Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Dr. Fayssal Mikdad affirmed that Syria is determined to eliminate the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), calling upon western countries to acknowledge the new reality by joining the battle against terrorism and ending their support for terrorists.
In an interview given to the Guardian on Monday, Mikdad said that the only way to resolve the situation is to work with the Syrian government, noting that several countries are now seeking security cooperation with Damascus, but security cannot be separated from policy.
“Deep down, they know that what they did is a grievous crime against the Syrian people,” he said, adding that the belief of some sides back in 2011 that they can undermine the Syrian government within a few weeks resulted in the growth of terrorism in Syria, something which now threatens the security of European countries, and now they’ve come to realize that what is happening in Syria isn’t a revolution but a threat to Europe.
On the allegations that there’s a relation between the Syrian government and ISIS and in response to those who claim that Syria isn’t doing its best to combat groups like it, Mikdad said that the extremist from Jabhat al-Nusra, ISIS, and the so-called “free army” are killing each other and fighting over influence and expansion, adding “do you think we’d feel sad about that?”
Mikdad said that the Syrian Army has its priorities, and it will decide what to do next, adding that the situation in general in Syria is improving, and the British, the Americans, the French, and the Europeans in general must change their course and adapt to developments in Syria, and they must also respect the Syrian people’s will, saying “I hope this will happen, although I have my doubts about it.”
He also criticized the support provided to terrorists in Syria by the Al Saud authorities in Saudi Arabia, the Al Thani authorities in Qatar, and the government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Mikdad stressed that Syria still wants to reach a political solution despite the failure of the Geneva 2 talks, but only after terrorism is routed.
On the appointment of Staffan de Mistura as the successor of UN envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, Mikdad said that de Mistura should remain neutral and understand the new reality following the presidential elections in Syria.
On speculations regarding reaching an agreement over the Iranian nuclear file and its possible effect on relations between Tehran and Damascus, the Deputy Foreign Minister said that Syria’s isn’t worried about any rapprochement between Iran and the US or Europe, voicing full confidence in the Iranian leadership and the strategic nature of the Syrian-Iranian relations.
On the British policy towards Syria, Mikdad said that the British policy in this regard is foolish, and that it must apologize for supporting armed groups and cooperate with Syria to combat terrorism, adding that it’s up to British Prime Minister David Cameron to stop the British individuals coming to fight in Syria, and that it’s unfortunate that British people are coming to Syria to be killed and to kill Syrians.
He said that the British government adopts extremist opinions on Syria, and that it still believes or rather dreams that its pawns the Muslim Brotherhood and other violent jihadist takfiri groups are capable of realizing the change this government wants.
Mikdad noted that the UK Parliament has been more ahead in analyzing matters than the British government which wanted to attack Syria after it attacked and destroyed Iraq, adding that while Syria had its viewpoints regarding Saddam Hussein, it was against the British-US aggression on Iraq, the results of which can be seen now, along with the results of their attack on Libya where there is no government anymore and where terrorism grows and is exported to neighboring countries and to Europe.
Referring to what the BBC revealed recently about a plan made in 2013 by the British Defense Ministry planned to train 100,000 terrorists and to fight the Syrian army, Mikdad said “we knew that Britain was deeply involved in the attacks and crimes committed in Syria, and we’re confident that more information will surface soon and reveal the depth of the British government’s involvement.”