Tuesday, April 04, 2006

An Interview with the Syrian Ambassador to the US

Below a good insight into the official Syrian stance.

Date: March 17, 2006
Title: “Syrian diplomat: Syria doesn't aid terrorists”
Source: Copley News Service Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge (

Syria's ambassador to the United States, Imad Moustapha, holds a doctorate in computer science from Britain's University of Surrey and was formerly dean of the faculty of information at the University of Damascus and secretary-general of the Arab School on Science and Technology. He speaks four languages and was a co-author of the United Nations-sponsored Human Development Report in the Arab World.

Moustapha visited San Diego recently as a guest of the San Diego World Affairs Council and was interviewed by the San Diego Union-Tribune's editorial board.

Q: The U.S. government has complained repeatedly that Syria was aiding and abetting the insurgents and terrorists in Iraq. What is your government's response?

A: This is an extraordinary story which is not well-known in the United States. In a nutshell, I would say that this story is equivalent to the story of Iraq's WMDs prior to the war. Two or three months after the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, suddenly we in Syria started worrying a lot because suddenly, day in, day out, top U.S. officers would appear on the media channels and say, you know, all these insurgents are infiltrating; they are not Iraqis, they are jihadists coming through Syria into Iraq. We looked at what was happening in Iraq. Syria is a very small country. You are the world superpower. And we know how easily it would be for you just to move your troops from one country to another. Of course, this does not mean that it would be easy for you to win the war. I immediately received instructions from my government to contact top U.S. officials. I had a series of meetings with top officials at the Pentagon and the State Department telling them these accusations were untrue. But we don't want to go into a game of allegations and counterallegations. We are willing to do whatever it takes to secure these borders. We are willing to work with you. We initially proposed three things.

To read the entire interview, please click here.

1 comment:

William said...

It is most certainly true that Syria has offered the US joint border patrols and the USA has refused to take up the offer.

It is also true that there is still infiltration from Syria to Iraq, but it is comparatively small scale.

The Iraq insurgency fuels itself these days. It does not need Syrian help.