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Syria demands immediate withdrawal of 'illegal' foreign troops


IANS United Nations
Syrian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Walid Muallem on Saturday demanded the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of foreign troops which are in Syria without the consent of the authorities.
"Any foreign presence on Syrian territory without the consent of the Syrian government is illegal and constitutes a flagrant violation of international law and the UN charter. It is an assault on our sovereignty, which undermines counter-terrorism efforts and threatens regional peace and security," Muallem told the UN General Assembly.
"We therefore consider any forces operating on Syrian territory without an explicit request from the Syrian government, including US, French and Turkish forces, occupying forces and will be dealt with accordingly. They must withdraw immediately and without conditions."
Muallem said that after seven years of war, the situation on the ground has become more secure and stable.
"Our war on terror is almost over, thanks to the heroism, resolve, and unity of the people and the army, and to the support of our allies and friends," he said.
All conditions are now present for the voluntary return of Syrian refugees, said Muallem.
He said Syria welcomes assistance with reconstruction from those countries that were not part of the "aggression" on Syria. Privilege will be given to Syria's allies in the war. "As for the countries that offer only conditional assistance or continue to support terrorism, they are neither invited nor welcome to help."
He said Syria is committed to the political process without compromising its national principles, such as preserving the sovereignty, independence, and territorial unity of Syria.

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First Published: Sep 30 2018 | 7:30 AM IST

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