Syrian president gives televised address, announces no security cooperation for Western countries that support “terrorism”; Criticizes Turkey and Israel
Syrian President Basher Assad gave a televised address Sunday, speaking to journalists and diplomats, announcing that cooperation with the West would not occur until it ended its support of “terrorism”, referring to support of rebel forces.
Assad praised Iran, China, Russia and Hezbollah/Lebanon in his address, highlighting them for their political, economic and military support in Syria’s six-year civil war. He stated, “Their direct support-politically, economically and militarily – has made possible bigger advances on the battlefield and reduced the losses and burdens of war,” adding that “they are our partners in these achievements on the road to crush terrorism”.
He criticized the West, clarifying regional support for his regime, stating “We [Syria] are not isolated like they think,” referring specifically to the United States he added, “it’s their arrogance that pushes them to think in this manner.”
He announced that embassies would not be reopened nor any security cooperation considered until states “cut their relations with terrorism”, Assad stating “There will be no security cooperation nor opening of embassies or even a role for some countries that say that they want to play a role in ending the crisis in Syria before they clearly and frankly cut their relations with terrorism. At that point maybe we can speak about opening embassies.”
Majority of European countries and the United States closed their embassies in Damascus in March of 2011.
On Israel, he stated that “Israel is still the enemy that occupies our lands” referring to the Golan Heights, and added that the “Palestinians are still a key issue from our point of view.”
The Syrian president also criticized Turkey, calling Erdogan a “political beggar” and supporter of terrorism, stating “Erdogan is playing the role of political beggar after his support for terrorists was exposed. We don’t consider the Turkish side to be a partner nor a guarantor nor do we trust it.”