Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Budget challenge for India's new government

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Israeli strikes on Gaza as seen on social media

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

World Cup humiliation for host nation

Read more

DEBATE

Israel and the Palestinians: How to Break the Cycle of Violence?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Somalia : Al Shebab attack on presidential palace

Read more

FOCUS

Sharia law to be enshrined in British legal system?

Read more

ENCORE!

How a comedy dud became one of France's biggest box office hits

Read more

  • Israel steps up airstrikes as diplomacy gets under way

    Read more

  • Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge congressional action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

  • Froome crashes out of Tour de France

    Read more

  • South Sudan independence heroes ‘have lost their way’

    Read more

  • 100 years on, the Tour de France returns to the Western Front

    Read more

  • Dozens of blindfolded bodies found south of Baghdad

    Read more

  • Alps Murder wife had ex-husband who died on same day

    Read more

  • Both candidates say they won Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Brazil players should never wear 'sacred uniform' again, press says

    Read more

  • Exiled Syrian opposition elects new president

    Read more

  • Ukraine imposes new conditions on peace talks with pro-Russia rebels

    Read more

  • Sarkozy's UMP party 'almost €80 million in debt'

    Read more

Middle east

Syria’s Assad says Europe will ‘pay price’ for arming rebels

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-06-17

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned European powers on Monday that they will “pay the price” if they send weapons to rebel forces seeking to topple him. Such a move would lead to terrorism in Europe, he told a German magazine.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has warned Europe in a German newspaper interview that it will “pay the price” if it follows Washington’s lead and delivers arms to rebel forces, saying such a move would spread terrorism to the continent.

“If the Europeans deliver weapons, the backyard of Europe will become terrorist and Europe will pay the price for it,” he said in an interview published on Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung’s website on Monday.

In his first comments since the United States announced on Thursday that it would be supplying military aid to rebels fighting for his overthrow, Assad warned that delivering arms would result in the export of “terrorism” to Europe.

“Terrorists will gain experience in combat and return with extremist ideologies,” he said.

“For Europe there is no alternative to cooperating with the Syrian state, even if Europe doesn’t like it.”

Asked about claims by the French, British and U.S. governments that Syria has used chemical weapons, the newspaper quoted Assad as saying: “If Paris, London and Washington had even one piece of evidence for their claims, they would have shown this to the world.”

Last week the U.S. said 100 to 150 people had died from detected chemical weapons attacks in Syria but Assad said it would be illogical to use chemical weapons to kill this number of people as conventional weapons could also achieve that.

He said: “We have not said that we possess chemical weapons, nor have we said that we do not possess them.”

Asked why he refused to allow United Nations inspectors into the country, he said this would allow them to uncover Syrian security secrets that had nothing to do with its arsenal.

“We are a state, we have our army and we have our secrets. We won’t allow anyone to get an insight into these – not the UN, not France, not Great Britain and not others.”

He said the government had been open to dialogue from day one and had not changed its position on this but Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, France and Great Britain were against dialogue.

He said Syria was, however, prepared to negotiate with the United States, France and Great Britain as well as “their tools - Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia”.

Assad signaled he had no intention of stepping down: “Of course you can’t desert your country during a crisis ... That would be high treason.” He added that it would be a different matter if the people decided he should lose his office.

“The president is not the problem. Other countries want the president to resign to make way for a mercenary chosen by these countries.”

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-06-17

  • SYRIA

    Syria slams Egypt for breaking off ties

    Read more

  • US - SYRIA

    Obama's 'red line' crossed, will arm Syrian rebels

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Syrian death toll soars to at least 93,000, UN says

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)