President Assad's Statements to French Media, January 8, 2017.

 Question 1: Mr. President, you have just met a French delegation of MPs. Do you think this visit will have an influence on the French position about Syria?


President Assad: This is a French question. We hope that any delegation that would come here is to see the truth about what is happening in Syria during the last years, since the beginning of the war six years ago, and the problem now, regarding France in particular, is that they don’t have an embassy, they don’t have any relation with Syria at all, so it’s like… we can say it’s a blind state. How can you forge a policy towards a certain region if you can’t see, if you’re blind? You need to see. The importance of those delegations is that they represent the eyes of the states, but that depends on the state; do they want to see, or they want to keep adopting the ostrich policy and they don’t want to tell the truth, because now everything in the world is changing regarding Syria on every level, the local, the regional, and the international. Until this moment, the French administration hasn’t changed its position, they still speak the old language which is disconnected from our reality. That’s why we have a hope that there’s someone in the state who wants to listen to these delegations, to the facts. I’m not talking about my opinion, I’m talking about the reality in Syria. So, we have hope.

Question 2: Mr. President, you said that Aleppo is a major victory for Syria, and a major turn in the crisis. What do you feel when you see the pictures of the hundreds of civilians that were killed in the bombings, and the devastation of the city?


President Assad: Of course, it’s very painful for us as Syrians to see any part of our country destroyed, or to see any blood shedding anywhere,this is self-evident, this is emotional part, but for me as President or as an official, the question for the Syrian people: what I’m going to do. It’s not only about the feeling; the feeling is self-evident as I said. How we’re going to rebuild our cities.

Question 3: But was the bombing of east Aleppo the only solution to retake the city, with the death of civilians, your fellow citizens?


President Assad:  It depends on what kind of war you’re looking for. Are you looking for a quiet war, war without destruction? I haven’t heard, in the history, of a good war, every war is bad. Why bad? Because every war is about destruction, every war is about the killing, that’s why every war is bad. You cannot say “this is a good war” even if it’s for a good reason, to defend your country, for a noble reason, but it’s bad. That’s why it’s not the solution, if you have any other solution. But the question is: how can you liberate the civilians in those areas from the terrorists? Is it better to leave them, to leave them under their supervision, under their oppression, under their fate defined by those terrorists by beheading, by killing, by everything but not having state? Is that the role of the state, just to keep and watch? You have to liberate, and this is the price sometimes, but at the end, the people are liberated from the terrorists. That’s the question now; are they liberated or not? If yes, that’s what we have to do.

Question 4: Mr. President, a ceasefire has been signed on the 30th of December, why do Syrian Army still fight near Damascus in the region of Wadi Barada?

President Assad:  First of all, ceasefire is about different parties, so when you say there’s viable ceasefire is when every party stops fighting and shooting, and it’s not the case in many areas in Syria, and that was reported by the Russian center of observation regarding the ceasefire. There’s breaching of that ceasefire on daily basis in Syria, including Damascus, but in Damascus mainly because the terrorists occupy the main source of water of Damascus where more than five million civilians are deprived from water for the last three weeks now, and the role of the Syrian Army is to liberate that area in order to prevent those terrorists from using that water in order to suffocate the capital. So, that’s why.

Question 5: Mr. President, Daesh is not a part of the ceasefire…


President Assad: No.

Journalist: Do you plan to take again Raqqa, and when?

President Assad:  Let me just continue the second part of the first question. Second part of that ceasefire is not about al-Nusra and ISIS, and the area that we’ve been fighting to liberate recently, regarding the water sources of the capital Damascus, is occupied by al-Nusra, and al-Nusra announced formally that they are occupying that area. So, it’s not part of the ceasefire.

Regarding al-Raqqa, of course it’s our mission, according to the constitution and according to the laws, that we have to liberate every inch of the Syrian land. There’s no question about that, it’s not to be discussed. But it’s about when, what are our priorities, and this is military, regarding to the military planning, about the military priorities. But nationally, there’s no priority; every inch is a Syrian inch, it should be within the purview of the government.

