World
Syria FM calls opposition 'traitors' at peace talks
Publish Date: Jan 22, 2014
Syria FM calls opposition 'traitors' at peace talks
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem attends the Geneva II peace talks in the Swiss town of Montreux, on January 22, 2014 (AFP, Fabrice Coffrini)
  • mail
  • img
newvision

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem dubbed the country's opposition "traitors" and foreign "agents" as a peace conference opened in Switzerland on Wednesday.

"They claim to represent the Syrian people. If you want to speak in the name of the Syrian people, you should not be traitors to the Syrian people, agents in the pay of enemies of the Syrian people," Muallem said in a strongly-worded speech as the meeting got under way in the lakeside city of Montreux.

He fired a broadside at the reform-shy Gulf monarchies which back the revolt against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which began after a crackdown on peaceful Arab Spring-inspired protests in 2011 and has morphed into a sectarian war.

"It is regrettable to me and to the people of Syria that representatives of states in this room are sitting with us today, while blood is on their hands -- countries that have sent weapons ... encouraged and financed terrorism," Muallem said.

"They have not looked at their own glass houses before throwing stones," he said.

"The mask has fallen and we can see the real face of what they want -- to destabilise Syria .. by exporting terrorism -- to hide their barbaric behaviour," he thundered.

Syria slams the role of foreign Sunni Islamist fighters who have flocked to the war-torn country -- though Assad is backed by Shiite Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah -- and says it is locked in a "war on terror".

"Who told you that Syria wants to go back 1,000 years," he said, warning against extreme Islamism.

"It will not stop in Syria," he said.

He singled out Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for backing the opposition.

"All of this would not have happened if it had not been for Erdogan -- they did not know that magic would turn against the magician one day -- terrorism has no religion," he said.

Muallem also rebuked US Secretary of State John Kerry, who told the conference there would be no place for Assad in a future government.

"No one in the world has the right to confer or withdraw the legitimacy of a president, a constitution or a law, except for the Syrians themselves," Muallem said.

Muallem also locked horns with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the conference chairman, who had asked delegations not to trade barbs and to respect time limits imposed on all speeches.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
European stocks on Ebola, eurozone concerns
Europe's main stock markets pulled back Friday on concerns over New York's first Ebola case and the outlook for the eurozone....
Mexico governor steps down over student disappearances
The governor of the Mexican state where 43 students vanished a month ago following a confrontation with police allegedly linked to a major drug cartel has bowed to pressure to stand down....
A doctor who recently returned to New York from treating Ebola patients in Guinea tested positive on Thursday for the deadly virus, the first confirmed case in the city, officials said....
Missing Mexico journalist found shot dead
THE editor of an investigative magazine in violence-wracked northwestern Mexico who disappeared two weeks ago was found dead with gunshot wounds...
Bashir calls opponents for talks
SUDAN'S President Omar al-Bashir has urged opponents to join him in 'national dialogue' talks, days after it was announced he would be seeking re-election...
Mexico says mayor, wife were behind student-teacher disappearances
A Mexican mayor and his wife were "probable masterminds" behind the disappearance of 43 student-teachers last month in the restive southwest, the country's attorney general said on Wednesday....
Should diplomatic passports issued to ex-govt workers be with drawn?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter