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Moallem: Violence Cannot Be Tolerated Anymore

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said on Monday that reform is a non-stop ongoing process that requires security and stability.

Speaking before the accredited ambassadors of Arab and foreign countries in Damascus, Moallem said that what is taking place in some areas needs consideration, particularly after President Bashar al-Assad’s speech to the new government and what it contained from lifting the state of emergency to the multi-party law.

“We believe that those who want reform express their opinion peacefully from the basis that this reform is a national necessity… but those who want reform do not use violence and weapons and do not resort to vandalism, burning state establishments and blocking roads,” Moallem was quoted by Syria’s state agency (SANA) as saying.

“We respect peaceful demonstration, but blocking roads, vandalism and burning are another issue entirely and it can no longer be tolerated,” Moallem warned, adding that there is massive popular pressure calling for the government to restore security and order.
He went on to stress that the new government’s priorities will be carrying out the tasks assigned by President al-Assad which involves two points: carrying out the proposed reforms and restoring security and order. He announced that President al-Assad personally met representatives of Syrian cities and governorates and listened to their demands, most of which were met already, with President al-Assad promising to meet the rest of them, adding that President al-Assad will be meeting other similar delegations.
“There is a clear media instigation undertaken by some Arab satellite television channels… this instigation plays a negative role that harms the interests of the Syrian people and Syria in general,” Moallem said, adding that Syria doesn’t object to freedom of press, but rather objects to the lack of objectivity in it since this lack harms national interests, pointing out that the Syrian public opinion is questioning the motives of this instigative attitude.

The Syrian FM also expressed surprise over the fatwas issued from outside Syria, saying “those who issue these fatwas should know that Syria is proud of its national unity and its secular, pan-Arab course and adherence to national standards.”

Regarding the seizure of weapon shipments smuggled from Iraq, Moallem said that this isn’t the first time such a thing happened, and that the Iraqi government is uninvolved in this. However, he noted that there are parties that are intently working to undermine security and stability in Syria.

Moallem concluded by reaffirming that reform is underway in Syria and that peaceful demonstration is permitted, but violence and vandalism cannot be tolerated.

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