Syrian Official to Al-Ahed: We Offer All Facilities for the Return of Displaced Syrians
Welcome to all the displaced
In an interview with the al-Ahed website, Syria's Assistant Foreign and Expatriates Minister Dr. Ayman Sousan discussed a broad variety of political issues related to the situation in Syria.
He explained the official Syrian positions regarding the return of displaced Syrians abroad and providing special guarantees and facilities. He also underscored the strength of the relationship with allies Iran, the Russian Federation and the brave Islamic Resistance in Lebanon, which he described as "a partner in blood and destiny". Sousan categorically denied the existence of any Russian-Iranian disagreements in and around Syria, stressing the government's commitment to the Syrian sovereign decision and asserting that not a single inch of Syrian territory would remain outside the control of the state.
Welcome to all the displaced
Syria's Assistant Foreign Minister confirmed to al-Ahed that "the Syrians abroad do not need anyone to invite them to return to their homeland."
"It is their right. The state, which has spent a lot on building scientific cadres in a country where education is still free, has lost a lot by the departure of these people. It is rushing their return because they are a national necessity in order to contribute to the reconstruction effort," he said, stressing the readiness of the government to welcome and provide a decent life for all returnees despite the limited resources and difficult conditions plaguing the country.
Sousan also noted that there are several reasons why the displaced left Syria.
"The first to leave are the families of the terrorists in order to create an excuse for external intervention," he added, explaining that others left as a result of "security and economic conditions."
"There are very large numbers of Syrians who went to places under the control of the Syrian government. This shows that most of the displaced people were clinging onto their homeland and their leadership. This was clearly demonstrated by the large number of Syrians who went to the Syrian Embassy in Lebanon during the Syrian presidential elections. This caused great disappointment for some of the political forces that targeted those who exercised their electoral rights. They used racist speech that reflected their deep disappointment with their national orientations," Sousan said.
The Syrian official expressed hope that those displaced would return as the security situation stabilizes and the Syrian army scores more victories. He revealed that some 300,000 Syrians who were displaced abroad have returned to their homes and towns.
"We have been given strict guidance from President Bashar al-Assad to provide a dignified return to these people to their homes," he stated.
As the consular administration of the Syrian Foreign Ministry falls under his direct mandate, Sousan revealed to al-Ahed that he receives more than 50 requests for settlement on a daily basis through Syrian embassies.
"I assure you that 99% of these requests are approved. The remaining one percent is a terrorist whose hands have been stained with blood. Yet we are ready for their return on the condition that they are subjected to a fair trial," Sousan continued. "There is not a single Syrian abroad who cannot obtain official documents, including the most prominent opposition figures, who go to Syrian embassies abroad to obtain passports."
"There are many countries that hinder the return of displaced Syrians on their territory for many reasons. In Jordan, there is a large group of displaced Syrians whose passports have been taken so as not to return to Syria. There are countries practicing the worst kinds of diplomatic-begging under the pretext of having displaced Syrians on its territories. There are countries that demanded the United Nations pay for the streets the Syrians walk on, while others invested and are still investing in displaced Syrians. Turkey has tried to blackmail the West with the issue of the displaced by organizing immigration trips to Europe through its territories."
* The relationship with our allies is well established and solid
Sousan described his country's relationship with Russia and Iran as "well-established, solid and based on the highest degree of mutual respect." He highlighted the respect these allies have for all Syrian sovereign decisions with no interference in the decision-making process both in politics and on the battlefield. He also pointed out that what governs this is "the intersection of interests between the allies and the precise and deep discussions on the feasibility of any looming decision. What belongs to Syria remains one hundred percent Syria's decision."
"Syria's friends and allies respect it. This relationship between us and them is the opposite of the dependency relationship that governs the countries that are moving in the course of American policy," he added.
* There are no Russian-Iranian disagreements in Syria
Sousan unequivocally denied Arab and Western media reports about the supposed existence of Russian-Iranian disagreements over Syria, especially after the recent Russian statements regarding the necessity for foreign forces to withdraw from Syria. He said that the Russians have made these statements but explained them, addressing the necessity for the withdrawal of foreign forces that are illegally present in Syria. This applies to the Americans, the Turks, the French and others who entered Syria illegally. But those who came under the request of the official government of Syria, their presence is legitimate and flawless."
"I refer you to President Rouhani's recent remarks when he praised the Russian-Iranian cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism in Syria and what he has also received from President Putin in this context," he added.
Sousan also pointed to a recent statement by His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah regarding the presence of the Islamic Resistance in Syria, "which accurately expressed the Syrian government's view and His Eminence's respect for its sovereignty and resistance."
Sousan stressed that the Iranian presence in Syria is limited to advisers, adding that "the strategic relationship with Iran preceded the presence of these advisers and remained with them. It is still strong and increased since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. We know how friends in Iran think and how keen they are on Syria, which is the basis and pillar of the resistance axis that our Iranian brothers want to remain solid, strong and sovereign. This is what keeps the axis solid in the face of all the threats against it. "
Sousan pointed out that there are many speculating about the Syrian-Iranian-Russian relationship and spreading rumors about it. But in fact, they are only wishing. Their wishes will never come true.
* Prospects for a political solution
Regarding the prospects for a political solution to the persisting crisis in Syria - despite the great victories achieved by the Syrian Arab Army, which are expected to accelerate the pace of this solution - Sousan stressed that it is very difficult for the countries behind the aggression to admit defeat and recognize it. He confirmed that the Syrian government is involved in discussions with a "diverse opposition that carries the agendas of their Saudi, Turkish, American and Qatari operators" He added that the use of the terms "loyalists and opposition" is incorrect in the Syrian case.
"There are those who are patriotic and non- patriotic. When you support the ‘Muslim Brotherhood', the Turkish occupation of Afrin and when Hariri congratulates the tripartite aggression on Syria, we are honoring them when we call them opposition. The more accurate term is that they are traitors in every sense of the word," the Syrian official emphasized.
"The Syrian government is ready to provide all guarantees to those who want to participate in a Syrian-Syrian dialogue convened in Damascus," Sousan told al-Ahed and highlighted the sincere desire for dialogue with any Syrian who has "a vision to reach a better Syria at a time when the operators of the Syrian opposition want dialogue to end with the Syrian government handing over power. This will not be achieved. What they were unable to achieve on the battlefield, they won't be able to achieve in politics."
* Not one inch of Syrian territory will not be outside state control
As for the battle in southern Syria and the mechanism to restore it - whether through war or negotiation - Sousan underlined the Syrian government's unwillingness to shed a single drop of blood if it found a solution. The south is a zone of de-escalation between the US, Russia and Jordan. In addition to the south, there are occupied territories in Idlib and the northeast. But in principle and in the end, there will not be a single inch of Syrian territory outside the control of the Syrian state - whether they liked it or not. He added that any illegitimate foreign presence on Syrian territory must "leave and if they do not, they will be forced to leave." According to Sousan, this applies to the US forces.
"All options are open to expel them. International laws give us the right to do so."