Speaking to reporters on Monday, after meeting with a Russian delegation headed by its Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, Assad said Syria’s war on Western-supported terrorists will continue until their last fighters are eliminated.
ISIS is largely, not entirely, defeated, perhaps able to revive its menace with considerable US support, remaining a regional threat, as well as in Central Asia and elsewhere if Washington wants them used as imperial foot soldiers.
Rogozin’s “visit (was) an opportunity to promote existing projects and the sectors in which we started work, and at the same time expanding towards new sectors that we had not set as priorities two years ago,” Assad explained, adding:
“So, the delegation today is large and diverse and covers various fields, and very important projects have been proposed for Russian investments in Syria, particularly since we started the reconstruction stage now.”
“At the same time, we talked about heading east in our economic and cultural relations and other fields, and of course when we talking about heading east, Russia is one of the most important countries in it.”
The difference between Geneva and Astana peace talks is stark, the former achieving nothing, the latter having significant accomplishments – the Sochi conference ahead hopefully to be a further step toward restoring peace to the country.
In Sochi, all vital issues will be discussed, said Assad. “…I’m talking about things that are still preliminary, so the difference between them cannot be specified until after matters are completed, but we certainly believe that anything is better than Geneva, because Geneva hasn’t achieved anything after” eight sessions since 2012.
Washington and Saudi Arabia undermined Geneva talks, making outrageous demands no responsible Syrian leader would accept.
As for ongoing conflict, “focus(ing) on (ISIS) alone…distract(s) attention away from the fact that terrorism still exists with the support of the West. This terrorism is headed by al-Nusra (al-Qaeda in Syria),” Assad stressed.
War continues until ISIS, al-Nusra and other terrorist fighters are entirely eliminated. “Then you can really talk about a victory,” he explained.
Now it’s premature. Addressing a UN role in parliamentary and presidential elections when held, the issue will be discussed at Sochi.
“(A)ny UN role in the upcoming elections must be based on the UN Charter which emphasizes Syria’s sovereignty and the Syrian people’s decision,” Assad stressed, adding:
“(W)e’re not worried about any UN role, and we can say that we welcome any UN role as long as it respects Syrian sovereignty, as anything that impinges on this sovereignty is rejected. This should be obvious today, later, and at any time.”
Addressing the issue of US-supported Kurdish fighters, Assad said they admitted US backing, adding:
“All those who work under the command of any foreign country in their own country and against their army and people are traitors…(T)hat is our evaluation of the groups that work for the Americans in Syria.”
He criticized pro-Western Syrian envoy de Mistura and France for irresponsibly blaming Damascus for failure in Geneva.
Five years of talks achieved nothing because Washington and the Saudis sabotaged them, wanting endless wars and regime change, not peace and stability.
Throughout nearly seven years of war, America, France, the Saudis, Israel, and their rogue allies supported the scourge of terrorism in Syria and elsewhere.
They’re peace opponents, not supporters. “Those who support terrorism do not have the right to talk about peace, let alone the right to interfere in the Syrian affairs,” Assad stressed.