Bouthaina Shaaban: Opposition Backers invest in Government’s Demise, not in an Alternative Government

Bouthaina Shaaban, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad‘s political and media adviser, met with Chinese foreign Minister Jiang Jiechi in Beijing on Thursday. A purpose of her visit was to give “the Chinese leadership a real picture of what’s going on in Syria” and to coordinate with China to solve the current crisis that has taken thousands of people’s lives, China Daily quotes her.

During the meeting, Yang – as quoted by the Chinese foreign ministry’s (FMPRC) website – said that the Syrian government should take practical measures to satisfy the people’s pursuit of change, and to protect the people’s personal interests and reasonable demands. The wording is similar to that of foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu in October last year, in terms which have frequently been used by the foreign ministry since 2011. Today’s communiqué on the FMPRC website also quotes Yang as saying that China urged both the Syrian government and all other parties involved [in the conflict] that they should implement outgoing UN and Arab-League envoy Kofi Annan‘s six-points proposal.

Huanqiu Shibao conducted an interview with Bouthaina Shaaban on Wednesday, one day after her arrival, at the Syrian embassy in Beijing.

Q: Mrs Shaaban, what are your expectations during this visit as president Assad’s special envoy?
夏班女士此次作为叙利亚总统特使来华访问,对中国有何期待?

A: We are very grateful for China’s principled stance on the Syrian issue, and hope that China will maintain this position, opposing foreign interference, and letting the Syrian people themselves decide their fate and future. We hope to help China understand the real situation in Syria, a situation which is very different from the one described by Western media.
非常感谢中国在叙利亚问题上保持的原则性立场,希望中国坚持这一立场,反对外来势力干涉,让叙利亚人民决定自己的命运和未来。希望通过此行让中国了解叙利亚的真相,那和西方媒体描述的大有不同。

Q: What’s the situation in Syria right now? According to former prime minister Hijab who defected last week and reappeared for the first time on August 14, the Syrian government only controls 30 percent of the country’s territory now, is this the case?
叙利亚当下局势怎样?据传前总理希贾卜上周叛逃,他14日首次露面,称叙利亚仅3成国土处于政府控制之下,实情是否如此?

A: There are battles in many areas in Syria, and nobody in Syria can avoid getting caught in them. What Syria is facing is the goal of foreign forces to attack, which isn’t directed against the president or any individual, it is directed against the Syria and the Syrian people. Hijab is telling lies, and he knows it.
叙利亚多个地区在激战,所有叙利亚人都无可避免地陷入其中。叙利亚面对的是外来势力有目的的攻击,这种攻击不针对总统或某个个人,它旨在对抗叙利亚和叙利亚人民。希贾卜说的是谎话,他自己心知肚明。

Q: According to news, Hijab and two cabinet ministers defected at the same time. It appears that the organs of state power are under growing pressure from assassinations and defections?
当时有消息说,希贾卜和两名内阁部长共同叛逃。似乎,叙利亚政权越来越受到暗杀及叛逃的困扰?

A: Anyone who doesn’t trust the Syrian organs of state power and its system can leave. However, the [issue of] defections [is] clearly exaggerated. One hour after Western media announced that two ministers had defected, the two of them appeared at a cabinet meeting held by the president. That was really amusing. The outside world has frequently attacked the Syrian organs of state power as rotten and ruthless, suggesting that new organs of state power could provide the Syrian people with a better future. Why then would foreign forces tirelessly provide millions of US dollars to entice anyone within the current organs of state power who may feel tempted, rather than to make efforts to support new organs of state power? This certifies that we are still the best.
任何一个不信任叙利亚政权和体系的人都可以离开。不过,叛逃显然被夸大了。西方媒体宣称两名部长叛逃后1小时,两人就出现在总统召开的内阁会议上,这非常好笑。外界曾多次攻击叙利亚政权腐朽、残忍,暗示新政权能给叙利亚人民更好的未来。那么外部势力为什么持续不懈地拿数百万美元诱惑现政权内任何一个可能被诱惑的人,而不是致力于扶持新政权?这证明我们是最好的。

Q: 90 percent of Syria’s military are reportedly Sunni. They can’t be too staunch in fighting the armed opposition, because the latter may be their brothers and sisters, or neighbors. Has Syria already entered civil war?
据称叙利亚军队基层9成是逊尼派士兵,他们无法坚决地和反对派武装对战,因为后者可能是他们的兄弟或者邻居。叙利亚是否已陷入内战?

A: Our troops don’t want to fight against their own people. The armed groups within our borders terrorize the people, take hostages, plant bombs, and what the troops do is that they restore order and peace for society.
我们的军队不愿意和自己的人民战斗,武装团伙在境内恐吓民众、挟持人质、制造爆炸,军队所做的是为社会重建秩序和安宁。

Q: Even after 18 months, the power of the opposition doesn’t seem to be weakening, does it?
可18个月过去了,反对派力量似乎未被削弱?

A: Maybe we can look at it from a different perspective: eighteen months have passed, and all those who kept announcing that the Syrian government would be in total disintegration within a week or a month should eat their lies. I hope there will be a time when the armed organizations and the regional and Western forces behind them will choose dialog, and end the bloodshed and violence.
是否可以换个角度,18个月过去了,那些曾经宣称叙利亚政府会在1周、1个月内土崩瓦解的人该收回谎言了。我想是时候,武装组织及其背后的地区势力和西方势力选择对话、结束流血和暴力。

Q: President Assad has called for dialog on different occasions, but the opposition says it has no confidence and resolutely declined. Why is that?
巴沙尔总统曾在不同场合呼吁对话,但反对派对此表示不信任,坚决拒绝,为什么?

A: The oppositional armed organizations aren’t united; they belong to different factions. They get funding from different sources. They have been instructed to refuse dialog, because the target of those who fund them is Syria.
反对派武装组织并非一体,他们分属不同派别,每个背后都有不同的资助者,他们接到的指示是拒绝对话,资助者的目标是叙利亚。

Q: Some countries have held three “Friends of Syria” sessions. Last week, Iran took the lead in organizing a conrary axis, supporting the Syrian government. Do you believe that Russia, Iran and other powers will support the Syrian government militarily if political means show no effect? And at the moment of crisis, would the Syrian army use biological or chemical weapons?
一些国家开了3届“叙利亚之友”大会,上周伊朗牵头组织反抗轴心,支持叙政府,您认为俄伊等大国是否会在政治手段无效的情况下,军事支持叙政府?到危急时刻,叙军有没有可能使用生化武器?

A: Those you mentioned first are the “Enemies of Syria”. If outsiders intervene militarily, we hope that Russia, Iran and China will help Syria to find a solution. If the Russian and Chinese adherance to dialog and avoidance of bloodshed gets unanimous approval from the international community, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a solution. The Syrian government is responsible and maintains the proscription of weapons of mass destruction’s proliferation in the Middle East. It isn’t president Assad’s determination to fight to the last; it is the Syrian people who make the decision.
前者是“叙利亚之敌”。外界若军事介入,希望俄罗斯、伊朗、中国帮叙利亚找到解决之道。如果俄中秉承的对话与不流血能够得到国际社会一致认同,解决之道不会太难。叙利亚政府是一个负责任的、坚持抵制大规模杀伤性武器在中东扩散的政府。不是总统巴沙尔决意战斗到最后,做决定的是叙利亚人民。

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Related

» At a lesser frequency and scale, Independent, Aug 15, 2012

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