The main focus

The Syrian citizen has always been the main focus of President Bashar Al-Assad. President Assad's recent Syrian TV interview, tackled several issues concerning the domestic affairs for this very citizen. Amaong the raised points underscored by President Assad are:

•        Fighting terrorism is not achieved by theorizing, making rhetorical statements or by preaching. 

•        As for postponing, had we waited for an international decision – and by international decision I mean American, British, French and those who stand with them – we would not have liberated any region in Syria since the first days of the war.

•        We give political action an opportunity so that there is no pretext, but when all these opportunities are exhausted, military action becomes necessary in order to save civilians, because I cannot save civilians when they are under the control of the militants. 

•        The military intervention aims at protecting the civilians, by leaving civilians under the authority of terrorists you extend a service to terrorists and take part in killing civilians.

•        We have not made any concessions and no concessions can be made.  

•        The constitutional committee and the outcomes it might produce later would be used as a launching pad to attack and strike at the structure of the Syrian state.  This is what the West has been planning for years, and we know this.

•        A constitutional committee while the terrorists are still there will solve the problem – how? This is impossible; it is rejected.  The solution starts by striking at terrorism in Syria.

•        The constitutional committee has nothing to do with the elections it is only tasked with the constitution

•        There is no real difference between amending the constitution or having a new one, because there is nothing to define the new.

•        We are fully aware of the game they are going to play. They aim to weaken the state and transform it into a state which cannot be controlled from within and, consequently is controlled from the outside.

•        It starts by stopping external interference in Syria.  Any Syrian-Syrian dialogue complements, contributes and plays a certain role, but it does not replace the first and second elements.

•        If we take Aleppo for instance, it is the heart of Syrian industry, and with Damascus they are the center of the Syrian economy.  So, areas are different but if we liberate areas without taking the necessary measures to invigorate the economy, things will not improve. 

•        So, as a state, we need to accelerate the rebuilding of infrastructure – like restoring electricity and other utilities, and the role of state institutions, in order to facilitate the return of the productivity cycle.

•        The challenge now is to integrate these people into the economic cycle.  The answer to the question: (can we do it?) of course, we can.

•        Dereliction of duty is one thing and corruption is something else.

•        State revenues have also receded as a result of fewer exports and the lack of tourism; no tourists will visit a country during a war.  Countries that we depend on for exports are contributing to the sanctions in one way or another.

•        Nonetheless, we have managed to identify unofficial channels for exports, which has contributed to the inflow some hard currency.

•        Small or medium-sized industries help us reduce our dependency on importing materials and hence reduce the pressure on the Syrian Pound. 

•        The solution lies in accelerating state services and facilities to push projects forward and this is what we are doing; we are waiting for a response, because there is a lot of pressure on foreign investors not to invest in Syria.

•        Now fighting corruption was given priority because of the economic conditions we are living and because this reservoir, which is the state, is punctured in many places, so any revenues going into it were syphoned out.

•        As long as there is corruption, fighting it we will continue. That’s for sure. In these circumstances and in other circumstance.  This is part of developing the state. We cannot talk about developing the state in terms of administration and other aspects without fighting corruption.

•        The first thing in the constitution, or one of its most important provisions, is the protection of private property.  We cannot tell somebody, under any title, we take this property. 

•        The law for the disclosure of financial assets is part of it, prosecuting corrupt individuals for certain wrongdoings is another. 

•        My last meeting with the government was dedicated solely to the role of the media…  the meeting was dedicated to advancing the state media; because it constitutes the most important tool in fighting corruption.


Dr. Mohamad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

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