Syria, West must avoid showdown

PRESIDENT Bashar Al Assad has made a valiant attempt to present Syria's side of the story in the ongoing showdown with the West. The country has been completely besieged as the media runs a ruthless campaign against the regime without giving it an opportunity to explain itself. This is why it's good the Syrian leadership has taken pains to reach out to the world community.

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Published: Sun 13 Nov 2005, 9:31 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:48 PM

Reasonably enough, Assad has reiterated that Syria is committed to cooperation with the UN in its inquiry into the killing of former prime minister Rafik Al Hariri. However, Assad has made it clear that Damascus will not tolerate any attempts to undermine the sovereignty of the country. Which makes eminent sense. No self-respecting country, even the much-demonised regimes in the Middle East, would accept any challenges to their integrity. Clearly, while Syria is keen to avoid a confrontation with the West and is trying its best to cooperate with the UN probe, it doesn't want to go on its knees to appease the West. The world community would do well to appreciate the delicate position of the regime and the extent to which it can be pushed. The Baathist regime is no paragon of virtues. But there's a growing feeling in the Muslim world that Syria is being systematically cornered a la Iraq. Syria and West must settle this business peacefully and soon.


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