Khaddam Carter: You know very well that the Syrian regime is the main suspect in the assassination of Hariri

publisher: وكالات

Publishing date: 2008-12-22


In his letter to former US President Jimmy Carter, former Syrian Vice President Abdel Halim Khaddam acknowledged Carter’s efforts to support the oppressed and his stated commitment to stand by them. However, he raised a concern regarding the discrepancy between theory and practice in Carter’s actions towards the Syrian people. Khaddam served as the Syrian Foreign Minister during Carter’s presidency.

The letter reads as follows: “Mr. Jimmy Carter,

I came across an article written by you in Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper on December 14, 2008, regarding human rights. The article emphasized the importance of promoting human rights and democracy for global stability, emphasizing the need for local efforts, often involving activism, and individuals openly opposing injustice and repression. It stated that the United States of America should take the lead and not impede such efforts. If the early warnings of human rights defenders were heeded, diplomatic efforts mobilized, and timely interventions made, it could have possibly prevented the terrible and ongoing violence in some cases.

As I read through the pages of the newspaper, I was taken aback by your position, as announced in Damascus after your meeting with the Syrian dictator. It gives the impression that you hope to restore diplomatic relations and establish a strong friendship between Damascus and Washington in the near future…”


Dear President Jimmy Carter,

You are well aware that the regime in Syria is a totalitarian dictatorship, depriving the Syrian people of their freedom. The regime persists in oppressing and arresting its citizens to further tighten its grip on the country. As someone who is knowledgeable about human rights issues, you are aware of the Syrian regime’s abysmal track record in this regard.

In your article, you spoke about the importance of supporting freedom fighters, advocates of democracy, and human rights. You urged your government to take the lead in this direction and not obstruct such efforts. Have you inquired about the Syrian activists who have been imprisoned for demanding freedom, democracy, and respect for human rights?

During your visit to Lebanon, you had the opportunity to meet with several Lebanese politicians who shared their plight regarding the Syrian regime’s security services. They expressed their concerns about repeated interference in Lebanese affairs.

Additionally, you paid a visit to the shrine of President Rafik Hariri. It is common knowledge that the Syrian regime is the primary suspect in his assassination, along with that of other Lebanese politicians.

Having known you for decades, during my tenure as President of the United States of America and later as Secretary of State in Syria, I have closely followed your efforts in supporting democracy, freedom, human rights, and intercultural dialogue after the end of your presidency. You have created a favorable image of a president who remains dedicated to defending democracy, freedom, and human rights even after leaving office. This has left a positive impression on many people worldwide.

Mr. President,

As you are well aware, the principles of freedom, democracy, and the protection of human rights cannot coexist on the same level as a dictatorship that maintains control through repression, tyranny, and corruption.

I sincerely hope, Mr. President, that you will take steps to rectify this situation in order to uphold the credibility of your approach and your endeavors on behalf of the millions of oppressed individuals around the world.

It is important to remind you that the greatest weakness of political leaders lies in the contradiction between their principles and their actions.

I earnestly hope to read more content in your article published in Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that strengthens your position, rather than serving as a bridge to a dictatorial regime at the expense of the freedom, security, and stability of Syria.

I fully agree with the sentiment you expressed in your article regarding the negative impact of the absence of freedom, democracy, and human rights on the proliferation of extremism.

In conclusion, I extend my warm greetings to you and wish you good health.

Best regards,

Abdul Halim Khaddam