DAMASCUS, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday appreciated Russia's "supportive" stance to the Syrian people in the face of foreign-backed terrorism, according to the official SANA news agency.
During his meeting with a visiting Russian government delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, Assad hailed the Russian stance toward Syria, saying it reflects Russia' s keenness to protect world's stability.
The president's remarks came just days after Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that could have referred the Syria crisis to the International Criminal Court.
Assad said "the West always tries to subdue the countries that don't succumb to its hegemony through different means, the most dangerous of which is supporting fanaticism and terrorism." He urged the international community to pressure countries that support terrorism to halt their practices, underscoring the need to unify the efforts to eliminate terrorism "because it's the biggest danger that has no borders."
For his part, Rogozin also slammed Western powers' policies toward Syria as "ignoring the genuine interests of the Syrian people."
He said that Syria's June 3 presidential elections gain great importance in light of the current circumstances, because it give the Syrians an opportunity to express their will and shape the future of their country far from foreign dictations.
"The Syrian presidential elections gain legitimacy from the fact that they are held according to the constitution of the Syrian Arab Republic and in the legal time, and they gain greatest importance from the national dialogue and reconciliation for the people to choose their legitimate president," he said.
Rogozin noted that Russia, Syria's long time ally, looks with confidence at the future of Syria and with commitment to the principles of the international legitimacy and law.