"First of all, I believe that the Lebanese people’s ability to elect a president is a victory for Lebanon. And their electing a person who enjoys consensus is also a victory for Lebanon, and the fact that this person is a patriotic Lebanese is also a victory for Lebanon. When the president is a patriotic person acting in the best interest of the Lebanese people, Lebanon becomes stronger, and when Lebanon is stronger, Syria will be comfortable and stronger. More importantly, when that person is somebody like General Michel Aoun who knows the dangers of terrorism around Lebanon on the Lebanese, this will be a victory for both Lebanon and Syria, particularly when this president knows that Lebanon cannot distance itself from the fires raging around it, and adopts a policy of no-policy or what was called the policy distancing oneself."

President Assad's Interview with Al-Watan Daily, December 7, 2016.


''Lebanon hasn't distanced itself from the crisis in Syria, as claimed, where many terrorists and weapons came from Lebanon.''

From H.E. President Al-Assad’s interview with Al-Mayadeen TV ,October 21,2013

''Lebanon is a very small country, about four million people. Damascus alone has five million, and Syria is too large and wide a country to be covered by Hezbollah. We cooperated on the borders with Lebanon in the fight against those terrorists who were also attacking Hezbollah members. That cooperation was fruitful and successful.''

From H.E. President Al-Assad’s interview with the German Der Spiegel News Magazine, October,7, 2013

''When we got involved in Lebanon in 1976 it was to protect Lebanon and also to safeguard Syria since that war had consequences on us from day one.''

From H.E. President Al-Assad's Interview with al-Thawra Newspaper, July 4,2013

''Undoubtedly, sectarian systems in neighbouring countries, sectarian unrest or civil wars – as in Lebanon 30 years ago, will inevitably affect Syria. That is why Syria intervened in Lebanon in 1976 – to protect itself and to safeguard Lebanon.''

From H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad ‘s Interview with the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper 17,June,2013

''So far what we know is that they are offering the know-how support for the terrorists through Turkey and sometimes through Lebanon mainly. But there is other intelligence, not the Western, but the regional intelligence which is very active and more active than the Western one under the supervision of the Western intelligence.''

From H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad's RT TV Interview , November 9 , 2012

''In various stages there was talk of a green light. For example, when Syria entered Lebanon in 1976 there was such talk and it was repeated at other stages. In fact, Syria doesn't need a green light in sovereign issues, in local issues neither and in national issues, from friends nor from enemies nor from opponents. If we didn't possess the green light then there's no need for our existence as a homeland and as a state.''

From H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad's Addounia TV Interview , August 29 , 2012

''We heard a lot of shouting in defense of the Palestinians in 2008 when Israel attacked Gaza. But two and a half years before that, we did not hear that kind of shouting when Israel attacked Lebanon. The resistance was there in both cases, and Israel killed in both cases, and in both countries the number of martyrs was approximately 1500.''

From H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad's Cumhuriyet Interview , July 3, 2012

''these people receive money to commit massacres at specific times to support a certain decision or a particular conflict at the UN Security Council in order to change the balance inside the council, adding that the same thing happened to the resistance in Lebanon in past years when a certain assassination or a particular crime was committed on the eve of issuing a certain decision pertaining to the resistance or the situation in Lebanon.''

From H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad's Interview with Iranian TV, June 28, 2012

 

 "What pleases me is that this transition between the two governments happened smoothly because we were worried and we expressed our worry before during the last few weeks about the situation in Lebanon; so the most important point is that this transition happened smoothly. Now the second transition cannot happen before you form this government and the question is what government it is going to be? Is it a national unity government? This question is very important because we are talking about a divided country, not a stable government. So, without a national unity government, it does not matter what majority or minority you have. This means nothing because if you have one side taking over the other side, this means a conflict, and in Lebanon for three hundred years it was very easy to have a conflict that could evolve into a fully-blown civil war. Until this moment everything is going fine. So, we hope that during this week they are going to form a national unity government and this is the aim of the Prime Minister. So, I think the situation is more towards the better or towards being assured that things are moving normally and smoothly without any conflict."

From H.E.'s Interview with Wall Street Journal, (January 31, 2011)

  '' In Lebanon, in such a sectarian country, in a sectarian situation with tension, this indictment, which is not realistic because I do not think in any civilized country you indict anyone without any concrete evidence, will create conflict. The only guarantee in this case is the role of the government. If the Lebanese government refuses that indictment because of the lack of evidence, you will not have any problem because at the end everything will be based on evidence. And whether in Syria or Lebanon, we always say whoever is involved or complicit in this crime should be held accountable like any other crime. So, it is about the evidence and it depends, as I said, on the government. "

From H.E.'s Interview with Wall Street Journal, (January 31, 2011)

 "Ex-Prime Minister, Sa'd al-Hariri, said that there were false witnesses. He acknowledged it formally. And the leaks recently during the last few weeks proved without any doubt the way they tried to form this. Normally, if you have a tribunal that is based on fake evidence what would you do? You change everything, you start from the very beginning, you verify what you have! How are you going to continue with the same information that made you base your indictment on something fake? This is a very simple question. I am not a lawyer, you are not a lawyer, but it is a simple truth. Of course, if the tribunal does not deal with this reality, it is not credible. It cannot be credible, besides being politicized. It is the same whether it is under pressure or because they are not professional! I do not think they are not being professional; they have the best judges. Therefore, they could be politicized, and they have to deal with this situation to prove that they are credible. "

From H.E.'s Interview with Wall Street Journal, (January 31, 2011)

 

 

 "I don't want to say that we agree or disagree… the issue is in Lebanon and not in Syria… but everyone has an opinion… For Syria in general as a country and as a political leadership, we do not accept any accusation in any case without evidence… not just in the issue of Lebanon, whether it was from the Tribunal or from others… In other countries, it occurred in several previous situations that accusations were made that may have been political."

From H.E.'s Statements during His visit to Qatar, (December 14, 2010)

  "We say that any accusation requires evidence, particularly if the issue involves a tribunal and is related to a national issue like the assassination of the Prime Minister of a country like Lebanon that contains centuries-old, not decades-old divisions… There must be evidence in order to have no division."

From H.E.'s Statements during His visit to Qatar, (December 14, 2010)

 ''Syrian-Lebanese relations are developing well on official levels and that they require further development, voicing concern over the situation in Lebanon and any conflict that may cause damage to it, calling on all Lebanese political forces to maintain constant dialogue and communication. ''

From H.E.'s Al-Hayat Daily Interview, (October 27, 2010)

 ''The Syrian-Lebanese political relation needs development, and this depends on the institutional relation as we have agreed with al-Hariri , this institutional relation is going well, so when there is a problem in Lebanon, we will have a roof that we can't exceed in this relation.''

From H.E.'s Al-Hayat Daily Interview, (October 27, 2010)

 "Since my first meeting with al-Hariri during his first visit to Syria, I was clear that these issues, which even began before his first visit, went to judiciary…and whatsoever the judiciary suspends this issue, there must be a verdict…this was part of the process that began before the relation with al-Hariri and continued… and it had to end that way.''

From H.E.'s Al-Hayat Daily Interview, (October 27, 2010)

 "In Lebanon, they interpret everything politically, but if we want a political explanation, can anyone of those who considered the warrants a Syrian message to al-Hariri, explain the content of this message, the timing of this message or the basis of it. I challenge them to interpret or give any practical content or timing that leads a message benefiting Syria. These talks are not logical, I've looked for a message, even in media, and I found nothing but accusation of Syria, and that's why I don't want to link the warrants with the prevailing atmosphere in Lebanon,"

From H.E.'s Al-Hayat Daily Interview, (October 27, 2010)

 ''Years ago, Turkey started attempts to improve the Syrian-Lebanese relations through its relations with different sides in Lebanon and through its relation with the Syrian government. I believe that the Turkish credibility is high in this kind of relations and leads to positive results''.

From H.E.'s Press Conference with Premier Erdogan, ( October 11, 2010) 

 ''At the same time, a great number of people, or a great number of the misled Lebanese, discovered that Syria had no connection to the assassination of the former Lebanese Premier Rafiq al-Hariri as it was accused in 2005. Of course we in Syria didn't have any doubts or concerns over this point, but it was natural for us to overreact at that time as a result of instigation and we had to give it enough time to get it back to its normal situation.''

From H.E.'s Press Conference with Premier Erdogan, ( October 11, 2010) 

 "On the whole, the Syrian-Lebanese relation, no matter how good are Syria's or the Lebanese government's intentions, is inseparable from the situation in Lebanon. There is a division in Lebanon which is not new. This has been Lebanon's history for centuries rather than decades. There is a lot of division which affects Lebanon's relations with the others, in particular with Syria as the only country neighboring Lebanon, given that Israel is an enemy state occupying territories which we don't consider as a neighboring country.''

From H.E.'s Press Conference with Premier Erdogan, ( October 11, 2010) 

 ''Let's be clear on this point. We always encourage the Lebanese to be unanimous so that the relation improves. Without Lebanese unanimity, there will always remain a ceiling for this relation's development. This relation is improving right now, but it is not improving enough as to return to normal relations.''

From H.E.'s Press Conference with Premier Erdogan, ( October 11, 2010)

 "As for us in Syria, we didn't have any demands for the Lebanese. We want only one thing from Lebanon that we request from any country, which are security and good relations. This means that no country conspires against another but to cooperate with it politically and economically in a way that serves the relations between the two countries."

From H.E.'s Press Conference with Premier Erdogan, ( October 11, 2010)

 "The situation in Lebanon is worrying, particularly after the latest escalation and the attempts of interference during the past years by foreign countries; however, we count on the awareness of the Lebanese people."

From H.E.'s TRT TV Interview(October 6, 2010)

 ''I’ve believe Syria’s influence in Lebanon has always been strong because of the geo-political position, not because of the army.  The army in Lebanon didn’t do anything, wasn’t involved in politics.

