While visiting Syria as part of a delegation from the European Parliament, Estonian MEP Yana Toom met with President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on Sunday.
Syrian state news agency SANA reported that Assad had told the visiting MEPs that “some Western heads of state” who provide political cover and support for terrorist organizations in Syria are responsible for the terrorism and refugee crisis [affecting Europe].
The parliamentary delegation consisted of Javier Couso Permuy (Spain, European United Left), Tatjana Ždanoka (Latvia, Greens-European Free Alliance), and Yana Toom (Estonia, Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe).
According to SANA, Assad noted during Sunday’s meeting that MEPs can influence their native countries’ governments to make changes to policies that have led to the spread of terrorism and the worsening of the Syrian people’s living conditions. The news agency reported that the MEPs responded by confirming that the human suffering they had seen during their visit compelled them to take action and pressure European governments to make changes to Syria-related policies and lift sanctions against the country.
According to the Syrian news agency, Latvian MEP Ždanoka stated that Assad presented exact explanations regarding the current situation in Syria, and that their meeting was friendly and open.
“Both Syrian leaders as well as people on the street strove to make one thing clear to us: that sanctions do immense damage to the regular people of Syria,” Toom’s office reported the MEP as saying.
Editor: Editor: Aili Sarapik