Abdel-Halim Khaddam, the former Syrian vice president said he was making efforts "in a serious manner" to topple the regime of President Bashar al-Assad through a popular uprising.
In comments published Friday by Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, Khaddam said in Paris that he was rallying Syrian opposition parties to "create the right atmosphere for the Syrian people to topple the regime." "This regime cannot be reformed, so there is nothing left but to oust it," he said in an interview. "The Syrian people will be the ones to oust it." He stressed that he was not looking for a military coup.
Khaddam said he was not seeking to become president, but admitted to having political aspirations. "I want to save the country," he said.
Asked if he would ask foreign governments for help to end Assad's rule, Khaddam said: "I did not contact anybody because change has to come from within. If the main vector for change is external, then the interests of the country are harmed."
Khaddam also dismissed Damascus criticism about him and said the "real traitor is the head of the regime" and added that the Syrian president should be tried. He also spoke about the poverty among the ordinary Syrian people, while Assad's family members and friends are deeply involved in corruption and in stealing Syria's wealth and resources for their own selfish use.