Assad receives Belgium delegation says European states harm own interests by supporting terrorists in Syria
Syrian President Basher al-Assad, in a meeting with a European delegation in Damascus, has slammed European governments for adopting unrealistic and wrong policies toward Syria over the past years, saying the approach has resulted in Europe’s isolation from international efforts meant to resolve the crisis in the Arab country.
During a Monday meeting with a group of parliamentarians from Belgium in Damascus, Assad said that Europeans erroneously decided to support anti-government militants in Syria when the crisis erupted in the country six years ago, adding that the policy had cost Europe dearly and harmed the interests of people across the continent, Syria’s official news agency, SANA, reported.
Assad said by adopting wrong policies, Europe “isolated itself and undermined every possible role it could play” in this regard.
Assad said politicians in the West never cared about the interests of their own people when it came to winning elections, stressing that the approach had “led to the emergence of European policies that are dissociated from reality.”
He said that the approach had also caused the EU to lose its traditional role and position in the world of diplomacy.
During the meeting, Filip Dewinter, a member of Belgium’s Parliament and head of the visiting delegation, said that Syria’s decisive victory last year against militants in Aleppo shifted the balance of power in the war against terrorism, adding that many politicians in Europe had started to change their position on the Syrian conflict.
Other members of the delegation also hailed Syria’s increasing success in battling terrorism, saying eliminating the menace of terror in Syria would definitely curb its spread to the entire world.
They also said There has been a swing in public opinion in many European countries regarding the situation in Syria.
Syria has been battling foreign-backed militancy for nearly six years. Over the past few months, the Syrian army has made significant gains against terrorists, including the liberation of the strategic city of Aleppo in late 2016.
On Saturday, experts from Iran, Russia, Turkey and the UN held a technical meeting behind closed doors on the implementation of the nationwide ceasefire in Syria, which came into effect late last year.
The meeting in the Kazakh capital of Astana came nearly a month after the three countries mediated two-day negotiations between Damascus and opposition groups there, which wrapped up on January 24, with Ankara, Moscow and Tehran agreeing to work out a trilateral accord with the goal of supporting the ceasefire in the Arab country.
This comes as the next round of UN-sponsored talks on Syria is to be held in the Swiss city of Geneva on February 20.