"There is a new mood in the world today. This does not mean that every thing is positive; there is a positive mood and a wave of optimism; which are restricted to a certain period; and which may not continue; and we do not know when they are to end," said His Excellency President Bashar Al-Assad in a joint press conference with his Austrian Counterpart, H. E.Heinz Fischer, calling for utmost speed moves as to translate the said optimism into a serious and direct action, highly lauding the active role played by Austria, with particular reference to its UNDOF participation on the Golan Heights borders.

"Our talks focused basically on peace process, which is a wide process with many sub-titles, including the Palestinian peace process, and on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks, in addition to combating terrorism and other many issues which could never be separated from peace. We, however, focused at the process of peace, started in Madrid in 1991. We today are in 2009; that is after 18 years from the start of that process, seeing that the reality does not reflect the presence of any real peace. Rather, we see the more of blood though of some on and off negotiations for which the results were later to be the opposite," added His Excellency President Al-Assad urging for nudging the process of peace in the Middle East at all level, including the US, European, as well as the regional one through dialogue with real partners of the process.

The talks further touched upon the Iranian nuclear file, where assertion was laid on the importance of abiding to the stipulation of the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty); guaranteeing the right for every country to have a nuclear reactor for peaceful purposes, H. E. President Al-Assad pointed out, declaring that the talks also dealt with the situation in Iraq, where both sides voiced relief over the progress achieved there as far as the latest local administration elections, away from the risks of dismemberment or a civil war.

 

"Since the assassination of Rabin, we have never seen any real indication on the ground towards peace process. The Golan Heights is our land, our right, and must return by all accounts," added His Excellency President Al-Assad lashing out at the contradictory anti-peace recent declarations by Israeli officials in rejection for a two-state solution with the Palestinians, and in rejection for the return of the Syrian Golan Heights to the mother Homeland, Syria. "Frankly, we do not expect this Israeli Government to give the peace," said His Excellency President Al-Assad, not excluding- hopefully- that every thing is, however, possible in politics.

 “Vienna is the city of Art, Music, Dialogue; it is the city of Mozart, Castles and Museums,” said His Excellency President Al-Assad during his visit to Vienna Municipality.

 “The Syrian People take the initiative for dealing with the other, and respond to others’ initiatives. The Syrian People are sincere and frank in dealing with others,” added His Excellency.

 “He who owns civilization can make a dialogue and achieve peace, thus Damascus embraces Vienna as two capitals capable of communication with immense love and civilization, achieving the best for our future.” asserted H. E. President Al-Assad.

 “The future is for the dialogue and intercommunication among people and cultures.” declared H. E. President Al-Assad.

“The talks with President Fischer did not focus at the political aspect only; the economic aspect has taken a big part of these talks,” declared His Excellency President Al-Assad in his speech before the Syrian Austrian Economic Forum, April 28, 2009.

 “The Syrian location in the Arab world makes her the crossing for the European Economy to the Arab region, and a crossing passage for Gas and Oil from the Arab region and Asia to European markets,” added H. E. President Al-Assad pointing out to the importance of bilateral as well as multilateral cooperation especially in the aftermath of the current financial crisis. President Al-Assad asserted that the stability of Arab markets and economy would reduce immigration towards Europe and that the available opportunities are many, and be much more after the realization of Mideast Peace.

“We in Syria today are witnessing an all-out economic reform phase based on trade liberalization, private sector increased role, investment climate betterment, enabling he Syrian market of foreign competition. We have not resorted to the principle of a shock; rather, we have resorted to the principle of a step-by-step economic reform in line with the Syrian Economy nature, taking into consideration the social factors. We have never thought about economic gains against social losses, which, in turn, would lead to economic loss. That is why; we are perhaps among the few countries damaged by the economic crisis. We might not be the fastest as far as development; our development steps are, however, stable and well-calculated.” declared President Al-Assad before the Syrian Austrian Economic Forum.

“As far as energy, it has been within a strategic vision; that Syria is the shortest way for whatever transportation of Gas and Oil from East Syria, especially from Iraq, towards the Mediterranean and then to Europe. Further, we have initiated from many years to construct gas pipes from the south to the north: Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and now these pipelines are to be extended to Turkey. We are thinking now about two other pipelines, one of them towards the west from Syria and Turkey, the other towards the east, which may reach to Turkey to meet the pipeline on the border of Iran,” added His Excellency President Al-Assad in his remarkable speech before the Syrian Austrian Economic Forum

“Austria supports the process of peace. Peace gives work opportunities, realizes prosperity. Development also helps the realization of peace alleviating tensions and causes of wars contributing to the combating of extremism. Let us employ the economy for the policy, realization of the peace, and for the fostering of the dialogue. The Economy is a dialogue; he who makes dialogue is the one reaching to the awareness enabling the capabilities to be translated into opportunities,” underlined His Excellency President Al-Assad.

“The Syrian Arab Communities worldwide create but the base for linking the expatriates to their mother homeland, and the bridge for the Syrian relations with all countries of the world at the most of fields,” said His Excellency President Al-Assad in a word to the Syrian Arab Community in Austria.

“The required is the presence of inter European dialogue as to define whether Europe wants to be a partner in the course of events in the Middle East or to listen what the US Administration declares,” said His Excellency President Al-Assad in a candid open dialogue with Austrian intellectuals at Bruno Kreisky FORUM, pointing out to the new climate and approach in Europe as well as in the world regarding he Arab region, which is to be invested in the interest of peace and security in the region and the world as well.

 “Iran is a very important country; a solution for the Iranian nuclear file has to be found on the basis of Iran’s right to possess a peaceful nuclear energy,” declared His Excellency President Al-Assad, highlighting the importance of a clear Arab as well as European stance helping the United States to play a more active role in the Middle East.

 

Edited & Translated by

Mohamad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

Rome, Italy, April 27, 2009.