DAMASCUS- The Syrian regime announced Monday there will be no dialogue with opposition parties before its army crushes rebels all over the country. Press reports indicated that this signs that President Bashar al-Assad is determined to solve the crisis on the battlefield even if many more of his people have to pay with their lives.
Syria`s Information Minister Omran al- Zoubi said Monday that what is happening in Syria is a massive conspiracy and an aggression using barbaric tools whose elements are obvious, stressing that Syria is facing a terrorist, Wahabi and Takfiri mentality and an extremist culture in various guises and under various names.
"There will be no dialogue with the opposition prior to the Syrian army's imposition of security and stability in all parts of the country," Information Minister Omran al-Zoebi told reporters at a news conference in Damascus on Monday.
The Syrian opposition has long rejected any talks with the regime until President al-Assad is removed from power.
In an open meeting with representatives and correspondents of news agencies and mass media accredited in Damascus on Monday, the Minister said that those who believe that Syria can be contained through violence after their failure to contain it politically are mistaken, and that those who think that they're removed from what is happening in Syria after sending weapons, funds and combatants are also mistaken.
Al-Zoubi said that what is going on in Syria is not a secret, not in its small details nor in its broad headlines, and the conspiracy discussed in the media is real and not political speculation, with realistic political and intelligence evidence which confirm that something is being prepared to Syria.
He added "On October19th 2010, there was a meeting for the European Union's foreign ministers, The ministers asked European intelligence agencies for specific details in four weeks time to launch the campaign against Syria."
Al-Zoubi said that Israeli weapons were found in Syria in addition to western-made weapons, adding that some regional countries established camps on their soil to train gunmen and repeatedly announced that they are funding, arming and sending fighters to Syria.
"All that proves that the issue was not reform demands that mutated to violence and fighting, There are clear elements that form the conspiracy against Syria," he added.
"Inviting the opposition to appear on the Syrian media is not a "novelty" and whoever wants to present their opinion can do so through political dialogue and clear opinion, and by the opposition, I mean the national opposition which rejects foreign interference, smuggling and using weapons, attacking the army and citizens, and the opposition which doesn't allow anyone to dictate its will and desires on, " Minister al-Zoubi said.
Minister al-Zoubi stressed that the real national opposition helps solve the issue of aggression against Syria and in the political and economic reforms, and doesn't justify the use of weapons. "Those who want to contact with Israel and accept the weapons coming from it are not national opposition members, They are traitors. Is there a national opposition that celebrates the killing of Syrian pilots or the attacks against the army or burning public institutions?, " he said.
"Some channels which are partners in the shedding of Syrian blood have prior knowledge of events and crimes before they occur and have prior information to broadcast, and this, along with criminal evidence and other tangible evidence, proves the involvement of such channels in the crime,'' he added.
Regarding journalists entering Syria illegally, the Syrian minister did not confirm or deny whether Syrian authorities are holding foreign journalists who entered the country illegally, but said that any person who does so, whether a Syrian or a foreigner, will be referred to judicial authorities.
He reassured reporters, however, that if any journalists are held by authorities.
Minister al-Zoubi said that the journalist who enters Syria illegally commits two mistakes, the first is that he violates the Syrian law which means that he will be punished according to the Syrian laws if arrested.
He added that everyone who wants to enter to Syria, he has to go to the Ministry of Information and if he wants to cover events in hotspots, he can do this after getting the permission of the Ministry as to know its responsibility and his own since the security and life of journalists are important to us.
"The second mistake if he entered Syria illegally, he will be overstepping the limits of his duty to convey a unilateral image and he will not be able convey the real image regarding the two sides of the conflict," said al-Zoubi, adding that if the journalist wants to be professional, he has to convey the two viewpoints.
He called for those who have information about journalists or people who entered Syria illegal and they are confident that they were arrested by the Syrian authorities to provide the Ministry with information in this regard.
