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Peaceful solution is the only way forward – Syrian deputy FM

Published time: May 27, 2012 09:14
Edited time: May 27, 2012 13:14

Syrian women (unseen) shower army troops with rose petals and rice as youths holding up a national flag in front of a portrait of President Bashar al-Assad ride on an army tank pulling out of the southern protest hub of Daraa on May 5, 2011. (AFP Photo/Louai Beshara)

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Damascus is being provoked by armed groups which need chaos in the country, Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abdulfattah Amura told RT. Amura says the authorities have only acted in self defense.

­RT: Despite all the efforts so far to put an end to it, the violence in Syria is continuing and seems to be increasing.  Why has the Syrian government been unable to put an end to this? 

Abdulfattah Amura: Actually it is a very strong desire and determination of the Syrian government from the very beginning to put an end to violence. But the ball is not in the court of the Syrian government or the Syrian people. It is in the court of those who do not want to see peace, stability and security in Syria, particularly those who are calling and declaring every now and then for arming these groups – for smuggling arms and weapons into the Syrian territory from neighboring countries – and also financing these armed groups.

[There is also a problem] of distorting the reality of what is really happening in Syria and hence comes…talk of Annan’s plan, which calls for ending this violence [as well as] the other six points.  But at the same time, it calls for commitments by neighboring countries.

RT: From the side of the Syrian government, why are the violations of the peace plan still happening in some areas?

AA: This supervision mission of the United Nations, especially the chairman of the president of the mission, has clearly said that the Syrian government and authorities have really co-operated with the mission, facilitated their entry, and facilitated their movement as well. He also said that the government and authorities have withdrawn the heavy (military) vehicles from the centers of the towns, which means that the Syrian government did co-operate, and this is a known fact on the ground.

I did not hear from the UN commission any statements saying that the Syrian government has violated [the agreement]. But you have read from them that up until now, 3,500 violations by the armed groups have been committed.

The government and the authorities are being provoked by the armed groups and when the Syrian authorities do any action – it is only in self-defense.

RT: Foreign interference can only go so far to explaining the instability. What part do you think the Syrian government has to blame for what’s happening now? 

AA: I can’t say to blame or not to blame the Syrian government. Our people have decided that there is no other way but a dialogue and a peaceful solution settlement to this crisis.

At the same time they are using well-planned [international] sanctions against the [Syrian] people; its impact is on every family.  One can ask…are you punishing and sanctioning the people themselves? 

RT: Lebanon seems to have been dragged into the Syrian unrest. How hard is it for the Syrian government with this crisis spreading over into neighboring countries?

AA: It is no secret now, neither to the Lebanese, nor to the Syrians, nor to the world, that [they have been trying to make] the northern part of Lebanon… the center for insurgents to come into the Syrian territory to create chaos…. This is against the interests of the Lebanese people.

RT:Where do you think the final responsibility for what is happening in Syria lies?

AA: There is a proverb saying “if you deceived me once – shame on you, if you deceived me twice – shame on me”. The deceit was there from the very beginning of what is called the Arab Spring. We all witnessed what happened in Libya, Egypt, Tunis, etc.