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'We Stand for Unity': Damascus Opposes Federalization, Partition of Syria

© Sputnik / Valeriy Melnikov / Go to the photo bankPortrait of President Bashar al-Assad on the Bank of Syria building in Damascus.
Portrait of President Bashar al-Assad on the Bank of Syria building in Damascus. - Sputnik International
Syria's leadership opposes the partition of the republic and does not support the idea of the country's federalization, Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said Saturday.

DAMASCUS (Sputnik) — On Friday, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said that Syria's federalization could be one of the issues discussed at the upcoming peace talks in Geneva.

"I tell you as a Syrian citizen: we are against the idea of federalization. We stand for the unity of Syria's territory and its public," the minister said at a press conference in Damascus.

Russia has been repeatedly saying that reserving Syria's territorial integrity was a critically important issue for the majority of states taking part in the process to settle the Syrian crisis.

Soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA). File photo - Sputnik International
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Last month, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow would support the establishment of a federal republic in Syria if the Syrians themselves decided that that is what is best for their country.

In February, Russia and the United States reached an agreement on the cessation of hostilities in Syria. The ceasefire took effect on February 27. The agreement does not apply to groups operating in Syria that are designated as terrorist organizations by the United Nations.

Even before the ceasefire was implemented, Washington had expressed skepticism about the successful implementation of the agreement, warning that violations would likely occur that may necessitate reverting to a Plan B for Syria that could include the partitioning of the country.

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