Sunday, 13 September 2020

Foreign Minister: War in Syria may continue for years

16 December 2016

Brno, Dec 15 (CTK) - The Syrian war might continue for years, it will not end with the fall of Aleppo, nor can the exhaustion of human forces and arms arsenals be expected, since both fighters and weapons have been flowing in from abroad, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said at a university lecture on Thursday.

The conflict may go on for another ten years, Zaoralek (Social Democrats, CSSD), told students at the Masaryk University in Brno.

He said the waiting by some sides in the Syrian war for the installation of the new U.S. administration of Donald Trump and its steps poses a serious risk.

Some are hesitating, while others are acting in Syria and the situation has been changing quickly. Those waiting might pay dearly for it, Zaoralek said.

He said the diplomats' task is to build mutual confidence to help overcome the conflict and terminate it as soon as possible.

Islamic State pays its fighters well, therefore a crucial task is to cut it off its financial resources. Money may be playing a bigger role that the religion and ideology, Zaoralek said.

He said the world is experiencing a complex period when risks are hard to recognise in time and the nearest developments are hard to predict.

He gave Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president as examples of unpredictability.

Next year might bring turbulent changes as well, he said.

Zaoralek defended the economic diplomacy that also targets authoritarian countries.

Since its appointment in early 2014, the Czech government has been trying to diversify the country's economic relations and boost entrepreneurs' access to new markets, he said.

For example, the relations with China were completely frozen before 2014, which was wrong. "A dialogue is crucial. It is important to speak with them about a wide range of issues," Zaoralek said, referring to China.

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