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    Syrian government delegation headed by Bashar al-Jaafari attends a news conference after a meeting on Syria at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, March 16, 2016

    Syrian Delegation Urges Europe to Stop Meddling in Syria Internal Affairs

    © REUTERS / Denis Balibouse
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    Bashar Jaafari, head of the Syrian government delegation to the Geneva peace talks, has called on the West to stop interfering in Syria’s internal affairs.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The intra-Syrian talks to settle the five-year civil war in Syria were resumed in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 14.

    "Firstly it [Europe] must stop interfering in Syria’s internal affairs. Secondly it must lift the sanctions imposed on the Syrian people," Jaafari told Euronews on Friday, adding that European embassies in Damascus must be reopened so that Westerners can "witness, first hand what is going on and not rely on opposition sources for their information. Europe is guilty of many strategic mistakes."

    According to Jaafari, the Syrian opposition is pursuing a Western agenda, the focus of which is to get Syrian President Bashar Assad to leave office.

    "We said that there was outside interference in Syrian affairs. The latest events have confirmed our words to all those who doubted them," Jaafari told Euronews, adding that reports from the UN Security Council confirm that "there is trafficking of weapons across the Jordanian and Turkish border…there is evidence about the problems in Syria confirming, no doubt that there is terrorism that comes from outside, and funded from outside the country, which makes entry into Syria easier."

    Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with government forces loyal to president Assad fighting against numerous opposition factions, including the Western-backed, so-called "moderate" opposition, as well as extremist groups, such as Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front) outlawed in a number of countries worldwide including Russia.

    On February 22, Russia and the United States reached an agreement on a ceasefire in Syria, which took effect at midnight on February 27. The ceasefire does not apply to terrorist organizations operating in Syria.

    The United States and Russia have remained at odds over the future of the current Syrian government and President Assad. Washington insists that Assad leave office while Moscow is committed to strengthening Assad’s role in fighting Daesh and other terrorist groups.

    Russia has also repeatedly called on Turkey to stop facilitating arms shipments across the border with Syria.

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    Syrian opposition, Bashar al-Assad, Syria
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