Keep up with the news by installing RT’s extension for . Never miss a story with this clean and simple app that delivers the latest headlines to you.

 

‘You live in NY, I live in Syria; let me tell our version of story’ – Syrian FM to UN chief

Published time: January 22, 2014 12:50
Edited time: January 23, 2014 08:24

Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem leads his delegation during a plenary session in Montreux January 22, 2014. (Reuters/Gary Cameron)

Download video (12.81 MB)

The peace conference in Switzerland, which is meant to bring down the Syrian government and opposition, began with condemnatory speeches and a bitter argument between the head of the UN and the Syrian delegation.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem used the opportunity of the gathering in Montreux to criticize the Syrian National Coalition, a Turkey-based West-supported organization, which is also participating in the conference and is supposed to be the prime representative of the opposition.

Muallem painted a bleak picture when describing the many perils the Syrian people are currently enduring, while accusing some foreign nations, including Turkey, of supporting terrorists in Syria. But the coalition - which mostly consists of self-exiled Syrians who have not been in the country for years - was the subject of particular scorn.

As the minister was blasting the SNC for selling their allegiance to the highest bidder and enjoying a comfortable life in five-star hotels while people died on the ground in Syria, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon interrupted the speech, asking whether he needed much time to wrap it up.

U.N.-Arab League Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi (L-R), U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, U.N. Acting Director Genera Michael Moeller and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry attend a plenary session in Montreux, Switzerland January 22, 2014. (Reuters / Gary Cameron)

A bitter debate between Ban and Muallem followed, as the Syrian minister insisted that he should keep the floor longer.

“You live in New York, I live in Syria,” Muallem said. “Let me tell our version of the story. You’ve spoken for 25 minutes. I need at least 30.”

Ban returned the floor to Muallem, only to interrupt him again a dozen minutes later. After a few additional minutes, he wrapped up the statement.

Muallem’s speech was a confrontational one, and Ban said he hoped that SNC head Ahmad Jarba, who spoke next, would be less antagonistic. This did not eventuate.

Jarba branded Syrian President Bashar Assad a terrorist and accused him of facilitating the rise of Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists in the country. He made it clear that the coalition is unwilling to deal with Assad and sees his resignation is the goal of the gathering.

The opposition leader’s statement went along the lines of that of US Secretary of State John Kerry, who spoke earlier and said in unambiguous terms, that Washington does not imagine a place for Assad in the future transitional government of Syria.

It appears that negotiators will be fighting an uphill battle to bring the parties in the conflict to any agreement.

Comments (11)

 

Regula 27.01.2014 08:40

Ban-ki Moon acted unprofessional and certainly didn't leave any doubt that he is a mouthpiece of the US - he should resign - humiliating al Moallem who gave a riveting speech (televised on UN live Web TV) by interrupting when the fickle west didn't look so good anymore. Kerry and Moon certainly left no doubt that the conference wasn't serious and that they are corrupt and therefore accusing Syria to be at fault for the takfiris. Kerry even threatened that if Assad didn't go, the takfiris would continue to come. Jarba didn't leave any doubt that he was paid by the US, KSA, Qatar, Bahrain.

 

Regula 25.01.2014 08:45

This is classic US training of Jarba to accuse Assad of facilitating al Qaida in Syria after the CIA spent years training them and pays and arms them to destroy Syria in a vain hope of destroying Assad's government.

As to Ban-ki Moon, it would have befit him to listen to Muallem, who is the only participant who has an authentic view of the conditions in Syria. All the more that Ban bantered for more than 5 minutes. This is just more attempts to humiliate Syria by humiliating Muallem. Ban did not uphold the office of the UN. He is a mere lackey and mouthpiece of the US. It is time for Ban to resign.

 

Asad Sheikh 24.01.2014 09:28

Interesting but blunt communication between two parties involved in diluting the Syrian crisis.

View all comments (11)
Add comment

Authorization required for adding comments

Register or

Name

Password

Show password

Register

or Register

Request a new password

Send

or Register

To complete a registration check
your Email:

OK

or Register

A password has been sent to your email address

Edit profile

X

Name

New password

Retype new password

Current password

Save

Cancel

Follow us