The Caesar Act is one of the main topics discussed by the Media and Political Advisor in the Syrian Presidency Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban in a thorough must watch and learn from interview with Kamal Khalaf of Al-Mayadeen News channel.
Dr. Shaaban discusses and addresses the pressuring issues and recent developments relating to Syria
The shift from unipolar world to a multipolar world, the US sanctions including the passing of the Caesar’s Act, the Turkish invasion and the Syrian Arab Army’s military operation to clean Idlib from NATO terrorists, the oil and gas, and many other topics.
How will the Syrian government respond and what is underway, including two new revelations for the first time.
The junta ruling the United States of America is taking advantage of its financial power it possesses based on the petrodollar trade, its military power in uniforms and covert operations stretching worldwide, and worse its propagandists in the mainstream media whitewashing demonizing its enemies, allowing it to commit crimes against the rest of the world and against its own people with no remorse, just to amass more money, more wealth, and kill more people…
It has resorted to all what it has in its arsenal against Syria, yet it is not able to break this small nation.
The interview took place in Damascus and was recorded by Al-Mayadeen on 25 December 2019.
The following is the interview in Arabic with English subtitles, followed by the transcript of the English translation and the Arabic transcript of the interview.
The transcript of the English translation
Kamal Khalaf Today when we came to Damascus, the streets of Damascus were decorated with celebrations and there was joy that we were afraid you will be late for this live episode, because of this congestion, happy holidays.
Dr. Buthaina Shaaban: Happy Holidays, truly, what you mentioned Mr. Kamal is very important, I have not seen Damascus decorated as I saw it tonight, and I think this is a beautiful and natural reaction from the Syrian people after all the attempts of sedition between Muslims and Christians, this year I felt that the Syrian people are telling the whole world that we are all Christians and we are all Muslims.
KK: The Algerian people today bid farewell to a great figure, Ahmed Qayed Saleh, chief of staff of the Algerian army, in a sensitive circumstance and he also saved Algeria, as many Algerians say, from a major crisis, I know the depth of the relationship between Syria and Algeria and how Algeria stood with Syria, the relationship with Syria has not changed during all the years of war.
DBS: True, and I’d like through your honorable screen to condole the Algerian government and people of losing this great personality and today the Algerian people have given testimony to this leader, they gave testimony against all attempts at sedition when demonstrations were appearing in the streets and various talks about the Algerian army and its stand against the people or the people’s stand against the army, today the Algerian people put an end to all these sayings and proved that they all had nothing to do with reality, the people gathered around the army and God bless Qayed Saleh, who will remain a model for those who really saved their country and left.
KK: We begin our episode, our viewers Damascus is currently under the biggest campaign of American pressure and not only the signing of the American president a few days ago the Law of Caesar to punish Syria, but the law comes within a multifaceted campaign, these include expanding the tasks of the chemical attack investigation team for the first time in the organization’s history, assigning the team the task of identifying specific names, as well as the (U.S.) administration blatantly obstructing the returning of the Syrian refugees from neighbouring countries and returning Arab relations with Syria. What are the direct economic and political implications of Caesar’s law on Syria?
What does Damascus think of the foundations of the law, and what are the ways and options to counter the U.S. pressure campaign? What does the heightened pressure on Syria have to do with the strategy of extreme pressure on Iran and what is happening in Both Lebanon and Iraq? During this episode, we also look at the most prominent developments on the ground and political in Syria.
These topics are presented directly to Dr. Buthaina Shaaban tonight. I welcome you again and start with the Caesar Act. Today, the Syrian people have anxiety, they have concerns, we listened through the people we meet on social media, fearing or worried of the passing of Caesar’s bill by the United States President on Syria. Is there really something to worry about this law that has direct implications for the lives of Syrian citizens?
Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban: The truth is that this law is an episode of the pressure campaigns on Syria that started from 2011 to today,and I remember when we went to Geneva in 2014 and met With Wolf Blitzer from CNN, the first question he asked me about this “Caesar” was that he collected photos and testimonials… Etc. But as you know, this law has been presented more than once before Congress and didn’t move in Congress, I think until it had the support of the Zionist lobby and the AIPAC, It doesn’t make sense to be anyone, whoever it is, and I think they didn’t intentionally reveal the character of this “Caesar” because they know that he is just a small tool, but the real work was done by the lobbies against Syria and the Republican and Democratic parties, because it was assigned to the United States defense budget for 2020, which accounts for more than one-third of the U.S. budget and no one can put this law in this budget unless it is from the military or the Zionist lobby, so for us as a Syrian government it is part of all the pressure attempts and all the attempts they tried to take over Syria, but they could not, and this law will not be able to get Syria.
There is no doubt that it is a criminal and unjust law that has nothing to do with international legitimacy or international law, nor respect for state sovereignty, but the Syrian people who have been going through these years know how to face all these challenges.
KK: Do you know who Caesar is? Is he a real character?
DBS: No, we don’t know who Caesar is, surely not. We don’t know, but they said they were the Syrian Task Force that embraced this law, as they call it, from the agents they choose and pay them whoever they are, names do not matter.
