Don't use weapons to reform: Syrian FM

Updated: 2011-04-19 10:14


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DAMASCUS - Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said on Monday that "reforms in Syria are existing and continuing, and those who want them should not use violence and weapons," the official SANA news agency reported Monday.

Al-Moallem made the remarks during a meeting in Damascus with Arab and foreign ambassadors to Syria.

He said the country is moving on with reforms, pointing out that Syria will never tolerate any sabotaging acts.

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SANA said Moallem reviewed what is happening in some places in Syria, saying: "We believe that whoever wants reforms, should express his opinion peacefully starting from the point that reforms are a national imperative... Reforms entail security and stability."

He said peaceful demonstration is an issue which "we do respect, " but noting that sabotaging acts are "unacceptable".

Moallem also stressed that the new government's top priority is to carry out what Syrian President Bashar Assad has entitled it to do, mainly implementing reforms and regaining security.

He added that there are rising popular calls on the government to restore security and order, expressing hopes that such violent acts would not be repeated "so that the government would not be obliged to take on the necessary measures."

On the recent freight of weapons hidden in an Iraqi truck coming from Iraq, Moallem said the Iraqi government has no relations at all to this matter, but he said there are some parties, which he didn't name, "are working very hard to destabilize Syria and undermine its security."  

Al-Moallem rebuked some fatwas (religious edict) which he said are made from outside the country, stressing that Syria is "proud of its secular path, unity and devotion to national principles."

He also criticized some Arab satellite TV channels, saying there are "clear provocation" made by these channels and "this passive role will extremely damage the Syrian people's interest and the state, in general."

On the incident that occurred late Sunday at Talbissah village in the central province of Homs, al-Mouallem said it's "very dangerous as international highways were cut, and gunmen attacked policemen, who have had strict instructions" not to attack protesters.

He said this has caused many fatalities among policemen, an issue which has necessitated the intervention of the military.


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