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China Daily Website

Syria won't accept peacekeepers

Updated: 2012-02-16 06:55
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - Syria staunchly opposed the use of international peacekeepers but would welcome observers to its troubled territory, the newly appointed Syrian Ambassador to China said on Wednesday.

Replacing the withdrawn Arab League observer mission to Syria with a joint peacekeeping force comprised of Arab and United Nations forces to monitor a ceasefire between the rival sides was totally unacceptable, Ambassador Imad Moustapha told Xinhua.

But he said Syria welcomed observer missions from the international community to conduct a fair and objective investigation of what was going on in Syria.

The peacekeeper plan was proposed by an Arab League foreign ministers meeting to the UN Security Council earlier this month.

As the only Arab country adopting secularism, Syria was ahead of most Arab countries in terms of democracy. It implemented freedom of religion and its vice president was a woman, Moustapha said.

But he said Syria also admitted there were defects and limitations in its political system, and it respected the Syrian people's call for change, which had been responded to with a series of measures taken by the Syrian government since last year.

For example, Syria had lifted its state of emergency, which had existed in the country for 48 years, closed its Supreme State Security Court, and enacted a peaceful demonstration bill, political party law, election law and local administration law, Moustapha said.

Among the reforms, the most important was the formulation of draft constitution amendments stipulating the equality of all political parties within its territory during general elections, he said.

Moustapha, who was the Syrian ambassador to the United States for eight years, criticized Washington's dual policy in the Middle East and its public interference in Syria's internal affairs.

The ambassador said, because of Syria's firm support of the Palestinian people's justice course in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, Syria had become an eyesore for the US government, which was fighting to defend Israel's interests.

Now some western countries were trying to replicate the Libya mode in Syria, which was a very dangerous tendency, the ambassador said. Syria occupied a decisive position in the Middle East, so if a civil war broke out, it might lead to war in the whole region and even threaten the safety of the whole world.

Moustapha said Syria opposed any kind of external interference, and believed its future could only be decided by its own people. Syria would rely on its own resources, as well as help from regional military allies, to stabilize its domestic situation, the ambassador said.