Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mekdad stressed that the change in the relationship between Syria and its Arab surroundings began a long time ago. These changes are linked to international developments, which convinced more Arabs of the importance of Arab solidarity to overcome challenges. He stressed that the Arab-Arab dialogue has not ceased, expressing optimism that deeper and more useful dialogues will begin, and that Syrian-Arab meetings will take place shortly.
In a long interview with Al-Watan, Al-Mekdad pointed out that the international atmosphere during the last UN General Assembly meeting was less hostile this time. Many countries did not address the Syrian issue at all. He added: “We felt, through our reading between the lines of most of the statements made, that the world understands that the crisis imposed on Syria is a fabricated one. Its goal is to sabotage the Syrian state.”
Minister Mekdad revealed that the recent visit of President Bashar al-Assad to the Russian Federation was one of the best visits. He said: “We do not disagree at all with our allies in the Russian Federation regarding the priorities that we should both know in the face of terrorism.” He stressed that it is time for Turkey to withdraw from the northwest of Syria, and to allow a solution that guarantees the establishment of normal relations between Syria and Turkey after the end of this occupation.
Minister Mekdad stressed that Syria supports any Arab dialogue with Iran, and said: “If Iran wishes to be helpful and to facilitate any dialogue, Syria is ready for that.”
The minister described the situation east of the Euphrates as very simple. He argued that the United States, if it relies on organizations along ethnic lines, will be making a losing bet. According to Mekdad, this is because “our Kurdish brothers form part of the social, economic and historical fabric of our country.”
Concerning the Constitutional Committee, Mekdad said that the government team had expressed its readiness to capitalize on the positive atmosphere that it sought during the previous phase of negotiations. He reported that the government wants this positivity to guide the committee’s work, expressing the hope that the next round of discussions (on October 18, when the committee is scheduled to discuss the constitution) will achieve the necessary progress. This progress would help build the future for the Syrian people, giving expression to their needs, national goals, and human interests.
With regard to the so-called migration of Syrian industrialists, Mekdad considered that the numbers were exaggerated. If any Syrian economist went to the Arab Republic of Egypt or any other country, he was in his own country. Any Syrian investments in Egypt would ultimately be good for our businessmen and the situation in Syria.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.