Restoring stability to Syria priority, underlines Shaaban

Geneva, (ST)_ " Syria's official delegation came to Geneva for restoring security and stability to Syria while the other side showed no seriousness, "underscored Presidential Political and Media Advisor Dr. Bouthina Shaaban.

Speaking  to reporters in Geneva on Sunday, Shaaban clarified : " We will discuss all issues concerning the Syrian people and we will eye  priorities : stopping the suffering, ending terrorism and getting rid of the criminal mercenaries who came from all over the world to our country.

Shaaban made it clear that  Syria's official delegation didn't come to Geneva to deliver relief to a certain area, but to restore security and safety to all areas in Syria, discuss the security and humanitarian issues and then to review the political issue.

" how could we deliver aid to an area in  which the terrorists are wreaking havoc?" wondered Shaaban.

M.D

No talks with terrorists in Syria - Lavrov

Any talks are out of place with terrorists in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with weekly program Segodnya (Today) on TV channel NTV on Sunday.

"We refuse to have talks and do not recommend other parties to hold talks with them over principled considerations," Lavrov said, according to Voice of Russia.

"This is not only our concerns that extremists and terrorists call the tune increasingly in different Syrian regions, but this is also the position of all Group of Eight states," he added.

Lavrov pointed to the G8 summit in Ireland's Loch Erne in June 2013 where then G8 chair and UK's Prime Minister David Cameron together with Russian President Vladimir Putin backed the call on the rivalling Syrian groups to join their forces and root out terrorism in the country.

"This goal is becoming more of a priority one considering the growing terrorist threat inside Syria, which is already spilling over into Iraq," the Russian foreign policy vet said. He added the neighboring Iraq was now swarming with radicals from the group that calls itself the "Islamic state of Iraq and Levant".

Sergei Lavrov said the situation in Syria and on its borders called for a soonest compromise between the government and "adequate, secular and patriotic opposition" in order for them to unite against the escalating terrorist threat.

The Russian foreign chief said it was hard to imagine any of the three rebel umbrella organizations – "the Islamic Front, al-Nusra and the Islamic state of Iraq" –as viable partners in peace talks because they acted essentially as communicating vessels, with" insurgents" moving freely between the three in search of a better pay.

M.Daoud

Al-Zou'bi: Humanitarian Issue Should Be Approached as a Whole..Shaaban: We are to Focus on Ending Terrorism, Restoring Security in Syria

GENEVA- The humanitarian issue in Syria should be approached as a whole not selectively, Information Minister Omran al-Zou'bi affirmed to journalists in Geneva on Sunday.

Al-Zou'bi said: "There is a basis for Syria's dealing with terrorism. It behaves in accordance with the state's logic and gives a chance to the Syrians, who were misled, to repent and return to state's umbrella. However, the terrorist organizations, which have links with foreign intelligence bodies and the so-called opposition coalition, are the parties which we are fighting."

He pointed out that the armed terrorist groups have kidnapped thousands of people and that the so-called coalition should submit lists of their names and be responsible for their release.

Al-Zou'bi asserted that the United States, Turkey and Qatar are involved in a lot of events taking place in Syria through their intelligence bodies.

Shaaban: We Came to Geneva to Restore Security and Stability to Syria

For her part, the Presidential Political and Media Advisor Bouthina Shaaban stressed that the Syrian official delegation came to Geneva with the hope to restore security and stability to Syria, but the delegation of the other side shows no seriousness regarding this issue.

She clarified that the so-called "opposition coalition" delegation specified certain areas (Homs) for humanitarian assistance and ignored other areas in Syria.

"The Syrian official delegation didn't come to Geneva to help conveying relief aid to a specific area, but to restore security to all the Syrian territories," she said, asking "how assistance can reach an area under terrorists' control and where people are being sniped, killed and displaced."

  "We will discuss issues that concern the Syrian people with main focus on priorities like stopping the suffering, ending terrorism and getting rid of the criminal mercenaries who came to our country from everywhere," Shaaban added.

"We are here carrying the troubles of the Syrian people and also their aspirations to stop terrorism and rebuild Syria," Dr. Shaaban reiterated, assuring the Syrians that the delegation works confidently and constructively and it will never let the tears of martyrs' mothers, wives and children go in vain." 

