Moscow, August 20, Interfax - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has asked Russia to help train Russian language teachers for Syria, according to the State Duma's liaison with the Syrian parliament Dmitry Sablin.
"Al-Assad said at a meeting on Tuesday that broader studies of the Russian language in Syria will accomplish an important task of diverting Syrians from Western culture," Sablin told the press over the phone on Tuesday after he met with the Syrian chief of state.
"In the words of al-Assad, the problem of Arab countries is that half of them are influenced by extremist ideas, and the other half is drawn to Western culture," Sablin said.
"This means that some minds are controlled by Wahhabis and others by America. This is the Arab impasse that needs to be solved. The division makes people hate each other. Al-Assad thinks the Syrian government needs to create an alternative, which will distract people from both Western culture and Wahhabism," Sablin said.
"It was noted at the meeting that contacts between our peoples are growing stronger, and many Syrians want to learn Russian, but there is a problem with teachers," he said.
"There are not enough teachers, and it is impossible to expand the scale of Russian language teaching in Syria. Al-Assad has asked us to help solve this problem," Sablin said.
Al-Assad said he understands that "Russia cannot send teachers to every school in Syria, but it could still consider the opening of Russian language centers or courses for Syrians, who could be trained to teach children and students even with basic knowledge of the Russian language," Sablin said.