"The top priority of our political strategy is to find a just and comprehensive solution for the conflict- the Arab Israeli- based on international legitimacy resolution, with all of what that means of an end to wars, imposed upon our people and countries, the restoration of security and stability to these countries and to the region in general. But, all of this should be within the frame of an Israeli preparedness to make peace, and awareness of what the Israelis indeed want through their talk of peace, and the definition of peace concept which they accept or call for" said His Excellency President Bashar Al-Assad at the opening of the 2nd Transitional Arab Parliament Session, Damascus, November 9th, 2008. 

"We are keen on the achievement of the just and comprehensive peace, based on our fixed and inalienable, under no circumstances, rights, on top of which is the undiminished withdrawal to the line of June 4, 1967"added His Excellency pointing out "The Israeli non-responding to peace requirements on the Syrian track, indicates that peace for Israel is but a tactical action rather than a strategic option." 

"Israel, not even for a single day, has cancelled the idea of aggression from its policies, caused by the Israelis’ latent fear of peace, especially at this time, when we witness the increasing flagrant trends of religious and racial extremism by the Israelis; concepts of expelling Arabs, and other racial expressions have, rather, become more present in their political discourse," said His Excellency President Al-Assad lashing out at the outgoing US Administration lack of interest in peace achievement in the Middle East, "Our belief in peace and optimism as to achieve it do not push us as to have illusions or day-dreaming, nor to fall into the trap of peace tracks game; but rather do motivate us to the more of commitment to our rights and to build the more of our force," declared H. E. President Al-Assad.

 

 "We still see the motto of peace used as part of the domestic political game in Israel, as a fundamental element of the foreign political maneuvers whirlpool, which hides of facts more than shows," noted His Excellency asserting "Peace has never been the basic preoccupation for the Israelis; their preoccupation, however, is security with its bottle-necked meaning, and which is, as far as their vision, not to be realized but at the expense of Arabs’ security and rights." 

"It is necessary in this stage to restore matters into their due course; it is neither acceptable nor logical from now on that Arabs are to continue presenting proofs and evidences in demonstration of the Arabs’ desire in peace, the very desire we have announced and expressed on different many occasions, and for many decades, especially since the convening of Madrid Conference in 1991"underlined president Al-Assad stating "The Israelis have to provide proofs and to express through deeds their willingness for peace; they have to convince us, the Arabs, with this; hence they occupy our territories, launch aggression against our people, and displace the millions of our families," 

"The Israelis have been carrying out all of these things and using them as a mask to get the more of yielding; they, however, are never to get any yielding from Syria." reiterated President Al-Assad 

Regarding the Arab Parliament and Arab Solidarity, President Al-Assad said "We aspire that the Arab Parliament is to be the center of radiance for Arab Joint Action, and the podium for dialogue among brethrens as far as our Nation Affairs, present as well as future ones,"

 "The foundation of the Arab Parliament has been the embodiment of joint will by the Arab countries; this Parliament represents one of the most distinguished institution of Arab joint action, and for which we accord special importance in support of our Arab relations, bolstering constructive dialogue and communication among our popular leaderships," in the interest of the Arabism and in pushing forward the process of development comprehensively in the Arab World. 

"We all aspire that the Arab Parliament is to be the advanced formula of our Arab joint action. We want for the Arab Parliament to get boosted with experience as well as presence in our political life as the podium for constructive dialogue among Parliamentarians, and as one of the decision-taking institutions providing assistance and support the work of the standing institutions," added H. E. Al-Assad.

 " We, further, want the Arab Parliament, which includes representatives of social and political forces at the Arab level, to embody Arabism with all of its meanings as a direct response and clear-cut sufficient answer to the campaigns of doubts-casting, diffused by some political, cultural and information establishments, to the reality of the Nation-Arab Nation- her future, and her capacity to surmount her difficulties" His Excellency noted that such campaigns have made use of " the case of frustration caused by recent events and what consequences of defeat have brought" criticizing the fact that some Arabs have, unknowingly, fallen prey to such campaigns.

 "We have to be the pioneering in defense of Arabism, which summarizes every basic, and which is but the main guarantee for us, individuals as well as societies, as to reach to the best, and as to have our distinguished position among nations, the position which we deserve and merit, and impose with respect upon others, and not that position offered to us as a consolation prize in return for humiliating surrenders," underlined H. E. Al-Assad. 

" What the Arab Solidarity suffers of several difficulties have nothing to do with the Arab popular condition; as facts have shown: the Arab Citizen, from the Ocean to the Gulf, lives the Arab concern, feels pain from the Arab wound as one body from Palestine to Iraq , the Sudan, as well as to others of our Arab countries. Such difficulties are related to the official condition, which is, to a large extent, in contradiction with the relation binding our people through the strong link of Arabism. This calls upon us as to exert the more of efforts to boost our Arab Citizen confidence that we are, as states, capable of sorting our problems out without resort to a foreign side, and to design by ourselves our regional as well as international roles," noted H. E. Al-Assad. 

