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Opinions & Interviews

11 May 2017

Bashar al-Assad: Syria-Belarus relationship continues, based on common interest

Bashar al-Assad: Syria-Belarus relationship continues, based on common interest

MINSK, 11 May (BelTA) - Relations and cooperation between Syria and Belarus continue, based on the common interests, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview with the ONT TV channel aired on 11 May, BelTA has learned.

The Syrian President recalled that in his last visit to Belarus, a few months before the war, there were broad-ranging economic agreements. “The war came and obstructed everything. But recently, and after meetings held by the joint Syrian-Belarus committee, and after a visit paid by the Belarus Industry Minister a few weeks ago, some aspects of that agreement were reactivated and a number of deals benefiting the two parties were agreed,” the Syrian president said.

The export of the first match of MAZ spare parts will start in the next few months in order to be assembled in Syria. “It is, of course, just the beginning. The main thing is that the wheels start turning,” said the Syrian President.

According to him, the responsibility is the main principle that Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and the Belarusian state are guided by. “We have had strong relationship with Belarus since the times of the USSR. This relationship still continues, based on the common interests,” President Bashar al-Assad said.

The Syrian President also stressed the consistent position of Belarus towards conflicts in the world, including in Syria. “You are the country that honors the obligations. Belarus says the same thing today it said at the beginning of the crisis,” he said. “This is essential for playing a role in any crisis. And this is what we need in Syria,” the Syrian president noted.

“Today we need to keep in mind the new global threat – terrorism. What is more important is to examine the mentality that underlies terrorism. What was the mentality behind Nazism, which was defeated by the Soviet people? The Belarus people were an essential component of the nations which fought and sacrificed themselves in that war. Why did Nazism appear? What did it want? It wanted to dominate the world, to cancel the others out. The war fought today by our people is not only against the terrorists, but also against those who sponsor terrorism,” the Syrian president noted.

He said that Syrians are a very patriotic people who became even more united protecting the national unity. “I have always been, before the war and during it, one of the sons of the Syrian people. I have not lived in separation from it. Had the Syrian people felt differently, that this president or this official is fighting battles for his personal interests, they would not have supported him for one single day,” Bashar al-Assad said.

The Syrian president is sure that the politician must first take into account the interests of its citizens, and not worry about external assessments. “We should not pay attention to what they say. What is important is the relationship between a politician and people of his country. I can make concessions in personal issues but not in the matters of sovereignty, national interests, the Constitution and the independence,” the president said.

Bashar al-Assad also said that the return of refugees is very important for Syria. “We always call on the refugees to return to Syria. As to the timing, every time is an appropriate time for any group of refugees to return. There are no obstacles in this regard; and the state is trying its best to provide the necessary services for those who are displaced inside Syria, and outside Syria,” the Syrian president said.

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