From H.E.'s PBS Interview  (May 28, 2010)

 "The issue of the embassy was a Syrian proposal… without the Syrian conviction it would not be  possible to have two embassies in Syria and Lebanon… when we feel that any idea comes through a demand or interference, will be rejected … a good example on this was the issue of demarcation… a lot of countries talked about demarcating borders with Lebanon, but our answer was very clear… it is a bilateral issue between Syria and Lebanon… now, we have begun to talk about this issue when President Saad al-Hariri came to Syria… before that the issue was not on the table of discussion"

 From H.E.'s Press Interview with Al-Manar Satellite TV, (March 24, 2010)

 "I personally thought since the 1990s that Syria's going into details of Lebanese issues would harm Syria…Today I assert, particularly after the Syrian forces went out of Lebanon, that going into these details is against our interest…We have a firm stance in this regard."

From H.E.'s Press Interview with Al-Manar Satellite TV, (March 24, 2010)

  "We call upon Lebanon to outline its stances towards major issues…We want it to define its stance towards its relations with Syria and regarding Israel, peace and stability as well as cooperation and brotherly Syrian-Lebanese issues…We don't want to go into the daily details of Lebanon because this is against Syria's interest and we reject it."

From H.E.'s Press Interview with Al-Manar Satellite TV, (March 24, 2010)

 The civil war in Lebanon could start in days; it does not take weeks or months; it could start just like this. One cannot feel assured about anything in Lebanon unless they change the whole system.

From His Excellency's ''Direct Quotes'' by the New Yorker, (February 3, 2010)

NB: Mr. Hersh declared later- to the Emirati Al-Khaleej Daily- that this passage was related to past historical events related to Lebanon,

 and that the entire talk with H.E. President Al-Assad was edited and published as a summary! 

   

 ''The Turkish role was not in the limelight as to have normal and perfect relations among States, filled with amity and reciprocal respect. With this in mind, last year, the region actually witnessed a big stride through the development of the Syrian-Saudi relations; and recently through the development of the Syrian-Lebanese relations. Within this frame came the successful visit of the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Saa'd Hariri to Syria laying down correct institutional bases for the relations with Lebanon. Certainly, I am interested in visiting Lebanon; but in the appropriate time.''

From His Excellency's Conference with Premier Erdogan, (December 23, 2009)

 ''In the absence of division in Lebanon, it is easy for Syria to construct normal relations with Lebanon,''

From His Excellency's Le Figaro Interview, (November 13, 2009)

 ''I underlined the viewpoint of Syria regarding the necessity as to speed up the formation of a national unity government in Lebanon that would bring the situation in Lebanon back to normalcy, and would bring Lebanon to its natural role following years of division and unrest.''

From His Excellency's Press Conference with the Finnish President, (October 22, 2009)

 “We announced the ambassadors. Actually we announced the ambassador. He is ambassador in another country - in Kuwait. We gave him two months to pack his things and to come back to his country, then he moves. So it is a matter of time. And the Embassies were opened before the new year. Actually we opened ours before the Lebanese embassy.

From His Excellency’s Interview with the Austrian Der Standard, (April, 18, 2009)

 “There is an agreement between this tribunal- Hariri Tribunal- and the Lebanese government. If there is anything concerning Syria there must be a similar agreement because we have our law. Anything related to any Syrian whether he is guilty or innocent or whatever, any Syrian with no exception should be dealt with through an agreement between any tribunal in this world and the Syrian Judicial System, because you have the right for the people. So you cannot just say I agree, I accept, I trust, it is not about this, it is about law. So if there is an agreement someday, if there is a need for this agreement and then there is this agreement we do not have any problem to cooperate. We will help in anything that could unveil the reality of this crime. We do not have any problem.”

 From His Excellency’s Interview with the Austrian Der Standard, (April, 18, 2009)

 “Our relations with Lebanon are, for sure, better than before; they, however, go slowly because of the Lebanese condition and not because of Syria. We are open to Lebanon as institutions. Bur as long as there is a division in Lebanon, we prefer the relation to remain very official, as not to get Syria involved, especially when there are some who try to use the name of Syria in every problem in Lebanon. We want to be on safety distance”

 From His Excellency Assafir Daily Interview, (March 25, 2009)

  “The Syrian experience – in Lebanon- had clear objectives as to protect Lebanon against dismemberment, restore its stability unifying it. Till the 90’s the experience was a success; when Syria left Lebanon, it was united and to this effect, Syria has succeeded. The liberation – of Lebanon- took place in the year 2000. Syria has played a fundamental role to this effect. Consequently, the objectives of the liberation and unification have been realized.”

 From His Excellency Assafir Daily Interview, (March 25, 2009)

 “Our doors are open; the Lebanese side who wants to open relations with Syria has to move that the doors of Syria are open. We, however, do not deal with whoever does not believe in the Arab Lebanon, or whoever sees Israel as not an enemy, nor supports the resistance. Our political stances are clear; we have no problem with whoever shares our declared stances.” From His Excellency Assafir Daily Interview, (March 25, 2009)

 “Lebanon lives on accord; without accord, it explodes. It is the accord and not the election which brings stability in Lebanon. Whether the side which would win the elections would take Lebanon to accord or the opposite? If it were to take Lebanon to accord, I believe, this would be an important turning point creating the stability for Lebanon.”

 From His Excellency Al-Khaleej Newspaper Interview, (March 9, 2009)

 “We see that every thing in the world is far from objectivity; if the United Nations itself does not carry out its duties, along with its Security Council too, do we expect a small institution affiliated to it to work independently? There are no guarantees, and if there were to be any politicization- as far as Hariri’s tribunal-, Lebanon would be the first to pay the price. The court was established for Lebanon. We hope that there were never to be any politicization; but there are no guarantees.”

 From His Excellency Al-Khaleej Newspaper Interview, (March 9, 2009)

 “Hezbollah presents no danger to anyone.”

From His Excellency Der Spiegel Interview, (January 19, 2009)

  “Hezbollah is an independent organization that is part of the government today. And Lebanon is an independent nation, whose sovereignty we accept.”

From His Excellency Der Spiegel Interview, (January 19, 2009)

 

“We voice satisfaction over the positive climate in Lebanon following the Doha Conference, which has laid down the basic titles for national accord, prepared the appropriate conditions for the achievement of stability in Lebanon, and which has denied those who tried to strike against Lebanese unity the chance to do so.”

  From His Excellency Speech At the opening of the 2nd Transitional Arab Parliament Session, (November 9, 2008)

  “Our relations with Lebanon will remain fraternal, whatever happens and despite the circumstances of any kind or degree, naturally above all after the Doha Agreement, through which Lebanon moved away from civil war. The most important thing I want to say is that Lebanon and Syria will remain brothers, and it cannot be otherwise. Brothers may pass through periods of misunderstanding and dissensions, but they do not cease to be brothers living in the same house. Our relations will therefore remain in this orientation and Syria will continue to support it in the way desired by the Lebanese.”

 From His Excellency Monday Morning Interview, (September 30, 2008)

 “As for our reception of certain Lebanese personalities, we believe that after Doha and the new stage into which Lebanon has entered, especially with the formation of a government of national unity, the most important thing has been the visit of General Michel Sleiman, president of the Lebanese Republic, to Syria, which opened a new page in relations between the two countries. It is natural that, when speaking of a new page, relations with Lebanon should include the whole country, the institutions, the parties and political forces. Relations with these forces does not signify interference in domestic Lebanese affairs and, therefore, cannot be the subject of controversy. Naturally, whoever does not want good relations with Syria does not look favorably on these visits. Nevertheless, I want to stress the fact that these visits have not been interrupted. The difference now is that they have been given a media cachet. They will continue for those who wish to come to Syria.”

  From His Excellency Monday Morning Interview, (September 30, 2008)

  “Syria posed the subject of an embassy in 2005, three and a half years before the reestablishment of relations with Paris. We cannot expect to improve our relations with Lebanon if these must pass through a third state. There will not be a true improvement, but only a temporary improvement, one of pure form.We must therefore deal directly, and it is in this framework that the subject of diplomatic relations between Beirut and Damascus comes. An embassy does not signify for us the recognition of Lebanon’s independence since we have always recognized it. We don’t believe that there is a relationship between the opening of an embassy and the recognition of Lebanon’s independence. The establishment of diplomatic relations aims to open a new page between the peoples and not between governments. Such is our vision of independence, and diplomatic relations are a new page between the peoples, not between the governments. Between us and Lebanon there is a contact of peoples. There was not in the past a black page that now needs to be made white. I don’t consider problems to be a black page, but a summer cloud which has been dispelled.”

 From His Excellency Monday Morning Interview, (September 30, 2008)

 “What you say is exact, and it expresses a negligence on the part of institutions in Syria and Lebanon, especially since the end of the civil war in 1990. Economic relations are very important in linking peoples together. The fraternal relationship exists, as does the relationship of blood and of families… All this is established between Syria and Lebanon, and a kind of complementarities began to appear between the Syrian and Lebanese markets. The Lebanese market lived in large part from Syrians who spent their money in Lebanon, and vice-versa. Recent circumstances have weakened that relationship, which has not taken a clear institutional form. It is a relationship of peoples, and if it were otherwise, it would have been institutionalized in the 1990s, and this would have favored the emergence of mixed markets.”

 From His Excellency Monday Morning Interview, (September 30, 2008)

 “The North of Lebanon has become a real base for extremism; it poses danger for Syria,”

From His Excellency Al-Hawadeth Magazine Interview (September 30, 2008)

   “The uncovering of the assassination crime against Premier Hariri does serve directly Syria,”

From His Excellency Al-Hawadeth Magazine Interview (September 30, 2008)

  “An exchange of the embassies does not mean the recognition of the independence of Lebanon; hence we ever recognize the independence of Lebanon,”

From His Excellency Al-Hawadeth Magazine Interview (September 30, 2008)

 “Lebanon has been an essential part of today’s Summit talks; we are very satisfied over the positive steps taken in Lebanon, especially following the Doha Conference. The State of Qatar was able through the strenuous efforts as to push away the specter of war from Lebanon,”

 From His Excellency Statements at the Quartet Damascus Summit  (September 4, 2008)

 “The legislative steps to this effect are underway; once these steps would have been finished , there would be ambassadors between both countries.”

 From His Excellency Statements at the Quartet Damascus Summit  (September 4, 2008)

 “Hezbollah is now a very big political force; it has ministers in the government. Hezbollah, I believe, establishes in a correct manner its relations with other political forces in Lebanon, and enjoys increasingly the masses support.”

