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Monday, March 6, 2006
President al-Assad Speech At the Arab Parties General Conference (very important to concentrate on the right to return)

President Bashar al-Assad Delivers a comprehensive Speech At the Arab
Parties General Conference
Sunday, March 5, 2006 - 12:15 PM
Under the mottos
We want resistance for peace
Challenges growing, Syria's position strong
Re-mapping the region is their target
Unity of Iraq basis for independence
US facing complete failure in Iraq
President addressed Arab Parties Conference
DAMASCUS, (SANA - Syrian News Agency)

In a comprehensive political speech at the opening session of the Arab
Parties General Conference yesterday, President Bashar al-Assad said that
the Arabs derived their strength from two main sources, the first of which
is Islam which is strongly connected with Arabism, and the second is
Christianity which emerged among the Arabs in Arabic language which is

President al-Assad expressed appreciation for the decision of the Arab
parties to hold their general conference which he described as very
important in Damascus for extending support for Syria and Lebanon, pointing
out that such a decision reflects the consciousness and awareness of the
Arab political trends and forces of the conspiracies being hatched.

The President added that the title of the conference supporting Syria and
Lebanon's consolidates a deeply-rooted fact in which Syria and the Arabs
believe, that Syria and Lebanon are two inseparable sisterly countries.

The President pointed out that what happens against an Arab country can't be
isolated from the rest of the Arab countries, stressing that what is
happening now to
Syria and Lebanon and before to Iraq, Palestine are interrelated.

The president said that the challenges have grown and by the time they have
become chronic and turned into a pain and the Arab nation is living in a
chronic case.

He added that such a pain is being felt on the official and popular levels,
and the Arab general weakness is an outcome of foreign conspiracies and self
shortcomings which can be attributed to short sightedness which is a
dangerous indication that the societies are not developing and history
repeats itself when we fall in the same trap more than once and every time
the trap becomes deeper and the price gets higher.

The President added that some have called Syria ?an opposition state? which
means a static defensive state but this doesn't express Syria's position,
because Syria has always been moving with the events and has been wrongly
understood, because those who called Syria an opposition state were not able
to understand these events.

