Sunday, August 21, 2011

West not after reforms in Syria: Assad

Syria's President Bashar Assad speaks during an interview with Syrian state television in Damascus August 21, 2011.

Source: Press TV

The Syrian president severely criticizes the US and its allies for their intervention in the country's internal affairs, saying they are not in pursuit of political reformation in Syria.

Bashar al-Assad said in a televised interview with the Syrian state TV on Sunday that Washington and its European partners were hindering political change in Syria, while political solution was the only way out of the country's crisis.

“In the beginning, the aim is not reforms for the West, they do not want reforms ... They do not want us to make reforms,” said the head of state.

Assad said, “The reforms for the colonial Western powers, their main aim is ... to give them what they want, to tell them I abandon everything, I abandon all my rights. This is reforms for them ... and this is something they cannot dream about.”

“The plan was to overthrow Syria during a period of weeks and what helped us is the will and vigilance of the Syrian people.”

He noted that the Syrian constitution required revision and the promised reforms would be implemented within the next few months.

Unrest started to sweep through Syria in mid-March, claiming the lives of hundreds of people, including members of the security forces.

Damascus says that the tension is being orchestrated from outside the country and that the security forces have been given clear instructions not to harm civilians.

The president likewise said, “There is nothing called the security choice, the security alternative, there is only the political solution ...our choice was the political solution, however the political solution cannot be successful without maintaining and preserving security, and this is the duty of state.” He vowed that municipal and parliamentary elections would be held respectively in January and February 2012.

Syrian state TV has broadcast reports and images of seizure of arms caches as well as confessions by terrorist elements, pointing to how they obtained weaponry from foreign sources.

The US and the European Union have been issuing Damascus successive broadsides throughout the unrest. They recently urged Assad to give up power and threatened the country with further sanctions.

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