Syria: Assad charts a way forward

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

SYRIAN PRESIDENT Bashar al Assad has called on outside forces to stop supporting the rebels battling to overthrow his Baathist-led popular front government.

The Syrian leader also charted the way forward for a peaceful end to the conflict at a rally at the Damascus Opera House last Sunday.

In his first televised speech since June Al Assad spoke behind a backdrop of a huge Syrian flag composed from the images of hundreds of victims of the terror gangs that are funded and armed by the Nato powers and their feudal Arab lackeys.

Al Assad called for a national mobilisation to defeat the “terrorists” and “thugs” who have spread death and destruction across the country over the past two years.

He called for a national mobilisation to defend the republic while mapping out a three-point plan that would start with a ceasefire and a commitment by all parties to end the violence.

The current government would then contact all strata of Syrian society to start an “open dialogue for the convening of a national dialogue conference with the participation of all forces that are desirous of finding a solution in Syria.”

The second phase of this national dialogue, Assad said, would lead to the drafting of a national charter that would map out the future for Syria and this charter would then be referred to a popular vote. If endorsed a broadly based government could be established under the new constitution, Finally a national reconciliation conference would take place followed by a general amnesty and the reconstruction of the shattered economy.

But Assad doubted whether any of the rebels really wanted peace. “With whom should we make dialogue?”

Assad rhetorically asked. “With the sponsors of an extremist thought who only believe in the language of blood, murder and terrorism Or with gangs that get their orders from abroad?”

Assad said that the western powers were the ones who have slammed the doors to dialogue because they are accustomed to give orders and we are used to sovereignty, independence and the freedom of decision.

He also slammed the leaders of some of the countries in the Middle East who were “ fully aware that Syria’s emergence from its crisis would destroy them and their political future” as well as the sectarian Islamic fundamentalists who have entered the country to join the rebel cause. Last week the Syrian Foreign Ministry on Friday slammed as “unprofessional and not neutral” a recent report by the UN Commission of Inquiry that accused the Syrian government of huge violations of human rights.

Last month, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria published its latest report on the human rights situation in Syria, concluding that innocent Syrian civilians are bearing the brunt of escalating armed confrontations between the government and rebel forces.