Syria's sovereignty, independence and unity.
Halqi said there is a deliberate campaign of disinformation against Syria intended to assist armed terrorist groups, also hailing the role of free media in conveying the reality of events on the ground in Syria.
The Syrian Arab Army remains ready to confront Israeli aggression and will continue to strike terrorists operating inside Syrian territory, Halqi noted.
Maguire expressed appreciation for the Syrian government's call for national dialogue, adding that Syria has always been a beacon of peace in the region and the world.
She lauded the Syrian government's transparency in handling the crisis, which she said will sway opinions of peace activists around the world.