The speech of the Syrian Vice President to the Sixth Summit Conference of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Dakar

publisher: وكالات

Publishing date: 1991-12-10


Mr. President, gentlemen, members,

The American President, Mr. George Bush, has proposed an initiative to establish a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East region, based on Security Council resolutions 242 and 338.

After multiple discussions held with the American and Soviet sides, we have carefully examined and agreed to this initiative. It is our understanding that this initiative would lead to a complete withdrawal of Israeli occupation forces from all occupied Arab territories, including Al-Quds Al-Sharif, and ensure the national rights of the Palestinian people.

Syria has consistently advocated for the establishment of a comprehensive and just peace, emphasizing that true peace cannot coexist with occupation and aggression, just as justice cannot be achieved through the seizure of land and denial of rights.

The Israeli enemy’s rejection of the principle of withdrawal, their persistent construction of settlements, and their denial of the national rights of the Palestinian people, all reflect their adherence to the principles of the Zionist movement, aimed at establishing Greater Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates.

If Israel were to accept withdrawal from the occupied territories and recognize the national rights of the Palestinian people, it would signify a departure from the principles of the Zionist movement. This is something that Israelis cannot and do not want. Therefore, they continue to create obstacles to peaceful efforts by persisting with settlement policies, thereby expressing their refusal to withdraw from the occupied territories. They are fully aware that no Arab country accepts or can accept compromising an inch of the occupied territory or any of the rights of the Palestinian people.

They discuss the security of Israel and the right of Soviet Jews to migrate to Palestine, but what about the security of Arab and Islamic countries? What about the rights of Palestinians, Syrians, and Lebanese who have been forcibly displaced from their ancestral lands and are currently living in dire conditions as refugees?

How can a Soviet Jew claim the right to the land of Palestine, which does not belong to them or their ancestors, while denying the natural rights of Palestinians, Syrians, and Lebanese to their own lands and the lands of their ancestors?

The Israeli government’s continuous buildup of military power, including the possession of nuclear weapons and the latest conventional and non-conventional armaments, serves as a constant incentive for aggression and a significant impediment to the peace process.

The campaign against the acquisition of self-defense capabilities by Arab and Islamic countries, as well as the imposition of sieges on these nations, exemplifies the failure to apply a consistent standard in the current international landscape.

The poisoned and frantic campaign against Arab and Islamic countries, aimed at preventing them from possessing the means of self-defense, while turning a blind eye to Israel’s nuclear arsenal and vast military capabilities, seeks to render us weak. They aim to strip us of the ability to defend ourselves and to hinder our ability to make decisions that serve our interests, safeguard our rights, and uphold our dignity.

Besieging Arabs and depriving them of the means of self-defense, while Israeli military power continues to grow, cannot be seen as a catalyst for peace.

If some individuals believe that the current military power imbalance between us and Israel will compel us to adopt positions of defeat and surrender, they are living in a great illusion. The determination to persevere, live, and aspire for a better future, coupled with the will of the Arab nation and the Islamic world to live with dignity and freedom, is the most significant factor in achieving a balance against the forces of evil and aggression.

The path to peace is crystal clear: a commitment to implementing United Nations resolutions and respecting international legitimacy.

Any pursuit of establishing peaceful relations between the Israeli enemy and the Arab countries under occupation serves only as an additional incentive for the Israeli Government to persist in its obstinacy and rejection of the principles of international legitimacy.

The proposition put forth by certain parties to establish so-called “trust measures” with the Israeli occupation of Arab territories, while Israel refuses to recognize the national rights of the Palestinian people, amounts to granting Israel, through political means, what it has been unable to achieve through military force.

To assert that discussing the resolution of regional issues encourages Israel to pursue the path of peace is to involve Arab countries in granting peace to Israelis without ensuring justice and the return of land.

The call for discussing peaceful relations under occupation is an Israeli initiative, an Israeli precondition, and an application of Shamir’s theory of “peace for peace.”

We urge all Arab and Islamic countries to be cautious of this trap being set in the region. Throughout human history, there is no instance where the victim willingly agrees to regulate relations with an enemy that continues to occupy their land.

Syria actively participated in the Madrid Peace Conference with a clear and specific agenda: the implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, along with all their requirements. It remains committed to the peace process within these principles, which formed the basis for calling for the convening of the peace conference.

We are aware that the Israelis will attempt to create numerous obstacles and provoke the Arab side in order to push it into positions where it is held responsible before the international community for disrupting the peace process. We will confront these attempts and will not allow the Israelis to accomplish their objectives or gain advantages at the expense of Arab rights and interests.

The support of Islamic governments and peoples for Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine plays a crucial role in bolstering our struggle to liberate all occupied Arab territories, particularly Al-Quds Al-Sharif, and restore the national rights of the Palestinian people