Damascus, SANA- Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister, Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari has affirmed that since the year 2011, many European and Western states have been involved in in the crisis in Syria through sending tens of thousands of terrorists who target the Syrian state and its people, asserting that Syria is determined to eliminate all the remnants of terrorism, and to put an end the “cross-border” foreign terrorists.
In a speech delivered at a conference organized by the European Centre for the Study of Extremism, which is affiliated to Cambridge University, al-Jaafari called for uniting the efforts for combating terrorism with full coordination and cooperation with the Syrian Government, and in light of the relevant Security Council’s resolutions without violating the Syrian sovereignty.
He noted that handling the humanitarian issue in Syria can be done through lifting the coercive economic measures imposed on the Syrian people, and that the determination of some governments not to abide by the Security Council’s resolutions through rejecting the return of terrorists and their families to their countries reveals the rate of their hypocrisy.
Following is the full speech of Dr. al-Jaafari at the Conference:
Lords, Your Eminence, Excellencis, Ladies and Gentlemen good evening.
I am delighted to be presenting my keynote-speech today at the 2nd Eurocse (to be pronounced: Eurocsee) Syria International conference held by European Center for the Study of Extremism in the esteemed educational heritage of Cambridge.
I understand that Eurocse/ The European Center for the Study of Extremism has been running a unique program about Syria in the last five years. However, it seems that it has neither been easy in the UK even for British institutions to be conducting a free and fair dialogue nor hold a Track-Two diplomacy and break media blockade in the UK and Europe.
Therefore, I highly appreciate and thank the Center, its Patrons (Lords, Baronesses and Ambassadors) and academic Boards; and I am delighted to be extending my sincere and special thanks to all those who worked hard to make the whole of the Syrian programme at Eurocse and this particular conference a reality against all odds. In particular, it gives me a great pleasure to be thanking the Director of the Eurocse and the convener of this conference pro. Dr. Makram Khory-Makhool for his resilience, restless and genuine effort.
Allow me at the outset to emphasize that in Syria we depart always from the Holy Book of International Diplomacy & Relations, which is the Charter of the United Nations. This holy book calls for the respect of sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity, and non-interference in the internal affairs of member states. As you all know, Syria is a founding member of the UN. We have always been an integral part of the international legitimacy. With clear words: we are not newcomer to the rule of law.
Ladies & Gentlemen…
Discussing a thorny topic such as the European-Syrian relations and the current negative role of Europe in the crisis in Syria will undoubtedly take us all to horizons steeped in history and geography and will push us towards many questions that are not easy to find unanimous answers to.
- Is Europe an unknown for us, the Syrians?
- Are we, the Syrians, unknown to Europe?
definitely, the answer is NO…
Geographically, we, the Syrians, are among the closest countries and nations to the European continent. A factor that has increased our interaction over ages…
Historically, interaction and exchange between Syria and Europe were never interrupted in one day, nor in one era, but rather a continuous process that contributed with all its pros and cons in drawing the region’s map and its role on the global stage.
Culturally speaking, the reciprocal process has existed throughout the ages, and its fingerprints are present in both regions.
Stories of seven emperors of the Roman Empire from Syria itself, such as Julia Domna and Philip the Arab, were not just a strange coincidence, nor is it a coincidence that the most beautiful architecture that Rome boasts today, the Pantheon, is designed and implemented by the Syrian engineer Apollodor of Damascus.
The Syrians had a great role in civilization and culture, east and west, and this civilized role was demonstrated by being a bridge between ancient Greece and the West. History tells that at least four of the Popes are of Syrian origin. Saint Paul set out from Damascus to spread Christianity in Europe…
In front of the House of Justice building in Rome, stands a statue of the Syrian jurist Babinian. He is described by the figure who has given a lot in the field of law and legislation in Europe.
Some may not know that the name of this Continent came from Syria… Europe, a name means broad face, is the daughter of Agenor, the Phoenician king of Tire city, according to Greek mythology. It is claimed that the continent of Europe was named after the Phoenician princess Europe, and her picture is printed today on the 2-Euro coin.
The equation tends towards saying that a lot brings us together, and that Syria has offered a lot to Europe… SO, what happened? Where did the mistakes happen, and why did the EU no longer have independence in dealing with the situation in Syria and prefer to rotate in the American orbit?
What have we, the Syrians, done for Europe to deal with us unfairly and unjustifiably?
Are we, the Syrians, the cause of the two World Wars which resulted in the bloodshed of hundred millions of victims?
Are we, the Syrians, who had a colonial record in the European continent? Are we, the Syrians who had plotted the Sykes-Picot agreement to divide countries and plant Israel in the heart of Europe?
Are we the ones who had allowed extremists or facilitated their smuggling to Europe through the Turkish border? Are we the ones who had funded, trained, and supported ISIS and its affiliated terrorist entities to destroy Paris, Berlin, Madrid and Brussels?
