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No elections can be held in Syria while the country is gripped with terrorism

October 02, 2015, 21:58 UTC+3
The government could not ask the Syrians to go to the polls when they can feel safe neither in the streets nor at homes, Syria's foreign minister says
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Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Muallem

Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Muallem

© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

THE UNITED NATIONS, October 2. /TASS/. Syria's government will not be able to hold elections or amend the constitution until the country defeats terrorism, Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Muallem told a political discussion held within the framework of the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Friday.

Syria’s government continues to appeal for a political settlement of the conflict basing "on the opinion, which has proved its rightness, that the struggle against terrorism is top priority for promotion in other aspects," Muallem said.

"Syria cannot undertake any democratic political steps related to holding elections, changing the constitution or any others until terrorism continues to mount strikes on our land and to threaten innocent civilians," Muallem said noting that the government could not ask "the Syrians to go to the polls when they can feel safe neither in the streets nor at homes."

Also, Muallem noted that Damascus still believes in success of a political settlement "on the basis of well-known parameters" which envisage "the preservation of national sovereignty, the unity of the Syrian territory and the people" and better work of current agencies of power.

"The only way to reach political settlement is to launch a political dialogue within Syria, without any foreign interference," the Syrian foreign minister said recalling that on the basis of these parameters the Syrian government had agreed to participate in the Geneva-2 international conference and also in two rounds of intra-Syrian consultations held in Moscow and at present was prepared to join preparations for a new meeting in Switzerland.

"Syria has agreed to take part in the work of four conciliation committees of experts, [UN Secretary General’s] Special Representative [for Syria] Staffan de Mistura had offered," Muallem said. "Mr de Mistura has reiterated that the main goal of these committees is an exchange of views and that they will include free preliminary consultations. The results of these consultations may be used for preparing the Gevena-3 talks."

Along with this, Muallem warned Damascus’ opponents that they should refrain from thoughts "they would achieve at the negotiating table more than in the battlefield."

Syria’s future "lies in the Syrians’ hands and nobody can strip them of the right."

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