Support for Terrorism, Reason for Paris Attack: Assad

Support for Terrorism, Reason for Paris Attack: Assad
Thu Jan 15, 2015 19:10:26

In his first reaction to the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine, President Assad said he had repeatedly warned western governments that their support for terrorist groups in Syria risked a blowback of violence at home, AFP reported.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in an interview with Czech newspaper Literani Noviny published on Thursday said western shortsightedness and support for terrorism in Syria were to blame for last week's attacks in Paris.

"We need to remind many in the West that we have warned of such incidents since the beginning of the crisis in Syria," he told Czech newspaper.

"We kept saying you must not support terrorists or give them political cover, or else this will impact your countries and your peoples," he said in excerpts carried by the Syrian Arab News Agency.

"What happened in France has proven that everything we said was right," he said.

On Charlie Hebdo attack he said: This radical Islam, from our perspective as moderate Muslims, is not Islam. There is no extremism in any religion, whether it is Islam, Christianity, or Judaism. All religions are moderate; and when there is extremism, it is a deviation from religion. If we want to use the term “radical Islam” as you said, I think it is true, because radical Islam has been instilled in the minds of the people of the region for more than four decades with the influence of Saudi money and the Wahabi interpretation of Islam, which is a very extreme interpretation, a deviation from true Islam, and constitutes the base of terrorism in this region. So, as long as money continued to flow in the same direction and for the same reasons, through religious schools and religious TV channels, and similar things, it will become more widespread, not only in our region, but in Europe too.

Assad says Moscow talks must focus on fighting terror

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said hoped-for talks in Moscow with opponents must focus on the fight against "terrorism", while adding that he is unsure the meeting will reap any results.

"We are going to Russia not to start a dialogue, but to meet with these (opposition) figures and to discuss with them the framework of a dialogue," said Assad in an interview with Czech newspaper Literani Noviny published Thursday.

Such talks, he said, should focus on "Syrian unity, the fight against terrorist organizations, support for the army and the war on terror".

In early December, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said that Russia was ready to host initial negotiations between all parties of the Syrian conflict. On Tuesday, he announced that the talks would take place on January 26-29, with the Syrian government and the opposition meeting on January 28.

According to Assad, it is still too early to predict the outcome of the meeting, yet he still believes it is the duty of the government to attend the negotiations.

"If they (opposition) do have something useful, valuable and, most importantly, in the interests of Syrian people, to say, we shall continue the dialogue, and if there is no such thing – we shall not take them seriously," he said.

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