Syria’s Hope, Lt. Gen. Bashar Hafez Al-Assad threw his hat on July17, 2000, into the ring of regional and international politics as to continue the march of construction and modernization initiated and closely watched over by his father, President Hafez Assad. The legacy of the late President would ever illuminate the path for Syrians and all the honest; hence, President Bashar Hafez Al-Assad’s inauguration speech came as a landmark strategy and mechanism of action at all levels and fields. H.E reiterated Syria’s ever cling to the realization of just and comprehensive peace on the related UNSC resolutions, the full return of the land to line of June4 1967 lines, calling on Mideast peace sponsor to actively and evenhandedly be engaged in the process and for more Arab solidarity, cooperation and coordination.
The text of President Bashar Al-Assad's historic speech underscored scores of principles, ideas, noble and sacred issues:
The target is to prepare skilled and qualified social forces able to deal and interact with various world developments especially as our current reality constitutes a ground that is not quite apt to enter the new century which is the century of institution and information technology.
Women play an important role in progress and development in various places of work. The appropriate ground for women's participation should be well prepared so that they may become more effective in our society and more capable to play a role in its development.
Promises should not be cut unless one possesses all the elements that lead to the achievement of the required task.
Our strenuous efforts to foster our domestic front are strengthened through our relations with other countries.
Hopes for establishing healthy Arab-Arab relations.
We, in Syria, shall stay as we have always been, supportive of any solidarity step that might serve the higher interest of the Arab nation, particularly steps that might lead to the consolidation of points of agreement among Arab countries in a way that undermines points of difference and division and paves the way for a reasonable level of productive relations among these countries at a first stage in order to prepare for a better future for these countries at later stages.
Ending the civil war in Lebanon, establishing national reconciliation in addition to the defeat of the Israelis in the eighties and nineties and finally their worst defeat lately in the month of May are a clear evidence of the importance of Syrian-Lebanese solidarity.
We, in Syria, shall always stand by Lebanon and support it in all its national causes, especially in matters which concern the return of its full territory and the return of its prisoners locked in Israeli jails and in its brave stand in the face of repeated Israeli threats to lead an aggression against it.
Such threats do not serve the cause of peace in the region; rather they keep the points of tension hot, the fact that keeps the threat of the emergence of new circles of violence in the region possible as well as putting obstacles and impediments in the way of achieving a just and comprehensive peace in the region.
The liberation of our territory is at the top of our national priorities and is as important to us as the achievement of a just and comprehensive peace that we have adopted as our strategic choice, but not at the expense of our territory nor at the expense of our sovereignty.
Our territory and our sovereignty are a matter of national dignity and no one at all is allowed to compromise any of them. We were very clear in dealing with peace issues, firm in our stands since the beginning of the peace process in Madrid in 1991; unlike the Israeli policy that fluctuated sometimes and put obstacles at other times. Until this very moment they did not give us any proof that invites confidence that they have a true and genuine desire to achieve peace. Rather they have been suggesting different versions in order to cover what they truly want to do so they ask us to be flexible and I think that they mean the territory should be flexible in order to press its borders and make it shrink in a way that suits their objectives or they send us missionaries who ask us to agree to a modified line of June 4 and ask us to call this modified line June 4, as if the difference is about naming the line. Or they suggest to give us 95% of our land and when we ask about the remaining 5% they say it is only a problem of few meters and this should not be an obstacle in the way of peace. If those few meters are not a problem and should not be an obstacle in the way of peace, then why they don't return to the June 4th lines and give us 5% of the territory west of the Lake?
They have betted on many things; they have betted on the health of President al-Assad forgetting that national leaders who enter history enter it through the doors of their own countries and enter the world of eternity through the same door and never through concessions and giving up rights. They have betted on the military strength and were defeated in Lebanon. They have betted on our national unity and our people defeated this bet and now what are they going to bet on? The only betting that may succeed is to bet on the will of the people to return their rights through the return of their complete territories to the line of June 4, 1967. Only then we can proceed towards a just and comprehensive peace.
Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim