BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:30 P.M.) – Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem stated that Turkey should understand that Idlib province is part of the Syrian state, during an interview to RT aired on Saturday in Moscow.
“At first, the international community should admit the Idlib province is part of Syria and the Syrian state has to have its territories back. No one has a right to prevent it. At second, as the President Bashar Al-Assad stated, the priority at this moment is to liberate Idlib whether be reconciliation, which is more preferable, or with the help of army. At third, it’s clear that Jabhat al-Nusra, which is the most important organization in Idlib, is put on the list of terror agents by the United Nations Security Council. So, Syria along with its allies believes Idlib should be liberated either by reconciliation or by force of arms. In order to protect civilians from dangerous acts of military nature we opened a humanitarian corridor through Abu al-Ẓuhur aerodrome. This corridor has been open for a week. We welcomed hundreds of Syrian families who came from Idlib to the provinces controlled by the Syrian army. So, I state that if it would be necessary to apply force, it would be necessary to resist Jabhat al-Nusra. Speaking of these units which want to settle this conflict, they should declare their position and carry out further obligations.”
The Syrian Foreign Minister also mentioned the talks between Russian and Saudi Foreign Ministers Sergei Lavrov and Adel Al-Jubeir which took place in August in Moscow.
Muallem expressed his content regarding “the new language used to determine Saudi Arabia’s position” on Syria.
“The first thing I heard during the [Russian Foreign Minister Sergei] Lavrov and [Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Adel] Al-Jubeir is the new language used to determine Saudi Arabia’s position. We welcome this belated fact. Regarding the talks with the Turkish side [between Russia and Turkey], they goe on and will end up with a trilateral summit which is to take place on September 7 in Tehran. Let’s wait for the outcome. No doubts, the common ground between Russia and Turkey is vital. We are not willing to confront Turkey. Anyway the Turkish side should understand Idlib as well as other provinces are parts of Syrian territory, which is under the sovereignty of Syria.”
On August 29 Lavrov and Jubeir met and discussed the Syrian issue, common trade, the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, the situation in the Persian Gulf and the Palestinian-Israeli settlement.