Statement by Chargé d'Affaires of the Permanent Mission of Russia to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy at UNSC briefing on the political situation in Syria
We thank SESG Pedersen for briefing us on the situation in Syria. We also listened carefully to the remarks by Ms. Thuraya Hijazi
We advocate for continuation of inter-Syrian consultations in Geneva in the framework of the Constitutional Committee. We believe there is no alternative to promoting Syrian-led and Syrian-owned settlement with support of the United Nations, without external interference and creating artificial deadlines. Damascus is ready for such work, the authorities have confirmed their intention to go to Switzerland to participate constructively in the 7th session of the Editorial Board.
In this context, we will keep interacting with Syrians, the Special Envoy, and other stakeholders, first of all our partners in the Astana Format. For these purposes, in December last year representatives of Russia, Turkey, and Iran held a meeting in Nur-Sultan, with participation of the interested sides. SESG Pedersen, we trust that you will also focus on convening the Constitutional Committee, without getting distracted by other initiatives, especially if Syrians themselves – the Government and the opposition – do not support them.
The situation in a number of Syrian regions remains tense, which makes political efforts even more demanded. There are difficulties in the regions out of control of Damascus – Idlib, cross-Euphrates area, and the zone of Turkish operations in Syria’s north. We assume that Syria can achieve lasting peace and security only once it fully recovers its sovereignty and territorial integrity. It includes restoring control of the Syrian authorities over the national border and natural resources, while setting forth fight against terrorism.
We are very concerned over the reported raids of ISIL terrorists in Syria’s north-east, attack on a prison where dangerous jihadists were kept and escape of some of the inmates. We believe the Security Council needs additional information about the incident. In this regard, we have requested a separate briefing on this issue and the situation in Syria’s north-east at large.
Recovery of natural ties with the Arab neighbors, i.a. in the political and economic domains, as well as the return of Damascus to the Arab family would add to the overall improvement of the situation within and around Syria.
In conclusion, we must say that it appears very unnatural that the Council has to consider various aspects of the situation in Syria for two days in a row, using its resources in a very irrational way. We regret that when planning the program of UNSC work, our Western colleagues prioritize political reasons over common sense. We believe what should come to the fore is the quality rather than quantity of our meetings. If need be, one can always request a meeting, as shown by our today’s initiative.