He pointed out that pressure on Syria is being put because Syria is acting
to prevent the Zionist hegemony and other international powers that are
targeting the Arab
nation.The President said that Syria and Lebanon are only a link in a chain
which was plotted against the Arab nation and the talk about the theory of
conspiracy is not an Arab invention but was clearly written in the
literature of the West.The President indicated that Syria warned the
Americans that they would sink in the Iraqi quagmire although you would win
the war, pointing out that Syria warned the British and the European
countries and the Arabs who didnt take firm stance regarding this war.The
President said that some of the Arabs thought that the war is targeting the
regime and if the regime is ousted the other regime can be saved, but the
real issue is not regimes, and the issue is countries and the target is to
re-map the region and oil remains a temptation of the war.President al-Assad
said that Israel remains a fundamental factor in all what is happening in
the Middle East, pointing out that Iraq is the target which has very big
potentials.Regarding Syria, it may differ a little through Syria's
suffering. Like any country, it will be as a spearhead through its
geographic position and its historic role. I want to talk about a point
concerning Syria. I say this point is not a suffering, rather it is a pain.
We always talk about it with sorrow, namely the misunderstanding of the
Syrian stand by many of the countries of the world. What concerns us
specifically is the Arab states and Arab peoples sometimes and the political
forces particularly. Now I want to go through the examples directly in order
to talk about reality.As I said, the pain which we suffer from in Syria is
always the understanding of the Syrian stand though it is understood later
but late, i.e. after it is too late and after we pay the price. I will give
example: Syria's stand regarding the Iraqi-Iranian war. We have paid the
price for ten years of blockade, criticism and Arab fierce attack. Eight
years of war and two years until the occurrence of the Iraqi invasion of
Kuwait.He said that after the invasion, I heard from the Arab officials,
though later, that Syria was right. President Hafez al-Assad was always
saying that a similar thing will happen and we did not believe. We were
mistaken. We appreciate this frankness which is not always available in the
Arab world. We don't feel happy because it is too late.The President added,
you all know that we have been exposed to pressures over the past years. We
believed that we side with the Palestinian people. We have conviction in
this subject. Regrettably, the pressure came from the Arab states on this
subject. The West does not concern us in this subject. What is important for
us is the Arab homeland.About the invasion of Iraq, the President added that
we had exerted great efforts to explain the dangers of this war for two
years before it and two years after it. But some Arab states were talking in
a different language, the same language which Syria is talking.We were
accused of being unrealistic... hardliner, that we don't read the political
map, don't know that the world has changed and that there is one pole. Under
these difficult circumstances, we have had to fight the many political
battles in the past years, facing two trends. The first exists in the West.
It could be governments, intellectual strata...etc. Some of them exist in
friendly and unfriendly countries. They despise the other, especially Arabs.
This trend believes that it is an absolute power that cannot be confronted,
so we have to submit to it and agree on whatever it says and orders even if
it was against our interests.The second is represented in some in our
region, especially the Arab world, who don't respect their identity and
culture, but admire unlimitedly and non objectively the West. If we want to
admire something let it be with reasonable limits. This admiration caused
some circles blindness.Concerning the ground on which we were advancing at
this stage, first of all, there is an eroding Arab situation, or rather
there is no an Arab situation at all, at least at the official level. I
distinguish between the official and popular levels. There is an identity
that is lost between the West and the East, past and present.There is also
the short-sighted vision, which is one of the difficult points we suffered
from in Syria. I mean that there is a principle adopted by some in our
region that says let us win today and lose tomorrow.For us, the reasonable
matter is to think that let us win today and tomorrow, and at worst let us
lose today and win tomorrow. In other words, let us win on the long term
since it is inadmissible to lose on the long run.This ground and different
trends combined together to constitute a state of siege against Syria with
the aim of subjugating it in order to become a part of the providing state
in our region. In this case, we will not be an obstacle to any foreign
scheme, and embarrass any of the forces existing in the region, which want
to go with the West. This is what we have constantly rejected.No doubt the
war of Iraq has drawn the attention on what is taking place in the
Palestinian lands, continued acts of killing of the Palestinian brothers.He
said that maybe there is another target as to draw the attention for the
future like the demolishing of Al-Agsa Mosque with the aim of creating a
temple similar to that of the foundation of Israel in 1948. Striking Iraq is
a striking the Arab nation because Iraq has big economic, scientific and
human potentials and a big national and Islamic castle to the Arab nation.
All these reasons pushed for the war. But what are the methods? The methods
started after the invasion of Kuwait and is continuing until now. The
blockade caused the death of hundred thousands of Iraqi children.The
President added that starvation and instability were the method adopted
before the war.The second method which started directly after the war was
the killing of Iraqi scientists. Assassination was carried out deliberately.
We should not have brains, should not develop.He continued to say that the
other side is to create a sedition among the Iraqis in order to obliterate
the Iraqi identity. To begin with was the theft of national museum. The
theft process was carried out within a deliberate plan and not a matter of
law or outlaws. It was an organized work. The pictures were cut by experts,
some say that there were Israeli elements who entered with the American
troops.Of course, we all know what Iraq's history means as one of the
richest and oldest countries in the world with regard to history.Later, many
things happened in relation to Iraq's Arab identity, through attacking the
national structure and consequently turning the Iraqi citizen's belongings
from the national and pan-Arab ones into narrow tribal, sectarian and
religious belongings, and so on. But the most dangerous is what happened
