Neither side can win outright - Syrian VP
SYRIA: Syrian Vice President Faruq al-Sharaa said in an interview to
be published Monday that neither his government nor the rebels fighting
to overthrow it can win a decisive victory in the 21-month conflict.
His comments came as the regime launched air strikes for the first
time against a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, drawing
condemnation from both Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and the Hamas
rulers of Gaza.
“No opposition can end the battle militarily, just as the security
forces and army cannot achieve a decisive conclusion,” Sharaa told the
pro-Damascus Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar. “Every day that passes, we are
moving further away from a military or political solution, “ said Shara,
who is the most prominent Sunni Muslim in the Alawite minority dominated
regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
“We must position ourselves to defend Syria’s existence -- we are not
in a battle for an individual or a regime. “The various opposition
forces -- whether armed or civilian, or linked to foreign powers --
cannot claim they are the sole legitimate representatives of the Syrian
people,” he added, referring to the decision of Arab and Western
governments last week to recognise the armed opposition.
He called for confidence-building measures between the warring
parties and said that “the solution must be Syrian, but through a
historic settlement including key regional countries and (UN) Security
Council member states.” “This accord must first bring about an end to
all forms of violence and establish a national unity government with
broad powers,” he added.
Sharaa, 74, has served the regime for decades, both under Assad and
under his father and predecessor Hafez al-Assad, but has been seen in
public only a few times since the uprising erupted in March last year.
His comments to Al-Akhbar were his first published statements since
July last year.
In October, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu suggested that
the vice president would be a suitable pick to lead a transition
government, calling him “a man of reason” who could stop the civil war
in the country.