Question 6: Important talks will take place in Astana at the end of the month, including a lot of Syrian parties, including some opposition groups, let’s say. What are you ready to negotiate directly with them, and what are you ready to negotiate to help the peace to come back in Syria.

President Assad: conference is ready to go when they define… when they set the time of that conference. We are ready to negotiate everything. When you talk about negotiation regarding whether to end the conflict in Syria or talking about the future of Syria, anything, it’s fully open, there’s no limit for that negotiations. But who’s going to be there from the other side? We don’t know yet. Is it going to be real Syrian opposition – and when I say “real” it means has grassroots in Syria, not Saudi one or French one or British one – it should be Syrian opposition to discuss the Syrian issues. So, the viability or, let’s say, the success of that conference will depend on that point.

Question 7:Are you even ready to discuss your position as President? That has been contested.

President Assad: Yeah, but my position is related to the constitution, and the constitution is very clear about the mechanism in which you can bring a president or get rid of a president. So, if they want to discuss this point, they have to discuss the constitution, and the constitution is not owned by the government or the president or by the opposition; it should be owned by the Syrian people, so you need a referendum for every constitution. This is one of the points that could be discussed in that meeting, of course, but they cannot say “we need that president” or “we don’t need that president” because the president is related to the ballot box. If they don’t need him, let’s go to the ballot box. The Syrian people should bring a president, not part of the Syrian people.

Question 8: And with this negotiation, what will be the fate of rebel fighters?

President Assad: From what we’ve been implementing during the last three years, because you want genuinely to have peace in Syria, the government offered amnesty for every militant who gives up his armaments, and it worked, and they still have the same option if they want to go back to their normality and to go back to their normal life. This is the maximum that you can offer, amnesty.

Question 9: Mr. President, as you know, French presidential election will take place, do you have a favorite, do you have a preference for one of the candidates?

President Assad:  No, because we don’t have any contacts with any one of them, and we cannot count very much on the statements and rhetoric during the campaign, so we always say let’s wait and see what policy they’re going to adopt after they are in their position. But we always have hopes that the next administration or government or president, they want to deal with the reality, to disconnect themselves from the disconnected policy from our reality. That’s our hope, and they can work for the interest of the French people, because the question now after six years: as a French citizen, do you feel safer? I don’t think the answer is yes. The immigration problem, has it made the situation in your country better? I think the answer is no, whether in France or in Europe. The question now: what is the reason? This is the discussion that the next administration or government or president should deal with in order to deal with our reality, not with their imaginations as has been happening during the last six years.

Question 10: But one of the candidates, Francois Fillon, doesn’t have the same position as the official one; he would like to reestablish the dialogue with Syria. Do you expect his election – if he’s elected – could change the position of France about Syria?

President Assad: His rhetoric regarding the terrorists, or let’s say the priority to fight the terrorists and not meddling in the affairs of other countries, are welcome, but we have to be cautious, because what we’ve learned in this region during the last few years is that many officials would say something and do the opposite. I wouldn’t say that Mr. Fillon would do this. I hope not. But we have to wait and see, because there’s no contact. But so far, what he said, if it’s implemented, that will be very good.

Question 11: Do you appreciate him as a politician, Francois Fillon?

President Assad: I didn’t have any contact with him or cooperation, so whatever I say now won’t be very credible, to be frank with you.

Question 12: Is there a message you want to address to France?

President Assad: I think if I want to send it to the politicians, I will say the self-evident thing; that you have to work for the interest of the Syrian citizens, and for the last six years the situation is going in the other direction, because the French politics harmed the French interests. So, for the French people, I would say the mainstream media has failed in most of the West. The narrative has been debunked because of the reality, and you have the alternative media, you have to look for the truth. The truth was the main victim of the events in the Middle East, including Syria. I would ask any citizen in France to search for the reality, for the real information, through the alternative media. When they search for this information, they can be more effective in dealing with their government, or at least not allowing some politicians to base their politics on lies. That’s what we think is the most important thing during the last six years.

