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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, on Thursday, allegedly called for the formal recognition of the Russian-backed separatist “republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine as independent of Kyiv.
According to the Telegram channel for the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Assad met with the DPR’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Natalia Nikonorova, and expressed his support for Russia’s fight against the U.S. and its NATO allies.
“The President of the Syrian Arab Republic noted the readiness of the state to recognize the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics,” the DPR’s ministry said.
The group claimed Assad announced “the official start of the recognition procedure and noted that the [Syrian Arab Republic] Ministry of Foreign Affairs would immediately receive relevant instructions from him.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his “special military operation” in Ukraine in February, just three days after he recognized the “independence” of the separatist regions.
Though Assad backed Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as a “correction of history” and a “re-balance to the world” following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Fox News could not independently verify the DRP’s claims Thursday.
Assad has echoed Putin’s claims that NATO poses a threat to Moscow and reportedly alleged on Thursday that the war in Ukraine was a fight against the alliance.
“Mr. Assad greeted delegates, noting the common path of the peoples of Donbas and Syria in a fight against [the] unfriendly United States and other Western countries,” the DRP’s ministry said.
The separatist group claimed that Assad “expressed confidence in the speedy and successful completion of the operation to liberate territories of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics from the Kiyv regime.”
Syria was one of just five countries, including Russia, to oppose a United Nations General Assembly resolution that condemned Moscow’s illegal invasion.
The Assad regime similarly voted against suspending Russia’s membership in the UN Human Rights Council one month later in April.