 From His Excellency Interview with the Russian Kommersant Daily  (August 20, 2008)

 “The Doha Accord has put Lebanon on the right course, transferred Lebanon from the verge of civil war to the phase whereby the Lebanese can dialogue among themselves in a political way regarding the future of their country,”

From His Excellency Statements in France (July12-14, 2008)

 “What has been achieved for Lebanon , specially from the signing of the Doha Accord and today, is very important under the sponsorship of the State of Qatar and the Personal Patronage of H. E. the Emir of Qatar. This very important achievement needs the more of support; the president has been elected, the government formed, now there is elections law , the elections, the national dialogue among the Lebanese, as to be confident that the history of Lebanon, which has witnessed many clashes, would never be repeated in the future with no kind of clash.”

From His Excellency Statements in France (July12-14, 2008)

 “ we are very keen on the unity, and stability of Lebanon; our doors are open for Lebanese with no exception, exerting every possible we can as to make success of the Doha Accord and what has been agreed upon”

From His Excellency Statements in France (July12-14, 2008)

 “The Syrian-Lebanese relations are distinguished; no country in the world should object to such relations,”

From His Excellency Statements in France (July12-14, 2008)

 “Definitely,  yes from different aspects. The first aspect as you mentioned, it is a victory for the Lebanese. This is so because Syria protected itself; when you have chaos, conflict, civil war and whatsoever in Lebanon we will be affected directly, this is the first victory. The second victory is that many Lebanese and many officials around the world used to accuse Syria of creating problems in Lebanon, and that we have an interest in creating these problems and having conflicts in Lebanon, but the Doha Accord which was supported directly by Syria was a stark proof that Syria is working in the other direction, not like what they used to mention; this was very important for Syria. And even the proposals we used to propose few months ago before solving the problem were the same proposals the Doha Accord depended on. So, we were proved to have the vision for a safe Lebanon.”

From His Excellency Indian Daily, the Hindu Interview (June 12th, 2008)

  “The interests of Syria and Lebanon are common. So, the relations should move in the right direction to be better in the future. But the visit of the president, this is related to the formation of the national unity government in Lebanon first. Second, this is related to the discussion between me and the Lebanese president; we have not had any discussion about my visit. But, when I spoke to him after the Doha Accord, I told him that we are ready to help Lebanon and help him personally in his mission. He said we want the help of the Syrians in the future and we said we are ready; we are still waiting.”

From His Excellency Indian Daily, the Hindu Interview (June 12th, 2008)

 “Of course if you have a unity government formed in Lebanon that will mean that the tribunal should work professionally and not in a politicized way. This is an important guarantee and this means that you have consensus in Lebanon about certain issues, and if you have this consensus, it means that the tribunal cannot be politicized. You are right, this is about the government not about the opposition.”

From His Excellency Indian Daily, the Hindu Interview (June 12th, 2008)

 "Supporting Lebanon means that we have to stand side by side with it, but not to stand on behalf of it. As Arabs, we have to understand that our role is to help Lebanon, but the key solution, development, improvement in the situations and optimism are contingent upon Lebanon, rather than upon us." , "We recognized Lebanon in 1976, but the issue of embassies was not on the table as the Syrian-Lebanese Supreme Council was in place of the embassy and had a dynamic structure." "How can we fail to recognize Lebanon while we have official bilateral agreements? How can we hammer out an official deal involving the border, customs and agriculture with a party that we do not recognize?"; "Our precondition was that there should be a national unity government with which we should be on good terms. It goes without saying that we will have good ties with a unity government that represents all Lebanese parties."

From His Excellency Statements during His Kuwait Visit (June 4th, 2008)

 "The latest crisis in Lebanon caused us great concern. I was personally afraid of the prospect of a new civil war, since what happens in Lebanon affects us in Syria and adds a new burden [on Syria],", "It is crucial to have a national unity government in Lebanon in line with the Doha Agreement after the President [Michel Sulaiman] was elected,", "It is not true that this is the demand of Syria's opponents in Lebanon, but opening an embassy needs good relations between the two countries, and we were forced to put off this step as relations with Lebanon deteriorated in the past few years," , "Syria said three years ago it was ready to demarcate the borders and some committees have already started working on it."

From His Excellency Statements during His U A E Visit (June 3rd, 2008)

  “ We support every Arab effort to solve the crisis in Lebanon. If some Arabs believe the essence of the Arab problem is Lebanon, as Arabs we have to take the initiative and solve the problem of Lebanon. But to say that Syria is responsible for Lebanon is absolutely unacceptable.”  

From His Excellency Interview given to the Qatari ‘Al-Wtan’ Daily  (April 27th 2008)

   “We do reject a deal related to any issue; it is not part of our habits to make deals in politics; hence the issue doesn’t pertain to commodity selling and buying; it pertains to states rights, principles, and interests. In fact, what has happened is contrary to that, where we have been offered many things whether from the Americans or from those who relate to them. We have always told them that the issue of the international court is related to Lebanon, and is an agreement between the Lebanese government and the United Nations." 

From His Excellency Interview given to the Qatari ‘Al-Wtan’ Daily  (April 27th 2008)

   “ Our answers have always been that that we never strike deals and that the issue of the court doesn’t relate to Syria. We have since the beginning supported through our declarations the international investigations. Further, Syria’s friends in Lebanon have supported the international investigations and the court during the dialogue preceding the war against Lebanon in 2006. Thus, such a statement- US Secretary of State one- is worthless, especially when there is the Administration, which indeed lacks credibility.”

 From His Excellency Interview given to the Qatari ‘Al-Wtan’ Daily  (April 27th 2008)

  “We have repeated for all, Arabs and foreigners,  who have discussed the issue of the court with us as if were of concern to us that this issue is of no interest for us; we even have rejected discussing this issue. Nevertheless,  there is insistence by some that this issue causes worry, insistence to legate  the events taking place in our region, especially in Lebanon, to Syrian worry or to some Lebanese. The only problem in the court is when it aims not as to search for the truth. Had the aim of the court been as to know the truth, where is the problem?! To prove this, Syria has cooperated with Brammerts Committee; Syria has cooperated in a satisfactory way with the Committee as  all the reports presented by Brammerts to the UN state this clearly. Had there been any non cooperation , Brammerts would have stated said in his report. We have backed the international investigation and every action, means, way or solution which lead to the truth. There are some who take of using the court as a political means; if this was to be the case, then, Lebanon is to be harmed before Syria is to be so. Our concern in Syria comes from whatever disorder in Lebanon, and not from the court.”

 From His Excellency Interview given to the Qatari ‘Al-Wtan’ Daily  (April 27th 2008)

  “we have sacrificed during 30 years of our past presence in Lebanon, whether in defending Lebanon against the Israeli invasion of 1982, or in other consequent stages, the thousands of the Syrian lives. Why have we done so? Because the Stability of Lebanon is directly reflected on the stability of Syria”

 From His Excellency Interview given to the Qatari ‘Al-Wtan’ Daily  (April 27th 2008)

   “ Of course, assassinations took place in Syria too; does this mean that Syria is responsible for all these assassinations? Definitely no! we have state that the Syrian responsibility in Lebanon was not to bodyguard persons nor to deter explosions, the Syrian responsibility was to safeguard the national security; that is to deter civil fighting and support the Lebanese Army following the Taif Accord . following the stabilization of security in Lebanon during the 90’s and with the coming of President Lahoud to the presidency in 1998, we have realized that the situation by then was prepared for the Syrian withdrawal. We imitated withdrawal from Lebanon before the assassination of Hariri, withdrawing about 62 or 63 percent of the Syrian troops notwithstanding the circumstances. The Syrian troops role was not security for persons neither entailed the mechanism of a security apparatus. This was never part of the Syrian troops tasks.”

 From His Excellency Interview given to the Qatari ‘Al-Wtan’ Daily  (April 27th 2008)

   “The problem is not the election of a president, which is part of a big problem related to the lack of confidence among the Lebanese sides. The confidence is to be guaranteed by the constitutions and different commitments including the Presidency, government, parliament, electoral laws and similar other things and many details, which I do not want to get involved in. Once the confidence is missing in a country, the need is for mechanisms with no exceptions that would restore the confidence among the sides. Thus, the issue is not to solve one problem; but to solve the big problem. I can not answer on the behalf of the Lebanese”

 From His Excellency Interview given to the Qatari ‘Al-Wtan’ Daily  (April 27th 2008)

   “So, we dialogue with the Lebanese out of our vision, the Lebanese sides , however, know their interests more than we know”.

 From His Excellency Interview given to the Qatari ‘Al-Wtan’ Daily  (April 27th 2008)

   “A  large part of the Arab public opinion, and after three years , is not convinced with such declarations. Political declarations at the level of states or political figures without a proof are meaningless and make  their speakers lose.”

 From His Excellency Interview given to the Qatari ‘Al-Wtan’ Daily  (April 27th 2008)

  "once there is a national unity government in Lebanon seeking good relations with Syria, an Embassy is to be a normal out of question thing.”

 From His Excellency Interview given to the Qatari ‘Al-Wtan’ Daily  (April 27th 2008)

 “As for Lebanon, we voice concern over the situation it has been passing through and the domestic division, which, up till now, forbids the non agreement on common national denominators. Though of the said in this regard, we underlined our keenness on the Independence of Lebanon, its sovereignty and stability. In light of the standing transparency with the leaders of other Arab countries, I think it is necessary to clarify the said regarding the so-called Syrian interference in Lebanon, and the calls, statements and pressures as to end them; honestly, I say to you that what has been taking place in reality is contrary to that said. The pressures exerted and has been exerted upon Syria for more than a year , and intensified from several months are as to get Syria interfere in the Lebanese domestic affairs. Our answer has been clear for every one who asked us to do such a work. The key for solution is within the hands of the Lebanese themselves; they have their Home, establishments, and constitution; they have the necessary awareness as to do that. Any other role is a helping one, and not the alternative. We in Syria are fully prepared to cooperate with every Arab or non Arab efforts to this effect, on the condition that any initiative is to be based on the Lebanese National consensus, which mainly  forms the basis for the stability in Lebanon, which is our common objective.”