H. Mustafa

Qadri Jamil: 'Geneva-2 is historical chance for Syrians to find peaceful way out of the crisis'

"I believe that Geneva is the first historical chance for the Syrians to find a peaceful way out of the crisis. Until now, all the confronting parties were trying to solve the problem by military means. It was long ago, two years ago already, when we as the opposition said that it was impossible to solve the Syrian problem by military means neither from this nor from that side," Qadri Jamil, former Deputy Prime Minister of Syria, told The Voice of Russia.

Well, and we can say that you are a former Vice Premier of Syria, aren’t you?

You can, I do not insist.

Vice Premier and, according to you, a representative of the Syrian opposition. All right. Mr. Jamil, then I begin our interview and, of course, my first question is about the Geneva-2, which you are following just the way we are. The first days of the Geneva-2 have shown that passions are running high, and positions of the parties differ significantly and sometimes are even diametrically opposite to each other. Nevertheless, what would you say to skeptics who insist that such a conference makes no sense? In your opinion, what is a possible positive result of such a conference?

I believe that Geneva is the first historical chance for the Syrians to find a peaceful way out of the crisis. Until now, all the confronting parties were trying to solve the problem by military means. It was long ago, two years ago already, when we as the opposition said that it was impossible to solve the Syrian problem by military means neither from this nor from that side. So, we long ago spoke about the necessity to start a dialogue and look for a peaceful way out. Now the situation has possibly matured, and the world community, the liberal forces, and the internal forces have sat down at the negotiating table. This is very important. That is why it is necessary to create favorable conditions to stop the bloodshed in Syria, to stop the humanitarian catastrophe, which is growing. The question now is not just a political but ultra-political one because it is already connected with the lives of millions of people. Today, half of the Syrians are in need of urgent help; dozens and thousands of people die every day from hunger, cold, diseases and bullets. That is why, I believe, the priority for all politicians of the world and not only of Syria is to stop this bloodshed, because its consequences will be tragic not only for Syria, but for the entire region and may be for the whole world.

Mr. Jamil, you’ve used the word “compromise”. What might be the parameters of this compromise? What concessions may the opposition make and what concessions may President Assad make knowing that not only the future of the current power, but maybe the future of the Syrian state as a whole is at stake?

The Syrian crisis does not take place in a vacuum. Syria is not on Mars, Syria is on Earth. That is why the Syrian crisis has many coordinates. The first and the most important coordinate, the problem that needs being solved is the external, military, direct or indirect interference in Syrian affairs. Without this we cannot find a solution for the Syrians to sit down at the negotiating table. Now, you know, tens of thousands of militants are fighting in Syria; they’ve come from all over the world – from China to Spain, from 80 countries around the world. Syria looks like Spain in 1936 at present. That is why the first but insufficient solution for the Syrian crisis is to stop external interference. It will certainly influence the decrease of violence inside the country; it will create favorable conditions for the people of Syria to solve their problems by themselves. That is why, if the world outside Syria leave us alone, then Syrians will be able to solve their own problems.

And still, the stumbling block is the issue of the political structure of the future Syria. May the Syrian opposition one way or another abandon its strict position, its ultimatum that President Assad and forces associated with him must not be represented in the future government? Don’t you think that such a strict position drives the situation into a dead-end?

I’d like you to pay attention that you are speaking about the opposition as if there was only one opposition. We have a pluralistic opposition. We have different opinions in the opposition. And those, who represent the opposition in Geneva now don't even represent a 10 percent of the Syrian opposition. That is why we cannot call their position the position of the opposition. We as the opposition, from the very first day, said that we oppose the external interference; we want to change the regime, to change the regime radically. These things do not contradict each other. And those, who stayed in Istanbul, wanted to change the regime with the help from the outside. And we saw the tragic experience of Yugoslavia, Libya and Iraq, when they tried to change the regime from the outside and how it concluded. That is why it is necessary to give the Syrian people the right to self-determination. But this right cannot work, if the current level of interference from the outside is preserved. Here we have two parallel tasks. We cannot separate the Syrian internal problems from what is going on outside Syria. That is why we must simultaneously make the Syrians ready, they must get ready themselves for the change of the country’s political structure. But in order for this to be successful, we need to stop the humanitarian catastrophe; we need to stop the external interference.

