President al-Assad Interview: “No Dialogue with Gunmen, All Decisions taken by the West for the Past Ten Years have been in Support of al-Qaeda”
In an interview with the German Der Spiegel News Magazine, President al-Assad said that through Western support, now there are thousands of al-Qaeda fighters from 80 countries in Syria.
Following is the full text of the interview:
Der Spiegel: Mr. President, do you love your country?
President Assad: Of course, and in this I am no different from most people. This is not merely about emotions, but rather about what one can do for his country if he has the power and especially in times of crisis; and at this particular time, I realize more than ever how much I love my country and so I must protect it.
Der Spiegel: Wouldn’t you be more patriotic if you stepped down and allowed for negotiations over an interim government or for a cease-fire with the armed opposition?
President Assad: The Syrian people determine my fate; no other party can determine this issue. As for the armed opposition or factions, who do they represent – the Syrian people? If so, this can be proven only through the ballot box.
Der Spiegel: Are you prepared to run in the next elections?
President Assad: My term ends in August next year. The presidential elections should take place before that time. I cannot decide now whether I am going to run; this depends on what the Syrian people want. If people are not behind me, I won’t stand in the elections.
Der Spiegel: Will you seriously consider giving up power?
President Assad: This is not about me or what I want. It’s about what people want. The country is not mine alone, it’s the country for all Syrians.
Der Spiegel: But some people say that you are the cause of the rebellion, because people want to get rid of corruption and tyranny. They call for a true democracy; and according to the opposition, this is not possible with you in power.
President Assad: Do these people speak for themselves, or do they speak on behalf of the Syrian people or on behalf of the countries that are backing them? Do they speak on behalf of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Saudi Arabia or Qatar? Let me be clear about this: this conflict is being brought to our country from the outside world. These people live in five-star hotels, they are dictated to by their financial backers and have no grass roots in Syria.
Der Spiegel: Do you deny that there is a strong opposition against you in your country? President Assad: There is certainly an opposition in our country. What country doesn’t have opposition? It’s impossible for all the Syrians to be on my side.
Der Spiegel: It’s not only us who deny the legitimacy of your presidency. U.S. President Barack Obama said at the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York that a leader who kills his people and gases children to death has forfeited any right to rule his country.
President Assad: First, he is the president of the United States and has no right to pass judgment on Syria.Second, he has no right to tell the Syrian people whom to choose as their president. Third, what he says in realty has no foundation whatsoever. He has been calling for me to step down for one and a half years. What next? Have his statements made any impact? None whatsoever.
Read the full article at: globalresearch.ca