 From His Excellency Opening  Speech of  20th Arab Summit  (March29th 2008)

   

 "Lebanon was stable in the stage which followed the Taif Accord,- September 1989- when it adopted the Arab stance and the support for the resistance, that is when it was against Israel. When Lebanon gets out from this logic, and any Arab country which does so, becomes unstable. We can never establish the future of the Syrian-Lebanese relations with forces which never believe in Lebanon: with any trend becoming closer to Israel conditioning its decision to foreign powers. We , as ever have been, are the more keen on stability in Lebanon, and on the normal relation with Lebanon, as a part of the natural historic relations between both people."

From H. E. ’s Al Shirouq Daily Interview  ( October 11, 2007)

 “Definitely, we have to work for the stability in Lebanon because again we paid a high price in Lebanon in the past because of the civil war in the 1970s and the 1980s, and we have to support the consensus in Lebanon. This is our position today; we support any consensus in Lebanon about any issue and we have interest in having a stable Lebanon.”

From H. E. ’s BBC Interview  ( October 1, 2007)

 “We are a neighboring country to Lebanon and of course we have influence and this is normal, but having an influence is different from committing crimes in Lebanon. We never said that we do not have influence in Lebanon, but we have positive influence and you can have negative and bad influence; this is not in our interest. What did we get from killing those people? That is the question which should be asked. Even if we want to accuse Syria, the question should be: did Syria get any benefit from that? Actually no. the opposite is happening; we are accused and the people who are described as anti-Syrian get the benefit from that not Syria.”

From H. E. ’s BBC Interview  ( October 1, 2007)

 "Stability in Lebanon is a stability in Syria, and peace in Lebanon, is a peace in Syria particularly after the war in Iraq and the recent repercussions in Iraq and the peace in Lebanon has become a peace for the region and not confined to specific geographic framework."

From HE’s 2007 Parliament Speech, ( May 15, 2007)

 

 

 “If there was an Arab unanimity in  supporting Lebanon during the war the situation would have been different and the Lebanon's burden would be largely eased. Undoubtedly , the United States and Israel went too far in their aggression on Lebanon because of the Arab weakness.”

From HE’s Interview with Dubai TV, (August 24, 2006)

 “The aggression was planned in advance and this was in light of information leaked by investigations with the network of the Lebanese agents in Israel's interests either that were revealed before the war or during the war . This is  a screaming evidence and tangible proof that the war was planned and the targets were present; then there was talks and articles that have appeared in most of the American and British papers talking about this point and saying that the planning has really begun in 2004, and I think the resistance in Lebanon was prepared for something but it was not quite clear until the subject of agents has fully divulged it.”

From HE’s Interview with Dubai TV, (August 24, 2006)

 “Hizbollah was not a Syrian or Iranian creation, asserting that it is a Lebanese party and it deals with the subject in  a Lebanese way but we are treating the subject from a Syrian point of view that might be different and this is normal and this is a good thing.”

From HE’s Interview with Dubai TV, (August 24, 2006)

 “The latest developments in Lebanon have proven the validity of that logic. As aggression against Lebanon is not mainly linked to the abduction of the two soldiers; rather it was pre-planned before with the objective of regaining balance to the Israeli scheme that went under several relapses such as the defeat of the Israeli army before the resistance strikes and its withdrawal in 2000 and the failure of its allies in Lebanon in carrying out the missions that were delegated to them during the past short period of time. As for the abduction, it was for them a mere justification to start this aggression before the world. However, the result was more failure experienced by Israel, its allies and its masters and more steadfastness of the national forces that support the resistance, which made the concept of resistance more rooted in the minds and hearts of hundreds of millions in the Arab and Islamic region.  Everyone knows now that the plan was prepared in advance and many wrote about the fact that this plan, of the war, has been set years before. In the Western and Arab media it is said that the Israelis have been well-prepared for these battles and it is also said that the scheme took its final shape last June and it was expected to be implemented next fall. Some say that considerations were made about the tourism season, but of course it is not possible that Israel would worry about the season of tourism, may be they would worry about the interest of their agents in Lebanon. This reminds us of what I said in my speech before the Parliament on March 5th, 2005 that what is happening now is the same that happened on the 17th of May. Many of the young generation do not recall what took place in the real 17th of May, 1983 where there were Lebanese forces that worked as agents for Israel before the invasion of Lebanon in 1982. Those forces failed in their plans of hitting the joint Palestinian-Lebanese resistance, so they started to incite and call Israel to save them by waging a war. Indeed the war took place with the objective of hitting the resistance and having Lebanon join the Israeli convoy. 17th of May failed. Today, the same repercussions have taken place: Lebanese groups fail in achieving their pro-Israeli scheme; so they incite Israel to come militarily in order to save them from the predicament and hit the resistance, therefore having Lebanon join the Israeli camp. In both incidents there is an Arabic coverage. That is why I stress the 17th of May incident. When a product fails in the world of business, it is reintroduced to the market under a new brand with certain superficial amendments. Similarly, and no matter what name we give to those groups whether we call them February or March forces, I would stress here that their product is that of May the 17th and this is an Israeli product. This will, naturally, invoke many attacks that you will hear on TV. screens, which is helpful in assessing the use of this speech.”

From HE’s Speech to the Journalists 4th Conference, (August 15, 2006)

 “The more violent the attack, the better the speech, I think. Of course we will laugh a lot because there is a lot of political comedy now in the Lebanese political class. Now we can establish the correlation between resolutions 1559, 1780. and 1701, the assassination of Hariri, and the last war on the one hand and the role of those Lebanese forcers and certain Arab forces on the other. The link has now become clear. You remember that two years ago or less than that before we used to say that resolution 1559 has nothing to do with the extension of President Lahoud’s term of office. It was quite difficult then to convince people of that. Now the same thing is happening once again. The war has nothing to do with the capture of the two soldiers and the whole world acknowledges this. Therefore, nothing has to do with anything. There is a pre-planned scheme and whoever fails to see this reality after all these events and clarity of matters must be suffering from a problem in their vision, what I mean here is the vision of the mind rather than of the eye. Therefore, this resistance is essential in as much as it is natural and legitimate. Its legitimacy stems from the fact that the Israeli aggressions have not stopped since 2000 taking the form of the almost daily violation of Lebanese air space by Israeli warplanes. Add to this that Israel is still occupying part of the Lebanese territories and still keeps Lebanese prisoners who have been in Israeli jails for a long time. As for why this resistance is essential, let us just think of the direct achievements of the latest battles on the ground. The greatest achievement of those battles is that they came as a national response to the cowardly propositions that have been circulated through our region especially after the Iraq invasion. What made them more glorious is the reaction of the Arab people in general which was marked by being a purely pan-Arab response to the abominable, seditious propositions that we have heard recently and to those who stand behind them. As though these people are saying to them, “we are Arab and this is our resistance and those who do not support it are against us”. This means that the national feeling is still there and has not been weakened as some might claim. On the contrary, this feeling is at its peak now, thus exceeding all the destructive thoughts that suspicious parties with well-known ends are seeking to market among Arab citizens.”

From HE’s Speech to the Journalists 4th Conference, (August 15, 2006)

 “The May 17 Group is responsible for the destruction, massacres and the war from A to Z. Hence come resolution 1701 as a political lift for this group, aiming of course at granting Israel political gains that it failed to achieve by military means. The resolution came also as an international political lift, but why international? Because there isn’t anymore a national lift that can lift these people, and thus they were forced to find an international one. They will use this lift to start attacking the resistance, and we have already seen that. Before the blood of the victims dried, before anything else, and even before the displaced headed back to their villages, the May 17 Group members started to talk about disarming the Resistance Movement. This means that one of their future tasks after the war failed is saving the current Israeli government and Israel’s domestic front either through making a sedition in Lebanon, and consequently transferring the political fight from inside Israel to inside Lebanon, or through the possibility of disarming the resistance. But I tell those people that they have failed and that their fall is looming.  The battles have also proved that Arabs’ words have no weight or importance in international forums. It has been rare that we, Arabs, agree on something from A to Z, but we achieved that in the Beirut meeting and an Arab delegation, representing all the Arab countries without exception, flied to New York to face rejection and neglect. Of course this neglect wasn’t directed at the delegation members but rather at those who stand behind it, i.e. the Arab countries.  Indeed, it was the situation on the ground, and the steadfastness of the Lebanese people and of the resistance and not the Arab political performance which modified the previous draft resolution into the current formula, which is less bad. This is an important fact we should comprehend. In all these matters we have come to the conclusion that relying on the international situation doesn’t yield fruitful results. As Arabs, if we do not search for points of strength, then we have no weight or political performance, and all this talking is mere illusions.”

From HE’s Speech to the Journalists 4th Conference, (August 15, 2006)

 “In my belief, the real battle has just started but not in military terms. After the uncovering of the post-war positions, the real battle has just started in Lebanon. But we all listened to the speech of Hizballah’s Secretary General, Mr. Hasan Nassrullah, who answered them. He who reads the messages understands the content. We believe that not only the Syrians but also all the Arab people stand by the resistance completely and unequivocally.  In military terms, the resistance achieved victory, whereas Israel, by all military standards, was defeated, not at the end of the war but rather from the very beginning of it. Yet wars bring woes and Lebanon paid a big price, material and humanitarian. Arabs, therefore, must stand by Lebanon to build what was destroyed. Yet, the question is: will the blood of the martyrs and civilians be lost without any gain? As a bottom line, we have to change the military victory into a political victory, at least in the peace process. The early results of the battles at the political level were the talk about the necessity of realizing peace and returning lands and rights to their owners. To this effect, we, as Arabs, have been consulted on the issue, even after such a long time. This means that part of this issue has come to lie in our hands now, but only a small part. This is of course thanks to the resistance.”

From HE’s Speech to the Journalists 4th Conference, (August 15, 2006)

 "When they asked questions on our way of treatment with Lebanon…I told them that for us we see several Lebanons. Now when we open dialogue with a Lebanese side this doesn't mean that we are in dialogue with the other sides. The problem is in Lebanon. The Lebanese have to solve their problems and outline a clear vision, and then we are ready to make an initiative to deal with Lebanon in a certain direction, but there are now tendencies and contradictions among them. When the Lebanese agree on the final form and details of all the subjects raised then Syria can deal with them comfortably without any complications."

