Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs SamehShoukry received a phone call from the United Nations (UN) Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, on Tuesday to discuss the latest updates regarding the situation in Syria. A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs highlighted the importance of Egypt’s role in supporting the agreement by urging different Syrian parties to implement the ceasefire agreement. The statement also cited De Mistura who asserted Egypt’s leading role in the Arab world, especially after its membership in the UN Security Council. Egypt has supported the political solution in Syria several times; however, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, in an interview with a Portuguese TV channel, said that Egypt is siding with the Syrian Arab army, which is affiliated with Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad. However, Shoukry denied this statement several times last December, saying that Al-Sisi was not referring to the current Syrian government when he spoke of Egypt’s stance on Syria. Shoukry argued that Al-Sisi had been saying that national armies would be better in taking responsibility for fighting terrorism in their countries instead of relying on foreign intervention.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said he is willing to take part in direct talks with representatives of all oppositon groups, Russian news agency Tass reported MP Dmitry Sablin, coordinator of the Duma’s friendship group with the Parliament of Syria, as saying Wednesday. “(Assad) has said Syria is ready for direct talks with opposition representatives, including the armed opposition,” Sablin said following a meeting with the Syrian president. “Assad supports the Astana peace talks,” he added. In the meantime, Syria’s government rejected recent claims by Amnesty International of alleged human rights violations at Saydnaya prison near Damascus, saying the reports are groundless. In a statement to government news agency Sana the justice ministry said that “the news circulating in the media” based on a report released by the international human rights watchdog on Tuesday “is totally unfounded” and “intended to ruin Syria’s international reputation”.
Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad appreciated Iran’s support for the Arab country. He thanked the Islamic Republic of Iran for its political and economic support for Syria that greatly helped the Syrian people in their resistance against terrorist groups. For his part, Boroujerdi, who is visiting Syria at the head of a parliamentary delegation, underlined that Iran will always remain on Syria’s side in the fight against terrorism as “the future of Syria is vital for regional stability.” The recent victory in Aleppo is so important for the stability in the area and Iran has remained a close ally of Syria and supports its legitimate government in the face of foreign-backed militancy.