March 30 (EIRNS)—Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, told Sputnik, in an interview posted today, that he believes that the Syrian army victory in Palmyra will help move the Geneva process forward. “Russian military support, the support provided by friends of Syria and the military achievements of the Syrian army—all this will lead to an acceleration of the political settlement, and not the opposite,” he said. “We went to Geneva and continue to show flexibility. However, at the same time, these victories will affect the states and powers that are hindering the settlement, because these states in the first place—Saudi Arabia, Turkey, France and the United Kingdom—are counting on our defeat on the battlefield in order to impose their conditions at the negotiations. So these military actions and successes will lead to the acceleration of the political settlement, and not prevent it,” Assad stressed.
At the same time, Assad ridiculed the notion that the Geneva talks will lead to some sort of “transitional governing body” which will replace him, as the Saudi-backed opposition is demanding. From the Syrian perspective, Assad said, a transition means moving from one constitution to a new constitution, and the process requires government under the old constitution until the new one is approved by a vote of the Syrian people. “There is nothing, neither in the Syrian constitution nor in any other constitution in the world, called a transitional body,” Assad underscored. “This is illogical and unconstitutional. … That’s why the solution is forming a national unity government which prepares for a new constitution.”