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Exclusive: Keys to Syria Crisis given from Qatar to Saudi Arabia

Bouthaina Shaaban, Syrian president’s political and media advisor, says the United States has adopted a hypocritical stance toward Syria, but it calls it a “policy” which we now witness is showing signs of failure.

Speaking at an exclusive interview with Al-Alam in Syrian capital Damascus Shaaban said, the United States is struggling to make an exit for itself from the chaos it has been leading in Syria which not only targeted Syria, but was also aimed at “changing the image of the region”.

“Since three years ago and start of the extensive war on Syria, we saw that international criteria have changed; that’s why I think the result of this war is going to show which axis is more powerful and will stay in the region… The result will as well determine characteristics of the regional balance,” she said.

She then referred to changes undergone in the war Syria has been dealing with, saying that, “at the beginning, it was Qatar which led the war and unfortunately made the Arab League to accompany it, but later the keys to the war on Syria were given to Saudi Arabia”.

“If we set aside recent agenda in which Saudi Arabia and US are getting closer over Syria, we can say that Qatar, Turkey and then Saudi Arabia were playing as US and West’s agents against the resistance axis, and unfortunately it is the truth,” she said.

“What came at a surprise was the fact that those who called themselves Arab countries, were at head of the arrow that targeted Syria, however, this revealed the realities,” Shaaban added.

The Syrian official further referred to the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government’s role in the ongoing war in her country and said, “Erdogan government thought it had the region’s situation under control, and of course, I say Erdogan government, because I want to make it clear that my assertions are not against Turkish people”.

“Erdogan government is a Brotherhood government, and he proved this by supporting the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood; unfortunately they came to act with Ottoman thoughts”.

She stressed, “the regional conspiracy was with no doubt, done with assistance of the US and the West, which not only aimed for Syria, it had Iran, Hezbollah, resistance and anyone who said no to the US under its target”.

Shaaban said the US “knows well where it has ended up in Syria”. She added recent reports of US envoy Robert Ford getting retired because “he misses his family” after he led different groups in their war to topple the government for nearly three years, was one of the signs showing the US is trying to make a way out of Syria. “They want to prevent further losses as much as possible.”

“The American administration has actually adopted a hypocritical stance on Syria, but from their point of view all these hypocrisy is politics.”

“If we take a look into (US secretary of State) John Kerry’s recent trip to the region, we see that he speaks with a different tone in different places. Seeing such an act from a person who comes from a major economic and military power, without a doubt shows US policies are shaking.”

She added that US President Barack Obama has only two more years in office and now he is trying not to leave a negative image of himself.

“Recent changes in US relations with Iran and the agreement-like event between US and Russia are all parts of Obama’s attempts to introduce himself as an American president who stood against wars and tried for peace in the world.”

Shaaban said, the US has now left things somehow to Saudi Arabia, to conduct the war in its own way.

“Saudi Arabia is now giving financial and military support to the al-Nusra Front, Islamic State of Iraq and Levant and all other terrorist groups,” she added.

She stressed however that, “I believe that they will fail, especially at a time when national reconciliation is improving fast inside Syria”.

“Even those Syrians who were deceived are now changing their minds. They are now facing with the dangers and the truths.


Geneva Track Problematic 'Opposition Representation', Says Shaaban

DAMASCUS,(ST)_Presidential Political and Media Advisor Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban has reiterated the Syrian government's keenness to spare no effort to stop the bloodshed in the country and bring about  a solution to the ongoing crisis.    

She made it clear that the main problematic in the Geneva 2 talks is that we do not know who the 'opposition coalition' represents and what is its relation to the ongoing events in Syria as well as its impact on the ground.

 "Despite the problematic of the other side's representation, we are going today to Geneva because our main goal is to spare no effort to stop the bloodshed in Syria and to arrive at a solution to the crisis, Shaaban said in an interview with the Iranian Al-Alam TV. Channel on Sunday.

Combating terrorism 'priority'

She added that the 'coalition' delegation came to the talks to discuss one word in the initial Geneva deal, that is to say ' power' and not transitional government. "However, the Syrian delegation wants to debate the deal according to a logical sequence starting from the first clause which is stopping violence, or in other words stopping terrorism."

The advisor pointed out that the discussion of preserving the state's institutions and creating a suitable climate to arrive at political solution precede the discussion of the transitional government issue. 

