Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has thanked his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for supporting Damascus in its decade-long struggle in opposition to rebels and jihadis regardless of financial and political isolation by the West.
During a cellphone name Monday, the Syrian chief mentioned with the Russian president “bilateral relations between the Syrian Arab Republic and the Russian Federation, especially on the economic and commercial levels, in addition to joint cooperation in facing the coronavirus pandemic, and Russia’s determination to supply additional vaccines to help the Syrian people face this pandemic,” in accordance with a readout revealed by Assad’s workplace.
Syria has sought vaccine help from Russia, China and the United Nations‘ COVAX international vaccination initiative because the nation’s overlapping crises are compounded by COVID-19. Syria stays topic to intensive sanctions by the United States and European allies who’ve accused Assad of committing human rights abuses all through the battle, however Moscow has frequently defended Damascus.
Assad, throughout his name with Putin, “expressed his thanks for the humanitarian aid provided by Russia to the Syrian people to help them overcome the effects of the unjust blockade imposed on them.”
The Syrian head of state additionally mentioned a lot of different points, akin to ongoing efforts associated to the institution of a Syrian Constitutional Committee “and the Western pressure exerted on it to divert it from its course.”
He touched upon different points associated to Russia’s overseas affairs, and “expressed Syria’s support for Russia in the face of escalation attempts by Western countries, especially with regard to the situation in Ukraine,” the place the U.S. and European allies not too long ago raised the alarm amid stories that Russia was deploying tens of hundreds of troops alongside the delicate conflict-ridden border between the 2 international locations.
Such accusations “target the role of Russia and its policies, which are based on the necessity of respect and rule of international law in order to achieve stability in the world,” Assad mentioned.
The Kremlin additionally revealed an account of the decision, in which it mentioned the 2 males held “an in-depth discussion on the topical issues on the bilateral agenda, above all the prospects for further development of trade, economic and cultural ties, as well as cooperation in countering the coronavirus infection, including supplies of Russian vaccines.”
The Russian aspect took word of Assad’s appreciation, saying he “expressed his deep gratitude to Russia for the comprehensive aid and support being provided to the Syrian people.” The report referenced the Syrian Constitutional Committee as effectively, together with subsequent month’s upcoming election, the first-ever in which a girl has reportedly utilized.
The election is barely the second in the nation’s historical past to characteristic different candidates, in addition to the second in which different candidates are featured. Like his father, who dominated from 1971 till his dying in 2000, Assad has by no means gained with lower than 90% of the vote, with most contests seeing the chief purchase past 99% of the ballots in elections ceaselessly criticized by Western observers as neither free nor honest.
Assad’s rule noticed its first main problem through the Arab Spring motion that spurred mass protests throughout the area. As clashes between demonstrators and safety forces devolved into civil struggle, the U.S. and a lot of its regional allies and companions started to help the insurgency in opposition to the federal government, which ultimately acquired help from Iran and Russia, particularly because the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) started to unfold all through the nation.
The Syrian authorities has since restored management over the vast majority of the nation, with a couple of third of the nation in the arms of a largely Kurdish U.S.-backed militia referred to as the Syrian Democratic Forces that additionally fought ISIS. Opposition factions proceed to carry pockets of territory throughout the border with Turkey, the final main overseas backer of insurgent teams.
Ten years after the struggle in Syria broke out, violence continues between numerous factions in spite of efforts by Russia, Iran and Turkey to safe a viable peace course of. Last month, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres expressed remorse at a scarcity of progress made towards the Syrian Constitutional Committee undertaking.
The path is certainly one of many tried in a bid to appreciate a ceasefire and political settlement in Syria in line with U.N. Security Council decision 2254, first adopted in December 2015. The decision continues to be backed by main powers concerned in the struggle, together with the U.S.
A State Department spokesperson told Newsweek in February that the U.S. “is dedicated to a political settlement in line with UNSCR 2254 to finish the battle in Syria, in shut session with our allies, companions, and the U.N.”
At the identical time, the spokesperson mentioned President Joe Biden‘s administration “would use the tools at our disposal, including economic pressure, to push for meaningful reform and accountability for the Assad regime.”
Washington additionally stays concerned in the struggle in opposition to ISIS.
“The United States and the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS continue to work with our increasingly capable local partners to maintain constant pressure on ISIS remnants in Syria to ensure ISIS’s lasting defeat,” the spokesperson mentioned.
In addition to focusing on ISIS, the Biden has administration has additionally carried out strikes on targets suspected of being tied to Iran. The president ordered strikes in February in opposition to what the Pentagon referred to as Iran-backed militias in japanese Syria in retaliation for a rocket assault in which a U.S. contractor died.
In feedback sent to Newsweek last month, Syria’s everlasting mission to the United Nations warned such strikes “will lead to consequences that will escalate the situation in the region and threaten peace and security.”
Such a transfer, the mission argued, “sends a negative signal of the new administration’s policies and its persistent endeavor to implement the law of force instead of the force of law in continuation of the previous US administrations’ approach in dealing with the regional and international crises in the world.”
Last month, Moscow’s embassy in Washington mentioned it left the door open for “cooperation between Russia and the U.S. in Syria,” however solely “in providing humanitarian assistance to those in need, countering terrorism and pushing forward political process with a common goal to achieve peace.”
The embassy additionally referred to as for the U.S. to recalibrate its stance.
“We sincerely hope that the new administration will try to rethink previous strategies on Syria,” the embassy told Newsweek at the time. “It is important to cease the cruel sanction campaign against the Syrian people and put an end to illegal military presence in the Arab Republic.”