Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari, stressed that there are some parties who try to push forward the crisis in Syria towards explosion.
“some members in the Council who were betting from the beginning on the failure of the mission of Mr. Kofi Annan are seeking to readopt the mission of Gen. Mood under chapter 7 and back to the idea of creating humanitarian corridors on the Syrian-Turkish borders and establishing a no-fly zone,” al-Jaafari told a press conference in New York.
The conferensce followed an update presented by head of the UN observer mission Gen. Robert Mood in front of the Security Council on the mission’s work in Syria and the statements of the U.N. Peacekeeping Chief, Herve Ladsous, on the United Ntaions’ decision to keep up the observer mission in Syria.
“All the new scenarios are still concocted and cooked from time to time by the same guys who are refusing to see the total picture of what is going on in Syria….We have repeatedly said for months that the Syrian governemnt is not dealing with exclusively peaceful demonstrations. Of course there are peaceful demonstrations, but not everything occurring and taking place is about peaceful demonstratios,” al-Jaafari added.
He highlighted the fact that the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, himself, in one of his reports, acknowledged the presence of ‘a third element’ in Syria, saying that “Actually this is a very polite term used by the UN Secretary General. He should have said al-Qaeda elements…terrorist groups coming from Arab countries such as Tunisia, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey” to carry on military operations in Syria.
Al-Jafaari said that the most important point is that all members of the Security Council agree on the fact that Syria is dealing with armed terrorist groups.
Syria’s Ambassador continued that the Syrian government has “notified, officially speaking, in an official letter, the names of the terrorists who are captured or killed.We notified to the Council the content of the ship Lutfallah 2 with the names and the nature of the content and how many boxes and the types of weapons and where did they come from. All this information are in the hands of the members of the Security Council.”
The Security Council members know very well now that there is a terrorist dimension of the picture in Syria and teh government should deal with it, al-Jaafari added.
He said “We talked about the third party many times. Now it has been proven that suicide bombings took place everywhere in Syria and the identity of these criminals were revealed on the Syrian TV. We have their names, we have their families who confessed. We know everything. We know where did they come from and how old they were . Yesterday, the Syrian authorities arrested one girl, 18 years old, who used to travel to Turkey to receive instructions and to call al-Jazeera to give wrong idea about what is going on in Syria. So, it’s a big mafia…manipulating everything and mixing up everything in order to diabolize the Syrian government.”
Al-Jaafari wondered about the international efforts exerted to pressure the armed terrorist groups, particularly by the parties which have influence on these groups such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, stressing that “Somebody should speak to those parties who have influence on the armed groups, supplying them with weapons, sending terrorists, al-Qaeda elements, providing them with haven ground, allowing them to cross the border with Syria to carry on military operations and then to run away back to the territories of these neighboring countries. This is too much really. This is becoming so blatant and so flagrant that somebody should do something with this regard.”
He said “People are talking publically, ministers, presidents, prime ministers. Everybody is talking publically about the necessity to push forward the crisis in Syria toward explosion,” wondering that “When some with a heavy weight in the United Nations Organization speaks about the civil war in Syria as if he is talking a joke, does he know what does civil war in Syria mean? That means the explosion of all the area not only Syria. That will impact on everybody in the area. People should be reasonable, calculate their words, think before speaking lightly and act really with a sense of responsibility.”
Al-Jaafari called on the Security Council, the UN Secretary General, Gen. Mood and all those who are partly concerned “to push forward for the implementation of the six-point plan of Annan regardless and irrespective of the black and white propaganda cliche,” and for resuming the mission of Gen. Mood, indicating that there is no alternative to Annan’s plan and the only way to push forward is to guarantee its success.
“This mission is very important for the safety and security of all the Syrian civilians and the Syrian government attaches a great importance to achieving this goal,” the Syrian representative stressed.
He underlined that “the essence even of the six-point plan of Annan is to put an end to violence and help the Syrians engage in an all-inclusive political dialogue. This is what it is about. This is the first point ,” adding “it is really pitiful we have not yet achieved even the fulfillment of the first item of” the plan.
Al-Jaafari described Gen. Mood’s statement as “balanced”, adding that the presence of Gen. Mood helped today the members of the Security Council to look at the full picture in Syria in its entirety.
He expressed appreciation over the kind of analysis Gen. Mood has given that his decision to suspend the mission of the UN observers is a temporary one.
“He seemed to me a responsible General and balanced in his approach and someone who knows very well what is going on on the ground,” al-Jaafari added.
He stressed the Syrian government’s readiness to continue protection of the safety and security of the UN observer mission, saying this is part of the Syrian national strategy.
On the necessity of unilateral cessation of fire by the Syrian forces, al-Jaafari said that the Syrian governmental forces did it many times but it did not succeed because the armed groups took advantage of it to receive further weapons. “The very important point is that we are not only encouraging the six-point plan, but we told Gen. Mood and the members of the Security Council and Ladsous himself how much we care about the success of the plan,” he added.
