CAIRO, Sept 20, 2012 (AFP) -
CAIRO, Sept 20, 2012 (AFP) –
President Bashar al-Assad has hit out at Saudin Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, accusing them of arming Syrian rebels but insisting they will not win, according to excerpts from an interview to appear in an Egyptian newspaper on Friday.
“They suddenly saw money in their hands after a long period of poverty and think they can buy history and play a regional role,” Assad told Al-Ahram al-Arabi, which put excerpts from the interview on its website on Thursday.
“The widespread idea that Saudi Arabia, Syria and Egypt are the cornerstone of stability in the region is false. It has always been, and will remain, Syria, Iraq and Egypt,” said Assad whose country is in the throes of a brutal civil war.
He said that before the conflict, Riyadh served only as a “mediator with the West that does not appreciate the axis of resistance against Zionism advocated by Syria.”
The “axis of resistance” is a term used to refer to Syria, Iran and the Islamist Hezbollah movement in Lebanon against Israel.
Assad said Qatar “uses the power of money and revolves in the orbit of the West by providing weapons and money to terrorists to repeat the scenario of Libya,” where Moamer Kadhafi’s regime was toppled in a bloody revolt last year.
“The Qataris were the quickest to fuel the violence,” he said. Assad also criticised Turkey, a former close ally turned bitter foe that has called repeatedly for him to step down.
Ankara was unconcerned “about the interests of its people, focusing solely on its ambitions that include ‘the new Ottoman empire’,” he said.
Assad reiterated that “armed men” were “using terrorism against the Syrian state,” but that they “have no support among the people. Ultimately they will not emerge victorious. “Syrian officials refer to the rebels battling the regime as “terrorists.”
“It will take time” for regime forces to win, he said, adding that the “door to dialogue is open — only talks with the opposition will solve the crisis.”