Assad: There is no al Qaeda, Democracy can't be imported
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad gave an interview to the Greek TV, aired Sunday, in which he stressed that the entire Middle East region has been living in a situation of turbulence for the past hundred years. During that period there have been a number of wars, and these turbulences increased after the creation of Israel in 1948.
"That is what we are worried about - the wrong policies. We see that things are worsening by the day," President al-Assad asserted.
Al-Assad pointed out that "today we live in a world that lost its balance. The United Nations is ineffective."
The Syrian leader said regarding Iraq "the situation as we see it, or as it is seen by other people in other countries in Arab, Middle Eastern or even distant countries outside the Middle East - all these countries agree that the situation is very bad politically, economically, on the humanitarian level and from the other perspectives. That is what we heard from the Iraqis themselves."
He added that the problem started with the occupation and the collapse of the state in Iraq. "The solution is to reverse this process by withdrawal and by establishing a state which guarantees stability and prosperity, regardless of how we define this state."
Al-Assad added that "if the American forces withdraw without allowing the Iraqi people to draw a constitution and to elect their institutions, there would be problems. These occupation forces have responsibilities. The responsibility is to transfer authorities to the Iraqi people so that they choose their own future. Then, the withdrawal of these forces will be positive in all respects, for the Iraqi people and the Iraqi state."
Answering a question on Syria’s position towards the US-backed peace plan known as the "Road Map" and towards the question of peace process in the Middle East, Al-Assad underlined that "there are initiatives proposed to us using certain terms and that latest of these was the Road Map. If you like to draw a map of a certain road, then the road should be there in the first place; otherwise the map will be an illusory one."
"So, at the beginning and before we use this term, the 'Road Map' we should identify the road to peace."
He pointed out that we "started the peace process 13 years ago and we have achieved nothing. One reason is that there are no criteria. So, the instrument or the vision that we have is the one we agreed on in the Madrid Conference; we, as one party, and the other parties, the United Nations, the United States and all countries of the world supported the Madrid conference which possessed the instruments, the road, the objectives and the vision. We should reconsider the causes of the failure of the peace process; we should put new criteria and move on with confidence. Then we can achieve peace. This is the Syrian vision which we propose to the officials we meet to discuss the peace process."
Concerning the bombing attacks launched recently in Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, he said that "We have made our condemnation of these terrorist attacks. We also think that there is no al – Qaeda network. Many of these cases are individual ones and some of them might be organized. It is not enough to condemn terrorism."
"I think that the danger is much greater than Bin Laden, and it has become much more dangerous after Sep. 11th , 2001.
Answering another question related to the U.S. declaration that it will create Iraq as a model of democracy for the Arab world, the Syrian President said that "democracy cannot be imported. Every people creates its own democracy. If you want to go into the details of the situation in Iraq, a little while ago I talked about an Iraqi constitution . The United States has not allowed so far the Iraqis to draw a constitution. The U.S. troops are killing Iraqis on a daily basis. They came as a liberating forces, but services are bad, there is no water, no electricity, no security."
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)