Syrian FM to welcome Donetsk People’s Republic counterpart in Damascus
Damascus has taken an official position in support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and has recently formally recognized the Donbass republics as independent
By News Desk - October 17 2022

(Photo credit: Atlantic Council)

Sources told Russian media on 16 October that Syria’s Foreign Minister, Faysal Mikdad, will be meeting with the Foreign Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Natalia Nikonorova, on the following day in the Syrian capital Damascus.

According to the sources, the meeting between the two ministers will center around enhancing bilateral cooperation between the two states.

It will reportedly also touch on the targeting of secure, residential areas by Ukrainian military forces.  Just last month, a deadly blast hit Donetsk city and killed 13 people.

The meeting comes amid enhanced relations between the Donbass republics and the Syrian government, which as an ally of Moscow has recently taken an official stance in support of Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine.

In June this year, the Syrian Foreign Ministry announced its country’s formal recognition of the Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, following an earlier pledge by President Bashar al-Assad.

In response to this recognition, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced the full suspension of diplomatic relations with Syria, prompting Damascus to do the same and announce the severing of ties with Kiev on 20 July.

During a statement made last month, the President of the Donetsk Republic, Denis Pushilin, said that “Syria, which was among the first to recognize the independence of the Republic … will remain one of our partners.”

With its allies, “including Syria,” the president added at the time, the republic “will fulfill agreements that have been reached, and will reserve the right to foreign economic relations as part of Russia.”

On 12 October, during a UN vote condemning Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territory, which 193 members voted in favor of, Syria was among the 35 countries who abstained, prompting US media to suggest that Russia is not “as isolated as the west may like to think.”

Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the US army and the CIA have been involved in recruiting hundreds of mercenaries in Syria to fight on the side of Kiev against Russian troops.

These include members of Al-Qaeda, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), and ISIS. In addition to covert western intervention and recruitment, Israel has also had a hand in sending recruits to Ukraine and providing Kiev with training assistance.

Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Bashar al-Jaafari, predicted on 1 March, shortly after the start of the war, that “ISIS terrorists will be sent to Ukraine.”

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