recently when the tombs were attacked. The aim is to destroy the national
and pan-Arab identity, since as long as there is an identity gathering the
Iraqi people, Iraq will remain united. Attacking this identity paves the way
for other identities, and consequently Iraq will be divided.We must remember
that there were acts occurred in Iraq at the hands of the occupation forces
who were disguised in Arab uniforms. US officials claim that they have
nothing to do with such acts. It is known that legally the occupation forces
are responsible for everything, security, economy and services. Therefore,
it is natural for them to bear the responsibility.The aim of this attack is
to create a sedition. They adopt in their dealing with the Arabs a
step-by-step approach. When Israel killed Mohammad Durra in Palestine, there
was a great protest.Today, when we hear from time to time that Israel killed
two Palestinians, we say poor Israel, it did only kill two Palestinians. The
issue becomes like a habitual act. When they destroy in the future Al-Aqsa
Mosque, we will be exceeding the stages of preparation. It is a question of
doses that are given step-by-step. The President added the funny thing
was that the Americans convinced the whole world they would not withdraw
from Iraq in view of the confusion which would be incurred as a result,
while in fact the US occupation troops are the real reason behind the actual
confusion taking place on the ground.The President expressed his belief that
withdrawal of the US troops has become urgent. He called on the Iraqi people
to unite on this issue.The President also expressed his belief that the
solution lies in awareness, wisdom and dialogue amongst the Iraqi people as
a way out of the crisis. The President outlined the priorities as the unity
of Iraq which comes in the first place, and its national Arab identity that
comes second, as well as, Iraq's independence which comes in the third place
indicating withdrawal of the occupation troops.The President highlighted the
fact that the unity of Iraq is the basis for the achievement of the other
goals of independence and national identity which is the denominator for all
Iraqis. The President further highlighted that the Iraqi constitution would
be a factor for settlement in Iraq if it were subject to approval by all
Iraqis. On the other hand, this constitution would lead to conflict and
civil war if it were subject to dispute by the Iraqi people. An agreed-upon
constitution would result in national establishments which in turn would
guarantee Iraq's independence following withdrawal by the occupation forces,
the President added.Security and stability, the President added, would come
as a result to a political process. Absence of security and stability would
lead to catastrophic consequences in Iraq.The President explained how Syria
supported the political process in Iraq away from any viewpoints.In this
framework, the President talked about Syria's support for the Iraqi
electoral process when she provided the Iraqi electorate, residing in Syria,
with all possible facilities.Syria tried hard to promote relations with the
Iraqi government, the President said. Nevertheless, Syrian success, in this
respect, had been limited in view of American pressure. This Syrian
endeavour was manifested in the Syrian attempt to open the Syrian embassy in
Baghdad last summer. However, the US administration did not allow the Iraqi
officials to receive the Syrian delegation which stayed in Baghdad for seven
days.While receiving Moqtada al-Sadr here in Syria, the President said that
Syria announced she would re-open the Syrian embassy following the formation
of the Iraqi government.The President highlighted the issue of sending an
Arab peace keeping force to Iraq making clear that he had put a question
forward to an Iraqi delegation, that visited Syria once, on how the Iraqi
factions would deal with an Arab peace-keeping force entering Iraq under the
American flag. The President highlighted that the Iraqi delegation told him
they would deal with such a force as if it were American forces. He said
that when security pretexts continued, army, soldiers, security; this means
that these pretexts were made within the framework of the picture drawn up
by Israel in the 90's when it wanted to escape peace requirements and
forwarded a substitute to land for peace, security for peace.The President
added that this was forwarded by Netanyaho in 1996, security for peace. Of
course, this theory failed in Lebanon when Israel was occupying south
Lebanon from 1982 to 2000. Israel failed to realize security for itself, its
agents and allies in Lebanon. Also the multinational forces failed. Israel
failed in Palestine also. The withdrawal from Gaza is an evidence for the
failure of this theory. Hamas' victory is another failure. The US failed in
carrying out this theory in Afghanistan, and now we see a complete failure
in Iraq. The President said that following resolution 1559, blackmailing
Syria has started and foreign and European officials generally came to Syria
for bargaining and to say do not withdraw immediately, you can take some
steps, and we in Syria had been withdrawing from Lebanon within the
framework of our convictions and interests.The bargaining continued until
few days, before the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri which
created a shock, particularly with emotional and sectarian provocation of
some Lebanese officials.The President said that the decision was taken to
withdraw from Lebanon, and Syria completed its withdrawal from Lebanon in
less than two months.Nations of the West thought that the resolution 1559
could not force Syria to pull out of Lebanon, then the resolution can be
used to weaken Syria through weakening the resistance and the Palestinian
situation through the camps, in addition, the quick withdrawal will have
internal repercussions which may lead to the fall of the regime, but things
were very clear to us and we dealt with the situation with remarkable
calm.The President pointed out that the first international investigation
was openly disclosed at the Arab and international levels as
politically-motivated and on-professional.The UN resolution No. 1636 was
based on an incomplete report having no evidence or clear accusations and
allegations that Syria is responsible for any event taking place in Lebanon.
Such bases are illogical and constitute a grave precedent on the entire
world, not only on Syria.
The course of the commission activities ran into three stages of attack. The
first phase started with accusing Lebanese resistance of the assassination
attempt but the idea totally failed and could not be marketed. The second
phase began with attacking Syria and imprisoning some Lebanese officers on a
testimony of a false witness. The third stage ran a vicious drive aimed at
toppling the regime in Syria in terms of putting tough and incessant
pressure on the country. The three manipulated drives eventually failed
