28 October، 2016
Foreign Ministers of Syria, Russia and Iran held Friday a joint press conference after a tripartite meeting held in Moscow.
Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem described the atmosphere during the tripartite meeting as “positive” and “very comfortable ”.
“We in Syria have become convinced of the sincerity of the Russian and Iranian efforts in helping us rout terrorism,” al-Moallem said.
Al-Moallem added that he conveyed the Syrian leadership, government and people’s thanks to President Putin and the friendly people of Russia for the active contribution in fighting terrorism, and the thanks of President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian people to the Iranian leadership and President Hassan Rouhani for standing by the Syrian army units in their war against terrorism.
He noted that those waging the propaganda against Russia today are the same who have been conspiring against Syria for five years, stressing that “we will not be discouraged by this propaganda targeting us from continuing the fight against terrorism, especially in Aleppo.”
It was clear to all of us who breached the truce in Aleppo and prevented the wounded and civilians from leaving the eastern neighborhoods of the city, al-Moallem said, expressing Syria’s readiness for resuming the humanitarian pause in Aleppo providing that the parties sponsoring terrorism provide guarantees.
He criticized the US-led coalition which claims to be fighting ISIS terrorist organizations, but instead targets the Syrian economic infrastructure, highlighting that the coalition does not want to liberate Iraq’s Mosul from ISIS but seeks to have the ISIS terrorists moved into Raqqa, “but we, together with Russia, will prevent them from doing that.
The meeting also dealt with Syria’s cooperation relations with Russia and Iran, said al-Moallem, expressing pleasure over that the two countries expressed readiness to increase their economic support to Syria to upgrade to the level of the political and military support provided by both friendly countries.
In turn, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia and Iran stressed on Syria’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and efforts to implement missions of eliminating terrorists and restoring peace, economy and infrastructure, referring to President Vladimir Putin’s proposal on setting up a plan to rebuild Syria.
He said that the responsibility of the Syrian people’s suffering and bad situation lies on terrorists as well as the states which impose illegal sanctions on Syrian people, adding that “We reiterated our conviction that all states, as stipulated in the international laws, should not interfere in other states’ internal affairs or attempt to influence or impose foreign dictates on Syria, but rather all issues should be solved on the basis of talks, mutual respect and equality. We stress the need for a peaceful and political solution to the crisis in Syria and the launching of intra-Syrian dialogue that is based on resolutions of the International Syria Support Group and the UN Security Council, particularly resolution No. 2254.
Lavrov welcomed al-Moallem statement that a Syrian official delegation would be prepared to go to Geneva shortly to start talks with representatives of the United Nations and the opposition in line with the UN Security Council resolutions.
The Russian Minister noted that the armed terrorist groups have breached the humanitarian truce in Aleppo and other states failed to prevent these groups from continuing their operations and using civilians as humanitarian shields, indicating that Syria and Russia have halted their military operations against terrorists in the city and the Russian and Syrian warplanes have not flown closer than 10 kilometers to Aleppo for ten days.
” We hoped that humanitarian pauses and the stop of airstrikes will be used by our American partners to convince the so-called moderate opposition to separate from Jabhat al-Nusra and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, which are in fact those who lead all groups of armed opposition in eastern Aleppo. Unfortunately, such a separation has not happened again. Moreover terrorists have closed the exit from the city via humanitarian corridors for civilians,” said Lavrov.
He criticized the unprofessional work of UN humanitarian missions, adding that both Syria and Iran welcome the readiness of Russia to continue to cooperate with the UN to settle humanitarian issues, starting with the fact that the UN representatives should not be biased in their work.
He regretted that “the humanitarian tragedy of the Syrian people are being used by outside players for their own propaganda to achieve their goals.”
Commenting on the restoration of Mosul, the Russian Foreign Minister said “We are interested to take measures together with Iraqi colleagues to prevent exodus of terrorists with weapons and vehicles from Mosul to Syria, which will of course lead to the escalation of the situation in Syria. We think it is important to prevent that, we will discuss this issue with the United States and other members of their coalition.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stressed the need to preserve Syria’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence, announcing that a final “decision has been taken that the Syrian people are the only side to determine their future.”
