Al-Moallem: Syria supports any international effort to combat terrorism as long as it preserves civilians’ lives and sovereignty

Sep 29, 2014, Sana

**excerpts from Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem’s speech to the UN:

“…We have spoken on more than one occasion and on more than one international platform about the grave danger of the terrorism striking Syria. We said that this terrorism will not be confined within the borders of my country because terrorism recognizes no boundaries. This extremist ideology does not acknowledge anything but itself, and does not recognize anything but slaughter, murder and torture. You are witnessing today what the ISIS, the most dangerous terrorist organization in the world at all in terms of funding and brutality, is doing to Syrians and Iraqis of all spectra and religions. This terrorist organization is enslaving women, raping them and selling them in slave markets; it is cutting heads and limbs, and it is teaching children slaughter and murder, besides destroying historical and cultural monuments, as well as Islamic and Christian Symbols.

… what we see on the part of the US administration is a double standard policy and alliances to score certain political agendas, particularly through supporting with money, weapons and training of groups they call moderate. This is a real recipe for the increase of violence and terrorism, shedding of Syrian blood, prolonging of the Syrian crisis and demolishing of the political solution at its basis. This behavior creates a fertile ground for the growth of these terrorist groups that commit the most heinous crimes on the Syrian territory, which requires all of us to seriously and effectively address and eradicate terrorism, and re-establish security and stability in Syria and the region.

Today, the enslaved women are looking forward to us to see what we will do for them, their sisters and their children. The sons and daughters of the victims beheaded by ISIS are waiting for our actions, and for our reaction in the face of the atrocities committed daily by this terrorist organization, “Al-Nusrah Front” and others.

…stopping states that arm, support, train, fund and smuggle those terrorist groups. We have also to drain the resources of terrorism. Striking terrorism militarily while some states are continuing their support of terrorist groups, this will create a whirlpool of which the international community will not exit in decades.

…We have also to put pressure on countries that render all multifaceted support to these terrorist organizations; these countries are well known to all of us. Most importantly, to pressurize those countries that exported and are still exporting extremist and takfiri ideology that poses a grave danger to international peace and security. The ISIS is an ideology metamorphosed into an organization supported, armed and trained in order to be unleashed like a monster against Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.

…My country was and it is still firm in its position that was announced in the eighties of the last century, regarding fighting terrorism, before this terrorism goes rampant as it is currently. …we, in Syria, respect our commitments and honor our promises and pledges. This was what we confirmed on more than one occasion, particularly since the beginning of the crisis in Syria.

…a goodwill gesture, and to stop bloodshed of Syrians’ blood, we went to Geneva only to find a delegation that does not negotiate on behalf of Syrians. Originally, that delegation has no influence on the ground in Syria and neither popularity nor legitimacy among the Syrian people….A delegation that does not believe in combating terrorism or confronting it. Furthermore, it was a delegation that does not respect Syria’s sovereignty and its territorial integrity. A delegation that verbally refuses to ask terrorist groups to end their terrorism.

…we emphasize that we are ready, and even are striving, for a political solution in Syria and in dialogue with all honorable national opposition members opposing terrorism in Syria, and among Syrians themselves and on Syrian territory.

The presidential elections, that took place before the sight of the world, put everyone before their responsibilities. The will of the Syrians is above all those who tried to suppress it for more than three years now, and it was manifested when Syrians inside and outside Syria said their word for the whole universe to hear.

Now, after the presidential elections, we would like to tell everyone who wants and looks forward to a political solution in Syria that they must firstly respect the Syrian people’s will, which was manifested explicitly, clearly, strongly and most loudly. They chose their President, for the first time in Syria’s modern history, in multi-party elections, with the international monitors from several countries that witnessed the integrity, transparency and the enthusiasm of the people to participate in these elections.

…any dialogue must be based on foundations that should respect the will of the Syrian people and its decision. Accordingly, we are open to a political solution in Syria, with a real opposition that seeks the prosperity, stability and security of Syria, an opposition that does not depend on the outside and does not speak on behalf of the outside. An opposition that has an impact on the Syrian territory, and has deep roots inside Syria, not in hotels and Western capitals. A national opposition that upholds fighting terrorism as its priority, as well as, an opposition that encourages the ongoing local reconciliations, paving the way for the success of the political solution.

The continuation of terrorist attacks in Syria increase the humanitarian needs in many of the basic areas, the inhuman sanctions, imposed by the European Union and the United States, aggravated the living conditions of Syrian civilians. In collaboration with the United Nations and its humanitarian agencies, and within the framework of humanitarian response plans agreed upon them with the Syrian government, my government is working to meet the basic needs of citizens, especially those forced by the terrorist acts to flee their homes. We should note that a great number of our people were forced to resort to some neighboring countries, and regrettably, some of those countries put the displaced Syrian in military training camps, or in what resembles places of detention. I stress, from this platform, that the Syrian state guarantees for those citizens who are willing, the safe return and decent life away from the inhuman conditions they are suffering in those camps. I would like to assure Syria’s readiness to exert all efforts to deliver aid from international organizations to all Syrian citizens without any discrimination wherever they are, and within the framework of respecting the national sovereignty.

The Syrian Arab Republic confirms its adherence to the full restoration of the occupied Syrian Golan until the line of June 4th, 1967. It also emphasizes its rejection of all actions taken by Israel, the occupying power, to change its natural, geographical and demographic characteristics, in clear violation of relevant Security Council resolutions, in particular resolutions 497 of 1981 and 465 of 1980. Syria confirms, also, that the Palestinian issue is the central issue of the Syrian people, which supports the inalienable and legitimate rights of the brotherly Palestinian people, particularly, the right to return and self-determination, and to establish its independent state on its land, with Jerusalem as its capital.

Last September, Syria accepted the initiative of the President of the Russian Federation, H.E. Mr. Vladimir Putin, and joined the Convention of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, based on the need to establish in the Middle East a free zone of nuclear weapons and all weapons of mass destruction. It also wanted to prove to the whole world its commitment to stand against any use of chemical weapons.

Syria fulfilled its obligations resulting from its accession to the Convention, and completed its commitments despite the prevailing difficult situation.

The big question that remains is whether those who are supplying the terrorists with this, and other types of weapons, will stop their actions and abide by international law, in particular the Convention of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the Security Council resolutions related to terrorism?

Syria stresses that establishing a zone free from all weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East is unachievable without the accession of Israel, the only nuclear power in the region, to all treaties banning such weapons, and to put its nuclear facilities under the supervision of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). At the same time, we emphasize the right of all countries to acquire and develop nuclear technology for peaceful uses.

…we call for the lifting of the blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba for decades, as we renew our call to lift and stop all the unilateral coercive measures imposed on Syria and the peoples of other countries such as Iran, DPRK, Venezuela and Belarus.

…we believe that priority should be given to work on the concerted efforts of the international community to combat the terrorism of the ISIS and Al-Nusrah Front, and other al-Qaeda affiliates, and drain its resources in order for security and stability to prevail in our region and the world.”

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