From HE’s Interview with Al Hayat Newspaper, (June 26, 2006)

 “You should always go back to the majority of the people. There was a poll a month ago in Lebanon about how many of the Lebanese support Hizbullah. The poll showed 80-85 percent support Hizbullah. So it is not a matter of Syria, nor is it a matter of what you label Hizbullah, but rather it is a matter of the people. That is what I want some of your officials to understand; it is not a matter of Syria. We support the Lebanese people. They had Israeli occupation for twenty-two years, and that is why they had Hizbullah and different organization.”

From HE’s Interview with PBS TV , (March 30, 2006)

 “We need stability in general, and we need stability in Lebanon. That is why we always play a role to have stability, but when you want to play this role you need cooperation. For example I received a telephone call from Mr. Anan last week about the southern borders in Lebanon where he asked me to play a role because they heard some rumors about some conflict. I said we are ready and we need stability, but who is going to put pressure on Israel. This is because you have two sides and you cannot talk about one side only. When you talk about borders, about two countries, you should talk about two sides.”

From HE’s Interview with PBS TV , (March 30, 2006)

 “Our influence is with the Lebanese as a whole and not only with Hizbullah. Hizbullah represents a big part of the Lebanese, and Iran has good relations with it and with many Lebanese. So, I would not say our influence in Lebanon is becoming weaker, nor would I say the Iranian role is becoming stronger. I think it is still the same situation but in a different way. Syria and Iran have different ways of tackling the Lebanese problems now.”

From HE’s Interview with PBS TV , (March 30, 2006)

 “Actually we started that five years ago, and precisely in the year 2000. We did that because the situation in Lebanon became more stable between the end of the civil war and 2000 when we started withdrawing. By then Israel had withdrawn from the largest part of Lebanon in 2000 and because when you have your army outside your country it is expensive politically, economically and in other aspects.”

From HE’s Interview with PBS TV , (March 30, 2006)

 “Hizbullah is part of the peace process. If they say they need peace we say we want peace. When there is peace you won’t have any problem with Hizbullah or Hamas. So, the problem is not the organizations but rather the peace process. If they don’t like these organizations they have to find a solution, and the solution is through peace.”

From HE’s Interview with PBS TV , (March 30, 2006)

  “The course of the commission activities ran into three stages of attack. The first phase started with accusing Lebanese resistance of the assassination attempt but the idea totally failed and could not be marketed. The second phase began with attacking Syria and imprisoning some Lebanese officers on a testimony of a false witness. The third stage ran a vicious drive aimed at toppling the regime in Syria in terms of putting tough and incessant pressure on the country. The three manipulated drives eventually failed owing to scandals that brought investigation to a collapse due to open incredibility. What was achieved is contrary to what they planned as the Syrians were united in unprecedented way against the attacks and were well aware of the entire state of affairs.”

 From HE’s Speech to the Arab Parties  Conference,  ( March 5, 2006)

  “However, the problem is not between Syria and Lebanon. It lies in a Lebanese political bloc which has a problem with Syria and is working under the command of others who are concocting plots against Syria. Our battle is not with this bloc because it is only a tool and states do not fight tools. Our battle is with the causes that have led to such a circumstance. The causes are the repercussions of the failure in Iraq and Palestine and a reflection of a certain international situation. It is not a Syrian issue but is an Arab one that should be confronted through a joint Arab action and through facing, the others in true battle fields and not against this Lebanese bloc which claimed itself to be a majority.”

 From HE’s Speech to the Arab Parties  Conference,  ( March 5, 2006)

 “Therefore, the developments of the Lebanese situation had emerged as one of the consequences of the new international situation since the issuing of resolution 1559 until the killing of Premier Hariri and the formation of the investigation committee and the subsequent new international resolutions, which seek to harm Syria and its stances. If some analysis said that some of the consequences of events in Lebanon were meant to cover up the failure of the occupation troops in Iraq as their project failed there in making Iraq as its main gate- - and that’s right - - then it’s fully right to say that this is meant to target Syria and Lebanon as part of an integrated project to undermine the region’s identity and reshape it under different names that finally meet Israel’s ambitions to dominate the region and its resources. It’s wrong to use the idiom of targeting Syria, Syria and Lebanon as brother Sameh Ashour said…not in defense of Syria against Lebanon … as they are both targeted …but what is targeted is the Arabs and the Islamic nation …the targeted is wider than that … but now we are talking about targeting the Arab nation…”

From HE’s Arab Lawyers Speech, (January 21, 2006)

 “The starting point was the issuance of the resolution 1559 which aimed at making a radical shift in the political equation in Lebanon and the region through targeting the Lebanese national resistance and the Syrian-Lebanese relations as well as destabilizing Lebanon. The question here is why this is happening now ? Why Syria and Lebanon? Because the Arab society in all its segments has a strong belief in the doctrine of resistance which was the basis for Lebanon’s steadfastness. The relation of struggle between Syria and Lebanon is the main political, moral and human supporter of this doctrine which had established its first success by foiling 17 May Agreement, and then the liberation of Lebanese territories in 2000, and which continued through the steadfastness of Intifafda in Palestine and through rejection of Iraq occupation…they set out to eradicate this doctrine.. even if they were late…but they were too late. Of course the principle of resistance is not only carrying weapons as some believe… it is the commitment to doctrine, principles, interests and values…all these things for us mean accepted and adopted resistance…but for them it is terrorism and rejected. Despite our reservations on the resolution 1559 and our recognition of its direct and indirect motives, we responded to it and carried out our commitment where the Syrian forces withdrew from Lebanon…and the assassination of Premier Hariri came as part of suspicious plot to cause an overall upside down…not only in Lebanon but in the political situation in the region in general, especially the relation between the two countries and peoples. Incidents, assassinations, and media escalation came successively after that to target security and accord as well as the role of Syria and status amidst feverish campaigns to distort Syria’s image and deface her stances as well as to poison the atmospheres between the two brotherly peoples through directly accusing Syria in a way to serve interests, reactions and foreign suspicious relations. We choose self-restraint in Syria and refused to be drawn into the stances the others want us to be in because what we have built throughout decades by common blood of the two Syrian and Lebanese peoples can’t be lost in passing reactions and emotions. But it seemed obvious that some people didn’t want things to go in its natural pathway, particularly after the issuance of resolution 1559 and the formation of the international investigation committee which we were careful to cooperate with and facilitate its mission out of our respect for the national law and sovereignty. And despite the defects of the two reports by the committee and the unfair position towards Syria, we announced willingness to cooperate with the commission because we have always been with the international legitimacy and because impartial and independent investigation will be for sure in the interest of Syria. But it turned out that some Lebanese forces and international circles didn’t want the investigation to reach its destination in an objective and honest way as long as it will clear Syria.”

From HE’s Arab Lawyers Speech, (January 21, 2006)

 “They were obviously willing to harm Syria and follow up on a mechanism of investigation to proof a ready made accusations and even before the blood dries up. We in Syria are very clear about the investigation: we are with the investigation into assassination of Premier Hariri to reveal the culprit or culprits and will continue cooperation with investigation now and in the future to reveal the truth on the basis of sovereignty and national interest, and as I said Syria’s interest meets with the interest of investigation when the latter is impartial. If some body believes that politicizing the investigation and diverting it off its natural course could enforce Syria to do what they want then they are wasting their time and the suitable opportunity to establish stability in the region as well, subsequently negatively reflect on them. As for their using of some deftest or traitors as witnesses, this will not change Syria’s stances but rather change their already false images and bringing them nearer to their real images before the Arab peoples and the world. When we said that investigation is built on the national sovereignty, this means that we put limits… this speech should be obvious and when we say national sovereignty this means national interest. We presented full cooperation as well… this means limits of the full cooperation is impartiality of investigation… full cooperation is compatible to national sovereignty. What they talks about unlimited cooperation, this means simply that we can cooperate against out national interest and taking the investigation out of its legal limits and into the political framework. And as you know politics has no regulations: They do anything especially through the Security Council… Legally, Logically… legitimate no matter. It’s in their hand to take whatever resolutions. They have formed a Committee for convection not for investigation, but there is always a national framework, which concerns the senior official and the citizen each in his/her position. The national sovereignty is the highest not the Security Council or other…. We as nationalists have to set out in our cooperation on the basis of national sovereignty and dignity. This is out of question for us, and whoever accepts that something will be higher than national sovereignty in any country or place in the world has to change his/her citizenship and replace it with an international citizenship given by the United Nations, and then we have to annul many concepts like sacrifice for the nation and the sacred country. The issue of national sovereignty should not abandoned even if it requires that we will be ready to fight for our country… we will be ready for this thing, and we stress that all these attempts will fail. Syria will remain the big brother who stands by the national Lebanon whenever it needed that. I’m not worried about the Lebanese issue at all and about relations between Syria and Lebanon despite the many wounds because what happens is something passing. There are in Lebanon those who heal the wounds and so in Syria continuously. I’m also not worried about the relations between the Lebanese despite many defects. Sometimes worry comes from some Lebanese officials who see their strength and influence through the destruction of Lebanon or through their political or financial interest. We are with any Arab initiative to improve the relations between all Arab countries. Syria was the first party who initiated to improve relations with Lebanon. Sudan moved between Syria and Lebanon with some ideas, and we said from the beginning that there is no problem… we are open to all ideas that could be presented. There was no response to Sudanese initiative, so they moved with Egypt and Saudi Arabia and as far as I know with the presidency of the Arab Summit and the Arab League, but there was no response from some Lebanese officials. There are few groups in Lebanon, who reject Syria and the Arab solution, but they are few and temporal and couldn’t represent all Lebanon, and the situation can’t continue this way. We put some ideas with Saudi Arabia for discussion but they were not final. There were leak of some ideas like demarcation of borders. We didn’t propose this at all, and we don’t think there is a border problem between Syria and Lebanon…. They propose it and they refuse it. Many people don’t know the issue of Shebaa Farms. They presented the issue of borders to be demarcated several months ago, and we sent them an official answer in writing that we’re ready to demarcate the borders. Shebaa Farms is smaller than this complex in which we are meeting now. The demarcation needs two things legal when one of the countries on both border proves property of these lands, in this case, it goes to the UN and register it, the second is technical relating to engineering works to define border points definitely and finally. Israel now occupies these lands, namely neither Syria nor Lebanon exist there.”

