“We hope (the battle) will not be imposed on us… the problem in Syria can only be solved by the Syrians themselves”, Muallem told a news conference in Damascus.
“If the battle is imposed on us, we will fight”, he went on to elaborate comments by President Bashar al-Assad published on Sunday, that he was ready to fight and die for Syria.
Muallem slammed members of the Arab League which he accused of working towards taking the Syrian issue to the United Nations Security Council.
“There is no room for hasty decisions, but rational thinking is needed because there are some parts of the Arab world which are using the Arab League as a tool to reach the Security Council,” he said.
Turning to the issue of an Arab League threat to impose sanctions after the expiry of a deadline for Damascus to honor an agreement with the 22-nation bloc to end the unrest, Muallem brushed it off.
“We in Syria do not consider that the deadline is the important issue; the content is the important issue; and to reach an agreement with the Arab League is what counts,” he said.
Muallem also dismissed as “wishful thinking” a warning by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that his country risked descending into civil war.
“When Mrs Clinton says the opposition is well-armed… it is, as they say in English, ‘wishful thinking’,” Muallem said.
Clinton warned on Friday that Syria was at the risk of a civil war.