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Damascus Accuses US of Pursuing Israel's Interests in Syria

© AP Photo / Sergei GritsIn a picture taken through a bus window, people drive their motorcycles in Damascus, Syria, Monday, Aug. 13, 2018
In a picture taken through a bus window, people drive their motorcycles in Damascus, Syria, Monday, Aug. 13, 2018 - Sputnik International
The US doesn't want Syria to be the main country of resistance to Israel, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem has stated in an interview with the magazine International Life.

"I want to say that American goals are not purely American goals, in fact, these are Israeli goals that the US is implementing in Syria. There are many goals," Muallem said.

According to the head of the Syrian Foreign Ministry, it all began in 2011.

"First, they do not want Syria to be the main country of resistance to Israel. Second, they do not want Syria to have strategic relations with Iran and Russia. They want Syria to be like the rest of the region, that is, to become one of the instruments of US foreign policy with the approval of Israel. On this basis, I want to say that the US goal in Syria is to control all future activities of Syria in the interests of Israel, " the minister pointed out.

Syrian Dialogue Possible If Other States Stop Meddling in Opposition’s Affairs

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Direct dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition will be possible when foreign states stop interfering in the Syrian opposition’s affairs, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said.

"I can say that the opposition is not free to make decisions on its own, and the dialogue with the Syrian government is not based on its wishes. The opposition says that it wants direct dialogue, and we say that this is possible when foreign states stop their interference in the affairs of the opposition," Muallem told the journal International Affairs in an interview.

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He stressed that each separate opposition group was acting in accordance with the wishes of a "curator" foreign state.

"The problem is not the opposition itself, but its curators. There is no single opposition in Syria. There are different groups, and their activities depend on the place of residence of their leaders, in Western or Arab capitals. Therefore, each group acts on the basis of the wishes of that state," Muallem said.

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Israel is one of the main US allies in the Middle East and a major consumer of US arms and military equipment. The two states share the same position on Iran and both hope to minimize Tehran's influence in the region and in crisis-torn Syria.

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Israeli-Syrian relations have long been strained, particularly over the disputed Golan Heights. Israel occupied the region after the 1967 Six-Day War with Syria and other Arab states and annexed the territory in 1981. The international community has not recognized the annexation.

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