DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria's foreign minister said Thursday that the Trump administration "lies" all the time about withdrawing its troops from the country, and that its decision to recognize...
Syria tells outgoing UN envoy to stay out of constitution
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria's top diplomat told the outgoing U.N. envoy Wednesday to stay out of matters concerning the war-torn country's constitution, state media reported, while the U.N. official said they had "a very intense exchange of opinions."
Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem reportedly told U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura that the constitution is a "sovereign" matter and that Damascus will not allow any foreign intervention or meddling in it.
Syria wheat production hits lowest level in 29 years
BEIRUT (AP) — The U.N. food agency says extreme weather in Syria has caused domestic agricultural production to hit its lowest point in three decades.
World Food Programme spokesman Herve Verhoosel said Tuesday that Syria's wheat production this year fell to a 29-year low of 1.2 million tons, about two-thirds of last year's levels.
He said the drop is due to an extended period of dry weather early in the season followed by heavy, out-of-season rain.
Syria reopens vital crossing with Jordan, UN post with Golan
QUNEITRA, Syria (AP) — President Bashar Assad's government received a major boost Monday as Syria's commercial gateway with Jordan and a crossing with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights manned by U.N peacekeepers were reopened years after the war disrupted their operations.
The simultaneous reopening of the crossings was celebrated on state media with back-to-back coverage, reinforcing the government's narrative that it is slowly emerging victorious from the seven-year war.
The Latest: Syrian FM says Russia is to evaluate Idlib deal
BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on developments in Syria (all times local):
Syrian Foreign Minister says his country will give its ally Russia time to assess whether Turkey and the Syrian armed opposition have fulfilled their part of the cease-fire deal in Idlib province.
The deal negotiated between Russia and Turkey last month averted a Syrian government military offensive on the rebel-held province, the largest remaining stronghold for rebel fighters and radical groups in Syria.
As Syria urges refugees’ return, UN takes more cautious tone
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — While Syria's government is encouraging refugees to return to their war-wracked country, the United Nations' top official there said Thursday that the millions who fled need to evaluate for themselves whether it's safe and feasible to go home.
Syria FM says Iran coordinated its ballistic missile strikes
BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's foreign minister said in remarks broadcast Tuesday that the Iranian ballistic missile attack on militants in eastern Syria the previous day was part of "legitimate" cooperation between the two countries to combat terrorism.
Walid al-Moallem's comments came during a wide-ranging interview with the Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen TV. The full interview is to air later in the day.
Syria FM: Victory over ‘terrorism’ is near, US must leave
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Declaring that victory over "terrorism" is almost at hand after more than seven years of civil war, Syria's foreign minister took to the world stage Saturday and demanded that "occupation" forces from the U.S., France and Turkey leave the country immediately.
Iran FM says ‘terrorists must be purged’ from Syria’s Idlib
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Iran's foreign minister said at the start of a visit to Damascus on Monday that "terrorists must be purged" from Syria's Idlib and the entire northwestern province returned to government control.
Mohammad Javad Zarif's comments in Damascus were reported by Iran's semi-official Fars news agency and came as Syrian forces and their allies are preparing for an assault on Idlib, the last opposition stronghold in the country.
Czechs secure release of 2 aid workers in Syria
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Foreign Ministry says the country's diplomats have negotiated the release of two humanitarian workers for a German non-governmental organization who were arrested in Syria.
It says that Foreign Minister Jan Hamacek, who has traveled to Damascus, will take the two men to Prague aboard a government plane later on Thursday where they will meet the representatives of their countries' embassies before traveling home.
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria's foreign minister said Saturday Iranian military advisers are embedded with Syrian troops but Tehran has no combat forces or fixed bases in the country.
Walid al-Moallem's comments came amid rising tension in the region as Israel has repeatedly warned against any permanent Iranian military presence in Syria. Al-Moallem said Israel is making false claims to try to pressure Iran, its archrival.
BEIRUT (AP) — Syria on Monday dismissed the idea of foreign forces patrolling four so-called de-escalation zones that are to be established under a deal struck by Russia, Iran and Turkey, suggesting Damascus would agree only to Russian "military police" who are already on the ground.
Syria warns of setting up safe zones for civilians as unsafe
BEIRUT (AP) — Syria warned Monday of safe zones for civilians that U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed interest in creating, saying it would have to come in coordination with the Syrian government, otherwise it would be unsafe and violate the Arab nation's sovereignty.
The announcement was made in Damascus by Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem during a meeting with the head of the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, Filippo Grandi, who began an official visit to Syria on Monday.
Syrian government refuses UN truce terms for Aleppo
BEIRUT (AP) — The Syrian government refused the U.N. envoy's latest proposal for a truce in Aleppo on Sunday, calling on insurgents to withdraw and saying it would not grant autonomy to the rebel-held east in exchange for calm.
Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said restoring government rule was a matter of "national sovereignty," and that Damascus would not allow the people of eastern Aleppo to be "hostages to 6,000 gunmen."
Syria says truce still viable after week of airstrikes
BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's foreign minister said Monday that an internationally-brokered cease-fire is still viable, as rescue workers in Aleppo sifted through the rubble from the heaviest airstrikes on rebel-held areas of the northern city in five years.
Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, speaking to Mayadeen TV from New York, also said the government is prepared to take part in a unity government incorporating elements from the opposition, an offer that has been rejected in the past.
Syria believes it’s on way to military victory
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Syria's top diplomat told the world's nations Saturday that his country's belief in military victory is greater now because the army "is making great strides in its war against terrorism" with support from Russia, Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah fighters.