SOHR exclusive | “Russia seeks to set Geneva path aside and obstruct meetings of Constitutional Committee,” says former information minster Habib Haddad • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

SOHR exclusive | “Russia seeks to set Geneva path aside and obstruct meetings of Constitutional Committee,” says former information minster Habib Haddad

Opposition bodies in Syria have discussed the outcomes of the Russia-Turkish-Iranian summit, which was held in Tehran, and condemned the statement by the three leaders, Putin, Erdogan, and Raisi, in which they announced their determination to continue cooperation and coordination to “eliminate terrorists,” referring to some opposition bodies and parties.

In an exclusive interview with SOHR, the former Minister of Information, Habib Haddad sees that the objective reading of the statement issued during the latest summit in Tehran, as well as the statements issued later by senior officials of the participating powers and statements by the Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, who arrived in Tehran following the conference concluding the summit, indicates that this summit has focused on two major issues. The first is manifested in the improvement and development of bilateral ties among the three powers: Iran, Russia and Turkey, especially in the term of economic affairs, while the second issue is related to the situation in Syria, as Mr. Habib clarifies.

Mr. Haddad points out, “regarding the situation in Syria, the statement has showed the typical stances by these leaders who always claim that they are eager to defending the unity of Syria and preserving its independent sovereignty and stress that the political settlement is the only solution for the Syrian crisis. The statement has also stressed that the political settlement could be reached only through Astana meetings. This stance, which has not come to the fore previously, comes as a part of Russia’s efforts to set aside the path of Geneva and obstruct the meetings of the Constitutional Committee, protesting the ‘unneutral stance’ by Switzerland regarding the Russian-Ukrainian war.”

Haddad adds, “undoubtedly, the most prominent issue which remained unsettled after this summit was the destiny of the military operation which Erdogan has been threatening to launch in north Syria region under the pretext of ‘countering terrorism and defending Turkey’s national security.’ At a time when the stance by Russia and Iran towards this incursion emphasises the risks and unwelcome repercussions which may badly affect peace and security situation in the entire region. Erdogan, through these threats, is seeking to improve his own and his party’s popular base, which has recently dwindled over the deteriorating interior affairs, as a part of preparations for the coming presidential elections.”

The former minister thinks that no consensus on this issue will be reached in the near future between Ankara on one hand and Moscow and Tehran on the other, while the only factor preventing Erdogan from launching this military operation in the present is the US stance which opposes his plans. He explains that Washington sides with and supports Kurdish forces which are proceeding with their separatist policy in north-east Syria region and allow enemies to interfere in Syria and work on exacerbating the already complex situation under weak arguments and pretexts.

Haddad adds, “If Erdogan is serious about eliminating terrorism in Syria, then why had he opened the way to terrorists -he means ISIS and jihadists- to cross into Syria through Turkish territory?! Why had he secured and rehabilitated headquarters and positions for terrorist organisations in Idlib province and other areas under the control of Turkish forces and their proxies in north Syria?! If Erdogan is serious about putting an end to terrorism in Syria, which threatens Turkey’s national security, as he claims, then why has he prevented the Syrian army from reaching the Syria border in order to undertake its task to defend the border?! If Erdogan really intends to eliminate the groups of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party which are now controlling the Syrian Jazeera region, as he describes, with the aim of separating from Syria and establish an autonomous Kurdish state, then what is the historical responsibility that ought to be assigned to all national and patriotic powers in the Syrian Jazeera region in terms of being a pillar of the united national democratic Syrian movement which seeks democratic change and establishment of a civil modern state, the state of the nation where all of its constituents and segments are equal and receive the same treatment?!”