Al-Assad's speech before Islamic Summit Conference
Regional-Syria, Politics, 10/17/2003
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday delivered an address at the 10th Islamic Summit Conference.
He said that the interim period between our last summit in Doha and this summit witnessed radical changes on the international arena which had effects on our countries and especially on our peoples. These changes can in no way be isolated from the international imbalance that emerged at the beginning of the last decade because they are direct outcome of that imbalance.
President al-Assad stressed that the 9/11 aggression against the United States serves the aims of a group of fanatics and ill-itentioned people to attack human values and principles which were upheld for thousands of years, and particularly divine religions. Those fanatics revealed their brutal vision of human society and started to market the principle of force instead of dialogue, oppression instead of justices and racism instead of tolerance. They even began to create an ugly illusionary enemy which they called "Islam", and made it appear as if it is Islam that is the problem while Islam is completely innocent of it.
"They added to our dictionaries a new term of which we had never heard throughout history and that is 'Islamic Terrorism' their objective was to link terrorism to Islam and to give this impression to those who do not know the truth of Islam, President al-Assad added.
President al-Assad underlined an urgent need for the Islamic countries to take coordinated steps to explain the benevolent contents of the Islamic message on the local and international levels as well as to combat the deliberate attempts to distort Islam.
He also called for enhancing the economic cooperation among the Islamic states which undoubtedly will achieve prosperity that will be reflected on every one in a positive way.
Regarding the Palestinian situation, President al-Assad stressed that the persecution which Israel is practicing against the Palestinian people through the past decades and which is getting more brutal, has naturally to invite Palestinian reaction that took the form of resistance which is a natural right and legitimate act as a form of self-defence that was safeguarded by the charter of the United Nations. The Palestinian resistance, at any rate, cannot be considered as an aggression against others as the Israelis and some of their agents in the West portray it. Yet "this terrorist state insists on accusing the Palestinian resistants of terrorism," the President added.
He added that "Israel is a terrorist state which was established on terrorism and practices in its most horrid forms against the Arabs, Muslims and Christians."
President al-Assad stressed Syria's condemnation of terrorism and violence represented by Israel asserting that we advocate just and comprehensive peace in our region and we shall always work to achieve it in accordance with the international law which call upon Israel withdrawal from all Arab territories occupied in 1967 and safeguard the rights of the Palestinian people in establishing their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.
He also asserted that Syria through its membership in the UN Security Council has submitted a draft resolution to make the Middle East a zone free of weapons of mass destruction.
President al-Assad called for enhancing dialogue underlining that experiences have proved that military power cannot be an alternative to politics and more importantly is that it cannot replace reason, rather it needs more of it. The Israelis should comprehend this fact; they should be aware that no matter how huge their military power might become, they will not succeed in achieving their goals and will never be able to plant fear in our hearts.
Regarding Iraq, President al-Assad pointed out that the pretext used as a cover for hegemony is "the war on terrorism," Iraq became the other victim of this title at the time when the international community, and most governments and people were against its invasion.
He stressed that some of the warmongers within the American administration refused to listen to the world's advice and the apprehension of some "wise people" within the administration in particular and in the United States in general. ''Before long they saw that war didn't achieve any of their aspirations except the destruction of Iraq and that they started to fight a new and more ferocious war.
At the same time, the world discovered that the war of "liberating Iraq" has in fact liberated the Iraqi citizen, in other words, deprived him of the state, institutions, sovereignty, dignity, food water and electricity, al-Assad said.
The President asserted that the Iraqi citizen has becomes liberated from the blessing of life, and everyone, without exception discovered that the pretexts upon which war was waged lacked any credibility. This was confirmed by the inspection teams' experts who where sent to Iraq to search for weapons of mass destruction, but didn't find any trace of them. In consequence, the Iraqis are paying the price in suffering caused by bad living conditions, lack of basic services and feelings of frustration and humiliation caused by the practices of occupation.
The President underlined that it is the only "natural for us, as a neighboring country to Iraq with which we are linked with historic ties of brotherhood, " to be ahead of countries affected by what is going on in it, and to be concerned about its present and future. ''Therefore, we emphasis our desire to see Iraq regaining its sovereignty, independence and freedom as quickly as possible, and to restore the role that benefits its statues. This can be achieved only through the withdrawal of the occupying forces according to a definite timetable to be implemented in parallel with electing a national government that presents the will of all sectors of the Iraqi people. Moreover, the United Nations Organization should have an active role in helping Iraq to reconstruct itself in the way chosen by the Iraqi people themselves and not by anyone in their place."
'' We give deep thoughts to the above mentioned interrelated challenges on the Moslem youth who are aspiring to achieve social and economic development that would enhance their position and give them a role in contemporary society. We also give deep thoughts to their frustrations and sufferings while they see their land being occupied, their dignity impaired and terrorism attributed to them, while they directly see the biased policy of some of the super powers regarding their rights, and their being victims of the misleading and prejudiced campaigns aimed at ignoring their problems and aspirations. Therefore, we have to consider our duties to immunize against falling victim of extremist thinking and foolish policies adopted by the enemies of Islam in the world." " Our organization is one of the main organs that binds together our countries and peoples, undoubtedly, we would do well to push this Organization forward so that it becomes the active framework within which we discuss our affairs. It is only natural for us to work for consolidating our relations through coordination, consultation, encouraging the commercial and cultural exchanges, mutual activities and exchange of experience. The dangers that we are facing are similar to a great extent. No country, no matter how big or resourceful it may be, can alone encounter these rising challenges," the president stressed.
He mentioned that the preparation of joint programmes of cultural and political activities aiming at defining current concepts, deliberately or indeliberately promoted by certain people against our cultures and civilization, is of utmost importance. Perhaps in the forefront of these important concepts that are used to justify wars and intervention in the affairs of countries, is that of terrorism which is being randomly used irrespective of terrorist practices exercised by certain states in the forefront of which is Israel.
'' In conclusion, I call for increasing meetings and dialogue in order to reach a common visions of our problems and challenges so that we may achieve real solidarity between our countries. I express the readiness and enthusiasm of Syria to contribute to preparing the appropriate programs.'' President al-Assad concluded. SANA
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