Assad: Peace depends on stopping support for terrorists

Peace talks in Astana are not the primary means to end the war in Syria, President Bashar Al-Assad said, adding that support for terrorist groups must stop in order to achieve peace.

State news agency SANA quoted Al-Assad saying: “If you want to talk about how to see the peace, it’s not related mainly to Astana; it’s related to something much bigger: how can we stop the flowing of the terrorists toward Syria, or in Syria, how can we stop the support from regional countries like Turkey, Gulf states, or from Europe like France and UK, or from the US during the Obama administration.”

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“Now it’s too early to judge Astana, the first one was positive because it was about the principles of the unity of Syria, about the Syrians deciding their future,” he said, stressing that the ceasefire “is not dead… it’s natural in every ceasefire anywhere in the world, in every war, in any conflict, to have these breaches.”

Answering whether it was possible to avoid a civil war from the start, Assad said: “No, because there was bad intention regarding the different countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, France, UK, and the US in order to destabilize Syria, so it wasn’t about the Syrians.”