Syria Welcomes Tehran "Syria Friends" Meeting: Foreign Ministry

DAMASCUS, (ST) – Syria welcomed the "Syria Friends"  Meeting held in Tehran and hailed its results.

"The Syrian Arab Republic welcomes Syria Friends meeting in Tehran and hails its results which affirmed the need to stop violence and launch national dialogue among the Syrians in order to attain a solution to the crisis that helps the Syrian people determine their future away from foreign interference in their internal affairs so as to maintain Syria's national sovereignty,"  Spokesman of the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said in a statement  on Thursday.

He added: "Syria thanks the Islamic Republic of Iran for its keen efforts to attain a political settlement to the crisis in Syria based on comprehensive national dialogue and for its insistence on the need to halt violence through the refrainment of some countries to send weapons to terrorists in Syria."

According to the spokesman, Syria highly appreciated the participation of representatives of 40 countries in this meeting which indicated their true friendship to the Syrian people and their support for the efforts exerted so far to solve the crisis through national dialogue. Syria also commended the conferees' calls  for lifting the economic sanctions imposed on country, the spokesman said.   

H. Mustafa

Al-Halqi Renews Call on Displaced Syrian Families Abroad to Return Home

DAMASCUS, (ST) - The government provides necessary care and free basic relief services to all citizens affected by the ongoing crisis, Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi said on Wednesday.

Chairing a meeting for the Higher Relief Committee, Al-Halqi regretted some attempts by neighboring countries to exploit the humanitarian situation of the displaced Syrians in refugee camps  through putting hand on sent international assistance and transferring it into their own accounts, pointing out that just a small part of this assistance goes to the refugees.

The premier urged all the Syrian families in refugee camps to "rid themselves from the humiliating and insulting conditions they suffered  in these camps and to return to their homeland," reiterating that the government is ready to provide necessary facilitations and requirements, including food, shelter, clothes, and medicines to those who come back to contribute to the process of re-building the homeland.

He condemned the misleading media which has been conveying a false image about what is going on in  Syria so as the displaced Syrians stay abroad and keep being blackmailed.

 "Syria has great diverse potentials. It has a big strategic reserve of basic materials including foodstuff, oil derivatives and medicine," affirmed al-Halqi, pointing out that the government is working to rehabilitate and reconstruct the buildings and infrastructure destroyed within the events in the country and that it will continue to provide basic services to citizens nationwide.

He noted that the government has decided to build 10.000 housing units in order to provide housing to the terrorism-affected families to stay there until the crisis ends and they return to their original areas.

Challenges and obstacles facing the wok of the Higher Relief Committee and ways of finding a mechanism that guarantees the arrival of aid convoys to all Syrian areas under the government's supervision were discussed during the meeting.

"The Syrian government won't  allow any aid convoy to pass without its permission," the Premier said.

He urged the committee's members to achieve social justice, enhance coordination with nongovernment organizations and reactivate the role of people's organizations and vocational unions as well as civil society associations to attain the committee's hoped-for goal.

Al-Halqi reasserted that Syria will emerge from the crisis victorious and stronger thanks to the Syrian people's steadfastness and belief in the fact the only solution to the crisis is to implement the proposed political program all over the Syrian land.  

Members of the committee highly appreciated the government's financial and moral support for the committee, stressing that this "crisis government" is working under extraordinary circumstances. 

H. Mustafa

Muallim: Syria 's Future is Decided by the Syrians

DAMASCUS,(ST)_ Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Walid al-Muallim stressed  that Syria's future is in the hands of the Syrian people , who have the  exclusive authority , adding that all  issues to be agreed at the International Conference to be held on Syria will be submitted to a referendum and will be implemented upon approval.

In  an interview with al-Mayadeen TV on Wednesday, Maullim  said that Syria 's  preliminary approval to participate in the international conference is based on the  belief that a solution to the crisis  is political and because the conference itself represents a real opportunity to find a solution.

He continued  the final position concerning the  Syrian delegation to the conference has not yet determined because " we are waiting to stand on the details unfinished   during the visit of Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad to Moscow and wait for details of the meeting of  foreign ministers Sergei Lavrov and U.S. John Kerry in Paris. 

"We  go to the conference with a good intention to reach a solution but as  it takes two to Tango, it depends on the other party and those who stand behind it and if they want a political solution or not," the minister said. 

He pointed out that  the opposition abroad should not pose preconditions for attending the conference, noting  that members of the " Doha coalition," gathered in Istanbul are tools for international forces conspiring  against Syria, and there is a national opposition in Syria of  independent decision ,  that  must be represented at the conference. 

He went on  that Syria has a constitution explains the powers of the  President, the Prime Minister and the ministers  and if the participants in the dialogue decide that it needs to be modified or changed or a new constitution to be laid, it will be put into a referendum and until then, the current constitution   will remain in force. 

"No one is  entitled to interfere in the issue of Presidency in Syria,  but the Syrian people, and therefore the US  or any other side  have nothing to do who will rule Syria, and if we allow this, legitimacy of all  Presidents of world countries becomes  questionable , and this should not be allowed in international relations," he emphasized . 

He went on that Syria  would respond to any Israeli aggression and any breach of its sovereignty immediately and the  refund will be commensurate with the size of aggression and  according to the UN charter , the right to retaliate  is justified . 

" Israel occupies the Golan,  a dear part for the  hearts of all Syrians , and the Syrians became more aware of the conspiracy  and if they decide  to stand with people's  resistance in the Golan no one can stand in the face of the will of people," he stressed .

 He  explained that Western countries allegations about chemical weapons in Syria  are false and that  Syria will not allow any international team to come to wreak havoc as they did in Iraq. 

