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French delegation visits Syria, slams Paris' policy

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A French delegation headed by former MP Thierry Mariani visits the war-ravaged city of Douma in Damascus countryside on December 20, 2018. (Photo by Sana)

A French delegation, headed by former transport minister Thierry Mariani, has met with Syrian government officials in Damascus and condemned France's hostile policies toward the Arab country.

The delegation met with Syria's Speaker of the People’s Assembly Hammoudah Sabbagh who stressed the importance of European delegates visiting the country.

The visits, Sabbagh said, are important to enlightening world public opinion about the suffering of the Syrian people at the hands of foreign-backed terrorists. 

Mariani, who is currently a member of the National Assembly, expressed regret over his country's destructive role in Syria.

On Thursday, the French delegation visited Douma in the Damascus countryside and inspected the destruction, tunnels, prisons, and torture chambers left behind by foreign-backed terrorists before Syrian troops retook the city in April.

“The sight of the prisons that we have seen, especially the cells, indicates that terrorist organizations do not have the least bit of respect for human rights," said Mariani.

"The presence of modern equipment in the carefully-constructed tunnels proves that the terrorists receive assistance and large funding from abroad,” he added.

A French delegation headed by former MP Thierry Mariani inspects tunnels dug by terrorist forces in the war-ravaged city of Douma in Damascus countryside on December 20, 2018. (Photo by Sana)

The former MP expressed hope that the post-war reconstruction activity would gather pace across the city. He also hailed the reopening of schools and shops as well as the sacrifices of the Syrian army.

Accompanying the delegation, head of the Arab, Foreign and Expatriates Committee at the People's Assembly Boutros Marjanah said the delegation's visit demonstrated that the French people don't share their government's negative views on Syria.

'Syria has been victorious'

Having arrived in the Syrian capital earlier this week, Mariani tweeted about Damascus's festive mood ahead of Christmas, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, who is revered by both Muslims and Christians.

Mariani described the festive religious climate as a sign that the Takfiri terrorists have been defeated in the country.

Also commenting on US President Donald Trump's surprise announcement signaling the withdrawal of troops from Syria, Mariani described the event as a victory for Syria and its allies.

"First of all, this event is a victory for the Syrian people, the Syrian army, and all those who supported them on the ground – Russia and Iran."

Various French officials, however, have reacted negatively to the news of the US withdrawal from Syria and have vowed to continue France's military presence.

“He (Trump) is cutting corners, risking a serious accident ... the coalition’s spine is the United States,” said a French presidential source speaking to Reuters.

The war against Daesh has become an excuse for the Western countries to intervene in Syria and deploy troops without an authorization from Damascus or the UN.

The US-led coalition has been repeatedly accused of targeting and killing civilians across the Arab country.

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