From HE’s Arab Lawyers Speech, (January 21, 2006)

 

 “In fact the issue is clearly political and has nothing to do with the criminal acts occurring in Lebanon. What we are waiting for from the report is to be a professional report. This means that it, in the end, reaches who is the perpetrator of the crime of assassinating Hariri. Of course, the report has nothing to do with crimes, and the investigation has nothing to do with other crimes; it may be now expanded toward this direction. Anyway, all these crimes are similar, as you said, and as a principle we reject all of them." "For us in Syria, and because we are fully confident of Syria's innocence especially after the investigations which were made, we think that the report's realization of the final conclusion will clear Syria, in case the report was objective and away from political pressures. Concerning accusations against Syria, of course, as I said before, we reject these accusations and condemn these crimes. But, if we put principles aside and talk about facts on ground, we have above all to think: does Syria have an interest in any assassination act that occurred? We have no any direct interest. On the contrary, we always lose in such acts. We have to ask those who accuse one simple question: Where did Syria gain? On what basis Syria was accused? They are accusing Syria on one single basis, that this person was in agreement or against Syria. This means nothing. Some of those persons are against Syria and attacking it. Some of them have been attacking Syria for more than 25 years. Why does Syria carry out such an act? This is unreasonable and unjustifiable. As I said the subject matter is politically-motivated in the first place.”

From HE’s Interview with Turkish TV, (December 28, 2005)

 “Rafik Hariri was a friend to Syria and cooperative with her until the last moment. But they accused Syria of threatening him in respect with extension of President Lahoud term. Hariri responded to the Syrian request and this means that his stand was not against Syria. Some misinterpreted the affairs with ill or good intention. But all what is said are rumours, fabrications and manipulated stories deliberately planned to condemn Syria. “

From HE’s Interview with Turkish TV, (December 28, 2005)

 “The misunderstanding started before the assassination of Prime Minister Hariri. But the assassination gave some a pretext to step up the pressure against Syria. Nevertheless, we cooperated with the international commission which preceded the Mehlis commission, the Fitzgerald Commission, and with the Mehlis Commission. The first report was neither positive nor fair towards Syria. Nevertheless, we have always expressed our desire to cooperate with the report, first because of our desire to cooperate with the Investigation Commission, and second because the investigation, although not a professional one, will directly serve Syria, because we have a great and almost absolute confidence, if not absolute, that Syria is innocent. If this investigation is a professional one, it will lead to this result. What we expect of this report, as I said, is for it to be professional, fair, objective and accurate. More clearly, this is what we hope. We cannot expect, because we do not have indications to base our expectations on. But we hope that the work of the Commission will be in this direction.”

From HE’s Interview with Russian TV, (December 12, 2005)

 “I said in the past that any Syrian person proven to have a link with the assassination is a traitor under Syrian law, and the punishment of traitors is very severe. The question is not close or not so close names, the question is that the person involved should be brought to account. But at the same time, and in order to say that a Syrian person is guilty, there should be evidence, and that is what we want. That is why when we say that the work of the commission should be professional, this means looking for evidence. When you start looking for explosives, you examine where the explosives came from, where the car came from, the identity of the person who carried out the operation. You could analyze DNA and other specialized issues. So far, we have not received anything related to all these issues. If there is an evidence, we will deal with the evidence. We cannot deal with anything related to politicizing facts.”

From HE’s Interview with Russian TV, (December 12, 2005)

 “Since the civil war in Lebanon stopped in 1990 until the assassination of Hariri, a number of acts of sabotage took place in Lebanon, explosions and assassination of different personalities. Some of those operations succeeded and some did not. We were in Lebanon at that time. We did not have any indication of any of these operations before they took place. The same was the case with the assassination of Hariri. We did not have any indication whatsoever that something was going to happen. As to the political shift, it is inseparable from the regional situation and the international situation. It is not a separate situation. Anyway, we did not expect it. I think that most countries of the world did not expect this form of shifts which happened, particularly after September 11, the invasion of Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq. It is, no doubt, difficult to expect the world to go in this direction, because we always hope for the better not for the worse. Now the world is moving backward, i.e. moving towards the worst. And we in the Middle East and in Syria and Lebanon are affected by this condition.“

From HE’s Interview with Russian TV, (December 12, 2005)

 "Any solution in Lebanon that won't take into consideration the Lebanese consensus means instability in Lebanon, we should find the common factors which realize consensus, at that time, we can play a role, not pressure, I don't like the word pressures, I'd like dialogue… as we did with the Palestinians, we held dialogue without any pressures,"

From HE’s Interview with French TV 2, 5 , (December 5, 2005)

 “I previously said that any person who might be involved in this matter is considered a traitor on the national level and within the Syria law… This person will be tried by a Syrian court and his punishment will be greater than any sentence issued by another court, But we will not abandon our sovereignty in this subject."

From HE’s Interview with French TV 2, 5 , (December 5, 2005)

 "We announced that we reject any deployment of international forces- between Syria and Lebanon borders- because this means "war announcement" .We agreed on technical cooperation with sides in this regard, many of the European states proposed this issue which is monitoring the Syrian –Lebanese borders.”

From HE’s Interview with French TV 2, 5 , (December 5, 2005)

 “We are certain of our innocence.  There is no evidence that Syria is involved.  There is no criminal evidence; and Syria has no interest in that crime, nor does it have a history of similar actions.  On the contrary, we have an interest in seeing the investigation uncover the truth, because this truth, as far as we are concerned, is the complete innocence of Syria.  We have no doubt about this, and that is why we talk about the necessity of having a just and professional investigation.”

From HE’s Interview with France3 TV, (December 5,  2005)

 “I want to talk about facts in order not to talk in general headlines.  Resolution 1559, passed in September 2004, refers to things, Lebanese domestic issues, and Syrian-Lebanese issues that are related to the common relations, and to be more precise, to the Syrian military presence in Lebanon at that time.  This resolution was passed without a request from Syria or from Lebanon.  Resolution 1636, which is related to the investigation, was passed on the basis of a report, which the Commission says, is incomplete.  It threatens Syria of sanctions in accordance with Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which is only used when there is a threat to international security.  France and the United States took part in passing both resolutions.  If we do not call this a plot or a conspiracy, do we call it an act of charity for instance?  Anyhow, the name does not matter.  These are facts regardless of the name.  At least there is a French participation in resolutions of the kind that do not serve stability in the region.”

From HE’s Interview with France3 TV, (December 5,  2005)

 “As you can see, we have not reacted before to this, and I am not going to react to it now for reasons related to manners, and at the same time because of my concern for Syrian-French relations.  But there are a few points I can make now.  When a President listens, he listens to his people first of all before he listens to others.  Then he listens to his loyal friends and political partners.  Second, we might not be able to understand many things; but we cannot understand how France put all its weight behind the investigation into the assassination of Prime Minister Hariri.  Of course we understand and support the investigation, but at the same time we have not said a single word about the assassination of President Arafat who was assassinated on the Palestinian territories and died in a French hospital.  Arafat’s death passed by without us knowing anything about it.  Why these double standards?  Double standards are not characteristic of French policies.  This is one thing we do not know and do not understand.  Are we going to get an answer any time soon?”

From HE’s Interview with France3 TV, (December 5,  2005)

 “Concerning our relationship with Lebanon, of course it will naturally go back to its former condition.  This requires a number of conditions which, now, do not exist completely, but partially.  But we and Lebanon are convinced of the importance of this relationship, because it is deeply rooted in history; and we cannot change this history. “

From HE’s Interview with France3 TV, (December 5,  2005)

 “Lebanon was the tumultuous arena on which certain big powers wanted to settle accounts with Syria and with the patriotic forces which supported the resistance and achieved the Israeli withdrawal from most Lebanese territories, making it a base for conspiring against Syria and its pan-Arab stands. The starting point in this regard was to strike at the Lebanese resistance as a prelude to a rearrangement of the situation in Lebanon and redrawing its role and status in its Arab surrounding. The arms of the resistance have always been a main concern for Israel and the forces supporting it. That is why the resistance has to be disarmed. And Syria was required to play a role in this regard in return for some gains. The used to believe that Syria would not leave Lebanon. Some people might have thought that withdrawal from Lebanon will lead to the collapse of the Syrian state and consequently we would not have given up such a thing. The bargain after resolution 1559 was for Syria’s presence in Lebanon or slow and phased withdrawal. And finally the idea emerged clearly when it was proposed to us that Syria could withdraw gradually from Lebanon, but if it wanted to stay, it had to find a solution for the Hizbullah problem, i.e. the arms of the resistance. We refused, of course, and said this is not Syria’s task, and the subject does not concern us at all. As far as we were concerned, we were continuing withdrawal in accordance with an already set timeframe, and we leave it to you to solve to this problem. In other words, we will leave it to you and see how you are going to deal with the Lebanese situation.”

From HE’s Damascus University Speech, (November 10, 2005)

 "This was towards the end of 2004 and beginning of 2005. What happened later is that prime minister Hariri was assassinated and things turned in a different direction. Our problem with staying or leaving was not the international resolutions, the problem was the approval or disapproval of the Lebanese people. After the assassination of prime minister Hariri there was a radical change in the position of some sections of the Lebanese society. There was an emotional outburst incited and misled by the Lebanese media and some Lebanese officials. Our decision at the time was immediate withdrawal, although we did not declare it. I am talking about the days following the Hariri assassination and its repercussions in Lebanon. The decision of immediate withdrawal was not linked to any timeframe. In April or May there was international pressure for Syria to withdraw from Lebanon before the election, even by one day. We withdrew a month and several day, or a month and a week before the elections. But we are concerned with the implications of this pressure. They thought that Syria’s presence during the elections will affect their course, but the more important conclusion is that the Lebanese parliamentary elections, held in May, were not a Lebanese landmark but an international one. That was the start of taking Lebanon out of its Arab role and pushing it towards internationalization which means pushing it more towards Israel under an international cover and with instruments which carry the Lebanese nationality. This was of course done in a partial manner, because the plan did not succeed completely. Some Lebanese were not sufficiently aware of this point and others were well known for their hostility to Syria and Arabism and allegiance to Israel. What I am saying is not new. Some of these individuals or currents hade a dishonorable history during the Israeli invasion, and they are still there and are still play an effective role. So, this was the international objective of the recently held Lebanese elections.”

