DAMASCO, 10 NOV - La Siria 'non e' coinvolta ne' a livello statale, ne' a livello individuale' nell'assassinio di Hariri. Lo dice il presidente Assad. 

Per Assad il rapporto degli investigatori Onu e la risoluzione che ingiunge a Damasco di cooperare 'non hanno nulla a che vedere' con le indagini sulla morte di Hariri ma 'sono parte della dinamica politica che prende di mira la Siria'.

Noi coopereremo alle indagini 'sino alla fine della partita, perche' esse non sono altro che una partita', ha detto Assad.

Il premier libanese Fuad Siniora é 'uno schiavo di uno schiavo'. Lo ha dichiarato stamani il presidente siriano Bashar al-Assad. L'affermazione di Assad, in un discorso all'universita' di Damasco, e' stata fatta in una requisitoria contro il Libano che secondo il presidente siriano si sarebbe prestato a essere usato come base in un complotto contro la Siria usando come pretesto le indagini Onu sull'uccisione dell'ex premier libanese Rafik Hariri, l'altro "schiavo" assieme a Siniora.

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Before I start this speech, I would like to say that I was asked several times last week, why I look pale, and whether it was because of the pressures. I said no. In fact I was a little ill. I am saying this so that I do not get asked the same question again. Political circumstances make us more united; and when we get united we become stronger and livelier. This speech was scheduled for next week; but because of the fast pace of developments, I decided to make it today. 

Esteemed professors, dear students,

It gives me great pleasure to address you from this platform at Damascus University, this great seat of learning which has, for decades, been a rallying point for the vanguard of Syrian and Arab young people, and has produced graduates who went on to be the best scientists, administrators and politicians and who have been working on achieving development and progress in our country. 

It is a great opportunity for me to be in the university in which I spent some of my most beautiful and energetic days. I recall the six years I spent in the buildings, courtyards and laboratories of this university as a student learning from its professors, reading its books, and sharing the concerns and aspirations of this country with its students during a political stage which is not very different, in terms of its political implications and challenges from this period. Neither does it differ in terms of the seriousness of the conspiracies against Syria and the region and the gravity of the challenges which we face. The different structures of the university played an important role in analyzing these challenges and conspiracies and unraveling their implications, on the one hand, and mobilizing society to confront them, on the other. This is a very important and formative stage in the life of every young man and woman. The house and the family are the foundations for a person’s life, the school enhances this process and the university matures not only his/her academic experience, but social and political experience as well.

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Ladies and Gentlemen, members of the people’s Assembly; 

My Syrian sisters and brothers, 

I address you at this critical stage of the history of Syria and the region, with the events that you have experienced with your feelings and ardor for your homeland. You prove time and time again your faithfulness, loyalty and concern for the protection of its pride and dignity.

I wanted to meet you today, under these conditions, in order to give you a review of recent developments and your country’s position towards them, and in order to provide answers to the many questions you have in mind as part of the close and transparent relationship between us. I mean to stress a basic fact: that everything we do, and all the positions we take are inspired by you.

Syria has lived for the past two years at the heart of a number of interwoven and complicated events and developments on the regional and international levels which accelerated in a stormy manner. We had to deal with them with a great deal of care and concern. 

The acceleration of these events has imposed a complicated reality of reactions, opinions and viewpoints amidst a number of sections of those concerned with the political situation. On a parallel line, there is an intense media campaign which has caused great confusion among the local and Arab public opinion and raised a number of questions about the nature of the challenges facing us and our position towards them.

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Fellow Party members, I welcome you to the opening of the proceedings of the Tenth Regional Congress of the Ba'ath Arab Socialist Party. The Congress comes at the end of a busy period for the party, full of activity, lessons learned, challenges and hopes, and in a period occupied with events and developments. The turbulent nature of these events and developments has made its mark on the political sphere and cast a heavy shadow on social and cultural life in our country and our region. This has placed heavy responsibilities on our political forces and popular organizations -- with our party and people at the forefront ; to face these events and challenges with awareness and courage, and to learn lessons from them and draw conclusions. 

Our holding today of our party Congress represents an important stage in the evolution of our politics, especially because the Ba'ath Party is a political and social force which has a historic place and role in our nation's life. We will undertake an objective and realistic evaluation of the way events have developed, the way they are headed, and the way to deal with them. We will also evaluate our achievements in the last few years, as well what we could not achieve; the difficulties we faced, and the steps we took. All of this is a preliminary to defining our vision and our future direction.

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