MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) cannot take part in efforts to rebuild Syria as early supporters of "terrorists," Syrian President Bashar Assad said in remarks published Tuesday.
"You cannot play that role while you are destroying Syria, because the EU is supporting the terrorists in Syria from the very beginning under different titles: humanitarians, moderate, and so on," Assad said in an interview to Belgian media published on the website of Syria's SANA news service.
He blamed Brussels for providing support to groups including the ex-al-Nusra Front and the outlawed Daesh jihadist group "from the very beginning, they were extremists from the very beginning."
"So, they cannot destroy and build at the same time," Assad said, calling on the EU and NATO to "take a very clear position regarding the sovereignty of Syria [and] stop supporting the terrorists."
While Russia and Iran maintain that the political landscape of the country should be shaped by the Syrian people, Western countries want Assad to resign.