2 October 2015 | un.org
H.E. Walid AL-Moualem
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates
The Syrian Arab republic
The General Debate
Of the 70th Session of the United Nations
October 2nd, 2015
President of the 70th Session of the General Assembly,
I would like to congratulate you on your election as President of the General Assembly at its current session, and to wish you success in leading the work of this session. I would also like to thank your predecessor for his presidency of the previous session.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I greet you from this great international edifice that was originally established, with all its agencies, in order for peace and security to prevail in the world. I greet you from a country where security has been disturbed and peace has departed, from a country that lives a fierce war for more than four years. I greet you from a land baptized by the blood of its people who are fighting terrorism and defending their fellow citizens against it, while waiting for this international organization to fulfill its promises, and implement its resolutions related to combating terrorism.
The resolutions adopted by the Security Council under Chapter VII are still only ink on paper, mentioned only in press releases and media statements, while on the ground the countries funding, sponsoring and supporting terrorism are still fueling extremism in the region. Those countries continue arming, training and sending terrorists to Syria, while being indifferent and unconcerned about the implementation of those resolutions.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I ask you, along with the resistant people of Syria, until when will the powerful member states remain intimidating other member states committed to international law while ignoring those states that disregard Security Council resolutions? What have you done to stop those states from executing the criminal acts they are committing against the Syrian people? Why all this silence?
You have been witnessing those countries spawning this extremist ideology until it reached Europe, where it hit as it is hitting in the Middle East, while the sleeper cells are waking up, as bombings and assassinations have returned to appear in the West. What is the guilt of the innocent people of your countries who started to pay the price of supporting of terrorism by some of your politicians? You know better than most that terrorism is an ideology that recognizes no boundaries. You know that when this monster comes out, it cannot be limited to certain countries. The terrorism of “Da’esh/ISIS”, “Al-Nusrah Front” and other Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist organizations is killing the innocent, capturing women and launching mortar shells on civilians. This terrorism is cutting drinking water and destroying history and civilization landmarks, including those inscribed on the World Heritage List, which is a heritage of all humankind, the last of such crimes was the destruction of the temples of Baalshamin and Bel, and the brutal killing of archaeologists.
Why do some of your governments support countries that are used to export their crises outside their borders? Why do you support them while knowing they only produce destruction? How can developed countries, governed by elections and parliaments, ally with countries that originally do not have parliaments, and do not recognize an active half of the society represented by women. How can your countries accept the ideas of sexual jihad, slaughtering, cutting hands, burning, and the systematic destruction of history, monuments and culture.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Based on the above, I would like to say that Syria is continuing its fight against terrorism, in words and deeds, and the Syrian Army is capable of cleansing the country of those terrorists. This is despite all the great sacrifices and the high prices it paid, and is still paying, along with the Syrian people from all backgrounds, in lives and in all other forms whether in security, economy and livelihood. I hope that for once you stand for honesty and truth.
The duty of international community is to stop this flow of terrorists coming to Syria from one hundred countries, according to United Nations data, in order to create a Caliphate State, which, as you all know, will not be limited in Syria or Iraq. A Caliphate whose leaders frequently state that their goal stretches from Mecca to all of Europe, in order to restore the glory of the Caliphate according to their own interpretation. If you do not stop those member states supporting terrorism, along with the terrorists they are sending, the fire that broke out in Syria, Iraq and Libya, will continue to spread beyond.
Syria has not stopped advocating and holding on to the political track, based on our vision, which proved to be correct, that the fight against terrorism is a priority to move on in the other tracks. Syria cannot implement any democratic political measures related to elections, a constitution or the like, while terrorism is striking at home and threatens innocent civilians in the country. How can we ask the Syrian people to head to the ballot boxes, while they are not safe in the streets and inside their homes, while they are under the missiles and mortar shells launched by terrorist groups supported by well-known countries?
Nevertheless, we were, and still are, believers in the political track according to the parameters known to all, namely; preservation of national sovereignty, the unity of Syria’s territory and people, maintaining the state institutions, while developing and improving their performance, and that the only way to achieve a political solution is through Syrian-led national dialogue, and without any foreign interference. Based on the above, Syria agreed to participate in Geneva 2, Moscow 1 and 2. I would like to announce here that Syria agrees to participate in the four brainstorming committees of experts proposed by the Special Envoy Staffan De Mistura. Mr. De Mistura repeatedly confirmed that these committees’ role is mainly to exchange ideas, and that they will conduct unbinding preliminary consultations whose agreed-upon outputs can be used to prepare for the launching of Geneva 3. In the light of that, some imagined that Syria’s approval of the political track, regardless of its form, initiatives and names, has a connection to what they portray as the weakness of Syria’s army and people on the ground. I want to say that Syria is strong and continues to fight terrorism, and that the Syrian army and the Syrian people are united in the face of this terrorism. No one should think that, after all these sacrifices and steadfastness for more than four years, they could obtain through politics what they could not win in the field, or that they will achieve at the negotiating table what they failed to achieve on the ground. The decision of the Syrian people is in its hand only and no one can deny it that right. The Syrian Arab army astonished the world by its power and its faith and its persistence.
