Reacting to a recent US missile strike on a Syrian airbase, Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra has stressed that Syria’s territorial sovereignty must be respected.
Speaking in Algiers on Friday, Lamamra urged “respect for the international legality and the sovereignty of the Syrian state.”
He also said that the conflict in Syria had to be resolved politically. He said “the use of violence will just complicate the situation in this country and torpedo diplomatic efforts.”
The comments came one week after the US warships in the eastern Mediterranean launched a barrage of 59 Tomahawk missiles against Shayrat airfield in Syria’s Homs Province.
Washington claimed that the airbase had been used to conduct what it said was a chemical attack on the town of Khan Shaykhun in Syria’s Idlib Province on April 4. At least 87 people were killed in the Khan Shaykhun on that day.
While the opponents of the Syrian government claimed that the deaths were the result of a government chemical attack, Damascus denied any such attack; it said the casualties were caused when a conventional Syrian airstrike hit a depot where militants stored chemical weapons.
Syria gave up its entire arsenal of chemical arms under a deal between the US and Russia in 2013. On January 16, 2017, Former US President Barack Obama’s ex-national security adviser, Susan Rice, said that Syria had “voluntarily and verifiably” given up its chemical weapons stockpile.
Syria has said the US raid on its airbase violated all international laws and showed that Washington was an “accomplice” to the terrorist outfits active in the Middle Eastern state. The US strike was carried out without a United Nations Security Council mandate. And the US Congress’ approval was not sought, either.
Lamamra, the Algerian foreign minister, further highlighted “the need for negotiations between all parties except terrorist groups” to find a solution to the conflict in Syria.
Syria has faced foreign-sponsored militancy since 2011. Damascus has repeatedly accused the US and some of its regional allies of arming and funding different militant groups fighting government forces.