From HE’s Damascus University Speech, (November 10, 2005)

 “On a parallel line, we used to hear attacks against Syria under the title of the “era of tutelage”. Regardless of these terms and our rejection of them, and regardless of the ingratitude and the immorality of such terms and propositions in relation to Syria which sacrificed a lot for Lebanon, we say that those who are using such terms are what they call themselves the “Hariri current”.

From HE’s Damascus University Speech, (November 10, 2005)

 "If we got along with them in the use of this term, who is the good son of the “era of Syrian tutelage”? It is Hariri himself. He supported this era, marketed it, defended it, and used to call for intervention upon facing every problem, the last of which was the last government which was not formed. We refused to interfere. So, why are they reviling him? Why are they reviling Hariri, while they are his “current”? At the same time, they started accusing Syria of Hariri’s blood. And at the same time they absolved Israel of his blood, as if they are saying that Hariri was not good with Syria, and was good with Israel. This is incorrect. So, why are they making a traitor out of him? This means that this “current” reviled Hariri and made a traitor out of him in order to revile Syria and accuse her of treason while doing the opposite thing. "

From HE’s Damascus University Speech, (November 10, 2005)

 "The fact is that most of these are blood traders. They made a stock market of Hariri’s blood; and this stock market is yielding money and positions. Every article has a price, every position has a price, and every broadcast hour has a price. Nevertheless, we ignored all these things and did not descend to their grounds. We remained in the well known position of Syria. We received prime minister Siniora and discussed different issues with him. We told him we wanted his visit to succeed; and for our part we do not hold any rancor against any Lebanese. We are interested in the Syrian-Lebanese relationship. We told him we did not want Lebanon to be a route for any political or security conspiracy against Syria. He said in a final and decisive manner, “I will not allow it for Lebanon to be a route for any conspiracy against Syria.”

From HE’s Damascus University Speech, (November 10, 2005)

 “In fact, what we see today is that Lebanon has become a route, a manufacturer and financier for these conspiracies. This means that Mr. Siniora was unable to live up to his commitments, or he was not allowed to do so because he receives orders from those who receive orders in their turn. "

From HE’s Damascus University Speech, (November 10, 2005)

 "A commission was set up to investigate the assassination of prime minister Hariri; and our decision from the very start was full cooperation with the commission, based first on our absolute confidence in our innocence; and second, because of our real interest in knowing the truth, since we were the first to suffer the damage. In return, some Lebanese politicians tried by every possible means to implicate Syria’s name in the Hariri assassination, although they were fully convinced of Syria’s innocence. And because they went to a great length in accusing Syria, they faced a real predicament with the Lebanese people if Syria’s innocence was proven, because the are incapable of telling the truth to the Lebanese people. Would they tell the Lebanese people that they gave them lies and illusions and that they intentionally deceived them? Would they tell them that the fake witness was made by them and by their money? They would not say that. That is why we see them doing their best in order to mislead the investigation and divert it from the route which leads to the truth. This is what was abundantly clear from the report of the investigation commission which was met with large-scale criticism. We all know the international circumstances which led to the publication of this report. And most of us knew how the report might look like before it was published. These international circumstances are not likely to change in the near future. Nevertheless, our principle is still the same: it is positive cooperation with international organizations, their resolutions and with the investigation commission based on our self confidence, the correctness of our positions, Syria’s innocence of all the accusations made against her and our genuine interest in making the investigations achieving their objectives. "

From HE’s Damascus University Speech, (November 10, 2005)

 “Some have waited for the false truth for months. “The truth” has become subject to scorn and sarcasm in Lebanon now, so it abandons all aspects of Arab character, national identity and feelings of brotherhood. That is why we should not allow these people to destroy the Syrian-Lebanese relationship and destroy the region with it. Syria and Lebanon live next to each other. This is their destiny. The weakness of one is weakness for the other in the same way that the strength of one is strength for the other. This fact requires preparing the common ground for the will for common living and abandoning negative attitudes and illusions. The brotherly Lebanese people should know this situation. If they really want a brotherly relation with Syria, without slogans and pleasantries, this cannot happen while a large section of it remains publicly hostile to Syria and tries to make Lebanon a base and a route for conspiracies against it. What we can say to all these pretty and anesthetizing statements made by some Lebanese politicians that they are opposed to sanctions against the Syrian people and opposed to conspiracies against Syria, is that they are not intelligent enough to deceive the Syrian people with such language. This cannot happen in a state, where the majority are against Syria, cannot happen through attacking Syrian citizens in Lebanon and cannot happen through ingratitude towards all that Syria has offered. We are interested in preserving the unity and stability of Lebanon, and look with caution to the situation prevailing in it, to the fact that some parties lack the minimum sense of responsibility, those who try to bring Lebanon back to its former status as a route for conspiracies against Syria. This is what we have started to see from the policies and practices of those who made a profession of politics, and who are mistaken if they think that they can destroy the national equation. Some of these forces tried to do so in the distant and near past, but failed. And they will no doubt fail this time by virtue of the awareness of the Lebanese people who will, sooner or later, discover the false reality, and through the patriotic Lebanese forces which brought down the May 17 agreement and the era of tutelage associated with it. The fall of the new May 17 will not be far off, as I can see. Beirut, which stood fast under Israeli siege, which embraced the Lebanese, Palestinian and Syrian patriotic forces that defended her to the last, will not change, and Tripoli, which produced great patriotic personalities will not abandon the heritage of its great figures for a handful of traders in politics and their money."

From HE’s Damascus University Speech, (November 10, 2005)

 "The patriotic forces, which stood throughout their history against all dubious schemes, from Sykes Picot to the Baghdad Pact, supported the Palestinian cause in the 1960s and 1970s, fought and defeated the Israelis in the 1980s and 1990s and liberated Lebanon in 2000 are still the main base in Lebanon and will not accept to live in the holes of darkness, and will continue to represent the vast majority of the Lebanese people. The others, the politicians and leaders of foreign tutelage derive their power from the power of their masters. That is why they are week and are moved by remote control. As usual, we draw general principles when we talk about the current situation so that we do not take it as an isolated case. It is wrong for us, as Arabs, to look at things as isolated cases. What is happening today is an extension of what happened several years ago. As I said in the past, resolution 1559 has nothing to do with extension of president Lahoud’s term in office, and preparations for it, as admitted by president Bush, had actually started three months before that. And what is happening now has nothing whatsoever to do with the assassination of Hariri. If they are so interested in the assassination of Hariri, why had not they set up an investigation commission to investigate the death of president Arafat who was poisoned in the Palestinian territories and died in France and no one asked for an investigation commission. Despite our long differences with president Arafat, we do not deny that he was one of the symbols of the Palestinian cause and a historic personality. Nevertheless, no individual or country called for an investigation commission, at least between Palestine and France as the states directly related to this issue. The reason, as I said, is that they are looking for a false truth, while in the case of president Arafat the truth is not false; and they do not want true truths, real truths. "

From HE’s Damascus University Speech, (November 10, 2005)

 "These stages, or this war that we are fighting, is problem of a number of phases, or we could say more accurately a war of a number of phases. The first phase was before the invasion of Iraq. We paid two prices: a price which is usually paid by small countries as a result of the conflict of big powers. The conflict before the invasion was between those with the war and those against it. The second price was that different countries, including Syria, were pressured to support the war immediately after the invasion. We were paying the price for the reconciliations and the compromises which took place between the big powers, and we paid directly the price for opposing the war. Today we are paying the price of the division of interests among the big powers and we are paying a direct price for the failure of the occupation and the invasion of Iraq. So, in all these phases the big powers are the main players, and the relationship between them needs dynamism. Dynamism needs energy and energy needs fuel. It is exactly like cell metabolism (I am sure there are professors of medicine among us) which needs the sugar that generates energy which is essential for the life of the cell. The same applies to international relations. The fuel is the small countries, particularly that we present ourselves as fuel. Just as a joke, they know that Arabs like to complemented, so they tell us that we are as sweet as sugar, meaning that we can be used as fuel. "

From HE’s Damascus University Speech, (November 10, 2005)

 "If we look at the context of events, we see that we implemented resolution 1559. The result was that they said we did not implement the resolution, and that the intelligence services remained, and intervention continued. The first commission came. We cooperated with it. The commission and its report said that Syria was responsible one way or another for the assassination. The second commission came, and we got the same result. When they said that Syria was late, actually Syria was not late. We sent the answers a few days before. They set the deadline after the Security Council meeting to say that Syria did not cooperate. We expected this report to look into the kind of explosives used, where they came from, who makes them, what country in the region can make them, where the car came from, how it came, all these details. We found that the report only speaks about individuals, Syrian individuals and all those who have something to do with the Syria line. All those who were with Syria and changed their positions were accused and then became innocent. We have to see these things; and I believe every Syrian can see this. This is the truth of the matter. In other words, things are moving in a certain direction regardless of cooperation. The only positive thing I can see in this report is that it has proved our innocence. Even we suspected that there could have been a Syrian failure that led to this thing. After the report it was proved that all this is in the framework of targeting Syria, and Syria is not involved.”

