by Vanessa Beeley
21st Century Wire says…
At the end of July 2016 the US Peace Council delegation entered Syria on a very successful fact finding mission to support their campaign for an end to the universal suffering of the Syrian people perpetuated by the US and NATO member state military and propaganda war against Syria. A UK Peace delegation has followed hard on their heels led by Revd Andrew Ashdown and including members of the House of Commons and Lords, religious and academic emissaries.
The following is a report from SANA [Syrian Arab News Agency] on the meeting between Syrian President Bashar al Assad and the UK Peace delegation:
“President Bashar al-Assad highlighted the importance of the visits paid by foreign delegations to Syria to the effect of exposing the falsification practiced by the Western media.
His remarks came during a meeting with the visiting British delegation that includes members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords and religious and academic figures.
The President elaborated that such visits and the opportunity of getting acquainted with the situation and facts on the ground would contribute to clearing the image and laying bare the falsification practiced by some Western media outlets against the people of their countries, especially that these media have political agendas that are in the interest of the governments and not the people.
As the talks focused on the terrorist war in Syria and the growing dangers of the terrorism and extremism on the region and the world, President al-Assad affirmed that the gravest danger facing the world now is that of the extremist mentality pervading the societies inside the region and beyond.
This mentality, the President said, is the underpinning of terrorism that has started recently to strike in many areas inside Europe and the Western countries in general.
He made it clear that in order to eliminate terrorism, one needs not only fighting it on the ground, but also confronting the ideology underlying it, which just knows no borders.
The British delegation members, for their part, said that having visited Syria and got to meet many Syrian officials and citizens, they can now work on conveying the truth and correcting the wrong vision which the British government and a large swath of the British public have on Syria, in addition to conveying the great deal of suffering the Syrians have to put with due to the terror crimes.”
The series of Revd Andrew Ashdown’s reports from inside Syria prior to this important delegation can be found at 21st Century Wire: Voices from Syria
Prayers for Peace in War-torn Aleppo
“A prayer for peace in Syria was held on Monday at the Armenian Evangelical Bethel Church in Aleppo city with the participation of the British delegation which is currently visiting Syria.
The participants prayed to God to preserve Aleppo and all Syria and restore safety and security to it.
For his part, Aleppo Governor Mohammad Marwan Olabi pointed out that Syria and Aleppo, in particular, have suffered a lot due to the crimes of terrorist organizations that are backed by Western countries, adding that the unjust terrorist war against Syria is accompanied by a dirty media warfare in which most of the Western media outlets have contributed through the falsification the reality and changing facts to serve the terrorist plan that is targeting Syria and its people.
In turn, the delegation members said that the visit aims at finding out more about the reality of the situation in Syria and forming a comprehensive picture far from what Western media outlets have published about Syria.
The British delegation includes parliamentary, academic and religious figures.” ~ SANA
Meeting Dr Bouthaina Shaaban, Political and Media Advisor to President Assad
“Presidential Political and Media Advisor Bouthaina Shaaban said Thursday that the western media has become a hindrance between us and Western societies rather than a bridge of the fact, considering the European actions today are contrary to their words.
During a meeting with a British delegation comprising parliamentarians, academics and clergymen, Shaaban pointed out that the West should listen directly to the viewpoint of the Syrians since they are the owners of the land and not to what is circulated by the Western media and to convey Syria’s voice to the Western decision makers, especially in the European and British political establishment.
Dr. Shaaban said that it has become clear that the French and British governments are adopting and supporting what Saudi Arabia and Qatar are circulating through their media outlets, affirming in another context that Syria has been the cradle of tolerance and convergence between the heavenly religions.
The Advisor reaffirmed that the basis of the ongoing conflict is the Arab-Israeli conflict and that Israel is the main beneficiary of the Syrian and Arab bloodbath.
In turn, head of the delegation Father Andrew Ashdown said that the visit aims at getting acquainted with the reality of situation in Syria through talking to the Syrians themselves and away from what has been circulated by the Western media.
For their part, members of the delegation’s questions focused on the political solution to the crisis in Syria, the return of the displaced to their homeland and the role of European countries, especially Britain and France in what is happening in Syria.
They stressed their desire to convey the voice of the Syrians and shed light on the fact of what is happening in Syria to their people and their media outlets.
The delegation comprises members from the House of Lords, House of Commons, and researchers.” ~ SANA
Message from Andrew Ashdown
“I did not imagine our ‘cover’, for security reasons, would be blown by the BBC 10 o’clock news! The vilification of our visit in the British media has already begun! We have had a remarkable visit meeting with numerous people from across the faith, community and political spectrum throughout Syria, and have safely returned from making the dangerous journey to visit Aleppo.. the first British group to do so since the start of the conflict.
We shall be making a Press Release tomorrow, and I will be posting online in full thereafter sharing our experiences and the multiple voices that we have heard.” ~ Andrew Ashdown