A source at the Russian Foreign Ministry said the two sides exchanged viewpoints on the latest developments in Syria and they noted that viewpoints were identical on the risks of attempts aimed at deepening the conflict through fueling confrontations on religious and ethnic bases.
The source added that the two sides stressed their rejection of such attempts and highlighted the importance of developing cultural, social and religious relations between the two countries.
Mufti Hassoun: Syria’s return to forefront of international position serves peace
With its return to the forefront of international position, Syria will serve peace, and its victory will mark a victory for peace in the world, Grand Mufti of the Republic, Dr. Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun said.
Mufti Hassoun was speaking during a lecture he delivered at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations on Saturday, attended by Syria’s ambassador to Russia, Riyad Haddad.
”Syria’s enemies want the scheme played out in Iraq repeated in Syria,” Hassoun said. ”But Syria won’t succumb to this as it realizes the partition they caused in Lebanon twenty years ago. At that time, Syria feared that partition, that’s why it went to Lebanon to preserve it as an undivided state.”
Hassoun pointed out that Syria ”moves down the path of preventing the sectarian divisions in the region, paying the price in the lives of its citizens and army to eschew war in coordination with the Russian friends.”
The Mufti affirmed that Syria has repeatedly announced that it will be going to Geneva II without preconditions, as the opposition and its patrons continue to ”spurn democracy.”
The opposition and its patrons, Hassoun said, derive from religious thinking as they did in Egypt when the Muslim Brotherhood loyalist mosque preachers issued religious decrees that he who does not vote for Morsi will go to Hell.
Hassoun blasted the international silence over Israel’s nuclear arsenal while the UN Security Council assembled many a time to keep Iran from acquiring the peaceful nuclear energy.
”The chaos taking the world by storm was provoked by conflating political and religious thinking,” Hassoun pointed out, expressing concerns over a possible outbreak of a third devastating world war based on the religious discourse.
Hassoun said the calls for religious states are intended to justify Israel’s presence on the political map, considering that the message of clergymen is broader than any other.
”The Takfiri doctrine is no longer confined to the Middle East as testified to by the document released by the The Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies (RUSI), which counted tens of thousands of terrorists who came to fight in Syria from 83 European, Asian and African countries.”
Hassoun hailed Russia’s stances that upholds peace in the face of extremism, indicating that ”the greatest hazard lies in the religious parties and states that will be superseded by confessional states later.”
Ambassador Haddad, for his part, said the Russian diplomacy was proven by facts and events to be the most capable of containing crises that threaten international peace and security before their fallout reaches the interests of everyone.
”The fiasco of the US warships strategy in confronting the ‘warships’ of the Russian diplomacy proves the innovation of the latter in dealing with the outcomes of the war that has been targeting Syria over two years,” Haddad said.
Haddad hailed the role of the Russian President, Vladimir Putin that was manifested during the G20 summit in Petersburg during when “he excelled as the maestro who has all the cards in his hands and orchestrates the performance of other leaders.”
Director of the MGIMO Institute of International Research, Alexander Orlov said Syria was the most prosperous country in the Middle East, expressing regret over the war targeting it and praising the steadfastness of the Syrians who are striving to restore peace and jump-start the process of reconstruction.