Syrian interim government hopes to open offices in Syria

In an interview with Al-Hayat, the deputy prime minister of Syria’s interim government, Iyad Qudsi, said that his government seeks to open offices in Syria to better communicate with the Syrian people.

al-monitor Foreign ministers of the Arab League countries, including leaders of the Syrian National Coalition, meet in Cairo, Nov. 3, 2013. Photo by REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany.

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Dec 30, 2013

The deputy prime minister of the Syrian interim government, Iyad Qudsi, said that the priority of the government lies in “establishing offices [in Syria] and communicating with our people so as to embrace them.” He refused to consider the interim government as “a government in exile or a temporary government.” He also talked about “a detailed work program that will be presented before all supporters and the world’s nations, confirming that this government is a popular government that will do its utmost to provide safety and security and will not deviate from the objectives of the Syrian revolution.”

Speaking to Al-Hayat just before leaving Doha, Qudsi said, “[Americans] do not want anything that could prevent the completion of the program to get rid of chemical weapons.” He considered the Geneva II conference “a glimmer of hope, [yet] we should not pin all of our hopes on it.” He added that the talks held by Prime Minister Ahmad Tomeh in Doha “were more than successful. The Qataris have offered us unconditional support.”

Qudsi said that the interim government began work 43 days ago and had prepared a great deal of projects. “Many states are wondering about the ability of the interim government and what it can offer to the Syrian situation. Since the start of the revolution until now, things have not fallen within a regulatory framework. There have been political and military movements, whether pro or anti-regime, but there was no regulatory action. The government will undertake all regulatory actions and will provide necessary services,” he said.

When asked about Washington’s demands of the interim government, Qudsi said, “America always wants specific things. Americans fear that the government will affect the issue of chemical weapons. They do not want anything that could prevent the completion of the program to get rid of chemical weapons. They do not want anything to interrupt it. They believe that the swift emergence of the government will affect the Geneva II conference. They also want to establish a balance in Syria against what they call terrorism. The American policy at home seeks to fully implement democracy but when democracy is to be applied outside the US, there are conditions that need to be met, i.e., security and safety.

“There is no peace, security nor safety in Syria today. So how will democracy be applied? Meanwhile, President Barack Obama wants the current or any future government to give guarantees regarding the establishment of a pluralistic democratic state. We do not offer guarantees to the US only, but to the entire world, to our Arab brothers and friends, and to our people at home, before the US and Western countries,” he said.

Qudsi was also asked if the interim government has a specific plan to communicate with the Syrian factions at home. “I have always wished to establish ongoing communications with our brothers at home, share their feelings and stand by their side. This is what we want. We do not want for this government to be a government in exile, because this is only temporary. The government ought to be at home by the people’s side. Governmental offices ought to be established at home to communicate with our people so as to embrace them.”

He added that the delegation to Doha headed by Tomeh was “more than successful. Joint committees meetings were held during the visit. Qataris offered us great support. They emphasized their support to the Syrian people, the interim government and its programs after being briefed on them. They confirmed that they will back our projects without preconditions.”

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