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DAMASCUS, March 27. /TASS/. National reconciliation efforts started in Syria more than a year ago, Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview with Russia media outlets.
"We started the national reconciliation endeavors over a year ago, or maybe two years ago. It is a parallel track to the political solution. As I said, every problem has a political solution. But the political solution is usually long, and might be slow, and there might be obstacles which hinder the process or push it towards failure, although this failure might be temporary," Assad said.
"But every day innocent people die in Syria, and we cannot wait for the political solution to materialize in order to protect people’s lives. So, we have to move on other tracks. Of course, there is the track of fighting terrorists and eliminating them. But there has been a third track which consists of national reconciliation attempts," he said.
"They include returning people to their neighborhoods, and armed men leaving these neighborhoods, or remaining without their weapons in order for them to return to their normal lives," Assad said.
"In this case, the state offers amnesty to those and brings them back to their normal lives. Part of this process is releasing a number of prisoners. So, this is part of national reconciliation. What happened yesterday is part of this endeavor which has proved so far that it is the most important track," he said.
"The truth is that national reconciliation in Syria has achieved great results, and led to the improvement of security conditions for many Syrian people in different parts of the country," the Syrian president said.
"So, what happened yesterday comes within this framework, and we will continue this policy which has proved successful until progress is achieved on the political track which we hope will be achieved in this consultative meeting in Moscow next April," he said.