Moscow talks breakthrough, future talks promising: Assad
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has hailed as a “breakthrough” the latest round of talks between Damascus and opposition groups in the Russian capital city of Moscow.
“This is the first time to reach an agreement upon some of the principles that could make the foundation for the next dialog between the Syrians. We haven’t finalized it yet, because the schedule of that meeting was very comprehensive,” said Assad in an interview with the Swedish newspaper Expressen, Syrian news agency SANA reported on Friday.
“When you have a breakthrough, even if it’s a partial breakthrough, it means that the next meeting will be promising in reaching a full agreement about what are the principles of Syrian dialog that will bring a Syrian, let’s say, solution to the conflict,” he added.
The Syrian leader also lashed out at Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar for “following and implementing” the policies of foreign powers including the United States, saying he does not expect a sudden change of behavior on the part of these regional countries which have for long supported Takfiri terrorists in Syria.
“This behavior is not related to the crisis in Syria. They supported the terrorists in Afghanistan, they supported the Wahhabi ideology, the extremism that led to terrorism recently in Europe, for decades, and now they are supporting the same ideology and the same factions under different labels and names in Syria,” Assad pointed out.
The photo shows Takfiri terrorists walking in the Syrian city of Idlib, March 29, 2015. © AFP
He also said that the Western nationals who have joined the ranks of terrorist groups in Syria will pose a great threat to the security of Europe upon returning to their homelands.
“As long as the backyard of Europe, especially the Mediterranean and Northern Africa is in chaos and full of terrorists, Europe cannot be safe,” the Syrian president went on to say.
Assad further called on Stockholm to exert its influence on the European Union in an attempt to remove the bloc’s sanctions against the Syrian people, saying the bans have forced many Syrians to seek shelter in European countries including Sweden.
“Sweden is an important country in the EU. It can play a major role in lifting the sanctions, because many of the Syrians who went to Sweden or any other country, didn’t only leave because of the terrorist acts; they left because of the embargo, because they have no way for living,” he stated.
Syria has been grappling with a deadly crisis since March 2011. The violence fueled by Takfiri groups has so far claimed the lives of over 220,000 people, according to reports.
The Takfiri terrorist groups, with members from several Western countries, control swathes of land in Syria and Iraq, and have been carrying out horrific acts of violence such as public decapitations and crucifixions against all communities such as Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, and Christians.