Mr. Jamil, you’ve mentioned outside forces, but along with Saudi Arabia, Iran-which was not invited /to Geneva/ at the last moment, remains one of the players. You know that at first, there was an invitation from the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and then he called it off at the last moment. Russia stated until the last moment that Iran’s participation in the conference was very important. In your opinion, why would Iran’s presence at the conference be so important?

In order to secure its complete success. All the players should be at the negotiating table. If somebody doesn’t want Iran to be present (I do not say this because I like or do not like Iran, but from a pragmatical point of view), Iran has its weight in the region, its weight in Syria. That is why we must invite Iran so that to come to an agreement with all the interested parties on the end of the Syrian crisis. So, if they don't want to invite Iran to the negotiating table in Geneva, then I cannot believe they want to resolve the Syrian crisis.

Mr. Jamil, I’d like to ask you as the representative of the Syrian opposition. In your opinion, what became the decisive factor in denying Iran the right to participate in the conference? Can you name the forces that became the stimulus of this decision?

There are forces that did not want to convene the conference at all.

Can you name them?

It is Western liberal forces that supply weapons for the militants, help them with money and people. I will name them if you like: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, France, Great Britain; all of them play a very negative role in the development of the Syrian crisis. These forces planned not to allow the convening of the Geneva conference. As the conference has started now, they are trying to upset its work. And how to upset it? Not to invite Iran, not to invite the whole spectrum of the opposition. These steps are made in order not to give the conference any chances of success.

Mr. Jamil, don’t you think that such a position regarding Iran is lesser and lesser reflecting the changes that are taking place in Tehran. Have a look, a few days after the invitation to Iran was called off, Iran’s President Rouhani comes to the International Economic Forum in Davos and delivers a sensational speech confirming readiness to normalize relations with the West and to develop full-scale cooperation. Don’t you think that forces that act like that now are prisoners of a narrow-minded, out-of-date approach that do not correspond to reality?

You are right. I think, today it is not Iran that is in crisis, but those parties, which insisted on not inviting Iran. They are in a major crisis, they do not know what to do, and they are at a deadlock. But we must mention here that it was possible to convene this conference thanks to the courageous and wise policy of Russia. After the first veto Russia began to play a major role on the international arena, and today Russia cannot be left aside in international affairs. That is why we are counting on Russia’s role in the Geneva conference: an invitation to Iran, an invitation to the whole spectrum of the opposition will guarantee the success of the Geneva conference.

Mr. Jamil, you’ve touched upon a very important issue of Russia’s role. You know that numerous and enormous accusations appear in the Western mass media in the address of Russia; you know that Western politicians make accusations in the address of Russia that it allegedly supports Assad's regime. I ask you not as a representative of the authorities, but as a person, who has quitted the authorities, as a representative of the opposition: Do you consider these accusations true? Can we say that Russia is a strong defender of Assad, but does not try to come in contact with the opposition and does not observe equidistance?

Look here, the Syrian people have very old and close traditions and ties with Russia – both with the state and people. That is why we will not allow this history to corrode. Russia is playing a very positive role now; Russia is not saving the regime; Russia is saving Syria. If there is no Syria, there will be no regime at all. They now want to accuse Russia that it is trying to save the regime. But please, look what is going on in Syria and Iraq. There isn’t any state there, is there? You see what problems are at issue. That is the mechanism of approaching such crises: the international experience has proved that it is impossible to act now as we used to act before. And Russia played an important role in stopping the aggression worldwide in order to give the Syrian people the right to create their own democratic regime.

Mr. Jamil, a very important feature of the last months’ international policy is the fact that the very process of the Geneva-2 was initiated by Russia and USA. Don’t you think it’s a good example of Moscow’s and Washington’s ability to constructively cooperate and to be the pioneers of new formats, new trends – positive trends?

