President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday received Foreign Minister of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Ri Yong-ho and the accompanying delegation. Talks during the meeting touched on the historic friendly relations between Syria and the DPRK and means to enhance them.
Minister Ri relayed to President al-Assad and the Syrian people a verbal message from the President of the DPRK Kim Jong-un, expressing his country’s firm support for Syria and offering congratulations over the victories achieved in the fight against terrorism. In addition, it voiced confidence in Syria’s ability to succeed in the reconstruction process because it will be built on a solid basis of political and military success.
The Minister also briefed President al-Assad on the basis of the DPRK’s foreign policy, noting that the enemy which the DPRK, Syria, and all states that reject hegemony and foreign interference, is one and the same, which requires increasing coordination among these states to confront foreign plots.
President al-Assad said that despite the difference in the forms of the wars and pressure to which Syria and DPRK are exposed, their essence and purpose is the same; to weaken the countries that have an independent outlook and stand in the face of Western projects.
He added that these wars are not just about Syria and the DPRK; they are wars for redrawing the map of the world. President al-Assad said that the American hostility towards all the independent states knows no geographical limits, adding that the defeats of Western projects and the steadfastness of independent countries such as Syria, the DPRK and others are capable of changing the international arena and restoring balance to it.
The meeting was attended by Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem, Presidential Political and Media Advisor Bouthaina Shaaban, and Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Fayssal Mikdad. In the same context, Minister al-Moallem met Minister Ri and the accompanying delegation, discussing with him bilateral relations and means to improve them in all fields, particularly politics and economy.
The two sides affirmed the need to maintain coordination in international circles to confront challenges and unjust sanctions. Talks during the meeting touched on the situation in Syria and the region, East Asia, and Southeast Asia, in addition to the achievements of the Syrian Arab Army in the fight against terrorism.
Meanwhile, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia is ready to participate in new quadripartite talks on Syria with Germany, France and the Turkish regime. Russian Izvestia Newspaper on Tuesday quoted Peskov as saying that ‘the meeting might be held so soon,’ indicating that it isn’t important which of the four countries will organise the meeting, but what is important is the possibility of holding the meeting and its format.
On October 27th, a quadripartite summit was held on Syria with the participation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The concluding statement of the summit underlined adherence to Syria’s unity, sovereignty and independence and that there is no substitute for the political solution to the crisis, calling for facilitating the return of the displaced Syrians.
• Trade between Belarus and Syria may reach $50 million in 2018, Chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vladimir Ulakhovich told the media ahead of a business meeting between representatives of Belarusian companies and businesses from the Syrian Tartous Province on Tuesday.
Ulakhovich said: ‘In the trade with Syria we have a trade surplus.
‘From January-September, Belarus imported about $3 million worth of goods. We import fruits, dried fruits. ‘Syria also offers cotton. In January-September, the trade approached $40 million.
‘I think that by the end of the year it will grow up to $50 million.
‘As a rule, contracts are closed, supplies are increased at the end of the year.’
He stressed that steps have been taken in recent years to bolster business ties between the two countries.
‘Belarus has provided humanitarian aid to Syria. ‘Syrian kids come to Belarus for recuperation holidays. ‘Today, we can say that there is a commercial interest for our businesses.
‘Many people think that it is impossible to work there but this is not true. We can and should work there. We already have a good experience, historically good relations. ‘Syria needs building materials, transport vehicles, medical supplies, foodstuffs,’ Vladimir Ulakhovich said.
The enterprises of the two countries signed contracts to supply medical products, mechanical engineering goods to Syria. ‘I think that MAZ (Minsk Automobile Company), who could not implement the earlier agreements due to obvious circumstances, will get back to good cooperation traditions. ‘Other businesses will be able to establish good cooperation with Syrian partners,’ said Vladimir Ulakhovich.
According to the head of the Tartous Chamber of Commerce and Industry Yousuf Shaar, relations between the two countries are developing in a positive manner. ‘Belarus is one of the best friends of Syria. The country needs farm machines, construction equipment, trucks, medicines and medical products, food,’ he stated.
The business talks were attended by 13 Syrian companies and about 50 Belarusian companies from different regions of the country. The parties discussed cooperation and opportunities to implement joint projects in pharmaceutics, production of building materials, agricultural mechanical engineering, chemical, food industry, IT, woodworking and metallurgy. ‘We hope to reach serious results that will contribute to bilateral trade next year,’ Vladimir Ulakhovich said.
• A Syrian army unit on Tuesday foiled an attempt by a terrorist group to infiltrate a four-wheel car from Idlib southern countryside towards one of the military positions in Hama northern countryside. SANA’s reporter in Hama said that an army unit tracked a four-wheel car carrying a terrorist group on board from the Idlib southern countryside which was trying to infiltrate through the road linking Habit town, 77km to the southwest of Idleb, towards al-Jeesat village in Hama countryside.
The army unit targeted the infiltrating terrorist group with suitable weapons, destroying their car and killing all the terrorists on board. Since the signing of the demilitarised zone agreement in Idlib, army units have foiled many infiltration attempts by terrorists from the countryside of Idlib and Hama towards military posts which protect civilians in the safe towns in Hama northern countryside.
Competent authorities continued to comb the areas which have been liberated from terrorism in Daraa province as huge amounts of weapons and ammunition left behind by terrorists were found in the farms of Daraa al-Balad area. SANA’s reporter in Daraa said that while combing the area of Daraa al-Balad, competent authorities found huge amounts of ammunition and varied weapons, some of which are Israeli-made or US-made, in addition to drones left behind by terrorists.
The reporter indicated that among the seized weapons were TOW missiles, snipers, a large number of military rifles, artillery shells, mortar shells, RPG launchers and medium machineguns. The engineering units at the competent authorities are continuing the process of combing the residential areas and their surroundings in the neighbourhoods which have been liberated from terrorism by the Syrian Arab Army paving the way for the return of the locals to their houses.