Question 13: Mr. President, your father has been a lifelong President of Syria. Do you consider the option of not being the President anymore, one day?

President Assad: Yeah, that depends on two things: the first one is the will of the Syrian people; do they want that person to be president or not. If I want to be president while the Syrian people doesn’t want me, even if I win in the elections, I don’t have strong support, I cannot achieve anything, especially in a complicated region like Syria. You cannot be just elected president, that doesn’t work, you need popular support. Without it I cannot be successful. So, at that time, there’s no meaning to be president.

The second one; if I have that feeling that I want to be president, I will nominate myself, but that depends on the first factor. If I feel that the Syrian people doesn’t want me, of course I wouldn’t be. So, it’s not about me mainly, it’s about the Syrian people; do they want me or not. That’s how I look at it.

Question 14: Last question; Donald Trump is to be appointed as President of the United States in less than two weeks. He has been clear that he wants to improve relationships with Russia, which is one of your main allies…

President Assad: Yeah, exactly.

Journalist:  Do you consider… do you expect that it will change the position of the United States towards Syria?

President Assad: Yeah, if you want to talk realistically, because the Syrian problem is not isolated, it’s not only Syrian-Syrian; actually, the biggest part… or let’s say the major part of the Syrian conflict is regional and international. The simplest part that you can deal with is the Syrian-Syrian part. The regional and the international part depends mainly on the relation between the United States and Russia. What he announced yesterday was very promising, if there’s a genuine approach or initiative toward improving the relation between the United States and Russia, that will effect every problem in the world, including Syria. So, I would say yes, we think that’s positive, regarding the Syrian conflict.

Journalist: What is positive?

President Assad:  I mean the relation, the improvement of the relation between the United States and Russia will reflect positively on the Syrian conflict.


Journalists: Thank you very much.

 

 Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 More of H.E. President Al-Assad's interviews with French Media:

 President Assad's AFP Interview

Whoever fights terrorism somewhere will protect the rest of the world

 President Al-Assad's France 2 TV Interview, April 20, 2015

President Al-Assad's interview with the French 'Paris Match Magazine, December 4, 2014

President Bashar al-Assad’s interview with Agence France Presse AFP 20-01-2014

PRESIDENT AL-ASSAD/ FRANCE 2 TV INTERVIEW ( November 15, 2009)

PRESIDENT AL-ASSAD/ LE FIGARO INTERVIEW ( November 13, 2009)

PRESIDENT AL-ASSAD/ FRANCE 3 INTERVIEW (May 3, 2009)

PRESIDENT ASSAD/ FRENCH TV CHANNEL3 INTERVIEW (September 2, 2008)

PRESIDENT ASSAD/ LE MONDE DIPLOMATIQUE (July 9th, 2008)

PRESIDENT ASSAD/ L'HUMANITE INTERVIEW (July 9th, 2008)

 PRESIDENT ASSAD/ FRANCE 3 INTERVIEW (December 5, 2005)

PRESIDENT ASSAD/ LE FIGARO INTERVIEW (June 23, 2001)

PRESIDENT ASSAD/ 2001 FRENCH TV INTERVIEW (June 22, 2001)

PRESIDENT ASSAD/ FRENCH MEDIA INTERVIEW (June 16, 2001)

 

  

Solution in Syria Is by the Syrian People

 DAMASCUS, (ST)_ If the European Countries want to help the Syrian People, they should first halt support to terrorists and lift the unjust embargo hitting the daily basics for the Syrians, underscored H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad.

Receiving a joint delegation, comprising MPs from the European Parliament and the Federal assembly of Russia, President Assad asserted that EU officials have to know that the solution in Syria is by the Syrian People.

President Assad pointed out that Western officials have to admit that the terrorist attacks in their countries are but a result for their wrong policies and have accordingly to ask themselves about whether the policies pursued by them are to or against the interests of their people.

President Assad RTP TV Interview, December 14, 2016

H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad gave the following interview to RTP TV channel:

Question 1: Mr. President, let’s start with Aleppo if you don’t mind. There are still thousands of civilians trapped, trying to survive in a sort of sub-human conditions in the middle of a deluge of bombs. Why do you think that they refused to get out?

