syria’s foreign minister at the UNGA

Syria’s Moualem says victory within reach, deescalation zones temporary
Yara Bayoumy, Reuters, Sep 24 2017

UN – Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem in his speech to the UNGA praised the roles of Russia and Iran, said Syria was encouraged by the deescalation zones and hoped they would lead to “an actual cessation of hostilities.” He said:

The liberation of Aleppo and Palmyra, the lifting of the siege of Deir Ezzor and the eradication of terrorism from many parts of Syria prove that victory is now within reach. Nevertheless, Syria reserves the right to respond to any violation by the other party. Syria also stresses that these zones are a temporary arrangement that must not violate the territorial unity of Syria.

Earlier this month Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed to deploy observers on the edge of a deescalation zone in Idlib province, which is largely under the control of Islamist insurgents. The move falls under a broader deal in which they would set up four such zones across Syria. The deescalation plan has eased fighting in parts of western Syria between rebel factions and government forces loyal to Assad. Critics have described the de-escalation plan as de facto partitioning of Syria after years of multi-sided conflict. Moscow, Tehran and Ankara deny this and say the zones will be temporary, although they could extend beyond the initial six-month term.

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