Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Muallem affirmed that the liberation of all Syrian territory from terrorism is near, adding that efforts are continuing to reach a political solution to the crisis in Syria, based on the fact that the constitution is a Syrian issue and it should meet the aspirations of the Syrian people.
In an interview with al-Mayadeen TV on Wednesday, Muallem said: “We haven’t attacked anyone…We want to liberate our land and this is our legitimate right, therefore; I say that terrorism will end very soon and the state will last and continue, particularly if the people in of the state are steadfast and they have hope that the liberation of all Syrian territory is near.”
“We don’t seek to reach a military confrontation with Turkey, yet this issue is different from our struggle against terrorist organization.” Muallem added.
He reiterated that Idleb is a Syrian province and the operations carried out by the Syrian Arab Army against the terrorists there are taking place on Syrian land.
The Foreign and Expatriates Minister noted that the Turkish regime hasn’t abided by the de-escalation zone agreement, particularly in regards to Jabhat al-Nusra, which is a prescribed terrorist organization, and in control of most of the terrorist factions there.
He expressed hope that Syria with its political and geographical position will be a factor for stability and security for the whole region, whose geopolitical situation is improving.
Muallem noted that China is a permanent member of the Security Council and it wants to play a constructive role in achieving peace and security in the region, and on the other hand, President Bashar al-Assad gave directives for focusing our foreign relations on the east, and of course China was within its priorities.
“During my visit to China, I noticed a positive spirit and a determination by the Chinese officials to enhance the economic relations,” Muallem said.
Answering a question on whether the battle for Idleb is expected to achieve its goals, which are represented by the withdrawal of the forces of the Turkish regime, Muallem said: “This is what we hope and we work to achieve this, since the concept of occupation has vanished in this age….We aren’t in the Middle Ages and we are not engaged in wars that end with conventions.”
“In all resolutions passed by the Security Council and recognised by the US, the international community and Turkey, Syria’s territorial integrity and independence must be preserved and all should abide by these resolutions.
In all the Security Council’s resolutions it has been established that Syria is a sovereign state, whose territorial integrity and independence should be preserved and whoever recognizes that should abide by it and apply it,” Muallem said.
He asserted that the Turkish regime, which is occupying parts of the Syrian territories, must pull out its troops and recognize Syria’s territorial integrity and independence and if it doesn’t do that, they will be considered as an occupation force that is no different from “Israel”, and the Turkish regime should also stop training and arming terrorist groups.
In a response to a question on Turkey’s participation in the upcoming Astana meetings, Muallem said: “This is their affair and decision…We are in Astana deal with our Russian friends and Iranian brothers and we don’t deal with the Turkish side.”
Regarding the return of displaced Syrians, Muallem said that Astana will discuss this issue, but the West always hinders the return of the displaced and conspires against Syria and links the issue to the political settlement and the elections, and Syria welcomes the return of the displaced and provides all the facilitations for their return.
He added, “Comments about the Syrian government not cooperating in this domain is void and I defy those who accuse Syria of persecuting, torturing or arresting any of the returnees to prove that. The opposite is true, as we provide all the required facilitations for the returnees.”
On Thursday, Minister Walid al-Muallem met with Chairperson of the Export-Import Bank of China (EximBank) HU Xiaolian where the two sides discussed the economic and financial situation of Syria and means of resuming and boosting cooperation between the aforementioned bank and the Syrian government in the upcoming stage, in a way that contributes to providing the required funding for Chinese companies willing to participate in the reconstruction process.
The two sides also discussed benefiting from the investment opportunities available for the states that have backed Syria in its war against terrorism, on top of which China, in the framework of the eastward orientation policy adopted by Syria, have agreed to boost communication between the two countries’ governments in the upcoming stage for achieving every goal.
Muallem also met with representatives from several companies that are willing to invest in Syria and participate in the reconstruction program and gave a presentation for them on the reconstruction process, and was briefed on their companies’ capacities and expertise in several spheres.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.