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Iran, Russia, China congratulate Syria’s Assad on decisive victory in reelection

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)
In separate messages, Iran, Russia and China congratulate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for achieving a landslide victory in the 2021 presidential race. (Illustrative photo)

Iran, Russia and China have separately congratulated Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for achieving a landslide victory and winning his fourth seven-year term in the 2021 presidential election.

In a statement issued on Friday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry extended congratulations to Assad and the resilient Syrian nation on his firm victory in the election.

“Successful holding of the election and the Syrian people’s massive turnout are an important step in establishing peace, stability and tranquility as well as Syria’s reconstruction and development,” said the statement.

It added that Iran respects the Syrian people’s decision and supports their right to determine the Arab country’s fate “without any foreign intervention”.

Syrian parliament speaker Hamoudeh Sabbagh announced on Thursday that Assad overwhelmingly won the country’s presidential election as opposed to 88.7 percent in the 2014.

He said that about 14 million of the estimated 18 million eligible voters inside and outside Syria cast their votes, with a turnout rate of 78.64 percent.

He added that Assad was contesting the polls alongside two other candidates, opposition figure Mahmoud Ahmad Marei and former MP and minister, Abdullah Sallum Abdullah.

Marei came second in the race by winning 3.3 percent or 470,276 of the ballots, while Abdullah secured 1.5 percent of the vote or 213,968 ballots.

Syria election important step towards enhancing stability: Russian Foreign Ministry

In a statement on Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry also welcomed Assad's "decisive" victory and said that Moscow regards Syria’s presidential election as an “important step” toward strengthening stability in the war-ravaged Arab country.

"A decisive victory was won by the incumbent head of state. We view the elections as a sovereign affair of the Syrian Arab Republic and an important step towards strengthening its internal stability," the ministry added.

It emphasized that ensuring the normal operation of all state institutions based on Syria’s laws would serve the “interest of all of the Syrian people, particularly amid the ongoing fight against the terrorists."

The ministry said Western statements calling into question the validity of the election even before it was held was "an element of blatant political pressure on Damascus and another attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of Syria with the aim to destabilize it."

“No one has the right to dictate to Syrians when and under what conditions they should elect their head of state," it pointed out.

The Russian Foreign Ministry reiterated Moscow’s determination to continue upholding Syria’s sovereignty and assist the war-torn state in dealing with the aftermath of the armed conflicts.

"Russia, for its part, is determined to continue pursuing a firm policy aimed at supporting Syria’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity, as well as provide the country with comprehensive assistance in restoring socio-economic infrastructure and eliminating other negative consequences of the prolonged conflict. We will continue our efforts to promote the political process led by the Syrian people based on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254," the statement read.

Putin tells Assad vote win confirms his 'political authority': Kremlin

In a Friday message to Assad published by the Kremlin, Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated his Syrian counterpart on his reelection which confirmed his "high political authority" in the war-stricken country.

"The vote results fully confirmed your high political authority and the confidence of your fellow citizens in the course taken under your leadership to stabilize the situation in Syria as soon as possible," Putin said.

China firmly supports Syria sovereignty, independence: Foreign Ministry 

Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Beijing congratulated Syria’s Assad on his reelection and supports the Arab country’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.

“This year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Syria featured by longstanding friendship,” Zhao said at a regular press conference.

“China firmly supports Syria’s efforts in safeguarding its national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and stands ready to work with Syria to take the 65th anniversary as an opportunity to achieve new progress in our friendly cooperation,” he added.

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