owing to scandals that brought investigation to a collapse due to open
incredibility.What was achieved is contrary to what they planned as the
Syrians were united in unprecedented way against the attacks and were well
aware of the entire state of affairs.Thereupon, they started to re-launch
new attacks through the Feb. 14 hysteria which is an expression of utmost
failure of anti-Syrian forces.They will resort to a new attack under another
banner -which is to unveil the truth - that has proven to be a stupidity by
the forces moving from a failure to another. They are now launching attacks
against President Lahoud because he is a staunch defender of resistance and
the plot aims to get Lebanon away from Syria.Sometimes we commit a mistake
by thinking that the entire issue started with Resolution 1559 or with
extension of the Presidency or with the post-Iraq war era. But the issue is
in fact long stages each with a certain step pending new circumstances and
paving the way for new stage to follow.However, the problem is not between
Syria and Lebanon. It lies in a Lebanese political bloc which has a problem
with Syria and is working under the command of others who are concocting
plots against Syria. Our battle is not with this bloc because it is only a
tool and states do not fight tools. Our battle is with the causes that have
led to such a circumstance.The causes are the repercussions of the failure
in Iraq and Palestine and a reflection of a certain international
situation.It is not a Syrian issue but is an Arab one that should be
confronted through a joint Arab action and through facing, the others in
true battle fields and not against this Lebanese bloc which claimed itself
to be a majority. The so-called majority is not a plentiful of money, the
number of seats in parliament and an intrigue on the street.The majority is
the national forces that back resistance and support ties with Syria.What is
going meantime is temporary and transitional as elements of the political
current are before two options: either to resort to reason and logic and
then maintain dialogue or to reap utmost failure.As regards peace, it is not
opted for in the foreseeable future since Israel is day after day
demonstrating itself to be far from peace - and as the US is now seen away
from this peace because peace can empower some Arab countries - and because
some other countries made peace initiatives in a bid to get out of their
internal, regional or international crises.Nevertheless, all Arab peace
initiatives were dealt with in a despicable way because they were an
expression of weakness, and that is why talk about peace in Syria is no more
frequent lest it should be interpreted as a point of weakness. And as Arab
peace tracks were contradictory and not united, the outcome was further
political losses and more killings on behalf of the Palestinians.We are with
peace, but the drive run by the Arabs and their political vision was
wrong.The reaction came at the popular level. The Palestinian Intifada of
2000 did not break out owing to Sharon's provocative visit to al-Aqsa
Mosque, but it was a reaction to the Oslo accord which the Palestinian
people thought it would lead to the establishment of an independent state
and the recognition of national rights.The other reaction is the Hamas
election win. Hamas victory is not a triumph for a certain group, but is
understood to be an election for resistance.Hamas'victory is an internal
issue. We don't distinguish between this and that group. We want a good
relation with all the Palestinian trends. Our relationship with President
Mahmoud Abbas is good. We told him that what concerns us is the unity of the
Palestinians.But what concerns us with regard to Hamas' victory is the great
pressures put on us in the last few years for the presence of Palestinian
groups in Syria. The election of Hamas proves the correctness of the Syrian
position. This means that we were aware and confirmed that the path of
resistance expresses the option of the Palestinian public. We believed at
that time that this is what the Palestinian people want, we didn't know that
Hamas will enter the elections or not, and we didn't know that it is going
to win or not. But we were aware of this direction. The Palestinian people
expressed this direction and the correctness of our position towards these
elections.We have been criticized for such position. Colin Powell was the
first to ask us to expel Hamas and Jihad, when he visited Syria three weeks
following the Iraq war. Before the visit, we talked with brothers in Hamas
and Jihad and told them that we expect that we will be asked to close the
offices. In fact, they willingly said that they want to ease pressures on
Syria and that they will close the offices. We told Secretary Powell about
the agreement reached with the Palestinian factions. The surprise was that
the required was not the closure of the offices, they asked to expel the
organizations. Some Arab countries began pressing in this direction. I told
them when you expel a person, we send him away to his country, where can we
expel them, since they are not allowed to go home to their country? I asked
them if they accept them in their countries, but they refused. Then I asked
them to find a solution for them.Now, they found the solution through the
elections. The second point which concerns us is that the elections are the
true standard for the European advices on democracy. Foreign officials like
to assume the role of teacher when they come to us. They offer us advices
about democracy, my love to my Syrian people, the Arab's love to the Arab,
and how to move towards peace.Now, we see the great contradiction they are
in, and how their calls drive them to deal with ?a terrorist organization.
They are confused, cut the aid, threaten to cut the aid, agree on aid, ask
Hamas to recognize Israel...etc.The third point is what we always discuss
with President Abbas and brothers in the Palestinian organizations. This
point is to unify the Palestinians. I said to brothers in Hamas following
their victory that the first aim must be unity with all the different
trends. I mean by unity, inside and outside.The other aspect which concerns
us is the issue of Palestinian refugees. We have in Syria about a half
million Palestinians for whom and for whose rights regard ourselves
responsible until they regain these rights and decide by themselves if they
are going to keep on defending them. Some say that this argument is
unreasonable. We say it is not us who determine, but the owner of the right,
if it is reasonable or not. It is very important to concentrate on the right
to return.The other aspect is the game of tracks. If the Palestinian
Authority decided to move towards peace, they will not find the party that
accept to play with them the game of tracks. All of us speak one logic, that
is the return of all Arab rights without any concession.
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