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Assad: Erdogan thinks he's Caliph, sultan of the Ottoman
by Joseph Earnest November 10, 2012
Newscast Media DAMASCUS—In an exclusive interview with Russia Today, Syria's President Bashar Assad talks about who the enemy is and what his plans for Syria and the Syrian people are. Below are some excerpts of the interview:
'My enemy is terrorism and instability in Syria'
RT: There are many people who were convinced a
year ago that you would not make it this far. Here again you are sitting
in a newly renovated presidential palace and recording this interview.
Who exactly is your enemy at this point?
My enemy is terrorism and instability in Syria. This is our enemy in
Syria. It is not about the people, it is not about persons. The whole
issue is not about me staying or leaving. It is about the country being
safe or not. So, this is the enemy we have been fighting as Syria.
I have been here for the last two days and I had the chance to talk to a
couple of people in Damascus. Some of them say that whether you stay or
go at this point does not really matter anymore. What do you say about
BA: I think for the president to
stay or leave is a popular issue. It is related to the opinion of some
people and the only way can be done through the ballot boxes. So, it is
not about what we hear. It is about what we can get through that box and
that box will tell any president to stay or leave very simply.
Syria's Bashar Assad interiviewed by RT's Sophie Shevardnadze
RT: I think what they meant was that at this point you are not the target anymore; Syria is the target.
BA: I was not the target; I was not the problem anyway. The West creates enemies; in the past it was the communism then it became Islam, and then it became Saddam Hussein for a different reason. Now, they want to create a new enemy represented by Bashar. That's why they say that the problem is the president so he has to leave. That is why we have to focus of the real problem, not to waste our time listening to what they say.
'Erdogan thinks he is a Caliph'
RT: Why has Turkey, which you call a friendly nation, become a foothold for the opposition?
Not Turkey, but only Erdogan’s government in order to be precise.
Turkish people need good relations with the Syrian people. Erdogan
thinks that if Muslim Brotherhood takes over in the region and
especially in Syria, he can guarantee his political future, this is one
reason. The other reason, he personally thinks that he is the new sultan
of the Ottoman and he can control the region as it was during the
Ottoman Empire under a new umbrella. In his heart he thinks he is a
caliph. These are the main two reasons for him to shift his policy from
zero problems to zero friends.
it is not just the West that opposes you at this point; there are so
many enemies in the Arab world and that is to say like two years ago
when someone heard you name in the Arab world they would straighten
their ties, and now in the first occasion they betrayed you, why do you
have so many enemies in the Arab world?
They are not enemies. The majority of Arab governments support Syria in
their heart but they do not dare to say that explicitly.
RT: Why not?
BA: Under pressure by the West, and sometimes under pressure of the petrodollars in the Arab world.
RT: Who supports you from the Arab world?
BA: Many countries support Syria by their hearts but they do not dare to say that explicitly. First of all, Iraq which played a very active role in supporting Syria during the crisis because it is a neighboring country and they understand and recognize that if you have a war inside Syria you will have war in the neighboring countries including Iraq. I think there are other countries which have good position like Algeria, and Oman mainly and there are other countries I would not count all of them now but I would say they have positive position without taking actions.
'Syria faces not a civil war, but terrorism by proxies'
RT: They are not against you?
If the whole world, or let us say a big part of the world, including
your people, are against you, are you a superman?! You are just a human
being. So, this is not logical. It is not about reconciling with the
people and it is not about reconciliation between the Syrians and the
Syrians; we do not have a civil war. It is about terrorism and the
support coming from abroad to terrorists to destabilize Syria. This is
RT: Do you still not believe it
is a civil war because I know there are a lot who think that there are
terrorist acts which everyone believes take place in Syria, and there
are also a lot of sectarian-based conflicts. For example we all heard
about the mother who has two sons; one son is fighting for the
government forces and the other son is fighting for the rebel forces,
how this is not a civil war?
have divisions, but division does not mean civil war. It is completely
different. Civil wars should be based on ethnic problems or sectarian
problems. Sometimes you may have ethnic or sectarian tensions but this
do not make them problem. So, if you have division in the same family or
in a bigger tribe or whatever or in the same city, it does not mean a
civil war. This is completely different and that is normal. We should
RT: When I asked about
reconciling with your people, this is what I meant: I heard you say on
many different occasions that the only thing you care about is what the
Syrian people think of you and what Syrian people feel towards you and
whether you should be a president or not. Are you not afraid that there
has been so much damage done for whatever reason that at the end of the
day Syrians won’t care about the truth; they will just blame you for the
carnage that they have suffered?
BA: This is a hypothetical question because what the people think is the right thing, and regarding what they think, we have to ask them. But I don’t have this information right now. So, I am not afraid about what some people think; I am afraid about my country. We have to be focused on that. Add Comments>>
Source: Russia Today (RT)
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