Mikdad to US Time: Syria is fighting against terrorism and the battle is not ending yet
Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Fayssal Mikdad affirmed that Syria is fighting against terrorism and the battle is not ending yet, but the army is in control.
Mikdad told US TIME magazine in an interview that Syria is witnessing now a national reconciliation program that will achieve a genuine victory over terrorism.
“The message of candidates to the presidential elections in Syria is to stop killing, terrorism and foreign intervention, then thinking in the way of rebuilding and these are the slogans of the candidates’ campaigns,” Mikdad said.
On the elections in light of the circumstances Syria is passing through, Mikdad said “I am not saying that the present circumstances are the best for elections, absolutely not, the most important thing is that for the first time we have a multiparty election, and Syrians are happy with this exercise. So with the purpose of not creating a vacuum of leadership in Syria, the elections should be held without any delay.”
He added that Syrians displaced can return Home, take part in the elections and cast their votes, then go out again.
As for eliminating chemical weapons in Syria, Mikdad affirmed that More than 93 percent of chemical materials have been sent outside of Syria. The rest is something like 40-50 kg left, and we are now undertaking security measures to move them outside Syria, because “we don’t want terrorists to target convoys carrying these materials.”
On the possibility of holding Geneva 3 conference on the crisis in Syria, Mikdad said ” I don’t accept that Geneva 2 collapsed. We exercised all flexibility. Frankly speaking the other party came with one agenda point, which is the stepping down of the leadership of Syria. We did not go there to give up power.”
He added “If we hand over the government, it will go immediately to Jabhat al Nusra and these terrorist groups, not the so-called coalition.”
As for the cost of losses that hit infrastructure in the country, Mikdad affirmed that it was more than $30 billion, saying “We admit that this was disastrous. In all parts of Syria, wherever you find terrorist groups, you find disaster. It will take a lot of resources to rebuild the country, but what is very important is to immediately rebuild the social fabric of Syria, which is more important than materialistic things. I think Syrians will prove once again that they are one people.”
On Security Council draft resolution to refer Syria’s file to the International Criminal Court, Mikdad said the western countries, including France and the UK, have made the Syrian armed opposition out to be a multitude of angels. And these “angels” have proven themselves to be terrorists.
Mikdad concluded “the Syrian government is protecting its own people, is combating terrorism. When terrorists attack our people, do you expect us to respond by throwing flowers?”he wondered.