A handout picture released by SANA on April 29, 2013 shows Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi giving a press conference in Damascus
A handout picture released by SANA on April 29, 2013 shows Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi giving a press conference in Damascus © - SANA/AFP/File
A handout picture released by SANA on April 29, 2013 shows Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi giving a press conference in Damascus
AFP
Last updated: January 1, 2014

Syria expects victories thanks to Russia, Iran and China

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The Syrian government is on course to score major diplomatic "victories" thanks to the unfailing support of its allies, including Russia, Iran and China, its prime minister said on Tuesday.

"Relations between Syria and Iran are strong and tough, as well as ties with other friendly countries including Russia and the BRIC countries," premier Wael al-Halqi said referring to Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Halqi made the remarks duing the final session of parliament for the year.

The Syrian premier singled out for special mention Russian and Chinese vetoes of UN Security Council resolutions condemning the Syrian regime.

"With such stands, Syria won diplomatic victories in the previous period," said Halqi.

Without this support, "the situation would have been different, including more pressure and aggression against Syria."

He was referring to the military strikes the United States threatened to carry out against Syria in retaliation for a deadly chemical weapons attack in August near the capital Damascus.

But the military action never went ahead after the United States and Russia reached a landmark agreement on the destruction of Syria's chemical arsenal which was enshrined in a UN resolution.

"The historic and most important decision was the decision of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad to adhere to the Chemical Weapons Convention," said Halqi, adding that Syria had avoided "certain aggression".

"The support of friendly countries in the world headed by Russia, China and Iran allowed us to set in motion the agreement on the destruction of the chemical (weapons) industry."

The prime minister expressed hope that this would enable Syria to score similar "victories in the future," including at a peace conference slated to take place in Switzerland on January 22.

On the battlefield, Halqi said he expected a "historic victory" for the regime of President Assad.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, said on Tuesday that more than 130,000 people have been killed in the conflict since it erupted in March 2011.

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