Tulsi Gabbard, a member of the US House of Representatives from Hawaii, has visited Syria and met not only with ordinary Syrian people, but also with country’s president Bashar al-Assad.
A member of the US House of Representatives from Hawaii, Democrat Tulsi Gabbard told the CNN TV-channel about her recent visit to Syria and meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“Initially, I had not a plan on meeting him [Assad]. When the opportunity arose to meet with him, I did so because I felt it’s important that if we profess to truly care about the Syrian people, about their suffering, then we’ve got to be able to meet with anyone that we need to if there’s a possibility that we could achieve peace,” Gabbard told CNN.
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“Whatever you think about President Assad, the fact is that he is the president of Syria. In order for any peace agreement, in order for any possibility of a viable peace agreement to occur, there has to be a conversation with him,” the Democrat added.
Gabbard noted that Syrian people told her that currently, there is no ‘moderate’ opposition in Syria, as well as expressed fear about Assad’s resignation.
“Every place that I went, every person that I spoke to, I asked this question to them [about arming moderate rebels], and without hesitation they said, ‘There are no moderate rebels,’ ‘Who are these moderate rebels that people keep speaking of?’” Gabbard said. “Regardless of the name of these groups, the strongest fighting force on the ground in Syria is al-Nusra or Al Qaeda and ISIS. That is a fact.”
“The Syrian people recognize and they know that if President Assad is overthrown, then al Qaida – or a group like al Qaida, that has been killing Christians, killing people simply because of their religion, or because they won’t support their terror activities, they will take charge of all of Syria,” the congresswoman added.
According to Gabbard, Syrian people asked her why “the US and its allies are providing support and arms to terrorist groups like al-Nusra, al-Qaida or al-Sham, ISIS who are on the ground there, raping, kidnapping, torturing and killing the Syrian people.”
“They asked me, why is the United States and its allies supporting these terrorist groups who are destroying Syria when it was al Qaida who attacked the United States on 9/11, not Syria. I didn’t have an answer for them,” the CNSNews information website quoted her words.
“The US must stop supporting terrorists who are destroying Syria and her people. The US and other countries fueling this war must stop immediately. We must allow the Syrian people to try to recover from this terrible war,” Gabbard concluded after her meeting with Syrians during the trip.
This week, during the talks in Astana, Russia, Iran and Turkey, as guarantors of the truce in Syria, agreed to establish a tripartite monitoring mechanism for the ceasefire. The US did not send its delegation to the negotiations, only US ambassador to Astana attended the talks. The new administration of Donald Trump has not yet taken a decision on its policy towards the Syrian Arab Republic.