President Bashar Al-Assad: I am doing my best to save the country
The following is the full text of H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad's interview with the French 'Paris Match Magazine:
Question 1: Mr. President, three years into this war, and considering how things have turned out, do you regret that you haven’t managed things differently at the beginning, with the appearance of the first signs of the revolution in March 2011? Do you feel that you are responsible for what happened?
H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad:Even in the first days of the events, there were martyrs from the army and the police; so, since the first days of this crisis we have been facing terrorism. It is true that there were demonstrations, but they were not large in number. In such a case, there is no choice but to defend your people against terrorists. There’s no other choice. We cannot say that we regret fighting terrorism since the early days of this crisis. However, this doesn’t mean that there weren’t mistakes made in practice. There are always mistakes. Let’s be honest: had Qatar not paid money to those terrorists at that time, and had Turkey not supported them logistically, and had not the West supported them politically, things would have been different. If we in Syria had problems and mistakes before the crisis, which is normal, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the events had internal causes.
His Excellency, President Bashar Al-Assad underscored that the Syrians are certain of the Syrian victory against the foreign conspiracy and terrorists.
According to remarks published by Lebanese daily al-Akhbar , published by al-Manar website, H.E. pointed out that it was illogical to set a date for the war on Syria to be ended because of the continuous support of terrorism by international and regional countries.
President Al-Assad said that “we have foiled the conspiracy against Syria on the strategic level,” stressing that the state will triumph even if the elimination of the terrorists will take time. “What is important is that the leadership, army and people are absolutely certain that the victory is yet to come.”
Mr. President, what do you expect from the Geneva conference?
President Assad: The most basic element, which we continuously refer too, is that the Geneva Conference should produce clear results with regard to the fight against terrorism in Syria. In particular, it needs to put pressure on countries that are exporting terrorism, - by sending terrorists, money and weapons to terrorist organisations, - especially Saudi Arabia and Turkey, and of course the Western countries that provide political cover for these terrorist organisations. This is the most important decision or result that the Geneva Conference could produce. Any political solution that is reached without fighting terrorism has no value. There can be no political action when there is terrorism everywhere, not only in Syria but in neighbouring countries as well. From the political side, it is possible for Geneva to contribute to a process of dialogue between Syrians. There has to be a Syrian process within Syria and whilst Geneva could support this, it cannot be a substitute for it.