Friday, May 13, 2011

'Israel's stability depends on Syria'

Rami Makhlouf

Source: Press TV

A top Syrian official has warned about dire consequences of instability in the country, insisting that security of the whole region, including Israel's, depends on Syria.

Rami Makhlouf, Syria's most powerful businessman and an advisor to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, censured on Tuesday events unfolding in his country, reiterating that the whole region will suffer from instability in Syria.

"If there is no stability here, there's no way there will be stability in Israel; no way; and nobody can guarantee what will happen after, God forbid, anything happens to this regime,” Makhlouf told The New York Times.

He also criticized Western governments for interfering in Syria's internal affairs, urging them not to put too much pressure on Damascus.

"Don't put a lot of pressure on the president, don't push Syria to do anything it is not happy to do," the business tycoon warned, adding that "the decision of the government now is that they have decided to fight," with those inciting unrest in Syria.

Makhlouf's remarks came after the European Union imposed an arms embargo on Syria and placed several leading Syrian officials on its sanctions list following weeks of demonstrations in the Middle East country, which Damascus has blamed on foreign elements.

Since the beginning of Syrian demonstrations in March, hundreds, including members of the country's security forces, have been killed and many others wounded.

The opposition blames the government for the violence, but Damascus insists that armed gangs and foreign elements are responsible for the killings.

Syrian officials say they have busted a number of terrorist groups whose members have confessed to receiving money and weapons from foreign sources to kill demonstrators and security forces in order to cause chaos in the country.

Last month, two car loads of weaponry destined for Syria was seized by Lebanese forces near the Syrian border.

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