President Assad: The part that you mention in Aleppo, what they call it the eastern part, is occupied by the terrorists for the last three years, and they have been using the civilians as human shields. From our side, from our part as government, we have two missions: the first one is to fight those terrorists to liberate that area and the civilians from those terrorists, and at the same time to try to find a solution to evacuate that area from those terrorists if they accept, let’s say, what you call it reconciliation option, in which they either give up their armaments for amnesty, or they leave that area. The other thing we did as government is to open gates for the civilians to leave that area, and at the same time for the humanitarian convoys and help to go through those gates inside that part of Aleppo, but the terrorists publicly refused any solution, so they wanted to keep the situation as it is.

Question 2: But Mr. President, aren’t you using the jihadists to discredit all the oppositions at the eyes of the national and international public opinion, and in the end to try to wipe them all out?

President Assad:  we cannot do that for a very simple reason: because we’ve been dealing with this kind of terrorism since the fifties, since the Muslim Brotherhood came to Syria at that time, and we learned that lesson very well, especially in the eighties, that terrorists cannot be used as a political card, you cannot put it in your pocket, because it’s like a scorpion; it will bite you someday. So, we cannot use jihadists because it’s like shooting yourself in the foot. They’re going to be against you sooner or later. This is in a pragmatic way, but if you think as value, we wouldn’t do it. Using terrorism or jihadists or extremists for any political agenda is immoral.

Question 3: But Mr. President, the people, the civilians inside Aleppo, couldn’t we assume that they probably don’t trust the government, they don’t trust the army, that they just want democracy, dignity, freedom? Can you give that to them?

President Assad:  Let’s talk about this point, regarding the reality; since the beginning of the crisis, since the terrorists started to control some areas within Syria, the majority of the Syrian civilians left that areas to join the government areas, not vice versa. If the majority of the Syrians don’t trust the government, they should go the other way.

Let me tell you another example, which is a starker example. You were in Daraya, al-Muadamiya, a few days ago, when you came here, and the terrorists and militants who left that area to Idleb in the northern part of Syria to join their fellow terrorists, they left their families under the supervision of the government, and you can go and visit them now, if you want.

Question 4: Mr. President, I’ve been here first four years ago, and now. Are you winning the war, this war in Syria?

President Assad: We can say, you can win the war only when you restore stability in Syria. You cannot talk about winning the war as long as there’s killing and destruction on daily basis. That doesn’t mean we are losing the war; the army is making good advancement on daily basis against the terrorists. Of course, they still have the support of Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and some Western countries including the United States, but the only option that we have in that regard is to win. If you don’t win and the terrorists win, Syria wouldn’t exist anymore.

Question 5: But would you have done that also without Hezbollah, Iran, and Russia?

President Assad: They are here because they could offer very essential and important help, because the situation that we are facing now is not only about a few terrorists from within Syria; it’s like international war against Syria. Those terrorists have been supported by tens of foreign countries, so Syria alone wouldn’t be able to face this kind of war without the help of its friends. That’s why their existence and their support was very essential.

Question 6: Isn’t Mr. Putin your most important ally?

President Assad: Russia is very important, Iran is very important, Hezbollah is very important. All of them are important. Each one made important achievements against the terrorists in Syria, so it’s difficult to say who is more important than the other.

Journalist: But what’s the role of Russia in Syria nowadays?

President Assad: The most important part of their support is the aerial support, which is very essential, they have very strong firepower, and at the same time they are the main supply of our army for more than sixty years, so our army depends on the Russian support in different military domains.

Question 7: But are you free to decide the future of Syria, or are you dependent on Vladimir Putin’s strategies?

President Assad: No, first of all, we are fully free, not partially, fully free, in everything related to the future of Syria. Second, which is more important or as important as the first part or the first factor, that the Russians always base their policies on values, and these values are the sovereignty of other countries, the international law, respecting other people, other cultures, so they don’t interfere in whatever is related to the future of Syria or the Syrian people.