"Notwithstanding all pressures and difficulties, our strong belief in all Arabs capability to restore initiative taking and have actual impact the course of events, has never been shaken," added His Excellency Al-Assad reiterating that Syria, in all the position she has taken, has been basing her policies on accord among the Arab brethrens in line with , at least, the minimum of Arab Solidarity. 

" The concept of Arab National Security, which has been derived not from a vacuum, means that whatever harm to be inflicted upon one of our countries, is to be inflicted upon other countries; the risks threatening the National Arab Security are but one for all with no exception. We have remained committed to our stances; we have had to prove every time that regress was never to be imposed on Arabs as their inevitable destiny, and that resistance with all its integrated and comprehensive meaning does grant safety in the face of aggression, and secure the realization of peace, which is only for the strong; the weak, rather, have no peace, nor safety or security; they are the losers in wars and the deluded in peace," outlined President Al-Assad. 

"The concept of Arabism cements Arab Citizens with several and history deep-rooted links; which has been translated from mere emotions and feelings into thought and theory by national theoreticians and intellectuals," said His Excellency, Al-Assad, the President of Damascus Arab Summit, noting "The ongoing stage is a historic chance for Arabs if they were to be able to coordinate their stances, unify their efforts as to become one of the regional powers, especially in light of what they have of economic potentials, as well as of joint cultural and historic factors in facilitation of the creation of an Arab block, if to be well used. We are in the same boat; it is very clear today that the countries with no one boat are trying to manufacture this boat. It is high time as not to let our boat deserted without use, as not to miss the chance of using it, or as not to let others reach it before us." 

"The need is dire as to build an international political world order based on understanding and dialogue among the people of the world", underlined His Excellency the President noting that the current economic and financial crisis, with all the risks it has against modern societies, have compelled many countries to lay the bases for a new international economic order in the interest of the forthcoming generations. " Hoping that a more just and secure political and economic world is to be constructed, our future and capabilities would remain, however, conditioned to our capacity to be present as a political economic block, coordinated and harmonized as to be efficient" added President Bashar Al-Assad. 

As far as the Palestinian Cause, "We reiterate our support to the struggle of our Palestinian brethrens as to restore their rights, to the creation of their independent State with Jerusalem as its capital, the securing of the Palestinian Refugees return. We do underline that the realization of this objective is conditioned to the unity of the Palestinian stance; consequently, we renew our support for dialogue among Palestinian factions as well as our preparedness to exert every possible effort as to prepare the appropriate conditions to make  success of the dialogue, through which the unity of the Palestinian people interest is achieved," said H. E. President Al-Assad. 

With regard to Iraq, H. E. Al-Assad declared "The stability of Iraq is a vital matter for the region stability. This is never to be realized but through the ending of the foreign occupation, and through the achievement of the national reconciliation among its sons, with all of their belongings, in a way guaranteeing the unity and independence of Iraq away from subordination or dependence on foreign will. So, we renew our support for every effort exerted as to make success of the National Dialogue, as well our preparedness to provide whatever possible support as to accomplish this objective." 

"The Arab presence boosting up in Iraq is our collective responsibility; henceforth, the Arab stance has to be one and united," said H. E. President Al-Assad calling for the necessity of ending the occupation, encountering whatever bids as to impose accords on Iraq, which fringes on its sovereignty, security and inflicts harm on its security, not to mention the harm inflicted upon the Arab National Security itself. 

"The latest US aggression on the Syrian Territories proves that the presence of the US occupation troops creates the source for continued threat for the security of the countries neighboring Iraq, as well as a factor for instability for the region. Further, it asserts that the Security Accord aims to transform Iraq to a base as to hit the neighboring, instead of supporting it. Consequently, ending this occupation ,as soon as possible, is the necessity for the independence of the brethren Iraq, as well as the necessity for stability in the region," underlined H. E. President Bashar Al-Assad. 

"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," said H. E. Al-Assad. 

"What the Sudan has been facing for decades of fierce attack against its unity, and national cohesion, starting from the South ending with Darfur, is more than interference in its domestic affairs; rather, these are bids of real dismemberment, whose consequences are grave as those taking place in Palestine in 1948. As Arabs, we have to stand firm and determined by the Sudan condemning foreign interference in its domestic affairs whatever be their justifications. We agree with what the Sudanese Government is doing as to solve the human suffering in Darfur within the frame of the National Unity of the Sudan," said President Al-Assad reiterating that " when the resolutions- UN resolutions- reflect but the hegemony of a group of countries over international organizations leading to the issuance of resolutions in violation of the Charter, UN Charter- inflicting damage upon our interests, we have to put our national interests first and foremost over whatever consideration. " 

Edited& Translated by

Mohamad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

Rome, November 9, 2008