Ambassador: West Wants Libyan And Iraqi Models For Syria

BEIJING – Syrian Ambassador to China Imad Moustapha warned on Tuesday that foreign intervention in his country’s political process would trigger a civil war causing massive amounts of death and destruction.

“The Western thought is to push the Syrian crisis to its extreme possible scenario which would be disintegration and civil war,” said Moustapha, who was the Syrian ambassador to the United States from 2003 to 2011.

He said Syria is not going to “succumb” to Western pressure just because it happens to dominate the media across the world.

“What do they want? Do they want to bombard Syria like they bombarded Libya? Or do they want to kill millions in Syria like they killed in Iraq? It’s irrelevant to them, but it’s of great relevance to us,” said Moustapha.

He told China Daily in an exclusive interview that China and Russia’s stance fulfilled their obligation as members of the UN Security Council in sustaining regional stability.

“Differing from the Western approach, China and Russia’s scenario is to help all parties in Syria, opposition, government and neutral ones, sit together to discuss the future of Syria,” he added.

He said that, following Sunday’s constitutional referendum, the Syrian government would carry on with its political reform, and the new constitution would abolish the monopoly of the ruling Baath Party and transform Syria into a politically open society.

“We have taken a major step forward. The future of Syria should be based on consensus, and will be based on popular choice,” he said, adding that the new constitution will lead to elections based on a multiparty system and a completely free media.

On Monday, the result of the referendum on Syria’s new constitution showed that it was supported by nearly 90 percent of eligible voters.

He said the timeline of the political reform process should be decided by the Syrian people, rather than any Western politicians or leaders.

“Up to now, that has only taken 11 to 12 months,” he said. “And there is no such thing as too early or too late for the reform as the Syrian government has been committed to non-stop political reform since March 2011.”

The constitution vote was boycotted by a coalition of opposition parties, and Western leaders called it a “farce”.

“You have people who don’t have a constituent on the ground at all while describing themselves as opposition leaders, and it’s not true that all opposition parties in Syria unanimously boycotted the election,” he said, adding that the Syrian government is eager to talk and cooperate with opposition parties formed under the new constitution.

“I am making a distinction between the patriotic opposition, despite the fact that I disagree with them, and those who are moving from one five-star hotel to another in Istanbul, Qatar, Tunisia and Washington DC,” he added.

Related video: Interview with Syrian ambassador to China

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