Assad lauds Iran, Russia for Syria peace efforts

October 5, 2020 - 18:12

TEHRAN – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has lauded the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation for their role in the Syrian peace negotiations.

Tehran and Moscow have greatly contributed to moving toward the realization of Syria’s peace process, Mehr quoted Assad as saying on Monday, citing Russia’s Defense Ministry TV channel Zvezda.

The Syrian president said in addition to helping Syria fight terrorism, Russia’s military presence in his country is important for ensuring international order.

He said, “The Russian military role in Syria – particularly the role of military bases [on the Syrian soil] – can be viewed from two perspectives: the first is fighting terrorism, which we call international terrorism.” 

Terrorism will end “one day or at least it will be weakened as a result of the continuing battles to eliminate it. So, what comes after this terrorism?” he asked. 

The Syrian leader added, “The other perspective is related to the role of Russia in the world. Today, we live in an international jungle; we do not live under international law.”

Iran, Russia, and Turkey have been leading a peace initiative to bring the Syrian crisis to an end. The initiative is known as the Astana process, because Kazakhstan’s capital, Nur-Sultan, formerly called Astana, originally hosted the meetings.

The Astana process has so far resulted in two agreements. The first deal was signed in Nur-Sultan, arranging for the creation of de-escalation zones across Syria, including in parts of Idlib.

The second deal was signed in the Russian resort city of Sochi, allowing Ankara to bring in a small number of forces to man the observation posts to reinforce de-escalation.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. However, the conflict has been winding down as the Syrian government reasserts control over parts formerly held by terrorist groups.

Last month, Iran’s mission to the United Nations issued a statement saying Tehran will proudly continue helping the Syrian government against terrorism.

The statement was issued as a response to remarks made by a spokesperson of the U.S. State Department who told Newsweek that removal of Iranian and Iran-backed forces from Syria is an objective of the U.S.

MH/PA

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