It is necessary, it is very important. As you remember, in the 30s and 40s, US and the Soviet Union played a great role in stopping the fascism. It was a plague. If the ideological enemies were not reasonable and could not come to an agreement, God knows what the fate of the world might have been. By the way, a new fascism is showing up in the region now. It is supported from abroad, as it turns out. That is why there are responsible forces in the West, which are getting stronger, which want to make an agreement with other peaceful countries, like Russia and China, in order to stop that new fascism represented by fundamentalists, extremists, Islamists. It is a form of fascism. And fascism is a manifestation of the big financial capital. What is al-Qaeda? It’s not only the big financial capital; it is at the same time the global criminal financial capital. What is the Muslim Brotherhood? The Muslim Brotherhood is also the global financial capital, which has criminal roots. That is why, by the way, we are dealing here with a difficult, ambiguous issue, and if we speak about the problem of extremists and Islam – it is nourished from the outside, supplied from the outside, supported from the outside. So, things are not that easy.

Nevertheless, do you consider the Geneva-2 to be a common success of the Russian and American diplomacy?

Well, let’s consider that, it is not a problem. But who was carrying the main load of the Geneva-2? It was Russia. The Americans quietly and slowly agreed, but they did agree. We should congratulate them because they were brave and managed to reconsider their former positions.

Mr. Jamil, I’d like to ask you the last question, and it concerns the future. I understand that it is very difficult today to make any predictions, but nevertheless, according to your assessment, when will the Times of Trouble end in Syria? When will we see a democratic, strong and prospering Syria?

I think that the contours of the solution to the Syrian crisis can be seen on the horizon. Now, if we manage to stop the external military interference, the violence inside the country will decrease. I believe, in the course of the next months and years we will witness the end of crisis in Syria.

M.W

Kerry and his ilk try to abort Geneva 2 Conference

During the opening session of the Geneva 2 conference, it was crystal clear that some states were working to abort the event and make killing, destruction and terrorist acts continue in Syria. In fact, these states do not want the crisis in Syria to be resolved peacefully. Rather, they want devastation to continue until they become able to impose their agenda on Syria and the region as a whole to meet the colonialist interests. The US, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, which have failed even to bring a tiny part of the so-called “opposition”, wanted to blow up this conference after they had felt being lost caused by the puppets they sent for negotiations. The delegation of the opposition that participated in the conference does not represent all the spectrums of the opposition, the majority of the opposition’s figures were absent, persons were invited on short notice with the aim of not leaving vacant chairs by order of the US and its allies believing the conference would achieve their sinister objectives . But Syria’s official delegation remained in Geneva and exerted  every possible effort to make the conference a success despite the provocative statements made by the US, Saudi and Turkish foreign ministers who stepped up escalation against Syria with the aim of prolonging the crisis and increasing the sufferings of the Syrian people. The representatives of the US, France, Britain, Turkey and Saudi Arabia spoke like war criminals during the opening session.  The speeches delivered by the US foreign secretary and his followers contained a mix of untrue and unrealistic information contradicting facts on the ground. Some of the speeches delivered seemed as if those who delivered them are ambassadors of terrorist organizations, not states or governments. They must be held accountable as war criminals because they are the ones who provided funds and weapons currently being used by the armed terrorist groups in Syria to slaughter the Syrian people and destroy their public and private properties. Kerry and his ilk delivered speeches that included flagrant intervention in Syria’s internal affairs claiming that Geneva 1 provides for handing power to lackeys and puppets appointed by Ford and his ilk.

The Syrian official delegation came to Geneva for the sake of their country, people and to stop terrorism, bloodshed through a political track that would be determined by the Syrians themselves. The Syrian stance to participate in the Geneva2 conference is consistent with the political choice of the Syrian state since the beginning of the crisis which views that the political solution is the only solution which is determined by the Syrians themselves away from any foreign intervention or diktat.

The Syrian delegation came to Geneva to represent the Syrian government and before that they have a popular authorization from the majority of the Syrian people as to defend their country, preserve its sovereignty, stop the bloodshed and carry out reconstruction process to rebuild what have been destroyed by the armed terrorist groups. But the so-called coalition opposition came to Geneva taking instructions from the former US ambassador to Syria Robert Ford whose suspicious role in the crisis in Syria became known to everyone, especially the death squads he contributed to bring to Syria to take part in killing Syrians and destroy the infrastructure.  For this reason, confusion and subordination continue to prevail among the so-called coalition delegation, and the formation of this delegation continued to change even before the start of the talks. Directed by Ford, members of the so-called opposition delegation have been making provocative statements to abort the conference. But their attempt failed and was disclosed before the world public opinion.

K.Q.