From HE’s Damascus University Speech, (November 10, 2005)

 “I was convinced of this from the beginning. Before the report, I used to say that Syria is innocent. When I said in my interview with CNN that if a Syrian is involved then he is a traitor, they understood it to mean that the president is preparing the ground because he knows that there is a Syrian person involved and wants to move ahead of things. The truth is not like that. Treason is something rare; and when I say this I mean that we are almost absolutely certain that Syria is innocent. But when the report was published in this way and was followed by a prepared resolution, we knew that Syria was absolutely innocent and that it is a political case. So, we as Syrians have to put the criminal aspect aside, because it is no longer a criminal case. We do not have to think and waste our time on this issue. Syria is not involved neither on the level of the state nor on the level of individuals, unless there is a human error of judgment. All indications point to this fact; and I want to assure myself of this idea. We move to the political aspect. The problem is only a political one. From the context of events, the first evidence provided in the report made us feel that we are innocent, when it raised the question of the false witness. When do we look for a fake witness? When we do not have evidence and we do not se a real relationship between the crime and the concerned party. Looking for a false witness is the alternative for the truth. That is why we must assure ourselves that the report and the false witness proved our innocence. I will not talk about the report because all the Syrians, on their different levels and specializations, are of one opinion, and the Arabs too. So I will not talk about whether or not it is politicized, or about the political circumstances surrounding it. From my explanation, it is very clear that this is a political issue, and the resolutions and reports are part of this political dynamism which is targeting Syria. After the commission came back to Lebanon recently a few days ago, we set up an investigation commission. We first sent an invitation to the international commission to come to Syria and meet the foreign minister because they asked to meet him. They refused. The Syrian Judicial Commission, set up by decree, sent an invitation to Mehlis to come with his commission and draw the legal framework for their investigations. He refused. The legal framework is important of course. There are rights of the accused, the witnesses and lawyers and things of this kind. No investigation can take place without a clear legal framework. This is unacceptable under any title, neither the Security Council nor anybody else. Nevertheless he refused. Yesterday, Mr. Amr Mousa was here in Syria and we discussed this with him in order to show that we were really flexible although we know the reality of the game. These investigations could take place at the Arab League, because it is an Arab territory, and we do not have a problem with holding the investigations there, of course with Egypt’s cooperation. There was a telephone conversation with president Mubarak on this point yesterday in order to coordinate. They refused. We said if the problem is holding the investigations in Syria, why do not they accept any other place. We also suggested a place in Syria with the UN flag and UN security, in other words non-Syrian territory. They refused. This is what confirms what I said from the beginning. Whatever we do, and no matter how much we cooperate, the result will show in a month’s time or a year’s time that Syria did not cooperate. We have to know this fact whether we like it or not. We have to be clear. We should not bury our heads in the sand and not see the truth. At the same time we should not be afraid. The important thing is that we do our duty. Syria is targeted, how shall we deal with this? Syrians are discussing this, and there are many ideas on this issue that go in different directions, but all these ideas lose their importance if they are not put in the right framework. When we are at battle we have to understand, first of all, the strategy and the tactics of the enemy before we start with ourselves and our interests. What is the strategy of the enemy or the opponent which has been followed during these recent years, not only with Syria, but with the countries of the region and the countries of the world at large. Their strategy says, either you kill yourself or I kill you, not literally of course. What is the difference between the two cases? The result is the same, but when you kill yourself the enemy deprives you of two things: first, the honour of defending yourself; and second, the possibility of harming him or defeating him in the end in any area. How do we think? If we ask any Syrian what he thinks? He will say that the period needs wisdom and rational thinking. When does wisdom and rational thinking become retreat and collapse? And when flexibility becomes a fracture? When we turn into a dough that they can form in any way they like from the outside.”

From HE’s Damascus University Speech, (November 10, 2005)

 “Suppose somebody is walking in the street. A well-set outlaw without any principles or moral values started harassing him. It is wise and rational to avoid him and look for what we want elsewhere, but he found that the outlaw has followed him. The person went home, and the outlaw forced himself into the house and attacked the father, the mother, the brother, the sister, the son, the daughter, can we avoid him? Is it wise to let him do this? Whether we look at this from a moral, social, or religious perspective, this is unacceptable. And those who accept it become social outcasts. Syria has a glorious history. We cannot give in to any thing that could enter our houses and try to humiliate us from the inside or play with our national stability. What does this mean? It means that we are prepared to cooperate, but within a framework that leads to revealing the truth of the crime, although we know that a book can be read by its title. We know in what direction things are moving, but we have to do our duty. We want to cooperate, but we will not allow for any measure that might harm Syria’s stability and security, because as I said we will not move in the direction of killing ourselves. At any rate, not in the manner that they are thinking of. We have always supported the international legitimacy, and we are committed to it, but not at the expense of our national commitments. When there is a comparison between anything in this world and national commitment, the latter comes first, because we are not tourists or visitors in this region. We are the people of this country and we want to live in dignity.”

From HE’s Damascus University Speech, (November 10, 2005)

 “I think most of the country, they know that Syria is not involved in that crime for two reasons. The first reason, this goes against our principles. The second reason, this goes against our interests. And from another aspect, Rafik Hariri was supportive to the Syrian role in Lebanon. He was never against. So there's no logic involving Syria -- in putting Syria's name in this crime. So far, we are very confident, and we'll see the investigation committee two weeks ago, and we're very cooperative. And we are more confident after that interview that they made in Syria that we are completely innocent. Syria has nothing to do with this crime.”

From HE’s Interview with CNN, (October 12, 2005)

 “This is another illegal presumption. First of all, it's not my nature to threaten anybody. I'm a very quiet person. I'm very frank, but I wouldn't threaten. Second, as you said, threaten him for the extension. They say threaten him, then the Syrian killed him. So why to kill him if he did what Syria wants, if he didn't do anything against Syria, if he wanted the extension. He helped Syria achieving the extension, of making the extension. So why to harm him or to kill him? There's no logic. But I didn't, and I would never do it.”

From HE’s Interview with CNN, (October 12, 2005)

     "Those foreign countries “spoke about keenness on Lebanon. but the question here is what did all those powers offered to Lebanon throughout the past decades when Lebanon was passing through crises. Here I mention two examples: One of these countries in 1975 offered a ship for the Christians to immigrate from Lebanon, and in 1990 one of these countries offered an airplane carrier to support a group that rebelled against the Lebanese legitimacy we have a right to ask where was all this keenness at the beginning of the civil war when Syria entered Lebanon to save the Christians in 1976 at a time when they were slaughtered, and when the massacre was about to be finished within two weeks under the name of reforming the political regime, justice, socialism and progress. And at that time President Hafez Al-Assad was asked to postpone the entry of Syrian armed forces into Lebanon only for two weeks. Of course to give them time to finish off the job; but of course he refused.” The President also asked “where were those countries in 1982 when Israel invaded Lebanon, and when thousands of Lebanese and Palestinians were being killed. Within a few weeks Syria offered thousands of martyrs at that time. Where were they during the Israeli occupation of Lebanon from 1978 until Israel's withdrawal from most of the Lebanese lands in 2000 ? They were not there; Suddenly there was keenness on Lebanon's independence and democracy.”

 From HE’s Speech to the Syrian Expatriates  Conference,  (October 9, 2004)

  “Syria took nothing from Lebanon. we offered blood, if we want to practice hegemony then we have been withdrawing our forces in stages for five years up to the last withdrawal ? President Al-Assad stressed that Syria and Lebanon are comparatively the most stable countries in the Middle East region despite all the conditions in the area, adding “they want to throw all of this region into the lava of the volcano haven't we learned from 11 September? Haven't we learned from Iraq war? Haven't the world learned from that we have learned for decades, but the others haven't learned that lava that a volcano when it explodes, then this lava will hit the nearby and far away countries alike whatever their size, weak and strong ones. I think it was time to learn from those lessons.”

 From HE’s Speech to the Syrian Expatriates  Conference,  (October 9, 2004)

 "Syria supports the Lebanese establishments because they are the guarantee of the non-return of this country to the circumstances or atmosphere of the civil war. And we support all persons who head these establishments with no exception. It is natural that we offer more support for the first establishment which is the Presidency of the Republic."  "Damascus doors are open to all parties and all categories without exception."

From HE’s Interview with Al Jazeera TV, (May 3, 2004)

    “It is natural for them to withdraw because the Syrian army presence is contemporary and during the past years the army made redeployment because the Lebanese army has become capable of replacing the function of the Syrian army and the Lebanese state has become stronger.”

 From HE’s Interview with The British The Times, (December 1, 2003)

  

 “There is no doubt that we don’t build our relations with Lebanon on the basis of the military presence. The relation has much more important sides to it than this. But the military presence in Lebanon had something to do with the civil war that was taking place in the seventies. And this was upon the request, the official request from the Lebanese, through the President of the Lebanese Republic at that time, Suleiman Franjyea, and from the Christian Front at tat time. And then another element came into the picture other than the civil war which is the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Of course after the 1990s and after the end of the Civil War, the situation in Lebanon became more stable, and also the reconstruction of the Lebanese army has gone further steps. And this has motivated Syria in coordination with Lebanon to do gradual re-deployment. Certainly, the presence is a temporary one, but I think the actual act of re-deployment is subject to a military factor and the conditions that influence this military element particularly the South of Lebanon and the Israeli situation. These steps are always done in direct coordination between the leaderships of the two armies.”

From HE’s Interview with the Italian Corriere Della Sera, (February 14, 2002)

 

  “And some have even said I threatened him. Others claimed a security agent pointed his pistol at Hariri's head. That's simply ridiculous. In that conversation, we discussed extending the term of Lebanese President Emile Lahoud. It's obvious that Hariri was against the idea. So I told him: "We don't want to pressure you. Go back to Lebanon and then give us your decision." He told us a few days later that he agreed with the plan. Why should Syria kill someone with whom it has no differences of opinion? It doesn't make any sense at all. In truth, we Syrians are the ones who ended up suffering the greatest drawbacks as a result of this affair.”

From HE’s Interview with The German Spiegel, (July 9, 2001)

   “We consider our relationship with Lebanon an example of a relationship that should exist between two brotherly countries. But  this example is not perfect yet and it still needs great efforts in order to be ideal and to achieve the joint interests of both countries in a way that responds to the ambitions of both countries.  Nonetheless, the Syrian-Lebanese solidarity during the past few  years has achieved a great deal which would have been impossible to  achieve had each country worked on its own and in isolation of the other. Ending the civil war in Lebanon, establishing national reconciliation in addition to the defeat of the Israelis in the eighties and nineties and finally their worst defeat lately in the month of May are a clear evidence of the importance of this  solidarity. Of course, all these achievements were based on the solidarity and unity of the Lebanese people and state with the  heroic Lebanese national resistance. We, in Syria, shall always stand by Lebanon and support it in all its national causes, especially in matters which concern the return of its full territory  and the return of its prisoners locked in Israeli jails and in its brave stand in the face of repeated Israeli threats to lead an aggression against it.”

From HE’s 2000 Inauguration Speech, ( July 17, 2000)