Syrian minister says world powers must stop fighters entering from Turkey and Jordan

Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem speaking in Beijing, China, on Dec 24, 2015.
Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem speaking in Beijing, China, on Dec 24, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIRUT (REUTERS) - Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said on Friday (Dec 25) that international efforts to end the conflict in his country should focus on preventing insurgents coming in from neighbouring Turkey and Jordan.

Syrian state media, which reported the comments Moualem made after meeting Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi during a visit to Beijing, quoted him as saying he stressed the need to"implement UN (United Nations) Security Council resolutions on fighting terror".

The Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad accuses Turkey of arming hardline Islamist rebels and allowing foreign jihadists into Syria and says US-backed Jordan arms and trains insurgents in southern Syria - allegations vehemently denied by those countries.

Last week the UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution endorsing an international road map for a Syrian peace process, a rare show of unity among major powers on a conflict that has claimed more than a quarter of a million lives. The UN plans to convene peace talks in Geneva toward the end of January.

Moualem said on Thursday (Dec 24) Syria was ready to take part in the Geneva talks and hoped the dialogue would help it form a national unity government.

State news agency SANA said Moualem and the Chinese official had discussed the threat posed by hardline Islamist militant groups in Syria such as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda offshoot Nusra Front.