Syria crisis can end in weeks: Muallem

Syria crisis can end in weeks: Muallem
Sun Sep 29, 2013 13:52:33

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem has said that his country’s crisis can come to an end within weeks if the US-led allies in Europe and the region halt their support for the foreign-backed insurgents fighting the government.

“As long as the US, Europe and some [Persian] Gulf countries are supporting the terrorist groups [in Syria], the crisis will continue,” Muallem further emphasized in a Saturday interview with Moscow-based RT network following his attendance at the UN General Assembly meeting in New York.

The Syrian foreign minister also expressed concern about the access of the opposition militants to chemical weapons and their potential use in an effort to portray that Syria is not complying with its commitments to destroy the nation’s chemical weapons.

“We control the chemical arsenal but we are worried that the terrorist groups also have chemical weapons and they want to use it to show the West that Syria is not committed to its commitments,” he noted.

“This is our point of worry,” Muallem further emphasized. “Otherwise if the West controls these groups, because they have relations with them, in this case I assure you, this process will be successful.”

The top Syrian diplomat also expressed satisfaction over the current session of the UN General Assembly, saying that world leaders are beginning to better realize that Damascus is facing al-Qaeda-linked insurgents, which he said come from 83 countries throughout the world.

He further stated that once Syria joined the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which bans the possession and use of chemical arms, Western governments started speaking about a political solution for the Syrian crisis.

The Syrian army has been fighting al-Qaeda-linked terrorists since the unrest erupted in Syria in March 2011, Muallem stated, adding, “Those terrorist elements are supported by neighboring countries like Turkey and Jordan and some Arab states such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.”

The remarks came after the UN Security Council approved a resolution on September 27 that obliges Damascus to comply with an international plan to see its chemical weapons eliminated.

Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar Ja’afari called on Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, France and the United States to abide by the UN resolution and stop supporting militant groups operating inside Syria.

Ja’afari added that the countries supporting the militants should be held accountable if they continued arming them.

“You can’t bring terrorists from all over the world and send them into Syria in the name of jihad and then pretend that you are working for peace.”

The Syrian envoy added that Damascus was “fully committed” to taking part in a proposed peace conference in Geneva in November aimed at ending the crisis in Syria.


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