DAMASCUS: Damascus fired back on Thursday at Arab League head Nabil Al Arabi, accusing him of supporting a “terrorist project to destroy Syria” after he said Bashar Al Assad’s regime would not last much longer.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Jihad Makdisi, quoted by the official news agency SANA, described Arabi’s spearheading of a Syrian opposition meeting in Qatar as a “criminal plan to shed the blood of the Syrian people.” Makdisi called the pan-Arab bloc’s secretary general a “partner, sponsor and tool of a terrorist project to destroy Syria.”
Since the Syrian revolt began in March 2011, initially as a peaceful uprising and later an armed insurgency, Damascus has equated activists and rebels alike as foreign-funded “terrorists” supported by the West and some Gulf nations.
The spokesman said he was “not surprised that Nabil Al Arabi repeats his fantasy about regime change in Syria, a founding member of the organisation that employs him,” referring to the Arab League which suspended Syria a year ago. Arabi participated on Thursday in a conference in Doha to unify the Syrian opposition.
Before travelling to Doha on Wednesday, Arabi said that “it is important to unify the opposition’s visions, especially because everyone knows that the regime in Syria will not remain for long.”
Meanwhile, on Friday, the UN will hold its sixth “Syrian Humanitarian Forum” in Geneva to co-ordinate aid delivery among diplomats and officials including the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation, European Commission and League of Arab States.
Separately, Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Thursday congratulated US President Barack Obama on his re-election, telling him the Middle East’s future “hinges on” resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
“Your re-election gives you a second important chance to achieve peace in the Middle East,” a statement quoted the king as saying in a letter to Obama.
“The future of the Middle East hinges on finding a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”
The king, whose country is a key US ally that has a 1994 peace treaty with Israel, said, “our joint efforts must continue to accomplish this objective.”
“Brave action is needed to place our strategic region on the path of stability, security and prosperity,” the king said.