10:15 GMT29 October 2020
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    The crisis in Syria cannot be resolved by the US, the European Union or the West in general unless they are willing to negotiate with President Bashar al-Assad, according to French parliamentarian Jean-Frederic Poisson, the Syrian Arab News Agency reports.

    Poisson, the president of France's conservative Christian Democratic Party, made the point during his meeting with Syrian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Jihad al-Laham in Damascus on Saturday, noting that Europeans are being misinformed and misled about the nature of events taking place in Syria.

    "I came to Syria to see for myself what is actually happening, so that I may share my opinion in the debates presently taking place in France on the nature of the crisis here," Poisson said.

    Noting that there cannot be a sustainable solution to the crisis unless the cohesion of the Syrian state is maintained, Poisson emphasized that he has long been "one of a group of French politicians who [have always said] that dialogue and negotiation must be held with President al-Assad to resolve the Syrian crisis."

    The politician noted that he was particularly concerned about the fate of Syria's Christian minority, stating that he wanted to discuss with Syrian officials the measures being taken to protect them, and asked what Syria expects from France and Europe in this regard. 

    Speaker al-Laham responded by noting that protecting Christians throughout the Middle East necessitates protecting all people as a whole and supporting efforts against terrorism and the ideologies that drive it. The Speaker also criticized the French leadership's policy of providing arms to Syrian opposition groups, which he said was one of "the gravest of mistakes in history." 

    Al-Laham also argued that the war against ISIL terrorism will prove fruitless unless Damascus and Baghdad actively cooperate and coordinate their efforts, within the framework of the Security Council's resolutions, adding that Syria is 'more open than ever before' to cooperating with national, regional and international institutions' anti-terrorism efforts, so long as they are honest and respect the sovereignty of the Syrian state.

    During last week's BRICS Summit in Ufa Russia, the association's leaders reiterated their support for all efforts to find a political solution to the crisis in Syria, referring to the meetings between Syrian government and opposition forces held recently in Moscow, and the efforts of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura.

    BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organization leaders also agreed on the need to unite efforts to combat ISIL, Jabhat al-Nusra and other international terrorist organizations, which they referred to as an "absolute evil." Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov emphasized that it's not politically acceptable "for terrorists to be used as temporary allies in order to isolate a particular political regime, which is what we have seen being done in Syria."

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    Tags:
    Daesh, France, negotiations, terrorism, civil war, visit, cooperation, French parliament, Al-Nusra Front, Jean-Frederic Poisson, Mohammad Jihad al-Laham, Bashar al-Assad, Syria
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