Syrian FM: Political solution for ending the war ‘begins today’

Syrian FM: Political solution for ending the war ‘begins today’
Tue Jun 3, 2014 21:01:18

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem says the landmark presidential election held despite the war in Syria would end the three-year conflict in his country.

Al-Muallema says a political solution for the ongoing conflict in his country “begins today”.

He made the remarks at a polling station in the Prime Minister’s residence in Damascus on Tuesday.

“Today the Syrian nation will decide who they want and only the Syrian nation can legitimize the next leader,” al-Muallem said, adding, “The aggressive states demonstrated that they failed and are stuck at an impasse. Today, Syria begins to take the route of a political solution.”

His remarks come as millions of Syrians are casting their ballots to choose a president for the next seven years, amid tight security.

Over 15 million Syrians are eligible to vote in more than 9000 stations across the government-controlled areas of the country.

Election officials in the capital Damascus have described the voter turnout as great.

Incumbent President Bashar al-Assad, parliament member Maher al-Hajjar and businessman Hassan al-Nouri are competing for the top post. All the three candidates have already cast their ballots.

Syrians believe the election will help restore security in the country gripped by more than three years of foreign-backed militancy.

Syria sank into war in March 2011 when pro-reform protests turned into a massive insurgency following the intervention of Western and regional states.

The unrest, which took in terrorist groups from across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, has transpired as one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent history.


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