08:01 GMT +316 October 2019
Listen Live
    Ali Haidar, the Syrian Minister for Reconciliation Affairs

    US Worried About Military Actions Not Political Settlement: Syrian Minister

    © AP Photo /
    Middle East
    Get short URL
    0 24
    Subscribe

    The US is preoccupied with military actions in the Middle East and not the political settlement of the crisis in Syria, Syrian Minister for National Reconciliation Affairs Ali Haidar said Tuesday.

    DAMASCUS, December 16 (Sputnik) — The United States is preoccupied with military actions in the Middle East and not the political settlement of the crisis in Syria, Syrian Minister for National Reconciliation Affairs Ali Haidar said Tuesday.

    “The American side is not operating in political settlement, it’s preoccupied with military actions it is carrying out in the region and is busy with other tasks in in other regions of the world, so it’s currently extremely distant from the initiative of political settlement,” Haidar said in an exclusive interview with RIA Novosti.

    The United States with support from some of its allies began airstrikes in September against the Islamic State in Syria, which have since spread into Iraq.

    The United States introduced the airstrikes without the permission of Damascus.

    Inter-Syrian Talks in Moscow Exclude US Role

    The United States has not been included as a mediator in Syrian reconciliation talks in Moscow, Syrian National Reconciliation Affairs Minister Ali Haidar said Tuesday.

    “The United States is one of those countries that doesn’t support the Geneva-3 [talks on Syria]. In regard to this, Russia’s position and suggestions are far from any US participation in the talks; however, the United States shouldn’t create any difficulties in holding [talks in Moscow],” Haidar said in an exclusive interview with RIA Novosti.

    US Secretary of State spokeswoman Jen Psaki said earlier that the United States needs to acquaint itself with the goals and agenda of possible inter-Syrian talks in Moscow before deciding on its participation.

    Russia insists on resuming reconciliation talks between the opposing sides in Syria and has proposed hosting the new round of consultations in Moscow.

    When asked about the possibility of a meeting between the Syrian and US representatives in Moscow, Haidar said that it will not happen.

    “There is no such possibility, because the American side is not operating in political settlement, it’s preoccupied with military actions it is carrying out in the region and is busy with other tasks in in other regions of the world, so it’s currently extremely distant from the initiative of political settlement,” Haidar said in the interview.

    Russia’s Offer to Host Talks on Syrian Reconciliation ‘Impulse’ for New Efforts

    Russia's proposal to host a conference on ending the crisis in Syria has provided an "impulse" to find a new way to solve the country's current problems, Syrian Minister of State for National Reconciliation Affairs Ali Haidar told RIA Novosti Tuesday.

    "The proposal gave an impulse for searching ways to solve the problem. It feels like from the side of political powers, official and non-official, double efforts are now applied," Haidar said, adding that Syria welcomes Russia's initiative to host the conference.

    The minister said that, while no exact date has been set for the meeting, the situation is so urgent that the Syrian Foreign Ministry and the Russian President's Special Representative for Africa and the Middle East, Mikhail Bogdanov, may decide on a date very soon.

    Russia has insisted on resuming reconciliation talks between the opposing sides in Syria. Two previous rounds of reconciliation talks, held in Geneva in 2012 and January 2014 and involving the Syrian government, opposition forces and international mediators, failed to produce a practical solution to end the violence.

    Syrian Army to Free Aleppo by Force If Militants Do Not Surrender

    Government troops will invade the northwestern Syrian city of Aleppo by force unless the surrounded militants lay down their weapons, Syrian Minister for National Reconciliation Affairs Ali Haidar said Tuesday.

    “We will move onto the next step as we did with the city of Homs and other places. The idea is a peaceful negotiation within the region and disarming the militants,” Haidar said in an exclusive interview with RIA Novosti.

    According to the Syrian minister, if the militants refuse to find a peaceful solution, then “the [government] army will continue its actions.”

    “[The army] has a specific task: to clear each region in Syria of terrorists and terrorism,” he said.

    On Monday, a source in the Syrian Army told Sputnik that Syrian government forces had encircled the country's northwestern city of Aleppo, which is currently controlled by anti-government militants, and had taken control over strategically important areas in the city.

    In October, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said that a ceasefire in Aleppo would contribute to a peaceful settlement across all Syria.

    However, Haidar said that in order to implement his idea, Staffan de Mistura will have to influence the other groups that are either directly or indirectly involved in the Syrian conflict, including Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The minister expressed certainty that militant groups currently operating in Aleppo are controlled and funded from abroad.

    “The grounds for victory are not simply tied to the decision of the Syrian government because they are also tied to agreements with everyone else as well as Mr. de Mistrura’s spirit in his decisiveness in influencing other governments that are involved in the Syrian conflict like Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia in taking a clear position,” Haidar said in an exclusive interview with RIA Novosti.

    He suggested that it is his belief that certain countries have not promised to cease financing or arming militants fighting in Syria.

    Idea of Freezing Conflict Zone Not Dependent on Syria Alone

    Syria’s decision on UN mediator Staffan de Mistura’s initiative on creating frozen conflict zones will depend on the positions of Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, Syrian Minister for National Reconciliation Affairs Ali Haidar said Tuesday.

    “The grounds for victory are not simply tied to the decision of the Syrian government because they are also tied to agreements with everyone else as well as Mr. de Mistrura’s spirit in his decisiveness in influencing other governments that are involved in the Syrian conflict like Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia in taking a clear position,” Haidar said in an exclusive interview with RIA Novosti.

    “Some countries like Turkey have not accepted de Mistura’s [initiative]. Other countries have not given guarantees to cease financing or arming [militants]. The coalition that gets its orders from the United States have begun to set unacceptable conditions to change the essence of [de Mistura’s] ideas, so there is great difficulty from various sides, but not from the Syrian government,” Haidar said.

    Related:

    Islamic State Extremists Train Five-Year-Olds for Combat in Syria: UN
    Al-Nusra Islamists Seize Military Camp in Northwestern Syria: Reports
    About 300 Chinese Nationals Fighting Alongside Islamic State in Iraq, Syria
    US Senator Urges Obama Not to Send Troops to Syria
    Tags:
    Daesh, Syria, United States
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik