Reconciliation Minister to ST: Establishment of De-Escalation Zones in Syria Paves Way for Reconciliation Deals

Minister of National Reconciliation Affairs Ali Haidar has affirmed that the establishment of de-escalation zones in Syria paves the way for carrying out reconciliation deals there.

Speaking to the Syriatimes e-newspaper on Wednesday, the minister made it clear that there is a problem in understanding the principles put by guarantor countries for the implementation of the cessation of hostilities in the de-escalation zones.

 “Some aggressor countries, mainly Turkey and the United States, seek to turn the de-escalation zones in Syria into cantons to fuel the crisis in the country, while friendly countries in cooperation with the Syrian government want the establishment of these zones to be a first step to carry out real reconciliation deals,” he said, pointing out that over 100 local reconciliation deals have been completed in many areas in Syria.

 The main factors of the increment of reconciliation deals, especially in 2017, are the Syrian army’s major victories against foreign backed- armed groups and the steadfastness of the Syrian people that foiled foreign schemes against the country, according to Haidar, who underscored that the success of national reconciliation deals refuted opinions of skeptics.

“Syrian army’s victories have helped carry out reconciliation deals in many areas,” he added, asserting that the Syrian government has exerted great effort in carrying out reconciliation deals.

Trust between people and government

The minister stressed that the foreign enemy tried to break the trust between people and the state in order to foil national reconciliation project, but the wisdom and the firm stance of the Syrian state in dealing with this matter enhanced the trust.

Situations of tens of thousands of Syrian persons, who carried weapons against the state and logistically helped gunmen, were regularized after they had surrendered their arms to the competent authorities. Those persons returned to their normal life.

“There is a possibility to carry out further reconciliation deals in the south of Damascus, the eastern Ghouta of Damascus, Daraa countryside, Quneitra countryside, northern countryside of Homs [ the reconciliation deal has not completed yet], Hama countryside, southern and eastern countryside of Aleppo, the western countryside of Raqqa and Deir Ezzour,” Haidar indicated, asserting that the mechanism of carrying out reconciliation deals is not the same in all areas.

“In some areas military decisiveness precedes reconciliation deal, while in other areas there is no need to military operation,” the minister added, citing that sometimes military decisiveness coincides with reconciliation deal.

The destiny of Syrians

One of the purposes of reconciliation project is to pave the way for the return of displaced persons to their homes, but this issue is related to military, security and services factors.

“The return of every Syrian citizen to his/her area is the Syrian state decision, and it will be done when military, security and services circumstances are suitable,” said Haidar, asserting that a large number of persons returned to their homes in many areas in the country.

He went on to say that many areas have been completely devastated and their reconstruction requires big projects, so persons, who left these areas, cannot return now.

The minister called on media outlets to play a positive role in explaining the idea of national reconciliation project in which the Syrian community is a partner.

“National reconciliation project is the destiny of Syrians,” Haidar concluded.

Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour

Photos: Mahfouz Abo Hadier

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