Khartoum, Asharq Al-Awsat- Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallim has expressed support for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s proposal to hold Summits where meaningful dialogue can be exchanged between Arab states.
Al-Muallim told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Arab region needs to hold talks without agendas or the issuing of statements. Arab leaders should hold these talks to adopt a joint Arab stand in the case of any extraordinary situation.
Asked whether the draft resolutions submitted to the Arab summit concerning Syria will be supportive of Syria, the minister explained that politics is about possibility, and Damascus is working within this framework. He said, “We explained our position on the pressing issues. Besides this explanation, we will maintain our steadfastness, which Arab support will strengthen.”
Asked whether he expected a relaxation on the crisis, particularly in the Syrian-Lebanese file, Walid al-Muallim affirmed that Damascus did not create the crisis. Those who created it are still out there. He said that the truth would soon become known, that those who created the crisis would be identified, and that people know who they are.
Regarding Syrian-Iraqi relations, he said that his country supports the political process in Iraq. It has already expressed its readiness to resume diplomatic ties, which have been broken for 25 years. Al-Muallim added, “The relations between the two countries will develop positively after the formation of the permanent Iraqi government. We are looking forward to better relations with Iraq. Syria is pained as it watches Iraqi blood being shed because of the current violence. Regarding the required Arab role in Iraq, Al-Muallim explained that the summit is focusing on the importance of this role in two ways. The first is the Arab will and the second raises the question concerning the permission of the United States of this role. I think that the next Iraqi government must answer this question.
Asked whether there were American pressures on Syria at present, he said pressures are continuing as long as Syria remained steadfast.
Regarding Damascus’s position toward the Arab Security and Peace Council, which enjoys the support of the Arab states and the Khartoum summit will approve, Walid al-Muallim said that this is an advanced step and it will bolster joint Arab action and build it on sound foundations. He said that the council enjoys total Arab support as one of the institutions that promotes Arab national security.
He added that Syria supports the Arab League because of the important work it has carried out for joint Arab action over the past five years, which included the establishment of the Arab parliament, the Arab Security and Peace Council, and the decision-making mechanism. He said all this will strength joint Arab action.