Delegation of Syria’s Suwayda conveys protesters’ demands to Moscow

SUWAYDA, Syria (North Press) – Sheikh Mowafaq Tarif, the spiritual leader of the Druze community in Israel, conveyed several demands of Suwayda people to Russia, including “placing the Druze in the Syrian constitution”.

Since early February, residents of Suwayda governorate, south Syria, have been staging widespread peaceful protests and blocking routes in the eastern and western countryside against deteriorating livelihood conditions following the government decision to lift the subsidy for thousands of families.

Tarif arrived in Moscow few days ago, and met the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mikhail Bogdanov and the Russian envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev.

Tarif conveyed to the Russian officials several demands, including “opening a safe passage with Jordan to recover the area economically, provide the opportunities of adequate standard of living and place the Druze in the Syrian constitution”.

The delegation asked for “finding mechanism of supplying aid to the Druze people in the area, and establishing social and economic projects to develop the Druze community in Jabal al-Arab”.

For their part, the Russians promised to discuss the suggestions with the Russian Ministry of Defense, the forces on the ground, and the Syrian government to back the security to Suwayda. 

The visit coincided with calls for protests in front of Sultan al-Atrash shrine in the center of al-Qrayya town, south of Suwayda.

Reporting by Salman al-Harbi