Syria’s Assad Meets with Armenian Lawmakers

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (center-left) meets with an Armenian parliamentary delegation in Damascus. March 27, 2014. (Photo: SANA)
DAMASCUS, Syria—Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, at a meeting Thursday with an Armenian parliamentary delegation, cautioned that terrorism poses a threat of fragmenting a region that has been historically characterized by cultural and social diversity, Public Radio of Armenia reported, citing Syria’s SANA news agency.

The Armenian parliamentary delegation, headed by Member of Parliament Samvel Farmanian, conveyed to President al-Assad a message from President Serzh Sarkisian of Armenia in which he expressed condemnation of the terrorist groups fighting in Kessab with the backing of Turkey.

The Armenian President offered in the message his thanks to the Syrian state for the efforts it is exerting to protect all of its citizens.

President al-Assad voiced his appreciation of the objective position of President Sarkisian that is supportive of Syria’s stability, highlighting the role lawmakers could play in revealing the threats of terrorism and extremism at international forums and unifying efforts to face these threats.

The Armenian members of parliament, in turn, affirmed their full support for what the Syrian state is doing to restore security and stability in the country and its efforts to secure the return of the people who have been displaced from Kessab and other areas to their houses and home villages.

They also voiced their confidence that Syria will remain a model of co-existence and national unity.

Syrian officials confirm Azeri mercenaries among terrorists
According to Armenpress news agency, the leading Armenian delegate Samvel Farmanian stated in a public Facebook post that during the meetings Syrian officials confirmed to him that there are Azerbaijani mercenaries among the terrorists fighting against the Syrian government. “Jihad al-Laham, the Speaker of the People’s Council of Syria, confirmed the information that there are Azerbaijani mercenaries among the militants, who penetrated to Syria,” Farmanian wrote.

In a later interview with Suryan TV, Farmanian told Syrian journalists that the international community should condemn the recent events in the Armenian-populated city of Kessab.

“Armenia considers this an unacceptable violation of human rights and a violation of the rights of national minorities. The diplomatic representations of the Republic of Armenia have been instructed to raise the issue in international structures, particularly at the UN,” Farmanian said.

“The whole Armenian nation is praying for the friendly Syrian people to regain peace as soon as possible,” Farmanian said, adding that “We, as a nation spread all over the world, cannot stay indifferent towards the fate of our compatriots.” “We will take all measures to support our compatriots,” he concluded.