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Syria presidential election starting point in political settlement — minister

June 04, 2014, 14:09 UTC+3 DAMASCUS
Syrina foreign minister emphasized that “the voting was honest and transparent”
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Syrian Foreign Minister Wallid Muallem

Syrian Foreign Minister Wallid Muallem

© EPA/SANA/HANDOUT

DAMASCUS, June 04 /ITAR-TASS/. The presidential elections held in Syria on Tuesday will be a starting point in political settlement in the Middle East country, Syrian Foreign Minister Wallid Muallem said in an interview with Al Mayadeen TV channel on Wednesday.

Syria held its first presidential elections on an alternative basis on Tuesday. Among the candidates were two opposition representatives and incumbent head of state Bashar Assad. According to sociologists, more than 70% of Syria's electorate (some 11 million people) were ready to support Assad.

Muallem said that Syria “is returning to a safe coast to start after-war reconstruction and come to a comprehensive national accord.”

“Let me repeat what I said in Geneva: no one will be able to impose one’s will upon the Syrian people who will determine their future themselves, no matter whether external forces want this or not,” the foreign minister said.

Muallem appeared in public for the first time after undergoing a heart surgery in March. He voted at the polling station located in the Foreign Ministry building.

The 73-year-old chief of Syria’s diplomacy headed the government delegation at two rounds of the inter-Syrian talks in Geneva on January 24-31 and February 10-16.

The Syrian people “has freely exercised its right through democratic elections and granted legitimacy to the person who will run the country,” Muallem said, adding “the voting was honest and transparent.”

“The Syrians voted despite threats and the danger of mortar fire and terrorist acts,” the foreign minister said, praising citizens’ courage.

“Many electors moved from dangerous zones to the areas controlled by the Syrian army to exercise their constitutional right,” Muallem said.

Military expert Hussein Murtada said that the Syrian Air Force had made the main contribution on Tuesday to frustrating militants’ plans around Damascus.

He said the armed opposition had planned to shell Damascus with “thousands of projectiles” to disrupt voting. In the past twenty-four hours, about 50 mines exploded in the city, At least one person was killed and seven others were wounded in the Dzherman suburb while only property damage was inflicted in other Damascus suburbs, he said.

Syrian pilots attacked the enemy positions from the air in Daraya, Mlieha and Dzhubar, from which chaotic fire at the capital was conducted, the military expert said.

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