BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:45 P.M.) – Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar Jaafari stated that the presence of Turkish and US troops’ in his country is a “blatant aggression”, speaking in Astana on Friday.

Jaafari demanded an “immediate and unconditional withdrawal” of foreign troops from Syria and confirmed that “Syria will attend the Syrian National Dialogue Conference to be held in Sochi.”

Head of the Syrian opposition interim government Ahmed Toma, acknowledged the receipt of the invitation to participate in the Sochi meeting. However, Toma stated he “wouldn’t like to make a hasty decision” but instead to hold consultations with the different parties of the opposition before making a decision on participation.

Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana is hosting the eighth round of Syria peace talks, aimed at ending the nearly seven-year-long conflict in the country. The two-day International Meeting on Syria began on December 21.W/S International meeting on Syria, Astana

TRANSCRIPT:

SOT, Bashar Jaafari, Syrian Permanent Representative to the United Nations (English): “We consider the presence of Turkish troops on the Syrian territory as blatant aggression. And it contradicts with what was agreed upon in Astana 4 meeting.”

M/S Meeting *CUTAWAY* *NO SOUND AT SOURCE*

SOT, Bashar Jaafari, Syrian Permanent Representative to the United Nations: “The United States’ insistence to maintain its occupational troops in the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic without the consent of the Syrian government is also a blatant aggression against the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic and it contradicts both the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and the UN relevant resolutions.”

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M/S Meeting *CUTAWAY* *NO SOUND AT SOURCE*

SOT, Bashar Jaafari, Syrian Permanent Representative to the United Nations: “We demand, therefore, for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of these foreign troops from our territory. Syria will attend the Syrian National Dialogue Conference to be held in Sochi. The Syrian government exerts all efforts to well prepare the ground for this conference which will serve as a basis for the dialogue among the Syrians.” *BUG AT SOURCE*

M/S Meeting *CUTAWAY* *NO SOUND AT SOURCE*

SOT, Bashar Jaafari, Syrian Permanent Representative to the United Nations (Arabic): “As I noticed, I’ve explained our position regarding Turkish and American troops on our territory. We consider such presence a blatant act of aggression and demand immediate withdrawal of these troops from the territory of Syria. It is a political position. As you know, our delegation does not embark on a dialogue with the Turkish side due to reasons everyone knows and that have been explained. They are related to the support of terrorists on our territory by Turkey.”

M/S Meeting *CUTAWAY* *NO SOUND AT SOURCE*

SOT, Ahmed Toma, head of the Syrian opposition interim government (Arabic): “I would like to say that three guarantor states have agreed that there will be a meeting in Sochi on the January 29-30. We received the invitation as well. However, we wouldn’t like to make a hasty decision. We would like to hold consultations with the military and political sectors, as well as with our authoritative parties so that to make a final decision.”

M/S Meeting *NO SOUND AT SOURCE*

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