Question 8: But they have helped you quite a few times in the United Nations. They have vetoed a few resolutions condemning your government, and the Syrian Army. There are several reports regarding Syria for use of chemical weapons, human right abuses, war crimes. All of this in the framework of the United Nations.

President Assad: And many ask “what for?” I mean, what’s in return, what did they ask in return, that’s the question, actually, that’s the content of your question, because we heard it many times, whether in the media or directly. Actually, first of all, for their values, because in these values that I’m talking about, the value of international law, and they have their interest as well. I mean, fighting the terrorists in Syria is not only in the interest of Syria or the Syrian people; in the interest of the Middle East, of Europe itself – something that many officials in the West don’t see or don’t realize or don’t acknowledge – and in the interest of the Russian people, because they have been facing terrorists for decades now. So, the Russians are fighting for us, for the world, and for their self.

President Assad's Russia 24 and NTV channels Interview, December 14, 2016

President Bashar al-Assad asserted that military operations will not stop after liberating Aleppo city from terrorists, and that pauses only happen in an area in which terrorists say that they are prepared to hand in their weapons or leave the area.

In an interview given to Russia 24 and NTV channels that was broadcast on Wednesday, President al-Assad said that the recent attack by ISIS on Palmyra in large numbers and over a large area means that ISIS received direct support from states, and that the timing of this attack is linked to the battle of Aleppo, because they wanted to undermine the importance of liberating Aleppo and to to distract the Syrian Army and fragment its efforts in different directions, asserting that “as we liberated Palmyra in the past, we will liberate it again.”

His Excellency said that the Americans are treacherous, and when their plans fail, they create chaos and then manage the chaos in a manner which enables them to blackmail the different parties, adding that Washington tried to promote the idea that there is something called “moderate opposition” or “moderate fighters,” but they failed in doing that because the facts on the ground proved that all those they support are extremists, whether they belong to al-Nusra, ISIS, or other organizations with the same extremist and terrorist ideology.

President al-Assad said that reconstruction is a huge and very useful economy for any country in the post-war stage, and that Syria has very large material capabilities in the private sector, both in Syria or in the countries of expatriation or among businessmen who emigrated during the crisis, stressing that most of those will return to rebuild their country, and consequently economic movement will start, affirming that there isn’t a great concern in this regard, adding that the Syrian people will not accept any company coming from any state that took a hostile position towards Syria or towards the integrity of Syrian territory or a state that supported terrorists.

Following is the full text of the interview according to SANA:

Question 1: Mr. President, thank you very much for availing us of this opportunity in order to know your perspective of what’s happening in Syria now, and how the situation would be in the future. I believe that it’s very important for our Russian audience to know what’s going on outside our country. Let’s start with the success you have achieved in Aleppo, which is really an important achievement and gives you significant power. But, what will happen after Aleppo? Are you going to move towards Idleb or al-Raqqa, or are you going to stop a little in order to strengthen your position, or reframe your conditions – based on your current strength – in order to reach an understanding with other powers, like the American alliance?

President Assad:  All the things you mentioned go in parallel: we liberate a certain area of the terrorists, and then strengthen our positions in that area, taking precautions against any counterattack by the terrorists from any direction, particularly that they receive support from a number of countries. At the same time, and in parallel with military operations, we provide opportunities on a daily basis both for civilians to leave the terrorist-controlled areas and an exit to terrorists themselves if they want to leave the area with their light weapons or hand themselves over to the state and receive an amnesty in return. As to Aleppo, liberating the city is of course important, but before we talk about the other areas, we need to fortify the city from the outside, in the sense of cleaning the areas surrounding it of terrorists. So far, the areas in which the terrorists are ensconced are about a few square kilometers, but terrorists outside the city are still shelling it with rockets and mortars on a daily basis. Two days ago, a number of people fell martyrs and dozens were wounded in Aleppo. So, liberating Aleppo doesn’t end with liberating the city itself, for it needs to be secured on the outside. Afterwards, identifying which city comes next depends on which city contains the largest number of terrorists and which city provides other countries the opportunity to support them logistically. Currently, there are direct links between Aleppo and Idleb because of the presence of Jabhat al-Nusra inside and on the outskirts of Aleppo and in Idleb. But the final answer to this must be after the liberation of the city, first, and through discussions with the Russian leadership which takes part in these battles with us, and also with the Iranian leadership.

