All sides need to understand that sooner or later the US will leave Syria because its presence there poses more problems than advantages, Russia’s foreign minister said on Wednesday.
In an interview with Russia’s RT news channel, Sergey Lavrov said the Americans know “they are not comfortable in Syria, that they are uneasy.”
“Their true goals are quite clear. The Americans did not hide them much when they took control of hydrocarbons, deposits on the eastern bank of the Euphrates, and agricultural land, and began to foster Kurdish separatism there in every possible way; everyone knows that,” he said.
“Moreover, the territories in which this happens partially affect the lands that are the traditional residence of Arab tribes. That also does not improve harmony and does not add authority to the American planners in Syria, including the Kurdish factor and taking into account the relations between Kurds and Arabs.”
Noting Turkey’s discomfort over the existence of the YPG/PKK, a terrorist organization cooperating with the US in Syria, Lavrov called on Syrian Kurdish groups to make a clear decision on dialogue with Damascus.
He recalled how the situation changed following remarks by former President Donald Trump about a possible US withdrawal.
“At some stage, Donald Trump said: ‘We are leaving, we have nothing to do in Syria.’ Immediately, the Kurds began to ask people, including us, to establish dialogue with Damascus,” he said.
“A few days later, Trump was disavowed and someone in the Pentagon said: ‘No, we are not leaving yet.’ The Kurds immediately lost interest in dialogue with the Syrian leadership.”
Commenting on the controversial visit to Moscow by llham Ahmed, a leader of the PKK-affiliated Syria Democratic Council, Lavrov underlined that Russia was committed to protecting Syria’s territorial integrity.
“We have explained to our Turkish colleagues that we do not want to fuel any negative trends for Turkey at all,” the Russian minister asserted.
“On the contrary, our aim is to help ensure in practice the requirements of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria. And, of course, taking into account the interests of national minorities is one of the key conditions.”
As long as the US remains in Syria, Russia and the American military will maintain “effective dialogue” to prevent unwanted accidents and facilitate the process of political reconciliation between Syrians, Lavrov added.