Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says the root cause of the current refugee crisis in Europe is the Western support for terrorists.
Europe is “not dealing with the cause” of the current refugee crisis, Assad said in an interview with the Moscow-based Interfax news agency on Tuesday, adding, all Syrian people want is “security and safety.”
“It’s not about that Europe didn’t accept them or embrace them as refugees, it’s about not dealing with the cause. If you are worried about them, stop supporting terrorists. That’s what we think regarding the crisis. This is the core of the whole issue of refugees,” he stressed.
Assad’s remarks come as Europe is now divided over how to deal with the influx of people, mainly Syrians fleeing the four-year foreign-backed militancy in their homeland.
“If we ask any Syrian today about what they want, the first thing they would say – ‘We want security and safety for every person and every family’,” the Syrian president said, adding that political forces, whether inside or outside the government “should unite around what the Syrian people want.”
Assad further noted that eradicating terrorism in the Middle Eastern country must be a prelude to the resolution of dialog as a means to end the crisis in the country.
The Syrian leader said dialog in his country should continue “in order to reach the consensus,” stressing that agreement cannot be reached on how to resolve the crisis “unless we defeat the terrorism in Syria.”
Some Western states and their allies support militants fighting against Assad's government, saying he must leave power, while other countries, including Iran, Russia, and China, back him as an important part of the peace process.
“If you want to implement anything real, it’s impossible to do anything while you have people being killed, bloodletting hasn’t stopped, people feel insecure,” Assad said, adding, “Only through dialog and the political process can we reach political goals, that the Syrians should set for themselves.”
Syria has been fighting a foreign-backed militancy since 2011. The violence has forced over four million Syrians to take refuge in neighboring countries, including Jordan and Lebanon. More than 7.2 million others have been displaced internally, according to UN figures.
Daesh Takfiri terrorists currently control swaths of land in Iraq, Syria, and Libya.