Monday, 25 March 2019

ForMin: Conditions must be created for Syrians' return home

ČTK |
1 February 2016

Cairo, Jan 31 (CTK special correspondent) - Everything must be done for violence to be stopped and Syrians to be able to return home, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek and representatives of the Syrian opposition agreed in Cairo on Sunday, they told journalists.

Zaoralek, on a visit to Egypt, met representatives of the Syrian opposition's Cairo platform.

One of them, Syrian actor Jamal Suleiman, said he believes that Syrian President Bashar Assad should step down and leave his post to new people.

"We want the ongoing Geneva talks to enable the emergence of a representative opposition. It should be a partner in the negotiations aimed at stopping violence and creating conditions for Syrians to return home and start living normal lives," Zaoralek said.

He said he asked the Syrian opposition members on Sunday how they assess the Geneva talks and their chance of success.

Both the Syrians in Cairo and Zaoralek, on behalf of Prague, share the idea of what the basic goals are, Zaoralek said.

"The situation is different when it comes to concrete matters. In this respect, it is evident that reaching a compromise would be very difficult. There is a huge amount of severe wrongs inflicted and even crimes committed," Zaoralek said.

Nevertheless, he and the Syrians in Cairo agreed on the need to end the suffering in Syria, find a consensus that would enable to stage elections and a way to enforce the departure of those who are responsible for the developments in Syria, he said.

Suleiman said the Syrian opposition's main goal is to implement the resolution the U.N. Security Council issued last year, which also seeks an improvement of the humanitarian situation in Syria.

It is necessary for Syria, controlled by a totalitarian regime, to turn into a democratic state. At the same time, it is necessary to fight terrorism, stop the negative influences from many countries that have been pursuing their own fightings and own interests in Syria. It is also necessary to help the people of Syria launch a new future and find a new hope in a democratic state, Suleiman said.

He said he used to support Assad. However, Assad failed to keep his promises, he became a dictator, a protagonist of corruption, and he failed to listen to his own people, Suleiman added.

The Syrian opposition often complains about Russia's involvement in the Syrian war. Moscow launched air strikes on Islamist targets last September. The critics reproach it for also targeting Syrian insurgents, in addition to supporting the Assad regime.

Suleiman said the Russians assert that they attack terrorists. True, everyone wants to fight terrorists, but the problem with the Russians is that their final aim and intention is rather incomprehensible, he said.

Now it seems that the Russian air strikes aim to support the [Assad] regime, he added.

Zaoralek said the Czech Republic assists in tackling the problem of Syria.

"We have been negotiating with all key parties, we are trying to help by the means and methods we have," Zaoralek said.

At present, Czech diplomacy is seeking ways to deliver humanitarian aid to particular regions in Syria that are unaccessible and people are immensely suffering there, he said.

"Maybe the Czech Republic is not a crucial country, but I feel it is our duty to do our utmost," Zaoralek said.

He said there are many Syrians among the refugees streaming to Europe.

"If a solution for Syria were found, if the Syrians knew they can return home, it would definitely be a breakthrough and a change," Zaoralek said.

"The [ongoing] talks in Geneva are of an immense importance for us," he added.

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