Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat- Walid Junblatt, head of the Democratic Gathering bloc in the Lebanese parliament, has continued his campaign against the Syrian regime, which he described as a “family regime.” He rejected any settlement with this regime “after the assassinations and assassination attempts it carried out in Lebanon.”
Junblatt explained to Asharq al-Awsat some aspects of the telephone interview conducted with him by the newspaper Washington Post two days ago, considering that the talk that he called on the United States to invade Syria was a “hasty interpretation” of what he said, but at the same time he called for change in Syria “because the Syrian people deserve this.” Junblatt said “the Syrian regime’s filibustering with regard to an international trial and its exertion of pressure on some parties in Lebanon regarding this subject is aimed at escaping an international solution similar to the trial of Serbian leader Slobodan Milosivic. He emphasized that “the only solution is this method (international trial), which will put both Syria and Lebanon at ease.”
Junblatt explained that the his talk that the Americans came to Iraq in the name of the majority does not mean that invasion is the solution, considering this “a hasty interpretation” of his talk, but he stressed that “one day there must be democratic change in Syria that will give the people the chance (to govern themselves). Until now the regime in Syria is a family regime and not the regime of the Ba’th Party or the regional command of that party. The Syrian people deserve a chance to govern themselves.”
Asked whether he supported change, regardless of the method, Junblattt said: “Syria has capacities and efficiencies that can carry out a democratic and peaceful change.” He strongly rejected the “blackmail” practiced by the Syria regime, which is telling the international community “either us or chaos.” He cited several examples of the downfall of regimes similar to the Syrian regime, such as the collapse of the former USSR and its satellite regimes.
Junblatt opined that there was no possibility of “a settlement with the Syrian regime unless Syria accedes to the UN resolutions regarding the international investigation (into the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik al-Hariri.)” He said: “Without courtesies, I do not believe a settlement is possible with this regime, which is responsible for all the assassinations and assassinations attempts that were carried out.”
Junblatt explained that his differences with Hezbollah are because Hezbollah supports the Syrian regimes and backs it to the end and because it does not want to demarcate the border with Syria in the Shab’a Farms area. He added: “We appreciate the liberation movement carried out by Hezbollah and which led to the liberation of southern Lebanon. But it is our right to demand that the rifle remain under the umbrella of the Lebanese Army.” He indicated that the “Al-Ta’if accord provided for the implementation of the truce agreement with Israel after liberation. However, if there is another axis somewhere else, this means that Lebanon has become a hostage of this axis, something that affects Lebanon’s independence.” Asked whether he meant a Syrian-Iranian axis, Junblatt said a “Syrian axis,” expressing the hope that Iran would in return “respect Lebanon’s pluralism, independence and sovereignty, as was expressed clearly in this regard by former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami.”