23 December 201919:15

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, Moscow, December 23, 2019

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Mr Minister,

We are pleased to welcome you to Moscow. This meeting is timelier than ever. Our bilateral relations are developing dynamically as agreed upon by President Putin and President Assad.

The 12th meeting of the Permanent Russian-Syrian Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation has taken place during your current visit. It is my understanding that the results are very substantive and forward-looking. Resuming fully functioning state institutions and economic projects is on the agenda. In fact, Syria is already on its way to a peaceful life. This became possible primarily after the Syrian army, with the support of Russia’s Aerospace Forces, regained control over many Syrian territories and continues to do so.

We are convinced that finalising the process of restoring Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity will be the best context for overcoming the problems associated with ensuring the rights of various ethnic and religious groups in Syria. We believe that the international community should take into account what is happening in your country as it builds plans to assist the Syrians on their way back to peaceful life.

In addition to socioeconomic goals, it is of course important to create proper conditions for the return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes.

We are satisfied with the fact that finally, after numerous attempts to prevent this, the political process has begun and the Constitutional Committee is now operational.

We appreciate the opportunity to be able to discuss with you ways to ensure sustainable progress in all these areas.

Of course, continued and uncompromising efforts to defeat the remaining terrorist groups in Syria are an integral part of our common efforts.

We will do our best to fully implement UN Security Council Resolution 2254, which provides for full restoration of Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. This must be done exclusively by the Syrians themselves, without any outside interference.

I am very happy to see you.

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