“We are exerting efforts to solve the crisis in Syria via dialogue among the Syrians themselves and combating terrorism,” he said.
He pointed out to Iran’s continuous calls to full cessation of hostilities by all sides based upon the fact that there is no military solution to the crisis in Syria, reiterating his country’s support to combating terrorism as well as any humanitarian efforts aimed at helping the Syrian people.
Zarif added that the terrorists are using the civilians in Syria and Iraq as human shields for achieving political objectives, indicating that combating terrorism requires political will to confront this serious phenomenon whose repercussions are not restricted to Syria and the region, but rather it will influence the whole world.
Commenting on the military operation against ISIS in Mosul, the Iranian Foreign Minister said the operation must guarantee that ISIS terrorists will not cross into Syria, stressing the need to unify efforts to prevent the spread of terrorism regionally and internationally.
Al-Moallem: Syria ready to resume truce in Aleppo immediately
Bilateral talks were held earlier between Lavrov and al-Moallem, during which the latter stressed Syria’s readiness to immediately resume the intra-Syrian dialogue, noting however that Washington and its allies are blocking the holding of another round of talks in Geneva.
Syria is ready for ceasing hostilities and finding a political solution to the crisis through an intra-Syrian dialogue without foreign interference, he said.
Al-Moallem also expressed Syria’s readiness for resuming the humanitarian pause in Aleppo providing that the parties sponsoring terrorism provide guarantees for evacuation of civilians.
Al-Moallem noted that during the recent three-day truce in Aleppo, where there has been moratorium on flights of the Syrian and Russian jets over the city, that is continuing until now, terrorists of Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham threatened the civilians who wanted to leave the eastern neighborhoods of the city and prevented them from doing that.
“The truce was established for humanitarian reasons, but no use was made of it, and yet we are ready to resume the truce in case we received messages of guarantees from the terrorists’ sponsors that use will be made of it,” he said.
Al-Moallem stressed that Syria is determined to liberate all the Syrian territories from terrorism, and that it highly appreciates the Russian and Iranian contribution in support of its own efforts for achieving that, pointing out that coordination between the three countries is continuing on an almost daily basis because the objectives are common.
Al-Moallem expressed Syria’s thanks to Russia and its people and President Vladimir Putin for the help provided in counterterrorism in Syria, saying “President Bashar al-Assad commissioned me to convoy his thanks and those of the Syrian leadership, government and people to President Putin and the friendly people of Russia for the active contribution in fighting terrorism.”
For his part, Lavrov said that Russia clearly sees that there is no alternative to intensifying efforts for combating terrorism “because if we fail in doing that, we would face the risk of losing this battle not only in Syria but rather in the whole Middle East and North Africa.”
Lavrov said the contacts between Moscow and Damascus are necessary for ensuring a strict implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions related to the crisis in Syria, pointing out that some Western partners attempt to distort the international resolutions on Syria and divert the efforts of counterterrorism to other issues.
He stressed that Russia will exert all efforts possible to support the Syrian people under the tough circumstances of tightening the unilateral economic coercive measures imposed on them.
Lavrov expressed hope that his talks with al-Moallem and Zarif will help set constructive solutions towards reaching a settlement in Syria.
Lavrov: Developments in Syria stress need of fighting terrorism despite provocations
Earlier on the day, Lavrov discussed with his Iranian counterpart in a separate meeting the latest developments in Syria and means of combating terrorism in it especially after the US’s failure to fulfill its obligations under the agreement signed with Russia in Geneva on September 9.
Lavrov said during the talks that the developments in Syria stress the necessity of combating terrorism firmly and without concessions and regardless of the escalating provocations.
He noted that the foreign ministers of Syria, Russia and Iran will discuss in detail the efforts of launching the dialogue process in Syria during a tripartite meeting later today.
