Assad blames Europe for spread of terror


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says adopting wrong policies, including giving support and political cover to terror groups inside Syria by some European leaders, is the root cause of the spread of terrorism in the continent.
“The problems Europe faces today of terrorism, extremism and waves of refugees are caused by some Western leaders' adoption of policies which do not serve their people,” Assad told a five-member delegation from the European Parliament headed by Javier Couso, the deputy chairman for the Committee on Foreign Affairs, on Sunday.
The Syrian president added that these flawed policies, including economic sanctions imposed against the country, have also deteriorated the living conditions of Syrian people and caused a flow of refugees heading toward other countries, fleeing the violence back home.
The upheavals in Syria and the Middle East naturally affect Europe due to geographical and cultural relations that exit between the two.
Couso, for his part, said their visit of Syria and witnessing the pain and misery inflicted upon Syrians by terror groups have made them resolved to take steps in urging the European countries to correct their policies and lift the unjust sanctions they imposed on Syria.
He also noted that the Syrian people have the right to decide their country’s future and choose their head of state, insisting that no foreign interference is allowed in this process.

Syrian Parliament Speaker Hadiyeh Khalaf Abbas (R) meets with a delegation from the European Parliament headed by Deputy Chairman of Foreign Affairs Javier Couso (C-L) in Damascus on July 9, 2016. (AFP)

On Saturday, the delegation met with the Syrian People’s Assembly Speaker Hadiyeh Khalaf Abbas in Damascus, with Couso stressing that Syria’s sovereignty should not be infringed upon by any other country.
“We’ve come to Syria to have talks with the Syrian government and People’s Assembly. We are also here to know about the status quo of local religious leaders, hospitals and ordinary folks. We think that no country should interfere in other countries’ affairs,” he said.
Couso also expressed hope that his report of the ground situation in Syria to the European Parliament would make the legislature remove its anti-Syria bans as soon as possible.
A ceasefire brokered by the US and Russia went into effect in Syria on February 27, but it does not apply to the al-Nusra Front and Daesh terrorist groups.
However, renewed violence in some parts of Syria, particularly around Aleppo, has recently left the truce in tatters and torpedoed the peace talks.



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