Question 2: But when this operation is over, you no doubt have future plans. Will you stop and start negotiations? Or will you move forward in order not to give terrorists any opportunity?

President Assad: There will be no pause, because this only happens in an area in which terrorists say that they are prepared to hand in their weapons or leave the area. Only then, military operations stop. Operations do not stop during negotiations, because we do not trust the terrorists, because they often say something and do the opposite. They used to ask for ceasefires only to strengthen their positions and obtain supplies consisting of weapons, ammunition, etc. That’s why we do not allow that. Only when we agree to something specific, we do that.

War against Terrorism is for the Entire World, President Assad Underscored

 DAMASCUS, (ST)_ the decision as to liberate all of Syria has been taken since the beginning, including the liberation of Aleppo; we have never thought for a single day about leaving and region without liberation, underlined H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad.

In excerpts of an interview with the Syrian Al-Watan Daily, published Wednesday night by SANA, President Al-Assad pointed out that the developments of fighting operations against terrorism last year led to the military results witnessed recently.

The liberation of the Eastern region of Aleppo comes not within the political framework, but within the course of the normal military actions.

The liberation of Aleppo from terrorists means that no real cards would remain in the hands of the terrorists or in hands of the states supporting the terrorists, H.E. President Al-Assad underlined.

H.E. President Al-Assad asserted that to achieve victory in Damascus or in Aleppo is ,from a military perspective, to achieve a big political and military achievement, because both are important cities from the political and economic status.  

The Americans insist on calling for a truce, because their agents of terrorists are in a difficult position, President Al-Assad noted, so we hear the cries, wailings and begging for truce, in addition to the talk about humanitarian aspects.

In reply to a question about relations with Russia, H.E. President Al-Assad added that we want to bolster these relations and we before and after the crisis call for Russian investments in Syria, citing the basis of principles in the politics of Russia.

The war against terrorism is not only a war for Syria; it is indeed a war for Russia, the region, Europe and for the entire world in general, declared H.E. President Al-Assad.

We seek relations with all world countries, including the Western, reiterated H.E. President Al-Assad, criticizing the hypocrisy and bias of some Western countries.

In reply to another question, President Al-Assad expressed the hope that the wise in Turkey would be able to make Erdogan backtrack on his recklessness and foolishness regarding the Syrian subject as to evade confrontations and we should work for this.

Following is the full text of the interview according to SANA:

Question: Mr. President, can we start with Aleppo? The army is advancing quickly in the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo. But there are American and international efforts, and there are also negotiations with Russia in order to stop fighting completely in these areas. Has the decision to liberate Aleppo completely been taken?


President Assad:  The decision to liberate the whole of Syria, including Aleppo, was taken right at the beginning. We have never thought of leaving any area unliberated. But the developments of military actions during the last year led to these military results which we have seen recently, i.e. liberating the eastern part of Aleppo recently doesn’t come in a political framework, but rather in the context of normal military operations.

Question: Why this international panic and concern for the militants in the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo, although most of them belong to al-Nusra, which is listed as a terrorist organization?

President Assad: There are a number of reasons. First, after the failure of the battle, or battles, for Damascus in the first years of the crisis, and later the failure of the battles for Homs, which was supposed to be a stronghold for the fake or supposed revolution, they moved to Aleppo as their last hope. The advantage that Aleppo enjoys for the terrorists and their supporters is that it is close to Turkey, and consequently logistic supplies to Aleppo are much easier from all aspects. So, they concentrated on Aleppo during the last two years, and that’s why liberating Aleppo from the terrorists deals a blow to the whole foundation of the project, Damascus, Homs, and Aleppo. That way the terrorists and the countries supporting them are deprived of any real cards.