Are we the ones who have imposed unilateral coercive economic measures and suffocated economic blockade on the European Peoples?
Are we the ones who hold regular donor conferences for EU without prior consultation with the European countries? Are we the ones who politicize the refugee file and submit to the blackmail practiced by the Turkish authorities in order not to throw the Syrians into the Mediterranean?
Are we the ones who spend billions of euros on European refugees in neighboring countries in order to prevent them from returning back home?
Many, many questions that need fair answers, but above all they need the political will and the moral stand of the European Union in order to put a definitive and unconditional end to Syrians’ sufferings. Our suffering is genuine and should not be reduced to a mere rhetoric said by Josep Borrell the high commissioner.
Some countries celebrate these days what they call “the 10th anniversary of the Syrian conflict”. The EU adopted last Thursday a resolution that makes Europe a part of the problem rather than a part of the solution. The resolution is biased, un-genuine and takes side against the Syrian government in flagrant violation of the provisions of the UN charter and the principles of international law.
The EU has joined other groups and institutions in this endeavor to diabolize the image of the Syrian government and the leader of the country and his family.
On Wednesday March 10, 2021, Mr. Josep Borrell said at the EP debate that latest data suggests the poverty rate stands at 80%. And 12 million Syrians – nearly 60% of the population – are severely hit by food insecurity, and the pandemic has exacerbated the challenges. This statement condemns Mr. Borrell and the European Union, which has always advocated for human rights. Is not the EU joining unilateral coercive economic measures and imposing sanctions on Syria to starve the Syrian people? is not an economic terrorism? Is not a crime against humanity and democracy?
From the very beginning in 2011, Some countries were involved in the crisis in Syria. They used to send and support tens of thousands of terrorists who target the Syrian state and its people. The danger of these terrorists is no longer limited to Syria, it now threatens all countries around the world including Europe itself.
For the first time in modern history, a new phenomenon has emerged. We all know that using terrorism as a political weapon was a kind of western strategy that was implemented in Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Iraq, Bolivia, Iran, Libya and elsewhere.
However, for the first time a new version of this strategy was created on purpose in the intelligence services’ laboratories, a new strategy deemed adequate to the Syrian scene. I mean by this that those hostile same governments who launched a terrorist war against Syria claim that they care for the safety and security of the Syrian people!
The United Nations system concerned with combating terrorism has persistently ignored the reality of the terrorist war that Syria has been subjected to since 2011.
Needless to say, that this unbalanced practice was going on as a result of the political and financial polarization practices pursued by the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France. Those European governments were negatively exploiting their membership in the Security Council against Syria to the maximum extent. Their aim was distorting the facts, demonizing the position of the Syrian government, affording political and media coverage for terrorist armed groups, and preventing Security Council from listing those groups and hundreds of foreign fighters as terrorist entities and individuals.
The situation reached a degree of rudeness when the US Permanent Representative and the government of her country went on for many months, denying the very existence of a well-known terrorist organization in Syria called the “Al-Nusra Front”!
Let me remind you here that Al-Jazeera Channel, which is owned by the ruling family in Qatar. Al-Jazeera Channel correspondent Ahmed Mansour had conducted two long prestigious television interviews with the terrorist Abu Muhammad al-Julani, the leader of “Al-Nusra Front”. It gave him the free of charge platform to promote his terrorist ideology. Recently, Martin Smith an American journalist interviewed this terrorist for the “Front Line” program on the PBS. I would like also to remind you that the Qatari delegation to the United Nation has explicitly announced that it opposes the Security Council’s decision to list “Al-Nusra Front” organization in the lists of terrorist entities.
Well, do not be surprised that one day these governments will nominate Abu Muhammad al-Julani for the Nobel Peace Prize!
With the beginning of 2014, the threat of terrorism became widespread in Syria and Iraq, and indications began to appear that the threats of terrorism would not stop within the borders of these two countries, as the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters expanded in a way that threatens international peace and security. the international public opinion, namely in the countries of the EU, started to raise serious questions about the role of the governments of these same countries and their involvement in turning blind eyes on the travel of thousands hundreds of extremists from EU to Syria and Iraq to join terrorist groups, such as “Al Qaeda”, “ISIS” and “Al-Nusra Front”.
So, the magic began to fall back on the wizard, and the terrorist goods that were exported to Syria in particular began to return to the country of origin to pose a threat to European security. This situation coincided with a firm Russian and Chinese position within the Security Council in the face of the attempts of the United States, the United Kingdom and France to distort the facts about the terrorism that Syria is suffering from, financed and supported by regional governments, foremost among which is Turkey , Qatar and Israel.
