In his address to the last day of the UN General Assembly’s annual high-level debate, Mr. Mekdad stated that hegemonic countries had implemented “straightjacketed agendas”, invested in terrorism and “put economies in a stranglehold”, with no regard for international law.
“Often, they use the excuse of spreading democracy and human rights but meanwhile states have been destroyed,” he added.
The truth behind ‘smart sanctions’
“What has happened in our region is but one example. Here, the terrorists that are being supported by some countries are being referred to as ‘moderates’, when they are actually tools” used to destroy the countries [Western powers] cannot subjugate.” he stated.
Moreover, some hegemonic countries have called for “smart sanctions” when they know that such measures are a form of collective punishment and killings against people supporting the “wrong” homelands.
“This is what is happening in Syria,” Foreign Minister Mekdad stated, where access to food, fuel, medications and other basic necessities are being undermined.
The unfortunate case of Syria and other countries makes it clear that the only responsible decision would be to establish a multipolar world order where everyone is guided by the UN Charter.”
A ‘painful’ decade for Syria
“We know what we’re talking about here…because ultimately, the war on Syria was an attempt by the West to maintain control over the world,” but, he stated that attempts to isolate Syria from the wider world and break the will of its people have failed.
Nevertheless, the past decade has been “painful” for the Syrian people who have witnessed, among others, organized terrorism “backed by a Government everyone is familiar with”, illegal military interference, attacks on their economy and the “imposition of ruthlessly imposed unilateral coercive measures.”
Noting that any illegal military presence in Syria goes against the sovereignty of the country, the Foreign Minister stressed that the fight against terrorism must be carried out alongside the Syrian Government in accordance with international law, urging the separatist militias to refrain to support the occupants.
Due to the Wests “economic terrorism,” Syria had lost an estimated $107 billion in oil and gas revenues since 2011, leading to further economic woes, he explained, telling the Assembly that Syria would continue to seek compensation for the lost revenues, while “doing everything possible” to improve the humanitarian situation on the ground.
Since the crisis in 2011, Syria has favored dialogue by decreeing amnesty for terrorist crimes in order to support national reconciliation and stability. This effort will be continued as it has enabled many Syrians to return to normal life, Mr. Mekdad said.
He went on to express his support for the meetings within the framework of the Astana format and asked Türkiye to respect the results of this format. Likewise, he said he was following with interest the work of the Constitutional Commission.
On other issues, he said that while there was a hope for peace in the region, it had instead continued to witness “more Israeli practices that have pushed the region towards unprecedented levels of tension and instability”, including an escalation of military measures against the Palestinian territories and an increase in settlement activity, forced displacement and racism.
He also sharply criticized the occupation of the Syrian Golan since 1967, decrying the demographic changes imposed by Israel and the exploitation of Syrian natural resources.