Divining the News (DTN)

Not Mainstream News

Guardian’s exclusive interview with Syria’s Assad says nothing…

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Our Lords and Masters must have told the Guardian to print nothing of consequeunce …

The flavour suggests a comfortable confident President who feels time is on his side

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guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 17 February 2009 20.10 GMT    Ian Black in Damascus

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In recent months Damascus has become the Middle Eastern capital to visit: Nicolas Sarkozy, with ­characteristic panache, blazed the way for France and Europe; David Miliband and other EU foreign ministers followed. Turkey is also playing a key role. …

“Bush failed in everything,” says the president. “They [the Bush administ­ration] worked hard to achieve regime change. But it didn’t work. It didn’t work because I am not an American puppet and have good relations with my people.” …

Next month’s Arab summit in the Qatar’s capital Doha could be the ­opportunity for a collective Arab response to recent events: a key issue, says Assad, is to restore Palestinian unity after the debilitating split between the PLO in the West Bank and the Islamists of Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas is a sensitive issue in Syria. Its exiled leader, Khaled Meshal – once the target of a Mossad hit team – is based in Damascus and enjoys the protection of the authorities. But Assad is quick to defend its right of resistance to Israel – widely supported by ordinary citizens – and to minimise his own influence over the Palestinian movement. …

In the light of comments such as these, suggestions he may downgrade his relationship with Hamas or Hezbollah seem wide of the mark. …

Overall, his view is that violence is a symptom, not the cause of the Middle East’s problems.

Nor is Syria’s strategic relationship with Iran, its ally since the 1979 ­revolution, up for grabs. Dialogue with Tehran should begin at once, he says, and westerners should not “waste their time” on imagining that June’s ­presidential election will change ­anything fundamental. …

“We don’t allow anyone to make o[u]r internal issues a matter for relations. Europeans and Americans supported the occupation of Iraq. Talking about values has no credibility any more. And after what happened in Gaza they have no right (to criticize us) at all.” –more–

Written by morris

February 17, 2009 at 10:44 pm

Posted in Assad, israel, Syria

Tagged with , ,

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