Al-Moallem: US presence in Syria illegal and must leave

Damascus, SANA- Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem reaffirmed that the US presence on the Syrian territory is illegal and is considered as an aggression that must leave.

In an interview with RT Channel, al-Moallem said that the Americans in the al-Tanf area are attracting Daesh (ISIS) remnants and are rehabilitating them in order to send them back to fight the Syrian Arab Army because they want to prolong the crisis in Syria for the benefit of Israel.

The Minister pointed out that the Syrian-Iranian relations are not negotiable.

“The presence of Iranian advisers in Syria is legitimate and came at the request of the Syrian state, contrary to the US presence, which is an aggression against Syria which must leave,” al-Moallem said.

Commenting on Idleb agreement, al-Moallem said that the agreement is a positive step to extend the control of the Syrian state over all of its territory, indicating that the agreement provides the conditions for a peaceful solution in Idleb through reconciliation whose effectiveness has been demonstrated in many Syrian areas.

He stressed that the legitimate state has the right to use other means to reestablish sovereignty over its territory.

“When you go from one city to another and want to go back you use the same road to return,” he said, noting that terrorists in Idleb had come across Turkey and are leaving through it.

“The danger now in the eastern region stems from the American factor that is illegally present, which is providing military support for the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces in that region as the US presence hampers these forces’ dialogue with the Syrian state. Some of them attacked the Syrian soldiers there in an unjustified attack, and those who mounted the attack must pay the price,” al-Moallem stated.

“Damascus is committed to the platforms of Astana and Sochi and to the efforts of the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran to find an appropriate solution that will serve the Syrian people in the political process,” said the Minister.

He noted that the work of UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura “is not neutral”.

“If he were neutral, we would find ourselves before an active constitutional committee, and the reason for that is the existence of a mini-international group that has a negative impact on the Envoy’s work,” al-Moallem added.

He stressed that this mini-group consists of countries that were and still are part of the conspiracy against Syria, namely the US, Britain and France
“All the weapons held by terrorists in many Syrian areas are made in these countries,” the Minister said.

He also renewed the call for the displaced Syrians to return to their homeland.

“We welcome and call upon every displaced Syrian abroad to return to homeland. We will ensure a decent life, security and future for him to contribute to the reconstruction of his country,” the Minister said.

He expressed regret that the West still prevents Syrians from returning to their homeland due to its policies of intimidation which are baseless, describing the current international atmosphere around the situation in Syria as positive.

“The atmosphere is positive on the Arab and international arenas due to the recent field developments in Syria,” the Minister said.

The Minister asserted that Syria has not attacked anyone or intervened in the affairs of any other country, and is looking forward to good relations with all countries.

“Whoever assaults us and interferes with our internal affairs must reconsider its position,” he indicated.

The Minister also affirmed that the S-300 system, which Russia announced that it will provide Syria with, is a defensive system aimed at protecting the Syrian airspace from any external aggression and it is a factor that will enhance security and stability.

“Syria highly appreciates the decision of President Vladimir Putin to provide this system to Syria,” he added, indicating that the Syrian-Russian cooperation has made a fundamental change on the ground and in the political and economic work on Syria.

Manar al-Frieh/Manal

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