"I have a great pleasure in welcoming on behalf of the Syrian Arab People, on behalf of my wife and on my own behalf, Your Majesties and the distinguished members of the accompanying delegation, wishing you a happy stay in Syria which is proud of this visit and is hopeful that this visit will consolidate the relations between our two countries and peoples." 

"We are glad that you are today our dear guests in Damascus, this ancient city which is one of the glorious Arab cities from which Arab glory emerged carrying its message to the farthest corners of the world in the shape of civilization, values, and human principles. In the heart of this glorious city and throughout its long history, the fine feeling of the importance of contacts with other peoples grew on the basis of taking and giving and of mutual respect and esteem. Syria, on the basis of that, always aspires to carry out its role with trust and confidence." 

 "Syria considers that it has much to give within the framework of a vision of far reaching civilization the living features of which are apparent in every part of its rich land. When I visited your beautiful country two years ago, I carried with me many thoughts and hopes to the good of our two countries, our region and the world at large. The idea which was the closest to myself among all other ideas which I carried with me in visits to various states or in my meetings with personalities or foreign delegations, is the idea of dialogue. In fact, it was always my belief that dialogue is a continuous constructive process; a process that if we sever at any stage, we will have then to restart it from the beginning."

 "My visit to Spain upon the invitation of your Majesty to inaugurate the exhibition of "The Glitter of Umayyads in Cordova" indeed was "expressive" gesture by your majesty aiming at pursuing the fruitful dialogue which was started by our ancestors more than 1000 years ago at the time when their bloods, ethnicities and cultures mixed together to form a wonderful civilization which brought about sublime principles that remain alive in our life. In my meetings with Spanish officials during that visit and in reviewing the good popular reactions to that visit, I became certain that this dialogue never was severed and that successive generations achieved big steps in this field despite the difficult circumstances which faced this relationship in different historic periods. Those difficult circumstances are not an abnormal state in the logic of relations between human beings. However, the ground which was established has restored the glitter of this relationship, a glitter which we perceive in the big convergence of emotions, characters and ideas." 

 "At the time when we together seek to reinforce dialogue between two cultures that many aspects of convergence bring them together, we notice that some of those who are essentially far away from the cultures of other peoples in this world, we are distancing themselves more and more from this dialogue, thus making the mere start of this dialogue even difficult. Few years ago hope was great in establishing more balanced relations between the peoples of the world, in respecting cultures of each other and in adherence of all of us to maintain, protect and develop the United Nations and its organs for the purpose of serving humanity, while we today notice as if the space of hope is narrowing and light is becoming dimmer." 

"This is in no way a call from despair because had the light been extinguished completely, destruction would have prevailed throughout the world. But, hope exists as long as the human sense still exists. This was obvious throughout the demonstrations that Europe and the entire world witnessed. Spain witnessed these demonstrations months before the war for the purpose of opposing and denouncing the war against Iraq. These demonstrations and opposing the occupation and its various consequences have expressed the real feelings, ideas, obsessions and absolute rejection of these peoples to principle of power domination. This principle will lead to the fact that the strong will swallow the weak. It will also create a world that lacks human feelings, divine laws, and worldly traditions." 

 "Then, our life will be like the jungle with the existence of developed technology. Twelve years have already passed since the convening of the Madrid Peace Conference, but without achieving the objective for which it was held, namely to achieve just and comprehensive peace in the region. And despite what has been accomplished at certain stages regarding peace with Israel, we are today quite far from peace; more than ever. If some of the good-intentioned people are still adhering to illusions that the Israel government will comply with the requirements of just and comprehensive peace, the present Israeli government, instead of pursuing the road of peace, is escalating its oppressive policies against the Palestinian people, shelling houses, assassinating citizens, murdering civilians, displacing innocent people, and continuing the building of its separation wall in order to annex more of the Palestinian land. In doing so, it is strengthening the Apartheid Policy which drives us to live in a different age."

  "We emphasize that option of just and comprehensive peace in accordance with Madrid Terms Of Reference, the relevant international resolutions and the "land for peace" formula that call upon Israel to withdraw from all Arab territories occupied in 1967, safeguard the legitimate rights of the Palestinians people in establishing their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, and complete the Israeli withdrawal from the rest of the occupied Lebanese territories. All the Arabs expressed this stand when they adopted the peace initiative in Beirut Summit in 2002, while the Israeli response to it was evasiveness, disregard and more acts of killing and persecution." 

 "With regard to Iraq, its people are living in very difficult conditions at the political, human and living levels, and they manifest their real desire of determining their own affairs and exert every efforts to regain their independence to which they accept no alternative. Syria is a neighboring country to Iraq with which we share the unity of history and destiny, with which we interact and by which we are directly affected. Therefore we are much concerned about its stability and territorial integrity and it is of our interest that Iraq regains its independence and freedom at the very soonest. It is also of our interest that Iraqis choose their government by themselves and that the UN plays an essential role in helping to achieve Iraq's independence and to get over the destructive results of the war." 

"We have taken great steps in recent years concerning our political, economic and cultural relations. We were also very keen to continue the dialogue and coordination between our two countries in the various domains, and we look forward for achieving more progress in this regard. The Spanish experiment is pioneer in accomplishing economic, social and educational renaissance within a record time. This enabled Spain to be at the forefront to countries which realize continuous growth in their national production. We, in Syria look forward to benefit from your experiences in the various fields with the aim to foster our ambitious developmental plans which we hope will achieve a positive change in the life of our citizens. We do believe that your Majesty's visit to Syria will greatly contribute to achieve that objective, consolidate the mutual cooperation ties and will provide us with precious opportunity to discuss issues that concern our two countries and peoples and peoples of the entire world in an atmosphere of friendship and intimacy. Syria continues to exert efforts to overcome the obstacles she faces to join the European-Mediterranean association, and hopes to sign the agreement in a short time. We are confident that our Spanish friends will offer everything possible to this effect. We have no doubt that signing the association agreement between Syria and the European Union will strengthen our ties with Europe and enhance the common interests and cultural and human ties. I reiterate my welcome to Your Majesties in Syria which honestly, appreciates friendship, adheres to her commitments and which is devoted to honor them. I am absolute confident that wherever you go in Syria you will feel how much love and appreciation our people cherish to you, to the grand human role you play in order to establish an international system where peace and justice prevail, and to your friendly country with which we cherish the closest ties."




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