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F.A.Z.-Interview with Bashar al-Assad : „Europe’s backyard would become a terrorist haven“

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What is your opinion of the Syrian policies of France and Great Britain?

I think France and Great Britain have a problem with what they believe is Syria’s disruptive role in the region. They and the United States are looking for lackeys and puppets who will represent their interests. We have refused to go along. We have always been autonomous and free. Historically, France and Great Britain are colonial powers. They have probably never forgotten this either. Their work in this region is carried out by representatives and collaborators. France and Great Britain may direct Saudi Arabia and Qatar. We should not forget that the policies and economies of France and Great Britain depend on petrodollars. What is happening in Syria right now is an opportunity for these countries to push an intractable country to the edge and find a new president who will always say „yes.“ They have not found him yet, and they will not find him in the future.

The EU has decided not to extend its arms embargo against Syria, but has not yet decided to supply weapons to the rebels.

I cannot say that the Europeans are on Syria’s side. Some countries have assumed a hostile position toward Syria, particularly France and Great Britain. The other countries, primarily Germany, are raising rational questions about supplying terrorists with arms. What would happen? First, Syria would suffer even more destruction. Who would pay the price? The Syrian people. Second, the Europeans would supply arms and know that they would be supplying them to terrorists. Some draw a distinction between „good“ and „bad“ fighters, just as they drew a distinction between „good“ and „bad“ Taleban a few years ago and „good“ and „bad“ Al Qaeda. Does this make sense? If the Europeans supply weapons, Europe’s backyard would become a terrorist haven, and Europe would pay a price for this. Terrorism would mean chaos here. Chaos would lead to poverty, and poverty would mean that Europe would lose an important market. The second effect would be the direct export of terrorism to Europe. Terrorists seasoned in battle and armed with extremist ideology would return. For Europe, there is no alternative to working with the Syrian state, even if Europe may not like this.

Do you see yourself as being part of the fight against terrorism?

Reason tells you so. Unfortunately, leaders in Europe are not taking a rational, realistic and objective approach. They are being influenced by negative emotions and not reason. Politics deals with interests. It is not based on love or hate. As a German, you should ask yourself a question: What is your interest in the events of this region? The events here are directed against the interests of Europe. After all, Europe has an interest in fighting terrorism.

Many people consider the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization. It is fighting on the side of the Syrian army, in places like Qusair. There have also been reports that the Pasdaran of Iran are training Syrian units. Do you need these allies?

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