The "chaos" in Iraq is leading to expansion of terrorism and having a negative affect on neighbouring countries, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview published on Monday as he started an official visit to China.
According to Assad, the situation is bad in Iraq due to occupation. "The Americans have begun to admit this fact. There is a great deal of chaos. What takes place in Iraq affects Syria in particular and other neighbouring countries in general. The situation in Iraq makes terrorism stronger. The region has become a fertile environment to produce further terrorism."
He added the Iraqi situation negatively affects the prospects of growth and peace process. "There can be no growth when war and chaos prevail. The situation in Iraq directly affects economy and leaves no room for investments. "
On the current situation of the Middle East peace process, especially on the Palestinian-Israeli track, the Syrian president said: "The peace process is in need of parties willing to make peace. It needs a sponsor as well. The Arab side has expressed its willingness to achieve peace, while the Israeli side has not.
Assad noted that the peace process sponsor has an important role, but Americans are not interested so much in the peace process. The priority for them is the Iraq issue.
"We call it a just and comprehensive peace. If it is not achieved, there will be no peace. They (Israelis) always look for peace agreements, which are no more than paper documents, but peace is a world in itself and people, it should be between peoples but not between officials, foreign ministers, presidents or heads of governments. In order for peace to be between peoples, the agreed upon issues on paper must be in agreement with the interests of peoples, and just." (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )