India should support a political solution for the Syrian crisis: Bouthaina Shabaan
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s advisor Bouthaina Shabaan in conversation with Suhasini Haidar
If I could just start with the UN human commission for refugees, is now saying that more than a million refugees have fled from Syria. We are looking at pictures coming of fairly difficult times, the Syrian people are just trying to take their belongings and just leave in the night to a lot of danger. Is the situation really out of control?
No, the situation is not out of control, but it is normal when there are clashes and there is fighting and people are terrified and they are afraid for their safety or their children's safety to try and go and find them a safe haven. And whether the number is a million or half a million or 200, I don’t know and I don't think anybody has the real statistics. But that's why the suffering of the Syrian people is what is inviting us to try our very best to put an end to this horrible situation today before tomorrow. That's why the Syrian government kept saying we need a political solution today; we need to start dialogue tomorrow because this is the only solution when Syrian people can come back home to safety and with their integrity.
But it is the Syrian government that’s being blamed for lot of excesses; there are human rights groups that say that it is President Assad’s government that is bombing its own people, missiles strikes in various parts of Syria. What really is the situation on the ground?
Well, I think it has become now clear to the world that the war against Syria started with a media war. Unfortunately the media is playing a very negative role about what is happening in Syria and it has been targeting Syria. Lots of fabrications and lots of things that are not true that are being said in the media. I don't think anybody can tell you what is the situation exactly in the entire Syria but I think most countries are confident now that what's happening in Syria is partly at least Al Qaeda, Jubhat Ul Nusra and mercenaries with a lot of armament and a lot of financing from countries that are outside Syria. So when they say there is no military intervention in Syria, I say it's happening because the money, the armament, the mercenaries are all there coming across the border from Turkey. And unfortunately, this war aims at destroying Syria, it doesn’t aim to change the president, it doesn’t aim to have democracy and till now 3800 schools have been destroyed, schools, 1800 factories have been dismantled, our roads have been destroyed, our pipelines have been destroyed, it is a war against the infrastructure of Syria and against the Syrian people.
Alright, you are saying the rebels are being armed from outside, in fact most of these countries – the US, the UK, France, they are making it very clear that if President Assad goes, if he steps down, then they will work towards a peaceful solution inside Syria. Why doesn't the President step-down?
Well because saying that is just like saying create a total havoc, a total chaos and then you enter paradise. That's really what it says. Why should any president in the world step down at the behest of other countries do? Is this democracy? Or the democracy is that the Syrian people should decide who their president is and what is the political system in Syria.