''The most important thing about this harmony between the different spectrums of the Syrian fabric, is that it is genuine, because that has been built up through the history, through centuries, so for such a conflict, it cannot destroy that social fabric. That is why if you go around and visit different areas under the control of the government, you will see all the colors of the Syrian society living with each other.''

From H.E. President Al-Assad’s interview with Cuba’s Prensa Latina. July 21, 2016.

"Because we went to every place from the west till the east to see what is the best model we can use, and actually after we finalized it, many people in the civil society gave their comments and said we have to change it. Now, we are changing it."

From H.E. President Al-Assad interview with Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2011.

"I expect for the local administration law to happen at the end of this year. The one for the civil society was supposed to be finished last year but because we wanted to make more deliberations with different parties, we said Okay let us postpone it till next year."

From H.E. President Al-Assad interview with Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2011.


   "We admit they (the enemies) have been clever in choosing well-advanced techniques to do what they have done, but at the same time we acknowledge that they have been so stupid with their wrong choice of the country and the people where such conspiracies never succee. We say to them (the enemies) 'you don't have any choice except to continue in learning from your failure'. The Syrian people however have only one choice which is to continue in learning from their successes."

From H.E.'s Parliament Speech, (March 30, 2011)

 ''The citizens have always been the linkage between the internal and foreign policies; the citizens are the compass for us in anything that we do.''

From H.E.'s Parliament Speech, (March 30, 2011)


"We don't allow anyone to make or internal issues a matter for relations. Europeans and Americans supported the occupation of Iraq. Talking about values has no credibility any more. And after what happened in Gaza they have no right (to criticize us) at all."

From His Excellency Interview with the Guardian, (February 17, 2009)

 “The next step is going to be the expansion of the participation of different currents in Syria by having an upper house of parliament, and we are discussing what kind of house will have more participation. Second, the local administration law: how to have freer and more dynamic elections around Syria. Third, and that is what we discussed in 2005 and we didn't discuss before, a new modern party law. This is the most important aspect of the political reform. Actually, we were supposed to do that in 2006, but the problem is that most difficulties started in 2005, after the assassination of Hariri and the embargo imposed by most countries in the region, in Europe and in the US on Syria. This is why we said we have different priorities. Now we started talking again about it. It is not going to be implemented in 2008 because we expect this year to be dangerous. We are going to wait and see what will happen with this administration, then we can discuss it. We are moving forward; and we are not talking about patriotic or not patriotic opposition. Many people want to participate, whether they are opposition or otherwise. I am talking about reform in general. We said that we have opposition but it is not legal because we don't have these laws, but it exists in Syria wherever you go, you can sit with them, you can criticize the government and the state in general, the officials. So, we are dealing positively with opposition, but it doesn't exist as a legal entity yet, because we need these laws for the opposition to be legitimate by law, but it is there and we deal with it as reality.”

From His Excellency Indian Daily, the Hindu Interview (June 12th, 2008)

"We work towards widening the scope of participation by Syrian citizens, including opponents, within the national framework."

From His Excellency Statements during His UAE Visit (June 3rd, 2008) 

 "As for the term "civil society", there is a mixing between the concept of civil society. The civil society is a civilized society, which has developed out of the accumulation of civilizations through hundreds or thousands of years. Syria has a history, which dates back to over six thousand years of cultural heritage. And the saying that we want to build a civil society means that we want to cancel all this history to start a new history. Of course, this is unrealistic. It is fantasy, not to mention that it means a rejection of this history and attempt to get out of it. And the one, who tries to get himself out of his own history, he gets himself out of the present and the future as well. As for the establishment of civil society, the president added, they are existed in Syria. They might be not in their best conditions, but this is not the essence of subject. We are for reforming these establishments to be in their best manner. "

From HE’s Interview with Al-Sharq Al-Awsat Daily, (January 29, 2004) 

"When we put someone on trial, we're not trying him as a person. Instead, what concerns us is that he does not attack the population's religious and ethnic structure. The umbrella of stability must not be damaged. We gave the go-ahead for the formation of parties two months ago, and we are currently taking a very close look at these parties. I certainly don't dispute the contention that we do not have a well-developed system of political parties yet. I simply wanted to show you where we have to be cautious."

From HE’s Interview with The New York Times, (December 1, 2003)

"First, we say human rights, we can’t separate between the right of one person and the right of the society. Second, when we say the right of one person, it means his right to contribute to the improvement and development of the country, but he has no right to undermine the interest of his country. He has the right to abide by the country law, and he has the right to try and preserve the interest of his society not to harm the interest of the society. I think that societies have different concepts of these rights according to their cultural and historical developments. Therefore, the political prisoners you have talked about were imprisoned because there were circumstances that were difficult and they harmed the real interest of their own country. The large number of political prisoners that were let free was during the time of the late President Hafez al-Assad, because the circumstances have changed. But, you really cannot separate in any situation this case of these political prisoners from the cultural and from the political circumstances of the country and the region. Otherwise, we are going to ask one question if the next list of human rights is going to include the United States as a country who violates Human Rights for two reasons: The legislations that have been issued lately after the 11th of September which have provisions I don’t think that you see in third world countries. Second, for Human Rights and their international application. So, how could a Human right be applied internally but could not be applied at an international level? How do they speak about Human Rights in any Arab country and they do not speak about Human Rights in Israel? What about the right of the people who had their own territories occupied, whether in Syria, Lebanon or Palestine? All these elements, for us, are interconnected and you cannot separate them. But, the natural thing in the world is that there is no country in the world that would like to see its citizen in prison! I think each government would love to see prisoners set free. But how to create a reality that leads to that?! First, this has to be based on teaching the culture of accepting the opinion of the other. I think what we see now in the intentional arena is the exact opposite of this; it is a performance that stresses the single opinion internationally and inside every country. I think, Human Rights should be discussed in a different way, not through intervention in country’s domestic affairs but through creating the international circumstances to have better Human Rights for all people."

From HE’s Interview with Corriere Della Sera, (February 14, 2002)


"This- political pluralism- is what we are trying to achieve in Syria and this is not new in our agenda. Since the 1970s when President Hafez al-Assad came to power, this was his first priority. But I think it is not correct to take the word pluralism as you take it in any other country that has a different culture and different circumstances also. I think it is wrong to bring experiences at the level of your society as if you were dealing with your computer, you give it certain issues and it gives you the results in a minute. This process has to be gradual, but with a clear objective in mind, and the only criteria in this is stability. You cannot achieve development and prosperity in a country that is suffering from turbulent political circumstances. So, what you are saying is an extremely important objective for us, but we have to prepare the ground, and this is part of the road we have spoken about that we are preparing for the future."

From HE’s Interview with Corriere Della Sera, (February 14, 2002)

Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

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hafez al assad speech