Syrian Deputy Premier, Foreign and Expatriates Minister, Walid al-Moallem, opened the Geneva 2 conference in Montreux on Wednesday by insisting on delivering the whole of his defiant speech despite attempts to silence him by anti-Assad delegates and UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon.
Minister al-Moallem said at the opening session of the conference: ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, I speak on behalf of the Syrian Arab Republic – steeped in history for seven thousand years and proud of its steadfast pan-Arab heritage.
‘Despite the deliberate acts of aggression of supposed brotherly Arabs, Syria is a civil state that some, sitting in this room, have tried to return to medieval times.
‘Never have I been in a more difficult position; my delegation and I carry the weight of three years of hardship endured by my fellow countrymen – the blood of our martyrs, the tears of our bereaved, the anguish of families waiting for news of a loved one – kidnapped or missing, the cries of our children whose tender fingers were the targets of mortar shelling into their classrooms.
‘We carry the hopes of an entire generation destroyed before their very eyes, the courage of mothers and fathers who have sent all their sons to defend our country, the heartbreak of families whose homes have been destroyed and are now displaced or refugees.
‘My delegation and I also carry the hope of a nation for the years to come – the right of every child to safely go to school again, the right of women to leave their homes without fear of being kidnapped, killed or raped. The dream of our youth to fulfill their vast potential; the return of security so that every man can leave his family safe in the knowledge that he will return.
‘Finally, today, the moment of truth; the truth that many have systematically tried to bury in a series of campaigns of misinformation, deception and fabrication leading to killing and terror, a truth that refused to be buried, a truth clear for all to see.
‘It is regrettable, Ladies and Gentlemen, that seated amongst us today in this room, are representatives of countries that have the blood of Syrians on their hands, countries that have exported terrorism along with clemency for the perpetrators, as if it was their God-given right to determine who will go to heaven and who will go to hell.
‘Countries that have prevented believers from visiting holy places of worship whilst abetting, financing and supporting terrorists.
‘Countries that gave themselves the authority to grant and deny legitimacy to others as they saw fit, never looking at their own archaic glasshouses before throwing stones at acclaimed fortified towers.
‘Countries that shamelessly lecture us in democracy, in development and in progress whilst drowning in their own ignorance and medieval norms.
‘Countries that have become accustomed to being entirely owned by kings and princes who have the sole right to distribute their national wealth, granting their associates whilst denying those who fall out of favour.
‘They lectured Syria – a distinguished, virtuous, sovereign state, they lectured her on honour whilst they themselves were immersed in the mud of enslavement, infanticide and other medieval practices.
‘After all their efforts and subsequent failures, their masks fell from their quivering faces, to reveal their perverse ambitions.
‘A desire to destabilise and destroy Syria by exporting their national product: terrorism.
‘They used their petrodollars to buy weapons, recruit mercenaries and saturate airtime covering up their mindless brutality with lies under the guise of the so-called “Syrian revolution” that will fulfill the aspirations of the Syrian people.
‘How can a Chechen, Afghani, Saudi, Turkish or even French and English terrorists deliver on the aspirations of the Syrian people, and with what?
‘An Islamic state that knows nothing of Islam except perverse Wahhabism?
‘Who declared anyway that the Syrian people aspire to live thousands of years in the past?
‘In Syria, Ladies and Gentlemen, pregnant women are butchered and their foetuses killed, men are slaughtered in front of their children in the name of this revolution; worse still, this is done whilst the children of these foreign perpetrators sing and dance.
‘In Syria, how can so-called revolutionaries cannibalise a man’s heart and claim to promote freedom, democracy and a better life?
‘Under the pretext of the “Great Syrian Revolution,” civilians, clergymen, women and children are killed, victims are indiscriminately blown up in streets and buildings regardless of their political views or ideologies; books and libraries are burned, graves are dug up and artifacts stolen, children are killed in their schools and students in their universities.
‘This is what happened in Adra, a place that most of you have not heard of but where the same alien monsters attacked: killing, looting, beheading, slaughtering, raping and burning people alive.
‘You have heard nothing of this brutality for sure, yet you have heard of other places where the same heinous crimes were committed and where the same blood soaked finger was pointed at the Syrian Army and government and when these flagrant lies were no longer credible, they stopped spinning their web of deceit.
‘This is what their masters ordered them to do, these countries that spearheaded the war against Syria, trying to increase their influence in the region with bribes and money, exporting human monsters fully soaked in abhorrent Wahabi ideology, all at the expense of Syrian blood.
‘From this stage, loud and clear, you know as well as I do that they will not stop in Syria, even if some sitting in this room refuse to acknowledge or consider themselves immune.
‘Ladies and Gentlemen, everything you have heard would not have been possible, had our border sharing countries been good neighbours during these challenging years.