"The Ministry formed the national committee for media which includes a number of political and media experts and lawyers and the committee started its work to document crimes committed against military members and civilians, the private and public properties and infrastructures in Syria," Minister of Information said commenting on if the Ministry of Information intends to prosecute Arab media which practiced all forms of media and psychological terrorism against Syrian people and army since the beginning of the crisis.
He said that the documentation will include the media contribution to instigating and giving orders. Minister al-Zoubi added that there are sides which file lawsuits against media and satellite channels on media war crimes, indicating that there are evidence and documents which prove the involvement of Arab and non-Arab media satellites and individuals in security issues and assassination acts, ''and we will tell you who are they and how they were killed in the appropriate time." Whether Syria is witnessing an epoch of media openness, transparency and constructive criticism, al-Zoubi said that this is the first step and the other is that "we don't mind receiving any media outlet as long as it will be objective in conveying the truth, calling upon all sides to be credible and realistic in conveying the reality.
He said that the ministry is ready to provide help to all media outlets, adding that the issue if not interfering in the work of any media outlet is settled and all what needed is to be objective, serious and responsible as journalist is not "an intelligence agent who works for foreign party or a fighter… He doesn't transport money or weapons in his car while performing his duty." The Minister said that the journalist holds his camera and notebook to do his job but when he acts like a fighter or a foreign security member or a spy and passes the limits of professionalism, it is a different matter.
Al-Zoubi said that Syria welcomed the appointment of Lakhdar Brahimi and it will provide him with all help and spare no efforts so that his mission will not end up like the mission of Kofi Annan as foreign sides did not respond to his role and some countries in the Gulf and Turkey refused to receive him although they consider themselves partners in the international initiative.
He said that the condition to make Brahimi's mission a success depends on the public commitment of certain countries such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to the success of his mission and immediate halt of sending weapons, in addition to closing its borders in the face of fighters and closing training camps for territories and only then there will be a serious and practical opportunity.
Al-Zoubi said that Syria has real interest in the success of the plan and it wants to support Brahimi but the ball is not in its court rather it is in the court of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, the USA and other European countries which should promise in public to stop funding and smuggling weapons.
The Minister said that he doesn't know the time of Brahimi's visit and the Foreign Ministry is responsible for this issue and journalists will be informed as soon as it is specified.
Earlier on Monday, the new U.N. envoy to Syria acknowledged that brokering an end to the civil war will be a "very, very difficult" task.
"It is definitely a very, very difficult mission."Brahimi told the BBC in an interview on Monday.
Regarding the Iranian initiative to solve the Syrian crisis through ceasefire for three months and the launch of national dialogue, al-Zoubi said that you know the nature of the standing Syrian-Iranian relations, adding that the Iranians are interested in ending violence in Syria and disarming the gunmen so that all sides might engage in a national dialogue.
He said that all initiatives and efforts are welcomed as long as they aimed at ending aggression and conspiracy against Syria. ''We have to understand that there are a lot of sentences embedded in the media and political discourse that are completely meaningless, and foreign ministries and journalists who are so disconnected from reality. The fact is that there is a conspiracy and foreign interference ''in velvet gloves'' using hidden tools.'' said al-Zoubi.
Answering a question on the Iraqi initiative at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit held in Tehran, al-Zoubi said that Syria will be positive regarding any initiative that helps it overcome the conspiracy, adding that ''All initiatives that do not impinge on national sovereignty and national security are welcome.''
On the role of Europe in Syria, al-Zoubi said that the European role is dependent on the US role, adding that "Europe's role is a shadow of the US role and had been so for decades, not only in politics, but also in the military and economic domains; the USA dominates the European decisions."
"They have failed in being independent despite the government changes and the rise of parties with different rent political orientations.''
Replying to a question about the reports of dispatching ''Ansar al-Shari'a'', al-Qaeda offshoot , from Yemen to Syria, al-Zoubi said ''The Syrian government and armed forces have no 'protocol of honors' for terrorists. There is but one way for dealing with terrorists in Syria.''
