"We are living in a world under a state of chaos of wrong concepts and false idioms which increase the division among cultures and prepare for further wars and bloodshed." "These concepts reversed facts where persons who are defending themselves and their homes were branded as terrorists, and those who are making and practicing terrorism were looked at as combatant against terrorism," "The international institutions which were founded for benefit of the world and achieving peace and justice were transformed into tools in the hands of the superpowers at the expense of smaller states to interfere in their internal affairs and bilateral relations of those countries," 

The President added that under these conditions, the ( UN Security Council) resolution 1559 was issued. It was a surprise for many that such a draft resolution was presented to the Council. Syria is known for its constant support to the UN and its affiliated bodies, but this doesn't mean that we don't criticize the mistakes when there are any, particularly the double-standard policy when implementing those repositions, including the resolution 1559 which depicted as if it was issued to protect Lebanon's independence." The President added that "this resolution was not because of the extension of the term of office for President Emile Lahoud of Lebanon, the resolution was ready before some time. It aimed at other objectives away from what it had been submitted for it aimed at internationalization of the Lebanese internal situation with its meanings, namely the return to the 1980's."Al-Assad stressed that "there was no relation between the articles of the resolution and the issue of the extension of Presidential term. Let's give a simple example: what is the relation between the article on the militias ( though the original draft resolution spoke about Hezbollah or the resistance) and the Presidential extension ? what is the relation between extending the authority of the Lebanese army or state and the presidential extension.?" The President asserted that the nature of existing relations between Syria and Lebanon is based on strong bonds of history and geography that gathered the two societies as well as the common sacrifices they offered throughout different periods.

 H. E. Al-Assad reiterated that Syria had already said it would not intervene in the presidential affairs in Lebanon, adding that this stance was explained to the Lebanese President Emile Lahoud and other Lebanese officials. 

President Al-Assad questioned the reason why the same countries and persons agreed on the extension of the Presidential term in 1995 while in 2004 the extension was opposed, adding that "if it was a personal case then it is a flagrant intervention into the Lebanese internal affairs, and if it's a case of principle then it is also a flagrant violation into the Lebanese internal affairs." President Al-Assad said 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." Al-Assad added that they spoke about alleged Syrian hegemony on Lebanon, adding that Syria isn't after Lebanon's underground resources, oil, electricity or waters. "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." 

On Iraq, Al-Assad said Syria is bound by common history, kinship and fraternity with that country. "All Iraqis know that we stood firmly against the aggression on Iraq, and still stand against its occupation. We saw that launching the war on Iraq mean that the region and the world would enter into the unknown." H.E. added that the accelerating events in Iraq and the state of killings and destruction reflected the size of crisis and ignorance of how to get rid of the dilemma, adding that this has proved authenticity of the Syria points of view over the dangers of Iraq war and its catastrophic consequences.

 Al-Assad said that "We assert today that we do our best to preserve the unity of Iraq and secure its stability to help the country restore its full sovereignty. This requires enacting a constitution that reflects the will of the Iraqi people and aspirations, and the withdrawal of the foreign troops from their lands.." On the Middle East peace process President Assad said "the process, as you know has stopped for years as a result of Israel's rejection to resume the negotiations and its continued occupation of the Arab lands and its continued aggression on the Palestinian people. It is also because the international powers didn't commit themselves to their obligations towards the peace process, and because they are not serious about implementation of the international legitimacy resolutions when it comes to Israel." He added that Syria has always reiterated its clear-cut stance over the Middle East process in different occasions, and reassured its sincere desire to establish a just and comprehensive peace in line with the UN resolutions and the land-for-peace principle.

 The President said that "But, instead of the promises of aspired-for peace, the peoples of the region have been living a state of despair and social deep crisis as a result of Israeli hegemony being practiced, undeterred, against the Arab people. Israel has been exploiting the prevailing, at this stage, of fighting terrorism to settle its calculations with the living forces who defend their rights and dignity. Israel has been practicing the state terrorism which uproots the land and man, assassinates an entire unarmed people. It is regretful that the UN, again, is unable to issue a resolution to condemn Israel's crimes because of the U.S. unlimited support to it."Al-Assad added that "it was reported particularly recently through the press that there are secret negotiations between Syria and Israel as part of the peace process. I would like to explain this point: the Syrian stance over the peace is declared and well-known. There are several mediators who were coming to Syria from European countries or from the U.S. to make mediation on the resumption of the negotiations between Syria and Israel. Indeed some of them submitted holding secret negotiations, and they said that Israel was willing to hold such negotiations". "As for us, the Syrian stance over the peace process is obvious and well-known we reacted in a question form: what is the purpose of secrecy in the negotiations? And what is more important is that the Syrian people and the Arab people in general support peace negotiations and the peace process because they want peace. We see that the peace process is a process made between peoples. The problem lies in the Israelis who seem unqualified for the peace process. For us the peace process will only be public as it was in the past. Whoever wants to negotiate, then we are ready publicly and within the well-known or declared basics. 

As for the association with the European Union, President Al-Assad said "Syria has reached an understanding to establish the association agreement once the obstacles to it have been bypassed, especially those regarding weapons of mass destruction. where we reached a joint formula that goes parallel to our stance concerning non-proliferation of those weapons as part of our joint aim in turning the whole Middle East region into an area free of WMD." H. E. indicated that this has been achieved last month through negotiations between a Syrian and EU delegation. "We think that the formula which we agreed on has been circulated to the EU member states, .and we are waiting for the approval from those states unless sudden changes in the EU has occurred as what happened with us in the same negotiations at the beginning of the year." As for internal affairs, His Excellency said Syria has embarked on a promising process of reforms over the past few years of which it hopes to bypass cases of disorder from which Syrian establishments suffer in performance and meeting the growing needs of the citizens and match up with the world accelerating changes around us in terms of sciences, economy and services.

 He added that this process of development and modernization entails general revision of our plans and mechanisms of work as well as assessment of what we had already achieved and outlining a concerted vision of what we have to fulfil in the future. To modernize our laws and reform the administrative system, including banking, agriculture, economy industry and employment in Syria. 

The President pointed out that "the size of work is great as you see its burden is heavy, and costs are deer, particularly under Syria's keenness to achieve building as part of our national independence and fortifying our internal front and persistent seek to improve living conditions and secure social justice which constitutes the basis for the social and political stability; and this means that the reform process cannot be achieved without difficulties and obstacles." His Excellency told the Syrian expatriates that "your important role in making living cultural interaction with the other peoples through your wide-scale geographical presence and openness to the others constitutes the practical reaction to those narrow-minded people who market the idea of clash among civilizations." The President added that such people exploited advanced technologies to distort many facts about the world, but despite that the real image on spot remains more effective and credible, that's why expatriates are responsible for displaying the real facts.

 H. E. Al-Assad concluded addressing the Syrian expatriates: "for you, and for your homeland, do communicate with your kin and friends. Do encourage interaction between your sons and sons of the motherland. Do group yourselves in organizations that speak for your culture and nation."

 

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