President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday said that the awareness of the Syrian people have protected the Homeland and foiled the plot seeking to undermine Syria within few weeks.
In a televised interview with the Syrian TV on the current events in Syria and the reform project, President al-Assad assured that the security situation in Syria is better now and that achievements on the security level were made recently.
President al-Assad added "During the latest weeks, the security situation shifted towards the armed acts, particularly last Friday through attacking the Army, police and security posts, assassination acts and ambushing military and civil vehicles… this may seem dangerous regarding the question on if the security situation is better, but in reality we are capable of dealing with all that and we have made security achievements recently which we have not announced yet in order to ensure their success."
On the Syrian leadership's security dealing with the latest events, President al-Assad said "There is nothing called the security solution or the security alternative… there is only the political solution…even the states that go to wage wars, they go only for a political goal, not for the sake of a military purpose… there is no security alterative, but to be accurate, there is preservation of security."
"The solution in Syria is political, but when there are security cases, they must be confronted through the competent institutions…We have chosen the political solution since the very first days of events; otherwise, we wouldn't have headed toward reform as we announced a package of reforms in less than a week after the events began…the political solution can't succeed without preserving security," the President added.
"We are at a transitional stage and we will follow up on the laws...there will be elections and a review of the constitution...the most important thing at this stage is to continue dialogue," said the President, stressing "It is unquestionable that there will be a review of the constitution whether the target is Article 8 or the other political items."
Concerning the applicable measures and the timetable to implement the elections and parties laws, President al-Assad said that during the coming days, a competent committee will be formed for the law of parties, compromising the Interior Minister, a judge and three independent personalities, which will receive the applications for the establishment of the new parties.
The President pointed out that the local administration law will be ready during the coming few days; accordingly the local administration elections will be conducted three months after the issuance of the law.
President al-Assad said that the media law is supposed to be issued before the end of Ramadan, and that after Ramadan, a committee to study and review the constitution will be formed which will need a maximum of 6 months.
As for the elections of the People's Assembly, the President said "There have been several opinions ranging between 4 and 8 months after the issuance of the executive instructions of the elections law. The purpose is to allow a chance for the parties to be formed and be able to compete…the time expected for conducting the People's Assembly elections is by next February."
Answering a question on any connection between the decree granting Kurds the Syrian nationality and worries of exploiting this issue in the crisis, President al-Assad said "This issue was first discussed in August, 2002… This is a matter of human state and rights."
President al-Assad indicated that the decree was issued quickly at the beginning of events because it was ready in advance.
"The Kurds are a basic part of the Syrian fabric… As I said few years ago, Syria, without any of its components, can't be the Syria we know and can not be stable," added the President.
President al-Assad pointed out that the key solution to reach the desired results regarding the laws and decrees is through expanding dialogue with the beneficiary sides.
Answering a question concerning punishing those who made mistakes over the previous period, President said that everyone who got involved in an offense against a Syrian citizen, whether civilian or military, will be held accountable when proved guilty beyond doubt, adding that there is an independent committee which has all the powers and complete transparency for this issue.
On the West's negative response to the reforms, President al-Assad said that the traditional response of the Western governments has always been "it isn't enough" since they do not want reform in the first place.
"Reform for the colonialist Western countries is to give them all they want and to abandon all your rights…I simply say this will be their unattainable dream whether under these circumstances or under any other circumstances," said the President.
Commenting on the US, Britain, France and Germany's call on him to step down, the President said "this can not be said to a president who is not interested in the position…a president who was not brought by the US or the West, but by the Syrian people…this can not be said to a people who refuse any high commissioner…a people who stand by resistance as one of their principles…this can be said to a president who was made in America and to a submissive people who accept orders from the outside."
President al-Assad said that his country chose not to respond to this "unworthy talk" as he considered it, adding that the respond to countries that are not friendly is that "If you want to go far with your policies, we are ready to go even more far."
The President described Syria's relationship with the West as one of conflict on sovereignty whose persistent goal is to take away the sovereignty of the countries including Syria, stressing "We are committed to our sovereignty without hesitation."
President al-Assad unveiled that Syria has faced continuous threats of military action since the US invasion of Iraq, warning that "any military action against Syria will have much more implications than they can bear for many reasons."
The first one, the President said, has to do with Syria's geo-political position, and the second is related to the "Syrian potentials which they know some of their parts and don't know the other parts whose outcomes they won't be able to endure."
On the economic situation in light of the Western economic pressures on Syria, President al-Assad assured that the economy has started to recover during the past two months, pointing out that concerning the economic embargo imposed on Syria, the alternatives are there in terms of heading eastward.
"On the other hand," said President al-Assad, "it is impossible that Syria might suffer hunger as it has self-sufficiency…the third point is that Syria's geographical position is central for the region's economy," noting that any blockade on Syria will affect a large number of the countries in the region and will reflect on other countries as well.
On the Syrian-Turkish relationship, the President said "In general, we always meet with officials from different countries…we take advice…if they have experiences we discuss them, especially the countries which resemble us in terms of society…but when it comes to the decision, we don't allow any country in the world, near or far, to interfere in the Syrian decision."
President al-Assad assumed several possibilities for the Turkish officials' statements, citing that of keenness, saying "in this case we highly appreciate others' keenness on Syria."
"It maybe a kind of concern that any defect in Syria will affect Turkey and this is normal," said President al-Assad, addign that "the third possibility is that the reason behind these statements is acting as the guide or instructor or the role player at the expense of the Syrian issue. This matter is totally rejected from any official anywhere in the world, including Turkey."
On the issue of national media, President al-Assad said that the only ceiling of media is the law and the objectivity, stressing the issue of expanding the channels between the state and the citizens.
At the end of the interview, President al-Assad said "I am assured because the Syrian people have always come out of crises stronger…and it is natural that this crisis as any other crisis will give them more strength."