Helga Zepp-LaRouche, President and Founder of the International Schiller Institute, is in a special an interview to Syria Times .

Helga Zepp-LaRouche, President and Founder of the International Schiller Institute.Its motto is “mobilizing globally for a New Paradigm of Mankind.”
The Schiller Institute is currently conducting a series of conferences – which can only be held in virtual format due to the corona pandemic -- to try to gain support for the idea that only a “Peace through Development” approach can resolve the situation. Helga Zepp-LaRouche, in a special an interview to Syria Times .
ST : What is the purpose of the Schiller Institute?
HZL:  I founded the Schiller Institute in 1984 to promote statecraft according to the image of man of the German poet Friedrich Schiller. The two main objectives were to develop programs for a just new world economic order and to promote a worldwide renaissance of classical culture based on a dialogue of civilizations, whereby each culture would present the highest expression of its own tradition, and in that way both find the common universal principles underlying all cultures, and become aware of the incredible richness of the diversity of cultures.
The Schiller Institute has worked on concrete development programs for Africa, Southwest Asia, and Latin America, and proposed, following the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Eurasian Land-bridge as a way to integrate the population and industrial centers of the Eurasian continent through development corridors. In the following years, we conducted hundreds of conferences and seminars on five continents, and issued many studies on these programs. In 2014, we published “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-bridge”.
It is our fundamental belief, that humanity must reach a new paradigm in international relations, in which geopolitics is replaced by the pursuit of the common aims of mankind, and the identity of human beings as the only species capable of creative reason known so far in the universe is established as the basis of international relations.
ST: How would you describe American policy toward the ME in general and toward Syria in particular?
Since the Bush administrations up to the present time, the US policy toward the ME has been catastrophic. Never-ending sanctions and endless, permanent hot wars have cost millions of lives. Essentially, US policy has been a continuation of the Sykes- Picot and British Empire policies, and of the Bernard Lewis plan, using Southwest Asia as a cockpit for proxy wars, first with the Soviet Union and more recently with Russia. The US spent trillions and trillions of dollars on these wars, which would have been better invested in rebuilding their infrastructure at home. The policy of regime change against Syria has not succeeded, but has brought tremendous suffering and harm to the Syrian people.
ST : In your opinion, what is the right path to follow to alleviate the suffering of the Syrians?
HZL: What is needed is a strong chorus of voices from many countries in the ME, but also from elsewhere in the world, saying that the new name for peace is development, as Pope Paul VI had expressed it, and as recently repeated urgently by Cardinal Zenari. An economic  development plan for all of Southwest Asia must be put on the agenda, and all neighbors from Russia, China, India to Egypt -- and hopefully including the US -- must be won over to participate. My late husband, Lyndon LaRouche, had proposed such an “Oasis Plan” back in 1975, and we have  elaborated a program for the extension of the New Silk Road into West Asia. Ever since President Xi Jinping’s trip to Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt in 2015, this has been a concrete perspective. For Syria, we worked out a “Phoenix- Plan” for the reconstruction of the nation.
The Schiller Institute is conducting a series of conferences – which can only be held in virtual format due to the corona pandemic -- to try to gain support for the idea that only a “Peace through Development” approach can resolve the situation. Mrs. Bouthaina Shaaban will be a speaker at the next one, this coming Saturday on May 8th.This is also in the interest of European countries, that have also been affected by the refugee crisis. People all over the world have to understand that only a new paradigm in thinking, combined with the evoking of Agape, as defined in the 1 Corinthians 13 letter, will ensure the survival of the human species as a whole.
Interviewed by : Reem Hadad
Haifaa Mafalani