DAMASCUS, (ST)_ H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad received here today the visiting Assistant to the Iranian Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hussein Jabri Ansari and an accompanying delegation.

H.E. President Assad underscored the importance of permanent and pre-planned coordination between Syria and friendly countries about all of the different issues given the critical situation witnessed in the region.

''The Syrian People alone are the decision makers when it comes to whatever future political choices related to Syria and none is allowed to have this very decision making,'' asserted H.E. President Assad.

President Assad pointed out that the ongoing Turkish aggression against Afrin is but a further evidence for Turkey's continued aggressive policy against Syria and that any trust in such a policy and its actors is impossible.

Mr. Ansari reiterated Iran's permanent keen on coordination and consultation with Syria in all fields, asserting that whatever efforts by Iran in support of the political solution for the crisis in Syria would be in concord with the Syrian Leadership, citing the special status of Syria for Iran people and government.

The talks underlined the necessity for shared and clear background for the outcomes of Sochi Conference, which were agreed upon by the participants, asserting the need for the commitment of the UN envoy De Mistura to his role as merely a facilitator for dialogue.

The talks also dealt with the consequences of the continued Turkish aggression against Afrin and the aggressive stances by Turkey against Syria.

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LATTAKIA, (ST)_ H.E. President Bashar Al-Assadmet at Khmeimim Airbase  Monday morning H.E. President  President Vladimir Putin of Russia.

Presidents Assad and Putin reviewed the military forces at the Airspace, where President Putin ordered the start of preparations for the withdrawal of the Russian Forces from Syria.

President Assad thanked President Putin for the active participation of Russia in fighting terrorism in Syria, asserting that the Syrian People will never forget what the Russian military personnel whose blood was mixed with the blood of the martyrs of the Syrian Arab Army have done in encountering terrorism.

"This blood watered the Syrian territory as  proof to be stronger than terrorism and its mercenaries. The memory of the martyrs of the two hero armies and their sacrifices will ever remain as the lighthouse for the coming generations." Added President Assad.

"The coming generations who are to read about the ongoing war on terrorism will never draw lines between a Syrian Martyr and a Russian Martyr," added President Assad.

"President Putin's visit to Syria is an opportunity for discussing the second phase in fighting terrorism and for discussions about the political process in Syria. The big accomplishments in the fighting against terrorism opened the door wide before the activation of the political work and for finding a peaceful solution that would stop the bloodletting of the Syrians and restore safety to Syria," underscored President Assad.

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Sochi _ H.E. President Bashar al-Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting in the Russian city of Sochi in the presence of a number of senior Russian political and military officials.

President Putin congratulated President al-Assad over the successes achieved in Syria in the fight against terrorism, stressing that the Syrian people are approaching victory over the terrorists, according to SANA.

The Russian President said that the meeting aims at coordination  and consultation between the Syrian and Russian sides ahead of the summit scheduled to be held between the Iranian and Turkish presidents, indicating that what is important now is paying attention to the political process in Syria and that Russia is working with everyone in this regard.

President Putin underlined the important time of this visit to increase coordination between the two sides, conduct further consultations and listening to the Syrian leadership’s assessment of the current situation in Syria, form of next steps and the leadership’s vision of the political process and  role of the United Nations regarding it prior to Russian-Iranian-Turkish summit.

The Russian President said that “Russia highly appreciates the readiness shown by the Syrian government and its openness to all those who wish peace and support provided by President Assad to the Astana process, in which the participants succeeded in establishing de-escalation zones and starting dialogue with various Syrian parties.

President al-Assad said that the Russian military operation in support of the Syrian Arab army’s war against terrorism has achieved important and significant results on various levels, mainly the political, humanitarian, and political ones.

President al-Assad added that the victories achieved against terrorism led to restoring security to many areas and hence the return of citizens and normal life and at the same time pushed the political track to resolve the crisis in Syria.

President al-Assad said that “ Syria supports any political action, especially after the decline of terrorism and the doors are open locally and internationally for backing this track,” emphasizing that Syria is ready  to work with every country willing to contribute to political solution since its depends on Syrian sovereignty and the Syrian decision.

“On behalf of the Syrian people and on my own behalf, I would like to pay tribute to the Russian state institutions, on top the Russian Aerospace Force,  for their efforts in combating terrorism in Syria, particularly that these institutions made great efforts in Syria and offered martyrs.” President al-Assad said.