Zarif, for his part, stressed that the crisis in Syria can be solved by political means and through fighting the terrorist groups, calling on the countries seeking peace and working against terrorism in Syria to put more efforts in terms of coordination for reaching a political solution.
He expressed regret that some countries insist on the military solution in Syria and continuing the war against it.
Answering SANA’s question about the US Secretary of State John Kerry’s recognition that the crisis in Syria cannot be solved without Russia and Iran and at the same time the US does not want to separate what it calls opposition from “Jabhat al-Nusra”, al-Moallem said: “First we should ask if the US has a real political will to find a political solution for the situation in Syria, which I do not think it has. Second, how can it admit the role of Russia and Iran in finding this solution without it being able to cooperate with them in this regard?”
He added that there was a Russian-US agreement that had been foiled when the US stroke al-Tharda mountain in Deir Ezzor, adding that had the US been committed to the agreement, the situation would have been better, but it doesn’t want that because it is implementing policies that serve the interests of some countries in the region and seeks to impose its agenda as it lunches false media propagandas against Russian Federation, Syria and Iran.
Asked about the US-led Coalition’s announcement of a plan to liberate the Raqqa city after al-Mosul and if there are communications with Damascus in this regard, al-Moallem said: “There are no contacts between the Syrian government and the US-led coalition, and through practical experience, no one in Syria believes what they say about liberating Raqqa in a few weeks.”
“This Coalition has been operating for more than two years and we always ask what it achieved in regard to ISIS? Therefore, this talk may benefit the US administration in elections but we do not believe that and there are absolutely no communications between us,” he added.
Talking about the infiltration of ISIS terrorists from al-Mosul to the Syrian territory, al-Moallem said that he can only say that there is a real coordination between Russian and Syrian military to deal with this issue.
Answering journalists’ questions, the Russian minister affirmed that any assistance to terrorists is rejected according to the UNSC resolutions, adding that Moscow insists on the commitment to these resolutions.
He pointed out that the Americans have failed repeatedly in fulfilling their obligations under the agreement with Moscow, especially in being unable to separate what they called “moderate opposition” from terrorists, adding that they only want through these agreements to buy time.
Lavrov said that the US was able to achieve this aim during the humanitarian pause, but what happened is that terrorists bombed the Syrian Army’s sites, targeted the humanitarian corridors, prevented citizens from exiting and shelled the western neighborhoods constantly, including schools.
The Russian minister said that Moscow is providing facts but its Western partners are fabricating these facts and in an attempt to cover terrorists’ acts.
Commenting the operation to liberate al-Mosul, Lavrov pointed out that this battle will have an effective impact on the situation in Syria and the power balance in the region, noting that Moscow had previously warned of the danger of ISIS terrorists’ movement into Syrian territory.
He added that combating terrorism in al-Mosul is similar to fighting it in Aleppo.
He said that US Secretary of State John Kerry himself said at the meeting of International Syria Support Group (ISSG) that if the Syrian opposition does not to separate from al-Nusra terrorists, they will become a legal target for airstrikes just like ISIS and al-Nusra.
“I think that given an absolute lack of evidence showing that the ‘moderate’ opposition in eastern Aleppo aims to separate from al-Nusra terrorist group, time has come to implement the logic stated by John Kerry in practice.”
In turn, Zarif said that “What we discussed today and exchanged views around needs more coordination to combat terrorism in the region with full commitment to the human principles and concerted efforts to provide humanitarian aid to the Syrian people and besieged population by terrorists for years and living in harsh conditions, and we drew attention to the need for international cooperation on this issue.”
The Iranian minister affirmed that all countries should accept the truth that terrorism does not serve the interests of anyone one and supporting it may seem useful or beneficial in the short term, but in the long run, these groups will become a threat to everyone, stressing the need to reach to a comprehensive understanding and to unify international efforts to combat terrorist groups.
“It is impossible to benefit from terrorists…We have arrived at a conviction that terrorism cannot be good or bad as the terrorist groups have changed their names daily to mislead people and use them for political purposes,” he added.
Manar/Manal/Ghossoun/ H. Said