‘Unfortunately they were far from it; with backstabbers to the North, silent bystanders to the truth in the West, a weak South accustomed to doing the bidding of others, or the tired and exhausted East still reeling from the plots to destroy it along with Syria.
‘Misery and destruction, which has engulfed Syria, has been made possible by the decision of Erdogan’s government.
‘Indeed, this misery and destruction, which has engulfed Syria, has been made possible by the decision of Erdogan’s government to invite and host these criminal terrorists before they entered into Syria.
‘Clearly, oblivious to the fact that magic eventually turns on the magician, it is now beginning to taste the sour seed it has sown.
‘For terrorism knows no religion, and is loyal only unto itself. Erdogan’s government has recklessly morphed from a zero problems with its neighbours policy to zero foreign policy and international diplomacy altogether, crucially leaving it with zero credibility.
‘Some neighbours started fires within Syria whilst others recruited terrorists from around the globe – and here we are confronted with shockingly farcical double standards: 83 nationalities are fighting in Syria – nobody denounces this, nobody condemns it, nobody reconsiders their position and they impertinently continue to call it a glorious “Syrian Revolution!”
‘While when a few scores of young resistant fighters supported the Syrian Army in a few places, all hell broke loose and it suddenly became foreign intervention!
‘Demands were made for the departure of foreign troops and the protection of Syrian sovereignty and for it not to be violated.
‘Here I affirm, Syria – the sovereign and independent state, will continue to do whatever it takes to defend herself with whatever means it deems necessary, without paying the least bit of attention to any uproar, denunciations, statements or positions expressed by others; these have been and always will be Syria’s sovereign decisions.
‘Despite all of this, the Syrian people remained steadfast; and the response was to impose sanctions on our food, our bread and our children’s milk.
‘To starve the population, pushing them into sickness and death under the injustice of these sanctions, at the same time, factories were looted and burned, crippling our food and pharmaceutical industries; hospitals and healthcare centres were destroyed; our railroads and electricity lines sabotaged, and even our places of worship – Christian and Muslim – were not spared their terrorism.
‘When all of this failed, America threatened to strike Syria, fabricating with her allies, Western and Arab, the story about the use of chemical weapons, which failed to convince even their own public, let alone ours.
‘Countries that celebrate democracy, freedom and human rights regrettably only choose to speak the language of blood, war, colonialism and hegemony. Democracy is imposed with fire, freedom with warplanes and human rights by human killing, because they have become accustomed to the world doing their bidding: if they want something, it will happen; if they don’t, it won’t.
‘They have heedlessly forgotten that the perpetrators who blew themselves up in New York follow the same doctrine and come from the same source as those blowing themselves up in Syria.
‘They have heedlessly forgotten that the terrorist that was in America yesterday is in Syria today, and who knows where he will be tomorrow.
‘Some of you may be asking yourselves: Are foreigners the sole manufacturers of the happenings in Syria?
‘No Ladies and Gentlemen, Syrians amongst us here, having been legitimised by foreign agendas, have played a contributing role as facilitators and implementers.
‘They did this at the expense of Syrian blood and the people whose aspirations they claim to represent, whilst they themselves were divided hundreds of times and their leaders on the ground were fleeing far and wide.
‘They sold themselves to Israel becoming her eyes on the ground, and her fingers on the trigger for Syria’s destruction; and when they failed, Israel intervened directly to reduce the capabilities of the Syrian Army and thus ensuring the continued implementation of her decades-old plan for Syria.
‘Our people were being slaughtered while they were living in five star hotels; they opposed from abroad, met abroad betraying Syria and selling themselves to the highest foreign bidder and yet, they still claim to speak in the name of the Syrian people!
‘No, Ladies and Gentlemen, anyone wishing to speak on behalf of the Syrian people cannot be a traitor to their cause and an agent for their enemies.
‘Those wishing to speak on behalf of the people of Syria should do so from within her borders: living in her destroyed houses, sending their children to her schools in the morning not knowing if they will return safe from mortar shelling, tolerating the freezing cold winters because of the shortage in heating oil and queuing for hours to buy bread for their families because sanctions have prevented us from importing wheat when we were once exporters.
‘Anyone wanting to speak in the name of the Syrian people should first endure three years of terrorism, confronting it head on, and then come here and speak on behalf of the Syrian people.
‘Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Syrian people, like other people of the region, aspire to more freedom, justice and human rights; they aspire to more plurality and democracy, to a better Syria, a safe, prosperous and healthy Syria.
‘This is the reality, Ladies and Gentlemen, so wake up to the undeniable reality that the West is supporting some Arab countries to supply lethal weapons to al-Qaeda. The West publically claims to be fighting terrorism, whilst in fact it is covertly nourishing it.
‘Anyone who cannot see this truth is either ignorantly blind or willfully so in order to finish what they have begun.’