On the other hand, Shaaban asserted that the coalition delegation receives instructions from the United States which failed to impose its will on Syria.

Desperate attempts

"The United States is still working on both political and military tracks through supporting terrorism in Syria. It turns a blind eye to Saudi Arabia which funds terrorism in Syria in a desperate attempt to achieve something on the ground," she said.

The advisor affirmed that these attempts will be failed because supporting terrorism in Syria synchronizes with rapid reconciliations on the ground and with a change in the Syrian's mentality.

Shaaban added that stopping the terrorist war against the Syrian people is the solution to the humanitarian issue in the country, blaming those who sponsor terrorism in Syria for the Syrians' suffering.

"Terrorists hold civilians as human shield and trade in their suffering," Shabban said.

Basma Qaddour

Syrian Delegation Arrived in Geneva to Take Part in the Second Round of Geneva 2 Conference

GENEVA,(ST)- The Syrian delegation, headed by the Deputy Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Walid al-Moallem, arrived in Geneva airport today afternoon to take part in the second round of talks in the framework of the international conference on Syria Geneva 2 .

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Dr. Faisal al-Miqdad,  member of the Syrian delegation to the conference said earlier in a statement to the official news agency that the participation of the Syrian delegation was approved in the second round of talks to the Geneva conference , which will begin on Monday.

Dr Miqdad explained that the Syrian delegation confirms following -up efforts exerted in the first round of the conference by debating Geneva statement , item by item , as contained in this statement , adding that the restoration of security and stability to Syria necessitates discussions to end terrorism and violence as stated in Geneva statement and the need of the two sides response to that , so as to save the lives of the Syrian citizens and stop the shedding of their blood by armed terrorist groups and their supporters , regionally and internationally.


T. Fateh

611 civilians evacuated from old Homs

Homs, (ST) _"Homs province is ready to offer full support and aid to evacuate children, women  and elderly people from the old city of Homs plus delivering humanitarian aid to those who prefer to stay there, "Homs governor Talal Barazi told the state-run news agency.

Barazi asserted that 611 civilians, who were besieged in the old city of Homs, have been evacuated Sunday.

Sunday's evacuation was the second in three days in compliance between governor of Homs and the UN resident representative in Syria.

Barazi  said that there is a study to expand the process of evacuation for extra 3 days for those who wish to come out of the old city.


Information Minister: Our Participation in Geneva Conference Motivated by Syria's Higher National Interests

 DAMASCUS- Information Minister Omran al-Zou'bi has said that the official Syrian delegation will return to Geneva to try again to create a political track leading to tangible results that satisfy all parties, stressing that going ahead in the political track to attain a peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria has been Syria's top option since the beginning of the aggression on the country in 2011.

Interviewed by "al-Ekhbariyya" TV, al-Zou'bi said "we took part in the first round of Geneva2 conference despite the fact that we weren't part in forming Geneva1 communiqué and the fact that the so-called opposition coalition wasn't a representative of other opposition parties. We were motivated by Syria's higher national interests and by our keenness to produce a Syrian-Syrian dialogue under a Syrian leadership and umbrella."

"The decision of accepting Geneva conference results, if any, will be subjected to the popular will in Syria through a general referendum," the minister said.

"We insist on the political solution which is a difficult complicated process that also needs time, but we will spare no effort to produce a political settlement," he added.

Al-Zou'bi pointed out that by fighting terrorism, Syria is not defending itself only but defending all the Arab countries against terrorist takfiri thinking which will be a threat to all, stressing that Syria has warned that the support being provided to terrorists in Syria will hit back the countries which support terrorism, particularly, Saudi Arabia.

The minister affirmed "Saudi Arabia is financing and arming terrorists of all world nationalities. It keeps hosting media stations that incite terrorism and sedition and urge killing," warning that unless Saudi Arabia stops its support to terrorism, its decision to punish the Saudis, who go to fight outside the kingdom, will be useless.

Al-Zou'bi also said that the Turkish government of Erdogan should also realize how guilty it was when it supported terrorism in Syria and facilitated terrorists' infiltration into Syria across its borders.   

On the other hand, the minister hailed the efforts being exerted by concerned Syrian security authorities to chase terrorists who have been endangering the lives of innocent Syrians nationwide, referring in this regard to uncovering and arresting the masterminds and perpetrators of the terrorist attack which recently targeted the Syrian Radio and TV General Commission Building.

H. Mustafa