Speaker Abbas, State Minister Haidar meet European parliamentary delegation

Damascus, SANA- Speaker of the People’s Assembly Hadiyeh Abbas on Saturday met a European parliamentary delegation headed by Deputy Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs Javier Couso.

During the meeting Abbas stressed the need for continuing cooperation and communication among parliaments that support peace around the world, saying “we count on the role of European MPs and experts to correct European policies toward the terrorism affecting Syria and revise these policies that contributed to the spread of terrorism and extremism in the world.

The Speaker said that victory over terrorism requires serious international and regional cooperation, controlling borders, spreading the culture of moderation and tolerance, combating extremism, and holding the sides and states that arm, fund, and promote terrorism accountable for their actions.

She asserted that Europe needs to change its erroneous policy towards Syria and cooperate with it in counter-terrorism, noting that the large number of European fighting in the ranks of ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra constitute a real threat to European security if their return to their countries of origin.

Abbas also stressed that the coercive and unilateral economic sanctions imposed on Syria cause major harm to Syrian civilians, calling on the delegation members to relay the truth about what they witnessed in Syria.

For his part, Couso said that he worked along with other delegation members to resume relations between the European Parliament and the People’s Assembly, and that they won’t stop working to achieve this.

He and other delegation members also congratulated Syria for the victories achieved in Aleppo, Palmyra, the gas fields in Homs countryside, and al-Figeh spring in Damascus Countryside.

Couso also held a press conference after the meeting in which condemned the terrorist bombings that took place in Damascus Today on his own behalf and on behalf of the delegation members, offering condolences to the victims’ families.

He said that the delegation witnessed firsthand the effects of the sanctions imposed on Syria, and upon their return to Europe they will announce their opposition of these sanctions because they affect primarily children and elderly people and violate international law, adding that during his visit to Aleppo, he saw no European aid being provided to locals, noting that the media stopped talking about Aleppo after its liberation despite the fact that it needs help in the fields of reconstruction and aid.

Couso hoped that this visit will help resolve the crisis in Syria and restore relations between Syria and Europe, noting that there has been no political change in the European Parliament’s policy regarding Syria and the issue of refugees, which shows that European establishments still contribute to destabilizing the region.

In the same context, the delegation met with the Arab and Foreign Affairs Committee at the People’s Assembly, discussing the importance of conveying the true image of events in Syria to the European public opinion without distortion and disinformation.

The Committee also briefed the delegation on the services provided by the government to citizens and the plans for reconstruction in the country.

Head of the Committee Boutros Merjaneh said that the terrorist war waged on Syria is not only on the military level, but is also a media war aimed at distorting reality, while the Committee members called on the delegation members to work to lift the sanctions imposed on the Syrian.

In turn, Couso said the visit seeks to convey the reality of the events in Syria and to cooperate to find a political solution for the crisis in it, noting that the delegation witnessed firsthand the situation in Aleppo city on Friday.

Later in the evening, the delegation met State Minister for National Reconciliation Affairs Ali Haidar, who briefed the delegation on the local reconciliations project, affirming that fighting terrorism and carrying out local reconciliations former the proper foundation for launching a political process, and that this upset some of those who draw European states’ policies and foiled their agendas.

Haidar said that most European states adopted policies that were detached from reality and not independent since the beginning of the crisis in Syria, and they went on to escalate the situation by supporting terrorist organizations.

He said that experience and facts show that those who wanted to isolate Syria ended up isolating themselves and made themselves hostage to the American side, adding that Europe’s disregard for the truth, use of double standards, and providing a political umbrella to terrorists allowed Turkey to blackmail Europe.

In a statement to the press after the meeting, Haidar said that the delegation has a clear vision about the situation in Syria, noting that delegations that visit Syria are surprised to find out that reality is different from what Western media portrays.

For his part, Couso said that he was informed about the State Ministry’s work mechanism, saying that its approach are close to ministries seen in Latin America and this is an indicator that such initiatives are effective.

Shaza / Hazem Sabbagh

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