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Hafez Bashar al-Assad, son of the Syrian president, from Brazil during his participation in the International Olympiad of Mathematics in Rio de Janeiro, spoke about his positions on the current Syrian crisis and his scientific and professional future.
In an interview with the Globo news group, Asad Jr. insisted that he was not the best player in the Syrian team to participate in the Olympics, which will last until Saturday.
The organizers of the Olympics confirmed that Hafiz Bashar al-Assad has been in Brazil since last Thursday, "amid a secret security operation." But the son of the Syrian president made a comfortable interview with journalists and spoke to them in fluent English. Hafez stressed that he was "a young man like any other young man" and would never leave his country.
He added that he was proud to represent his country in this international competition for youth, stressing that he fought local competitions to win the right to join the Syrian team at this international event. He insisted that he was a Syrian citizen like everyone else, living in his country and seeing all the horrors of war.
He denied that the war in Syria was civil, insisting that it was a battle for the return of the homeland. He stressed that hope was never lost in his country and that the people and the government were united in the face of the forces intervening to seize the country.

"From my own point of view, I hope the war will not last long, but such problems need time to settle them. It is more difficult. The crisis has been going on for 6 years and I hope it is coming to an end
Asked if he wanted to leave Syria, the president's son stressed: "No, never."
Hafez said that while participating in international competitions across the world, he sometimes faces questions about his political positions, but people quickly understand that he is a perfectly normal young man. "I have always lived like a normal child, and my friends see me as a normal person. I'm as ordinary as others. "
On his career, Hafez said he wanted to be an engineer, but he did not choose his future competence.
Asked how he felt when people said his father was a 'dictator', Hafez stressed that he knew very well what kind of man his father belonged to. He pointed out that people say many things about the president, but many of them are blind and their words not true.
As for the participation of the Syrian team in the Olympics, Hafiz said that the aim is for young Syrians to show the world that their country will be much better and that the new generation is capable of bringing peace.
In a message to the youth of Syria, Hafez said he was counting on the hope that no young man would die, and stressed that tireless efforts would allow everything to be achieved.
"The most important thing, even in the most difficult times, is hope. The Olympics show that. "
As for his impression of Rio, Hafez said the city resembled Damascus a little, stressing that most areas of the city are safe, but there are dangerous neighborhoods. He stressed that there is always a possibility to end the violence and impose control over the situation.

Source: oglobo.globo.com
Oksana Shvanjuk



Syrian president's son: I know what kind of man my father is

RIO DE JANEIRO — The son of Syrian President Bashar Assad said people who call his father a dictator don’t understand the reality of his country and that the population is united with him in fighting “invaders,” Brazil’s O Globo newspaper reported.

Hafez Assad, 15, is part of Syria’s delegation at the International Math Olympiad, a two-week event being held in Rio de Janeiro organized by the Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics, or IMPA. During his time in Rio he reportedly visited Rio’s Christ the Redeemer statute and Sugar Loaf Mountain.

Hafez Assad, who was named after his grandfather, had kept a low profile until he was interviewed by an O Globo reporter who asked him how he felt about people calling his father a 'dictator'.

“I know what kind of man my father is. As president, people say a lot of things (about him). Many are blind. But this (what they say) isn’t reality,” Hafez Assad responded in Monday’s report.

“I live and see the horror that is happening in my country,” he said. “The population and the government are united against the invaders that are taking the country.”

Brazil in recent years has received more refugees from Syria’s conflict, over 2,300, than any other country in the Americas, and it has a large Syrian diaspora dating back to early twentieth-century migration.



Dr. Mohamad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

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Assad in Person: Confident, Friendly, No Regrets

By ANNE BARNARD NOV. 1, 4,  2016

 DAMASCUS, Syria — The guns were silent atop Mount Qasioun and the lights on its slopes twinkled over Damascus as President Bashar al-Assad of Syria welcomed a group of Western visitors into his French-Ottoman palace on Monday night, presenting himself as a man firmly in control of his country.

He radiated confidence and friendliness as he ushered a group of British and American journalists and policy analysts into an elegant wood-paneled sitting room where he claimed that the social fabric of Syria was stitched together “much better than before” a chaotic civil war began more than five years ago. It was as if half his citizens had not been driven from their homes and nearly half a million had not been killed in the bloody fighting for which he rejected any personal responsibility, blaming instead- as a matter of fact- the United States and Islamist militants.

“I’m just a headline — the bad president, the bad guy, who is killing the good guys,” Mr. Assad said. “You know this narrative. The real reason is toppling the government. This government doesn’t fit the criteria of the United States.”

It was a surreal meeting for me after years of writing about a devastating and intractable war that has reduced several of Syria’s grand city centers to rubble and prompted accusations of war crimes. While hundreds of thousands of Syrians are besieged and hungry, here was Mr. Assad, secure in his palace because he has ''outsourced much of the war to Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah forces''…

He was on a mission to convince the West that their governments had made a mistake in backing his opponents and that he was secure in his position as the custodian of Syrian sovereignty.

Waxing philosophical, he spoke of every Syrian’s right to be “a full citizen, in every meaning of this word,” and likened intolerant versions of religion to a computer operating system that needed to be updated. He promised that a new era of openness and dialogue was underway in Syria and said that he was thinking ahead about how to modernize Syrians’ mentality after a war that he believed his forces were assured of winning.

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