In Focus | Syria

Al Assad’s behaviour surprising: Mousa

Any intervention to end crisis should be through Security Council, he says

  • By Jumana Al Tamimi, Associate Editor
  • Published: 19:52 February 24, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News
  • Amr Mousa, former Secretary-General of the Arab league.

Sharjah: The actions of the Syrian president are not only surprising to people who knew him, but also contradict the thoughts Bashar Al Assad expressed earlier, the former Secretary-General of the Arab League Amr Mousa said.

Moreover, Mousa said while the political solution is the most preferable one to the bloody confrontation which has been going on for nearly two years now, he added any intervention to end the current crisis should be through the UN Security Council.

Mousa, who met with Al Assad “many many times” in the past, said he was impressed with his character and the way he acted.

“I had to discuss with him the withdrawal of Syria from Lebanon, and he was very much true to his word,” he told Gulf News in an interview.

However, the way Al Assad is handling the present crisis in his country is “indeed [surprising]”.

As a young leader, Al Assad “understands how change is necessary, and when a change comes through the young generation ... it is a sign of a new generation taking a new look. I thought he was one of them, or he would be one of them, and then make the changes himself in a race with them, they ask and he moves, they ask but both move in the same direction, and I don’t see this is happening.”

While there is no sign of Al Assad stepping down, Mousa strongly believes that the exit to the situation is “though political means”, and that he as “an Arab citizen, supports the initiative advanced by Muath Al Khatib, head of the Syrian opposition in which he called for talks with some figures from the regime. The initiative was not accepted by the Syrian regime.

Asked whether he sees an international intervention to end the Syrian crisis, Mousa said such a scenario should be conditional.

“International interventions should come through the security council, through a resolution by the security council, stopping the bloodshed, activating the humanitarian order for a ceasefire, things of that kind — even if it takes a peace keeping [form], certain forces of a certain kind — I really see that.”

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