Regarding news reports on sending Russian weapons to Syria, al-Jaafari said “As you know Syria is a member state of the UN and we got our independence in 1946… We have an army and the army needs weapons so we are a state and we are free to buy weapons from wherever we want . So don’t equalize a state with armed groups. A state’s needs in military equipment are regulated by international law. There is no violation of the international law.”
“But when you speak about the armed groups who are supplied with weapons illegally speaking, sneaked illegally into the country, then this is a problem and not whether the army is receiving weapons from this country or that country. Everybody is receiving weapons in the world not only Syria. This is part of the daily life,” al-Jaafari added.
He commented on the situation of the civilians trapped in the terrorist groups’ strongholds by saying that “with regard to our dear brothers and civilians trapped in the rebels’ strongholds in Homs. These civilians as I said are our own people and we have to guarantee their exit by all means. The government addressed this issue and we told Gen. Mood as well as Kofi Annan and others that we need these parties who have influence on the armed groups to exert a serious pressure on these groups in order to let the civilians leave.”
Al-Jaafari noted that the number of these civilians who are trapped reached hundreds and “the armed terrorist groups do not allow them to leave because they are using them as human shields to blackmail the government,” calling upon those have any doubt with this to go back to the Vatican Information Service which says that the Syrian government is willing to let these people go but the armed groups are not letting them leave.
He underlined that some parties that have been betting on the failure of the mission are doing their best to create favorable conditions for the failure of this mission. “This is why the Syrian government insisted from the beginning on the necessity for us to protect the safety and security of the observers,” al-Jaafari added.
“Some parties would again bet on attacking the observers in order to embarrass the Syrian government and in order to embarrass somebody in the Security Council so that they could upgrade the mission under chapter 7,” he pointed out, warning that “We have to be extremely careful with the plans concocted and planned by some parties who are not happy with Annan’s plan from the beginning.
He recalled the statements of “the Emir of Qatar himself two days after adopting the resolution 2043. He was in Rome when he said that he gives only 3 percent of chances of success to the mission.”
The Syrian Ambassador stressed that Syria’s national security is important and that Syria is a sovereign state, noting that all the presidential statements and press conferences and Security Councils resolutions underlined the necessity of safeguarding Syria’s sovereignty and territorial unity, saying “these are sacrament ideas that should be taken into consideration.”
He reminded of what the British Prime minister said when the troubles erupted in London in answering one of the journalists that “when it is related to the national security don’t talk to me about human rights.”
“I am not repeating what he said. I am saying we care about the human rights of our people but we can’t do everything alone. There are third parties involved in the domestic crisis in Syria and everybody knows these third parties,” said al-Jaafari, adding that “Now the picture is clear cut and crystal cut known for the members of the Security Council…It is not unknown now any more who are the players in the Syrian domestic crisis.”
On the possibility of withdrawing the observers from Syria, al-Jaafari said “I don’t think so. there is no interest neither nationally speaking nor internationally speaking, and Mr. Ladsous told you that there is no Plan B. We should all focus on the success of the six-point plan of Mr. Kofi Annan.”
Regarding the Syrian government’s efforts to put an end to the terrorist acts, al-Jaafari said that “The government is doing its best in order to separate tackling the issue of the terrorist groups and the armed groups from the political process because we have national legitimate opposition…. So, we don’t mix up everything and put all the cards together. We separate combating terrorist groups and armed groups from continuing the political process referred to in Kofi Annan’s plan.”
He said that the issue for some members of the Security Councilin Syria is not protecting Syrian civilians, “rather it is for changing the Syrian state…they said it many times. They don’t care about the safety of the Syrian people . They care only about how to change the Syrian government. They call it regime.”
“So it is not any more a secret for anybody that their main goal is not to help the Syrian people get back their safety and security. For them, they have different plans. They need to destroy the Syrian state and make the Syrian people suffer, otherwise, how would you explain the economic sanctions, the European, the American, the Canadian and the Australian sanctions against Syria,” said al-Jaafari.
He wondered about the goals of imposing economic sanctions on the Syrian people if those who imposed them claimed that they want to help the Syrian people.
Al-Jaafari said that he shared the positive approach of the President of Security Council, Ambassador of China, stressing that “Syria cares not only about couple hundreds of civilians trapped in some rebels’ strongholds in Homs, but the Syrian government is totally committed to protecting the rights of 23 million Syrian civilians.”
For his part, China’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Li Baodong, stressed that Annan’s plan is the only option on the table to solve the crisis in Syria, adding that the international community has to support Annan’s plan, welcoming any positive developments that contribute to launching comprehensive political dialogue in Syria.
R. Raslan/ H. Said