Syrian govt, opposition to meet for talks in Moscow - Assad's aid
Syria and Russia agreed that the “intra-Syrian dialogue will begin in Moscow,” Shaaban told RT Arabic during an interview in Damascus on Thursday.
She elaborated that Damascus has been in consultations with Moscow regarding “the starting point of this dialogue, its objectives, and mechanisms for its implementation, as well as the composition of its participants”.
Prospects for using Moscow as a venue for contacts between the two sides of the Syrian conflict were in focus of talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and UN Secretary General's special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura on Thursday, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry. During the meeting which took place in Switzerland’s Basel the two parties agreed the top priority in the intra-Syrian talks anti-terrorism efforts.
Last month Russia’s President Vladimir Putin met with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem for the first top level talks between the two countries since the start of Syrian civil war in 2011. The two discussed "bilateral relations" behind closed doors in the Black city resort of Sochi on November 26, said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
“The timing of the visit plays an important role. It was the first meeting with President Putin since the beginning of the crisis in Syria. This visit was symbolic and at the same time very productive,” stressed Shaaban.
The president’s political and media advisor explained that during the consultations, Moscow and Damascus agreed on the “principle approaches of stopping this war waged against us.”
“Both parties understand that for the revival of Syria it must put an end to terrorism,” she elaborated.
The social and humanitarian situation in the Arab Republic is “complex”, the Syrian top official noted. She expressed regret that some Arab and regional forces as well as those of “international terrorism” have joined against Syria in the war she believes is “inequitable."
‘US want twenty years of war to eliminate ISIS? ’
Shaaban criticized the US for its move to create a coalition “outside the UN Security Council and outside the boundaries of international law”. She reiterated Syria’s stance on the US-led airstrike targeting IS militant positions in the Arab nation – that they are an illegal intervention and do not respect the sovereignty of Syria.
She cited President Bashar Assad’s statement that these air strikes fail to provide any tangible result, while the main fight against the terrorists is carried out on the ground.
IS militants – formerly ISIS, also known by the Arabic acronym Daʿish –have “covert international support that enables to transfer weapons and give financial aid to terrorists,” Shaaban admitted.
High-level experts work for these terrorists she stated questioning from where they came.
“Therefore, in dealing with IS militants we will rely on our own capabilities, a new coalition that is being created between Russia, Syria, and countries” that stick to their statements and promises.
“At the same time, the West, in my personal opinion, pursues other objectives, participating in the [US-led] coalition. The West, above all, is trying to save the US military industry, attracting finances of the Gulf Arab countries in order to save relevant US companies,” she said.
The top official explained that this is the reason “they say that it will take ten or even twenty years to destroy IS militants.”
“…to destroy 30,000 IS militants the US needs twenty years of war?” she questioned.
Syria which has a history amounting to 10,000 years has seen many conflicts and wars, but it will stand, while IS militants and other terrorist groups are bound to fall, Shaaban said.