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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Al-Moallem: We will always consider Turkey’s presence in Syria as illegal

Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem
Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem said his meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday addressed coordination of political and military issues, in addition to the economic dimension, which has stood out powerfully in the discussions of the bilateral relations.

In a statement to SANA following the meeting, which took place in the Russian resort city of Sochi, al-Moallem described the meeting as “constructive” and “useful”, saying that both sides discussed the situation in Syria and the region as swell as the situation in the international arena, and “we agreed on
continuing consultation between both countries in the various fields.”

The meeting also touched upon the need to hold Astana 7 meeting and Geneva conference, in addition to the efforts exerted by the Syrian army in the fight against ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra and their affiliates, al-Moallem added.

In his response to a question on the Syrian government’s attitude towards more countries joining the Astana process as observers, al-Moallem said “We accepted the requests of five countries, and
now we have received a request form Venezuela I think. We welcome the involvement of these countries and expanding participation in Astana meetings.”

Commenting on the fourth de-escalation zone in Idleb, al-Moallem affirmed that this zone was agreed on at the latest Astana meeting under the patronage of the guarantor countries “with the hope that it will be implemented on the ground.”

“We started from our desire to stop the Syrian bloodshed, and in the end, such agreements have a fixed period of six months, and accordingly they are part of our right to maintaining the unity of Syria, land and people,” al-Moallem said.

He elaborated by saying that he believes that what is going on now in Idleb is “part of fixing issues between Turkey and its tools.”

“We still and will always consider the Turkish presence in Syria as illegal. The Turks say their presence is taking place under the Astana umbrella, but I realized today that Astana has nothing to do with this Turkish act. Therefore, any measure that is not coordinated with the Syrian government is an act of aggression, and we don’t recognize its legitimacy,” al-Moallem said.

  • Earlier during his meeting with Lavrov, al-Moallem affirmed that the international coalition led by Washington is destroying everything in Syria except for ISIS terrorist organization.

He said that Syria will demand the disbanding of the US-led international coalition which Washington uses to destroy the country and prolong the war indefinitely.

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