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Syrian minister says world powers must stop fighters entering from Turkey and Jordan
December 25, 2015 / 7:58 AM / 2 years ago

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

Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem speaks during a joint news conference with China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi (not seen) after a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, China, December 24, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Lee

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said on Friday 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 U.N. 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 U.S.-backed Jordan arms and trains insurgents in southern Syria - allegations vehemently denied by those countries.

Last week the U.N. 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 United Nations plans to convene peace talks in Geneva toward the end of January.

Moualem said on Thursday 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 and al Qaeda offshoot Nusra Front.

Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Nick Macfie and Pravin Char

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