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    A member of forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad attempts to erect the Syrian national flag at the Umayyad mosque, in the government-controlled area of Aleppo, during a media tour, Syria December 13, 2016

    Syria Urges US, UK, France to Start Fighting Terrorism Instead of Interfering

    © REUTERS / Omar Sanadiki
    Middle East
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    Countries supporting Syrian opposition militant groups, namely the United States, the United Kingdom, France and "several states in the Middle East," should stop interfering in Syria's internal affairs and join the fight against terrorism, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said Monday.

    DAMASCUS (Sputnik) — According to Mekdad, the priority for Damascus is the fight against radical groups "that are supported by the United States, the United Kingdom, France and several states in the Middle East region".

    "Now we should focus our diplomatic efforts on finding a solution to this problem. The countries interested in [maintaining] the crisis in Syria must stop meddling in its internal affairs and must cooperate in combating terrorism," Mekdad said, as quoted by the SANA news agency.

    Mekdad urged the international community to pressure countries that "support, finance and arm militias in Syria, Iraq and the Middle East in general".

    He also emphasized the necessity to address the ideas of Takfirism, which "are the source of terrorism in the region," and pointed at "the importance of mobilizing efforts of the international community in combating this evil".

    Mekdad added that the level of cooperation between Damascus and Tehran on the issue of fighting terrorism is high and the relations between the countries are strong.

    Earlier this month, Syrian President Bashar Assad said that terrorists operating in Syria are supported by Western states, including France and the United Kingdom.

    The civil war being fought in Syria between government troops and numerous opposition and terrorist organizations like the Islamic State (IS, outlawed in Russia) has been raging for nearly six years. The next round of Syria settlement talks in Geneva are expected to take place on February 23. They follow the talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana, which wrapped up on Thursday with a plenary session.


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