Thus, the Security Council began to witness moves to adopt many resolutions related to combating terrorism, most of which were directly or indirectly linked to the tragic situation in Syria. New languages appeared in the Security Council’s resolutions about ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Jabhat Al-Nusra, and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, and their role in spreading terrorism in Syria and Iraq, stealing oil and antiquities to finance terrorism, and about foreign terrorist fighters. The Security Council began to address theoretically rather than practically the phenomenon of liberating hostages in exchange for ransom payments to terrorist armed groups. It is the dangerous practice assigned to the Qataris who were financing terrorism directly or indirectly through these ransoms, in vigilant violation of the Security Council Resolution 2133.
The Security Council had adopted (23) resolutions in the field of combating terrorism, linked to the situation in Syria in a way or another. Yet regional governments keep on supporting, financing, and facilitating the transfer of terrorists, weapons, and money to Syria. In blatant rudeness, they call the terrorists “the Syrian armed moderate opposition”.
The Americans, along with other members, prevented the Security Council from listing many terrorist organizations and individuals on the sanctions lists imposed by the Council on entities and individuals involved in supporting, arming, financing and laundering money for the interest of terrorist acts in Syria.
The American Permanent Representative continued for many months kept denying the existence of a terrorist organization in Syria under the name “Jabhat al-Nusra”. She kept stating that this group is a myth that the Syrian government invoked in order to justify for itself the suppression of peaceful demonstrators! until the US government caved into reality and allowed, along with its allies, the Security Council to list this terrorist organization on the sanctions lists at the end of the May of 2013.
Even when the terrorist group of “Al-Nusra Front” like lizard changed its name to “Hayat Tahrir al-Sham”, the US government continued to reject the request of Syria and the Russian Federation to include this new name on the Security Council’s lists, and it did not approve its listing until the US Treasury Department included Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in the US sanctions regulations!
Currently, the United States continues to obstruct the request of Russia, China and Syria to list the most dangerous terrorist organization operating in Syria that includes the most violent foreign terrorist fighters, which is known as Hurras al-Din. In this particular case, hypocrisy has reached an unprecedented level, as the US Treasury Department has included Hurras al-Din on the US sanctions list, but it still refuses to list this terrorist organization on the lists of the Security Council!
The Syrian government has documented and authenticated information about the involvement of individuals in the fighting with the terrorist organizations of “ISIS”, “Jabhat al-Nusra” and “Hurras al-Din”, after their conditional release from Guantanamo and the imposition of house arrest on them in countries in Latin America!
These same governments, most of them, are former colonial powers or war mongers, insult the UN charter and our intelligence by claiming that they are invading parts of Syria under the false flag of article /51/ of the charter! They resort to article /51/ to cover up their misgivings, but they establish a so-called international coalition based on unilateral action and without any authority given by the Security Council! People can’t be arsonists and claim that they are firefighters!
Hence, we call on unifying the efforts to fight terrorism in full coordination and cooperation with the Syrian government. This should be done in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions, and in a way that does not violate the Syrian sovereignty.
The insistence of some governments not to abide by the Security Council resolutions through their refusal to take back their national terrorist fighters and their families reveal their deep hypocrisy. Syria is determined to eliminate all remnants of terrorism and to put an end to the phenomenon of “cross-border” foreign terrorist fighters.
In this context, we emphasize on the attempts to interfere in our internal affairs under the pretexts of humanitarian aid.
We assure our rejection to the Brussels conference, which is to be held under the slogan of Syrian aid while the European Union imposes sanctions on Syria, which exacerbate the suffering of the Syrian people. It is an irony to witness the EU imposing criminal unilateral economic coercive measures against Syrian people and claiming, at the same time, its determination and commitment to help the same Syrian people.
The Syrian government has always been keen to engage positively in the political track, in accordance with its national and constitutional determinants. In this regard, Syria strictly emphasizes on the independence of the constitutional committee. with the assurance that the political process is owned and led by the Syrian people who have the exclusive right to determine their future without external interference.
To that end, we call on the United Nations to play its role as an honest and impartial mediator, and to prevent some countries from interfering in the affairs of this committee, imposing their agendas, or directing suspicious recommendations to the Secretary-General’s envoy.
Some Western countries are influenced by the United States of America. They keep on obstructing the political path, politicizing the humanitarian needs and using them as a pretext to achieve their political agendas. They adopt measures as “Cross-border Assistance” which violates the Syrian sovereignty. They keep continuing to promote the so-called “Gaziantep hop”, by currently preparing to extend the effects of the Security Council resolutions 2165 & 2533. Speaking of Gaziantep, I invite you to view Snowden’s documents that show evidence that this area has now become the main center that Turkish authorities use to train terrorist fighters before they are sent to Syria or Libya or Yemen or elsewhere.
Let me conclude by saying that addressing the humanitarian crisis will not be achieved through distributing assistance or accusing the Syrian government of being uncooperative, but by lifting the unilateral coercive measures imposed on the Syrian people. some international humanitarian organizations complain about the lack of funding. Only increasing the humanitarian assistance with the full coordination with the Syrian government will enhance the UN credibility.