For decades, Syria has been unique for its ingenious diplomacy, shrewdness in expressing its regional and international stances, which placed this Middle Eastern country in the limelight.
Since the terrorist war against Syria has a diplomatic aspect of its kind, the presence of the Syrian Foreign Ministry was extraordinary exceptional to reflect the national principles and a diplomatic school worthy to be engraved in history.
The following is an interview of Deputy Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad.
It has become obvious to everyone that the terrorist war currently fought on Syrian soil is the product of a vicious conspiracy and a pre-planned scheme to destroy Syria. In terms of international diplomacy, did anything portend this scheme? And how is it related to the defeat of the Zionist entity in 2006 and the failure to implement the 'new Middle East' proposed by Condoleezza Rice?
It goes beyond doubt that the war on Syria has been pre-planned; we sensed it through our diplomatic meetings inside and outside Syria. During my time at the United Nations, I still remember the frequently-raised question: "why did the Middle East remain unchanged after the huge changes i.e. the collapse of the former Soviet Union?"
The following are the main reasons behind all international crises:
a) The American domination of the world: after breaking up the Soviet Union, the United States succeeded in sowing enmity between Eastern Europe states and Russia. They even managed to change the socialist character of Ukraine to some degree.
b) The ultimate objectives of these changes were in favor of the Zionist entity, since the former Socialist Camp supported the liberation movements worldwide. By breaking up the Socialist Camp, they removed the main obstacle that hindered their project.
c) For Western colonial countries, it was extremely important to destroy the Arab countries which still embrace the ideology of resistance, similar to that of the former Socialist Camp; namely Syria. At the UN, they repeatedly told as that "change is coming to you"
If they wanted to implement democracy and fight backwardness as they claimed, they would have targeted states that lack democracy such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
With the outbreak of that war on Syria, the Arab League has adopted a negative stance toward the Syrian government by condemning its actions, suspending its membership and even giving away its seat to the opposition. What fueled this attitude? And how independent and unbiased the AL is in terms of its decisions?
It seems that the so-called "Arab Spring" has misled the way; instead of targeting the oppressive and authoritative Saudi regime, they wanted to destroy Syria because it poses a real threat to the Zionist entity through supporting the Resistance and the Palestinian right of return, maintaining its own independent decisions, and refusing to be part of the Western alliance. That is why they set up training camps in the neighboring countries in order to destroy Syria.
As for the Arab League, we must first know what the member Arab countries are.
In Tunisia, Muslim Brotherhood seized power after overthrowing the regime; Libya has been invaded by a US-Western-Persian Gulf alliance. In Egypt, they toppled Mubarak and handed over the power to the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi. In sum, they wanted extremist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood to take over power in those countries.
The Arab League has been manipulated by the United States, which was the mastermind of all decisions on Syria. We've seen decisions on Syria written in English even before being translated into Arabic; so the AL has no power whatsoever regarding the decisions it issues.
Would you agree to return to the AL as victory looms?
In fact, it's up to the Syrian people to decide on this matter. Personally, I think we won't be honored to reactivate our membership in the AL. Many other Arab states think the same way since the AL has turned into a medium to pass over West-made projects that contradict with the will of Arab people.
The majority of foreign and Arab countries withdrew their ambassadors from Syria during the war. Was it an action of support for the so-called Syrian opposition or a fear from growing security instability? Will Syria accept the return of ambassadors after it proved victorious in the war?
Diplomatic relations are a 'communication' tool. Most embassies which withdrew their ambassadors said it was due to security considerations. However, up to 40 embassies still operate normally in Syria. The Czech Republic, through its ambassador in Syria, represents the United States and Britain; they regularly visit Syria and tour in some areas.
But this does not mean there is no problem in this respect. The war on Syria is inclusive and involves all forms of extortion and pressure. Our embassies are still operating in many countries, particularly in France, so are our missions to the United Nations, and this clearly shows the 'communication' is maintained.
For years, you've been vainly negotiating a 'political settlement'. What were the obstacles towards achieving this settlement? And exactly what did the other party want in this regard? What is the role – if any – of Russia and Iran in these negotiations? Is Syria now stronger than before because of the military achievements?
As clearly stated before, we believe in the political solution and have been working on two paths simultaneously:
1) fighting terrorism militarily with support from our Russian and Iranian allies,
2) engaging in a political process through participating in peace talks starting Geneva 2 onwards.
However, the real obstacle has always been the western countries which continuously evaded working out a solution to eradicate terrorism and kept on investing in the Syrian crisis, thus spreading terror and fear.
They wanted to achieve in politics what they have failed to gain on the ground, even though they have sent more than 360,000 terrorists into Syria as per UN reports.
What are the international and regional political variables after the victory of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies in Aleppo? Why does Russia seek to implement a comprehensive ceasefire agreement?
The administration of the Russian president Vladimir Putin has brought about new international facts where the military action is no longer restricted to United States. Therefore; Russia and Iran coordinate with the Syrian leadership on a daily basis.
Our victory in Aleppo has turned the tables, which necessitates a consultation process about the next step, so it would be better to work out the other issues peacefully.
Both Syrian and Turkish people can benefit from a secure environment once Turkey is convinced to cease arming and supporting the terrorist groups, and seal the borders.
How does Syria approach the assassination of the Russian ambassador in turkey?
It is definitely a murder. In principle, I support Russia's public attitude. However, the policy pursued by Erdogan on Syria allowed such a crime. The slain Russian Ambassador was attempting to persuade Turkey to abandon its hostile policy toward Syria. In fact, we had indirect communication with him in turkey in various fields.
Erdogan must change his policy; stop supporting terrorists if he really wants to fight terrorism.
The foreign ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey held a meeting in Moscow recently. What does Turkey needs to do after six years of conspiring against Syria? Is Damascus in favor of restoring relations with Ankara if it eventually leads to end the war under Russian-Iranian patronage?
The Turkish role in the region has dramatically waned; Erdogan tries to manipulate the Americans (through Turkey's NATO membership), the Russians, the Qataris one and also Western Europe.
Eventually, Erdogan should close the Turkish borders to prove himself serious in fighting terrorism. However, if he wants to enter Syrian territories, he will be dealt with properly.
How do you read the US abstention from voting for ending the Israeli settlements?
It is political maneuver; the Obama administration was going to be replaced very soon so it wanted to give a light of hope for the nations in the region; it abstained from voting but did not vetoed it.
I do not trust the attitudes of the United States and we should not applaud this event because it [United States] will never be the enemy of Israel.
What is your message to the conspirators against Syria?
I want to say to those who funded and supported terrorism in order to topple President Assad: you lost the bet; Assad still on power while you were overthrown. What comes around goes around; terrorism will definitely backfire while Syria and its allies will triumph.
We also hold the United States accountable for the spread of terrorism, deaths and wounded. Its misleading media has been exposed, especially after the election of President Donald Trump. Some media outlets falsely declared Hillary Clinton the new president-elect, but after finding out the truth they tried to regain the public trust.
Interviewe by Fadi Boudaya