He indicated  that the decisions issued by the meetings of the so-called Arab ministerial committee on Syria were Qatari  projects, some of which were circulated  in English because the U.S. handed it  over to the Qatari side , who did not have enough time to translate them. 

He made it clear  that certain  Arab states allied with the US  conspired  against Syria  and stabbed it in the  back. 

 T. Fateh 

Syrian media's role in ongoing war discussed

DAMASCUS,(ST)_Means of developing national media in the light of the fierce media war being waged against Syria were tackled Wednesday by all parties concerned.

Speaker of the People's Assembly, Mohammad Jehad al-Lahham, underscored the need for mobilizing capabilities and training media staff to improve the national media's task.  

He cited that some satellite channels have stopped  the Syrian TV channels' coverage because they were showing the reality of what is going on in the country.

"The national media which has offered sacrifices and martyrs, most recent the reporter Yara Abbas, does defend Syria and the Arab nation as well," al-Lahham said.

He wants the national media to be active in combating corruption and completing the process of building, noting that victory can be realized through unifying efforts of the Syrian people, state establishments and the Syrian Arab army.     

For his part, Information Minister Omran al-Zou'bi ,said that consolidating the approach of "state media" is the main goal of the ministry, noting that a number of media staff members are following training courses abroad.

'Red lines'

"The ministry is seeking to set up new radio stations of high quality….but now there are technical and financial obstacles facing the Syrian media… these obstacles prevent us from doing what we want," al-Zou'bi added.

He stressed that national media has no red lines except that impinge on sovereignty of state and army. 

Public opinion's reinforcement

Head of Press and Publishing committee at the PA, Dr Fayez al-Sayegh, said : "That Syrian media has the honor of defending the homeland. So it must follow certain strategies to reinforce public opinion and dwell upon people's problems."

The today-meeting, which was held by the committee, revolved around national opposition's appearance on national TV channels, tasks of newly-formed information committee, and TV programs.

Members of National Information Council, Head of Journalists Union, Head of Writers Union, and Directors of media establishments attended the meeting.

Basma Qaddour

Syrian Arab army vanquishes terrorists from al-Dab'a airbase

PROVINCES,(ST)_Units of armed forces have vanquished foreign-backed terrorists from al-Dab'a airbase in the central Homs province and carry out successful operations outside Damascus.

In details, the units of armed force have imposed control over al-Dab'a military airbase and towns of al-Dwer and al-Mhajren outside Homs province after cleansing them of terrorists amid reports of hunting down the terrorists who have gone into hidden in the surrounding area of the airbase.

Later on, it was reported that all farms east al-Qusayr city have become under the army's control while the units of armed forces have pounded several hideouts of terrorists in Kafr Laha, Taldo, Taldahab, Arjon, and the eastern al-Bweda areas.

Unknown number of terrorists were  eliminated in the said areas.

Army advances outside Damascus

The army's today-victories in Homs province coincided with another gain made outside the capital in quick operations manifested in controlling 6 square km from Sedi Meqdad and Bet Sahm areas and eliminating terrorist leaders in these areas.

The fresh gain follows the army's remarkable advance in the Eastern Ghouta where areas of Harran al-Awamid, al-Etaybi, al-Abbadeh, al-Habbareyeh, Jarba, al-Zamaneyeh and al-Qasemeyeh have been cleansed of terrorists.

At the same time, the units of armed forces carried out a series of qualitative operations against terrorist groups in Harasta, Jobar, Barzeh, Yabroud, and Doma areas ended in killing many terrorists and destroying their weapons.

Scores of terrorists eliminated

In the northern Aleppo province, as many as 16 terrorists and three of their leaders were eliminated in pounding arms cache and hideouts in the surrounding area of central prison Meneg airbase, and southern entrance of Aleppo city.

However, the toll of dead for terrorists in countryside of Idleb, Lattakia, Hama, Daraa have raised up to scores. Most of them are non-Syrian and affiliate to al-Nusra Front.

In a separate incident, an explosive device detonated in al-Nasera alley leaving two citizens wounded and serious damage at the scene. 

Syria is facing a foreign-backed war that aims to weaken the Syrian Arab army and destroy national economy to serve Israel's interests in the region.

The US, France, Britain, Qatar, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia fund and support the terrorist groups, who perpetrate heinous crimes against citizen and destroy Syria's infrastructure.


President Al-Assad's Interview with al-Manar TV to be Broadcast Thursday

DAMASCUS, (ST) - President Bashar Al-Assad will tackle the latest developments in Syria and the region in a special interview with the Lebanese al-Manar Channel .

According to the facebook page of the media office at the Syrian Arab Republic Presidency, President Al-Assad's interview will be broadcast at 9:00 pm simultaneously on al-ManarTV and the Syrian satellite channels.

H. Mustafa

Geneva Conference Expected on June 16,17 : Diplomats

GENEVA (ST) -Diplomatic sources suggested on Tuesday that the proposed conference to discuss the crisis in Syria, will  be held on  June 15 and 16 in Geneva

Reuters quoted  diplomats as saying "No  details have been approved  on  organization of the conference and there is no  confirmed date for convening it"

But several diplomatic sources said that   holding the conference at this date will allow the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. John Kerry, the launch of the process before delivering the most difficult issues to Presidents Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who will meet in the G-8 summit in Northern Ireland on  June 17 and 18 .


Corinne Momal Vanyan , UN chief spokesperson said, she had no information on the date of the conference, adding  that " there are no practical restrictions on the use of the UN  headquarters in Geneva, where the conference  is expected to be held ."

"We're still working on the basis that it could be held in June or in mid-June, but we have no confirmation of the appointment", said Vanyan.


T. Fateh