By Christelle Néant Global Research, June 18, 2022 Donbass Insider
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During the visit of a delegation from the Donetsk People’s Republic to Syria, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad announced the official launch of the procedure for the recognition of the two Donbass republics (DPR and LPR) by his country.
On 13 June 2022, an official delegation led by DPR Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova arrived in Syria to continue the cooperation process started between the two countries three years ago.
In 2019, the DPR participated for the first time in the “Rebuild Syria” trade fair, dedicated to the reconstruction of Syria, alongside some 30 other countries. Following this first successful participation, a DPR delegation returned to Syria in 2021, not only to participate again in Rebuild Syria, but also to establish contacts with the Baath Party in order to strengthen cooperation between the two countries.
In total, in 2021, the DPR delegation visited Syria three times in order to lay a solid foundation for cooperation and interaction between the two countries, especially in the economic sphere. The major result of 2021 was the signing of a cooperation agreement between the Donetsk Republic public movement and the Syrian Baath Party.
This multi-day visit of the DPR delegation to Syria is thus a continuation of the diplomatic work started three years ago by the young Donbass republic. The DPR delegation, led by Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova, includes First Deputy Head of the DPR Administration Gennady Lebed, Minister of Culture Mikhail Jeltiakov, First Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Peressada, Deputy Chairman of the People’s Council Sergei Prokopenko and People’s Council Deputy Valery Skorokhodov.
On 14 June, the DPR delegation met with the Deputy Secretary General of the Baath Party, Hilal al-Hilal, in the presence of Russian Duma Deputy Dmitry Sablin.
The two sides noted tangible progress in the implementation of the agreement on interaction and cooperation signed in December 2021 between the state movement “Donetsk Republic” and the Baath Party, and also discussed a wide range of options for deepening cooperation between the republics, in particular, on the economic front.
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In this context, the DPR Foreign Minister particularly emphasized that the port of Mariupol is now fully operational again, and drew attention to the prospects for trade cooperation with Syria by sea.
Later, DPR Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova met her Syrian counterpart, Faisal al-Meqdad. During the meeting, Natalia Nikonorova gave an overview of the conflict in the Donbass and the current situation.
Fayçal al-Meqdad noted the parallels in the fate of the peoples of Donbass and Syria, and condemned the policy of the United States and Western countries in supplying Ukraine with heavy weapons and thus becoming complicit in the crimes committed in Donbass.
He expressed confidence that the joint efforts of the DPR people’s militia and the Russian armed forces would help to liberate Donbass from the Ukrainian regime and establish peace and tranquillity in the republics. Faisal al-Meqdad also expressed his desire to see the establishment of interstate cooperation and the comprehensive development of relations with the two Donbass republics.
At the end of the meeting, the two foreign ministers came to the mutual conclusion that there is great potential for developing areas of bilateral cooperation between the DPR and Syria. An agreement was reached on the implementation of joint measures to establish direct interaction between the two republics in the field of protection of citizens’ interests, as well as in the economic, cultural and scientific fields, among others.
The day ended with a meeting between the DPR delegation and the Speaker of the Syrian Parliament, Hammouda Sabbagh. This was an opportunity for Natalia Nikonorova to suggest the creation of a parliamentary friendship group between the DPR and Syria. In order to work jointly on the details of the creation of such a group, the deputies of the DPR People’s Council invited their Syrian colleagues to visit them in Donetsk.
Mr Sabbagh expressed his interest in this proposal and indicated his readiness to provide a response on this matter from the Syrian Arab Republic in the near future. He also drew attention to the fact that the Syrian people fully support the Donbass and the joint special military operation to liberate the DPR and the LPR from the Ukrainian regime.
Two days after this meeting, on 16 June 2022, the DPR delegation met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The latter reiterated the words of his Foreign Minister about the common path of the peoples of Donbass and Syria in their struggle against the US and other Western countries, and expressed his confidence in the rapid and successful completion of the operation to liberate the territories of the DPR and the LPR and hoped that peace would be restored as soon as possible.
Bashar al-Assad also noted that Syria was ready to recognize the DPR and the LPR, and announced the official launch of the procedure for recognizing the two Donbass republics. He noted that his Foreign Minister would immediately receive ad-hoc instructions from him.
The Syrian President asked Natalia Nikonorova to convey his greetings to DPR leader Denis Pushilin and his gratitude for his active stance in developing constructive and fruitful relations with Syria.
The Foreign Minister in turn conveyed the greetings of the Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the entire Donbass people. She also expressed her gratitude to Mr Assad for his support and willingness to strengthen cooperation with Donbass.
Furthermore, Natalia Nikonorova suggested to Mr Assad to consider the possibility of Syria’s participation in an international tribunal against representatives of Ukrainian armed groups who are accused of committing crimes against the inhabitants of Donbass.
She also expressed the government’s full readiness for a dynamic and mutually beneficial rapprochement between the DPR and Syria.
According to the Head of the Lugansk People’s Republic, Leonid Passetchnik, Syria is not the only country willing to recognize the independence of the DPR and the LPR, but he did not specify which other countries would be ready to take this step.
“Syria is ready. In any case, the Syrian President has made a statement that he is ready to recognize the DPR, and of course the LPR. A number of other countries are at the stage of possible preparation. There are a number of foreign countries that are ready to recognize us,” he said.
According to War Gonzo journalists, Russian MP Dmitry Sablin reported that Bashar al-Assad proposed to isolate the West at this meeting.
“We have to build relationships with each other as if the West did not exist. The West thinks it is the centre of the world. They thought that Russia could not live without McDonald’s. We have to build a relationship in which the West has no place. And the Western countries will feel that they are the ones who are isolated from the rest of the world,” the Syrian President was quoted as saying.
According to the same source, Bashar al-Assad was very interested in the subject of the Mariupol tribunal, believing that it was a necessary measure to prove to the world the atrocities that the West is capable of in order to achieve its goals.
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Copyright © Christelle Néant, Donbass Insider, 2022