MINSK (Sputnik) – Cairo is in favor of settling the Syrian crisis through negotiations and supports the Geneva peace process as a viable solution, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said Monday.
“Egypt promotes the idea that a military solution is impossible in order to bring back stability to the region. This can only happen through dialogue, negotiations, political process … As for Syria, Egypt’s participation is connected with the support, consolidation of the Syrian national opposition, continuation of the dialogue through all channels, encouraging all parties, including the Syrian government, in order to hold talks under the auspices of the United Nations and adhere to the Geneva process,” Shoukry said during his visit to Minsk, Belarus.
Egypt continues to support the political settlement process in Syria, the Egyptian minister stated, adding that he hoped the parties would do everything necessary to reach a consensus.
“Syria needs to be preserved, its territorial integrity is important, its [government] institutions must be preserved to take over responsibility for the provision of services [for the population], to restore Syria for the benefit of its people, to [help] return those [residents] who left it, and to fight against terrorist organizations,” Shoukry stressed.
The minister concluded by saying that the same principles should apply to the settlement of the situation in Libya, and that consensus should be reached through the discussion of differences in the political area, something which would contribute to the fight against terrorism in the region.
Since 2011, Syria has been enmeshed in a conflict between the government and armed opposition, exacerbated by the attempts of terrorist groups, such as Islamic State (banned in Russia), to seize the country’s territory. Several rounds of talks have been held in Geneva and Astana to help facilitate political reconciliation.
Libya has been in turmoil since the 2011 civil war that resulted in the overthrow of country’s longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi.