Al-Shara, Troika delegation held in a press conference
Syria-European Union, Politics, 9/28/2001
The Syrian foreign minister Farouk al-Shara highlighted three points which embody Syria's official stand towards what took place in the US and its consequences manifested in the developments taking place in the world. This was expressed during the meeting between the Syrian President and the Troika delegation on Thursday in Damascus.
Al-Shara considered that the first point is the need that aims of this campaign ( decided to be launched against terrorism) to be very clear and identified, secondly, al-Shara explained that Syria does not agree to any military move that will result in killing civilians and innocents. He called that this campaign to be within the framework of the UN and that is because of two reasons, first to fight terrorism and second the identify terrorism.
Al-Shara also considered that there should be no links between terrorism and the Arab and Islamic world, adding that despite that " the US administration has explained this at highest levels, the mass media and the public opinion in the USA, and in the world as a whole, however, there is still a big problems which faces the Arab and Islamic world and also Islam in America." Al-Shara called on the EU to work with Syria " for fighting terrorism, first," but that not to be resulted in " victims," stressing not to have " clashes among civilizations."
Al-Shara continued:" this is the meaning humanity expects from us and this is what we do expect from the European Union." Al-Shara added that September 11 was not an ordinary event and that President al-Assad gave a " clear - cut vision " to the Troika delegation, noting that this " ugly incident of September 11 will be a turning point in the history of all nations towards the better rather than towards the worse." Al-Shara said "we were all shocked and are still thinking how the world will be now and seem to be in the future." He also added that Syria sympathized with the dead and sent its condolences to the families of the dismissed.
The Belgian foreign minister Louis Michael, whose country is presiding over the current rotating presidency of the European Union said there are " several points which were expressed and asserted. Eventually we will not agree on every point," noting there are difficult points and we have to bridge the gap existed concerning our bilateral view points."
Michael considered that the most important message Troika wants to convey and repeat clearly is that" there can not be a link between terrorism and the Arab and Islamic worlds." Noting that it is very important to maintain the dialogue among civilizations in these times, in particular.
Michael continued:" we have met with President al-Assad and several Syrian officials because we wanted to explain to President al-Assad and to his foreign minister what fighting terrorism needs in an effective way that should be on the work agenda of all of us."
He added that the mission of his delegation is to explain to the countries of the region the European view point and to convey certain messages to them. He added that it was agreed the " key role played by International organizations, especially the UN," noting that there are many difficult points that we should debate and discuss and to have an open dialogue concerning it, and among the most important is to define " what is terrorism."
In a question to the Syrian foreign minister on the Syrian vision towards Hizbullah, al-Shara said:" I do not see why there should be a difference between the viewpoint of the European Union and us to this effect." He explained when a country is occupied by a foreign force, you have two choices to liberate your land, which is to launch a war against your enemy or to defend yourself and resist, and therefore I question how could you think that foreign colonialism is legitimate?
Replying to a question on whether the EU was briefed on the American evidences concerning accusations addressed to Usama Bin Laden. Solana said that the Europeans have not " tangible evidences" so far and that the American government " did not convey to us " any of these concrete evidences. He added " all evidences still we have lead to one direction which is until now we have not got certain information."
On whether the Syrians will be absent from the Euro- Mediterranean next conference, al-Shara said, " this matter is still under study," adding that Syria did not attend the Marseilles conference (in 2000) but gave her own reason for that absence.
Al-Shara continued that Syria since 1995 (when Syria signed the Barcelona declaration) considered that there will be no foreign occupation for two countries members in the Barcelona process. Al-Shara questioned that by the ultimate end " how can we cooperate with a Partner who occupied our lands. However, the Europeans are our partners." Al-Shara said replying to a question concerning Syria's existence on the US terrorism sponsor states list that this stand was adopted by Israel and the US congress, for its part submitted it to the US administration which also adopted it and has become " a vicious circle," noting that "many countries do not believe in that because all of us know that Syria is fighting terrorism and we (Syrians) were the victims of terrorism for seven or six years and nobody came to help us as we are now helping the Americans." Al-Shara said that " the American reports stressed every year that since 1986 they have no evidences linking between Syria and terrorism."
A European Union protest to Syria
Al-Shara meets with Louis Michael
Three European officials in Damascus today
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