The important invitation of H.E. President Vladimir Putin for the establishment of an international-regional coalition to counter terrorism got the attention of the Syrian government and its support. Terrorism cannot be fought only from the air, and all of the previous operations to combat it have only served its spread and outbreak. Air strikes are useless unless they are conducted in cooperation with the Syrian Army, the only force in Syria that is combating terrorism. The announcement of the beginning of the Russian airstrikes in Syria, which came upon a request from the Syrian Government and in coordination with the Government, is an effective participation in the support of the Syrian efforts in combating terrorism.
The so-called Arab Spring was a Spring only to Israel and its undercover and known allies. Israel continues to attack Syria while the world is watching. Israel is arming the terrorists and treating them in its hospitals. It is helping them through its intelligence services, and supporting them to stand between it and the Syrian army across the border. When those terrorists weaken, it intervenes directly through air strikes or artillery shelling, just as Turkey did and still doing, whether in Aleppo or in Idlib; and as Saudi Arabia and Qatar are doing, and who are in a race to shed Syrian blood through their clients.
The continued support for terrorists and the escalation of their attacks on citizens in most regions and cities in Syria, led to an increase in citizens’ need for the basic commodities and services in many areas.
The inhuman sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States exacerbated the living conditions of Syrian civilians. At the same time, my Government is cooperating with the United Nations and its humanitarian agencies within the framework of response plans agreed upon with the Syrian government, to meet the basic needs of the citizens, especially those forced by the terrorist acts to flee their homes, and many of whom have resorted to some neighboring countries. Some of those countries accommodated them in camps for training on weapons, or what resembles places of detention and isolation.
I stress that the Syrian state guarantees the safe return and decent life for the citizens who are willing to return. At the same time, Syria continues to exert all efforts to deliver aid from international organizations to all Syrian citizens without any discrimination wherever they are.
The Syrian Arab Republic confirms its adherence to the full restoration of the occupied Syrian Golan until the line of June 4th, 1967. It also emphasizes its rejection of all actions taken by Israel, the occupying power, to change its natural, geographical and demographic characteristics, in clear violation of relevant Security Council resolutions, in particular resolutions 497 of 1981 and 465 of 1980.
Syria confirms, also, that the Palestinian issue is the central issue of the Syrian people, which supports the inalienable and legitimate rights of the brotherly Palestinian people, particularly, the right of return and self-determination, and the establishment of its independent state on its land, with Jerusalem as its capital.
At the end of 2013, Syria accepted the initiative of the President of the Russian Federation, H.E. Mr. Vladimir Putin, and joined the Convention of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, based on the need to establish in the Middle East a free zone of Nuclear Weapons and all Weapons of Mass Destruction. It also wanted to prove to the whole world its commitment to stand against any use of chemical weapons.
Syria fulfilled its obligations resulting from its accession to the Convention, and completed its commitments despite the prevailing difficult situation. Were it not for the Syrian cooperation with the UN-OPCW Joint Mission, it would have not been possible to complete of the tasks of the Mission.
The Syrian Arab Republic would like to congratulate the Islamic Republic of Iran on its steadfastness and victory in achieving the historic agreement that fulfils the aspirations of the brotherly people of Iran, recognizes the right of Iran to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, lifts the sanctions imposed against it, as well as lifts the freeze on its assets, and leads to opening up of the international arena on this brotherly country. This agreement proves that the diligent and serious diplomatic approach is able to overcome all obstacles and result in peaceful and fair solutions for thorny files.
Syria stresses that establishing a zone free from all weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East is unachievable without the accession of Israel, the only nuclear power in the region, to all treaties banning such weapons, and to put its nuclear facilities under the supervision of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). At the same time, we emphasize the right of all countries to acquire and develop nuclear technology for peaceful uses.
Syria emphasized that imposing unethical unilateral coercive economic measures by the United States and the European Union contradicts the rules of international law and the principles of free trade. On this basis, we congratulate Cuba on reaching an agreement with the United States that lifts the blockade imposed on it. We also renew our call to lift and stop all the unilateral coercive measures imposed on Syria and the peoples of other countries such as DPRK, Venezuela and Belarus.
Finally, I would like to say to all those who claim their keenness on the security and safety of the Syrian people the following: if you want to gain victory over terrorism, and achieve economic and political reforms, you have to honestly implement Security Council resolutions related to countering terrorism. Only then we can begin the countdown to the end of war in Syria, until we get to the final quarter-hour, and open the doors to implement what is agreed upon on the political track.