Khaddam: did not leave Syria spontaneously,Instead, stable foundations have been laid for democratic change.

publisher: السياسة

Publishing date: 2006-06-09

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During his reception to us in his suite at the famous Dorchester Hotel in London two days ago, former Syrian Vice President Abdel Halim Khaddam appeared to be a self-confident man. “Because, according to him, I do not want to take any incomplete step that may lead to failure, especially because the current regime in Damascus is inevitably falling as it has lost all its elements of survival and continuity,” he stated. In an interview with Al-Seyassah, Khaddam outlined a “road map” to address the ongoing Syrian crisis, identifying four red lines that should not be crossed in the media war against Bashar al-Assad’s regime and the “corrupt family” of the National Salvation Front’s leaders. These red lines are: neutralizing the “Baath” party in Syria from the battle with the regime, as most party members are doomed to it; neutralizing the army and separating it from the war, as the People’s Army is not the regime’s army and its responsibility lies in protecting the country and the people, not corrupt individuals; neutralizing the “Alawites” who are victims of the regime and its corrupt family, which promotes strife in the country by falsely targeting the Alawite community; and working together to achieve democratic change and rebuild the country by establishing a modern democratic civil state based on pluralism, deliberation, and institutionalization, ensuring free parliamentary elections that do not marginalize any religious group, minority, sectarian, or ethnic community.

Our consistent policy, Khaddam said, is to focus on the Syrian interior without paying attention to the outside, in order not to give Bashar al-Assad’s regime an excuse to label us as returning to the American tank. We are truly strong in the Syrian people and army, and we do not need any tank to lead us to Damascus.

When the former Syrian Vice President was asked about his call in the “draft final statement of the founding conference of the Salvation Front in Syria” for the Syrian armed forces to assume their national and historical responsibilities towards the country and the people, and what percentage within the military establishment can actually stand with the people against the existing family system, he replied, “I did not leave Syria without establishing the firm pillars for what we are going to do.” He stated that members of the armed forces are the children of the affected people who feel the pain of their families and react to their suffering.

Khaddam stressed that the next step is to send delegations from the National Salvation Front and its allies to countries in the international and Arab worlds to explain the conditions endured by the Syrian people and expose the regime’s crimes against them. He highlighted that the regime employs all means of repression and violence against Syrians, violating laws, norms, and international agreements that guarantee rights to people in the Human Rights Bill. He referred to his call in the draft final statement of the Front last Monday for the Syrian people to break the barriers of fear that have been implanted by the regime for decades.

Khaddam emphasized that this repressive family system is on the verge of collapsing, and Syrians should no longer be afraid of it. Regarding his report of “returning soon to Damascus,” Khaddam concluded our 45-minute conversation inside his suite on the hotel’s third floor, guarded by five escorts checking their electronic devices, by saying, “You will soon see Bashar Al-Assad behind bars.”

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