Al-Zoubi said that the Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, the Saudis, Qataris and Turks are responsible for the Syrian blood, adding that ''if Morsi's stance announced at NAM summit in Tehran meant that he has done nothing or intends to do something, then this is political hypocrisy and a new attempt to diminish Egypt.''
''Where does Egypt stand on Camp David accords? Where does it stand on the Egyptian gas going to Israel and closing the crossings with the Palestinian people? Where does Morsi stand on the national causes? Egypt cannot be bought for 2 billion dollars that Qatar put in its banks… Egypt is too great to be bought with Gulf money or US wheat.''
On the stances declared by the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, al-Zoubi said ''It is the ballot box that determines the legitimacy of presidents or parties…Hence, what Erdogan said about President al-Assad losing legitimacy is sheer nonsense and changes nothing.''
Al-Zoubi reaffirmed that there is irrefutable evidence that Erdogan's government is sending gunmen to Syria and allowing terrorists to take refuge on Turkish soil, pointing out that the current Turkish policies are not the policies of the Turkish people.
Minister al-Zoubi also stressed that Erdogan's statements on establishing buffer zones is an act of aggression against national sovereignty, adding that in the issue of the national sovereignty there are no red lines, and Syria will respond to any attempt to impinge on its sovereignty.
Al-Zoubia asked ''What happened about the issue of the Israeli attack on Marmara Ship? Did Erdogan manage to get an apology or compensation from Israel? And what about insulting the Turkish ambassador in Israel?"
Answering a question on the threats made by the so-called Free Syrian Army to attack Damascus International Airport or Aleppo Airport and the precautionary measures in this regard, al-Zoubi replied ''I don't know of the measures to protect the airports..these are purely military and security matters which lie outside my jurisdiction, but everyone knows that there is no such establishment as the Free Syrian Army…It was a term that was circulated and embedded in the media discourse. Irrespective of the terms, protecting the institutions, citizens, the borders, the soil, the air is the state's responsibility.''
''The situation in Syria, the leadership, state and armed forces, is good and everything is under control as evidenced by the nature of the terrorist attacks, and any military or security analysts will reach that conclusion.''
The Minister said "I do not understand how can a revolution assassinate and kidnap people and burn civil affairs directorates or loot a hospital. Those who call themselves revolutionaries do not have an ideology, an identity or a political program. From the beginning of events until now, I have not heard from Istanbul Council one single political sentence or program related to economy or freedoms". " I have said this before and some people said that I want them to discuss these issues because I know that they will reach nowhere, When the left-wing parties and the right-wing parties sit to discuss economy, freedom, state, constitution and elections issues they will reach no agreement," he added.
The minister pointed out that some sides and opposition figures have connections with terrorists, "others know the theorists, but they do not have connections with them, so they are not all the same."
The minister said, "If we went to dialogue and violence stopped, and Saudi Arabia went in another direction, the Qataris apologized, and the Turkish regretted what they did, and we gathered at the dialogue table, shouldn't there be a substance for dialogue in which the future of the homeland is discussed in the constitutional, legal and political terms?" Answering a question on some Lebanese parties' calls for dismissing Syria's Ambassador in Lebanon, the minister said,
"These issues concern the government of Lebanon. Lebanon is a state that has a government. There are international agreements and treaties between Syria and Lebanon; the Syrian Ambassador in Lebanon does not interfere in the internal affairs of Lebanon." Minister al- Zoubi stressed that there won't be dialogue as long as the terrorists have weapons because the dialogue should be held in peaceful and stable circumstances.
Minister al- Zoubi said that some opposition sides don't want to hold dialogue because they have no political project or program, adding that the solution in Syria is reached by the Syrians and with Syrian tools.
He also stressed that all the Syrian refugees who left the country can come back to their homes and areas, adding that some sides are exploiting their situation for these sides' personal interests, stressing that the Syrian government didn't and will not expel any Syrian or send any Syrian to live in a tent outside the country.