Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem has described the United States as the main architect of the plots against his country, saying that Western and certain regional countries are being used as pawns in Washington’s struggle to achieve its goals in Syria.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem
In an interview with the British newspaper The Independent published on Tuesday, Muallem stated, “We believe that the US is the major player against Syria and the rest are its instruments.”
He added, “I tell the Americans: You must read well what you did in Afghanistan and Somalia. I don’t understand your slogan of fighting international terrorism when you are supporting this terrorism in Syria.”
He went on to say that over 60 percent of Syria’s violence comes from abroad, specifically from Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, with the United States exercising its influence over all the others.
“When the Americans say, ‘We are supplying the opposition with sophisticated instruments of telecommunications,’ isn’t this part of a military effort, when they supply the opposition with $25 million?” Muallem asked.
He added, “I tell the Europeans: ‘I don’t understand your slogan about the welfare of the Syrian people when you are supporting 17 resolutions against the welfare of the Syrian people.’”
Muallem opined that the goal of the unrest in Syria is to pressure President Bashar al-Assad’s government in regard to its relations with Iran and the resistance movements in Palestine and Lebanon.
“We were told by some Western envoys at the beginning of this crisis that relations between Syria and Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, Syria and Hamas are the major elements behind this crisis. If we settle this issue, they [the Americans] will help end the crisis,” he said.
Muallem stated that the Syrian crisis started with “legitimate demands” subsequently addressed by “legislation and reforms and even a new constitution.”
Then along came “foreign elements” who used these legitimate demands “to hijack the peaceful agenda of the people.”
“I don’t accept as a citizen to return back centuries to a regime which can bring Syria backwards. In principle… no government in the world can accept an armed terrorist group, some of them coming from abroad, controlling streets and villages in the name of ‘jihad’,” the Syrian foreign minister said.
Commenting on Syria-Qatar relations, Muallem criticized Doha for turning against Damascus.
“I met the emir (King Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani) in Doha in, I think, November 2011, when the Arab League started their initiative [resulting in the dispatch of Arab League observers to Syria] and we reached agreement… The emir told me: ‘If you agree to this initiative, I will change the attitude of Al-Jazeera and I will tell [Sheikh] Qaradawi [a popular cleric with a regular slot on the television network] to support Syria and reconciliation, and I have put down some billions of dollars to rebuild Syria…’” he noted.
Muallem said he later asked the Qatari emir why he was sending aircraft to attack Libya to join the NATO offensive, despite the fact that he previously had very close relations with Muammar Gaddafi.
“The Qatari emir in response said because we don’t want to lose our momentum in Tunisia and Egypt — and Gaddafi was responsible for dividing Sudan,” the Syrian foreign minister said.