KK: Isn’t it remarkable that even the United States has not revealed his name even though he is in the United States, he ultimately has full protection if he exists…
DBS: Sure, I don’t think they didn’t reveal his name out of fear for him, I think maybe the credibility will disappear once and for all if they reveal his name, I think they know he’s a small tool, they didn’t reveal his name, not out of fear (for him) but so that they don’t lose credibility at all. Now the character remains vague and some belief remains that there is a part of the real, they are all fabrications such as chemical (attacks) fabrications and all the fabrications they have fabricated like White Helmets… There’s nothing new about it.
KK: The foundations of the law, the photographs submitted to Congress on which the draft of severe sanctions bill known as Caesar was built, what do you think of them? How factual is it?
DBS: These pictures, as I said, since 2014, any sane person who looks at these images finds that there are a million problems, and since then I have read more than one article saying that Qatar has funded this project, financed the fabrication of these photos and financed the whole story in order to reach Congress and pass a law. The problem is that it was passed by a law, previously through The Executive Order issued by Obama in the form of a presidential order, and an Executive Order is less effective than a law, but now they have turned it into law, i.e. any future administration will abide by this law against Syria. But we rely not on good intentions or on the easing of sanctions, we depend on ourselves, and we will mention in the course of the episode, God willing, that Syria, despite all this suffering, we have twice the number of pharmaceutical factories that we had in 2011, we have drug factories that didn’t even exist, like a drug for treating cancer. The more we face a challenge, the more we focus on strengthening the industrial structure, the agricultural structure, the educational structure and the health structure.
KK: Does it mean turning the crisis into an opportunity?
DBS: God willing.
KK: Allow us to see the highlights of this law in this summary:
Trump signed Caesar’s Law and was included in the 2020 U.S. defense budget, imposing new measures against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian state with its institutions and allies.
Imposing sanctions on the Central Bank of Syria and on Syrian ministers, deputies and citizens, companies and factories, particularly in related infrastructure and military industry.
The sanctions apply on those who supply Syrian airlines with spare parts and maintenance, those who participate in reconstruction projects run by the Syrian government and anyone who supports the energy sector in Syria.
The law consistently mentions Russia and Iran and threatens to impose sanctions on them linked to Syria’s support. It clearly states that sanctions will be imposed on Iranian and Russian officials who support the ‘regime.’
Under the name of humanity and the rescue of civilians, the law authorizes the Secretary of State to support organizations and prosecute people accused of crimes.
The project excludes non-governmental organizations providing assistance in Syria and around this exception many questions about the identity and mission of these organizations.
The law leaves the door open for lifting sanctions if Damascus agrees to negotiate and thereby concede away from the Russian and Iranian support, or if the President finds that lifting sanctions is in favor of U.S. national security.
America declares war on Syria and its allies with the strategy of extreme pressures and the law of Caesar within them, but Newton’s physical law confirms that each reaction has a reaction equal to the amount and reverses it in the direction, how will Syria respond?
KK: How will Syria respond? What economic measures or plans can you face?
DBS: For the truth, what I have heard and what I have read about this law is nothing new. They put all this pressure on us, our allies, our aviation, the Central Bank (Of Syria) and the officials and the government, they put all this pressure on us.
Perhaps today they think that if they exert greater pressure, Syria will accept U.S. terms. They may raise the pressure as a pressure sheet on Syria, but from experience, they should have known that this would not be useful to the truth.
KK: What are the American conditions, Doctor? What do they want? The real purpose of this law?
DBS: I believe that since the beginning of this war on Syria, the main objective is to confiscate the independent national decision and to have Syria in the host of the countries that are subject to the American decision and not to rule itself. I think that this is the problem that the United States is experiencing not only with Syria but with all the countries that it imposes sanctions on, whether it’s Venezuela, Bolivia, China or Russia, this is the main focus.
The United States, as a dominant pole in the world today, is beginning to fear for its position and is punishing all countries that, by certain alliances, could form other poles in the world.
KK: Are there any demands beyond the crisis in Syria towards the Arab-Israeli conflict? The Deal of the Century? The settlement of the Palestinians..?
DBS: We have no (communication) channel between us and the United States and there is no negotiation on any subject at all, whether, by the Deal of the Century or any other subject, They may need through this Jordan and Egypt, while you see the procedures for the Golan and for Jerusalem all arbitrary actions stemming from the Zionist interest. But for us, there is no dialogue in this regard at all.
KK: Only from the experiences of other countries, for example, JASTA (act) towards Saudi was to withdraw funds from Saudi, there were sanctions on Libya after the Lockerbie plane crash, there were sanctions on Iraq after the first Gulf War, there were sanctions on Sudan, all of which ended with a deal in which they asked this or that regime to make a series of concessions, often related to the Arab-Israeli conflict and to (stop) support for liberation movements such as in Libya and elsewhere, so I asked this question about what is required of Syria?
DBS: We don’t have any information what is required, but I think the difference between this law and JASTA and Lockerbie is that this law is trying to punish Syria’s allies, who support Syria, also, as you mentioned in the introduction, it mentioned Iran and Russia more than once in punishing parties that could help Syria in reconstruction.
KK: Could this include China as well as other countries?
DBS: It might, but I think all of these countries have procedures as well, alliance procedures with each other and action measures. I don’t think these sanctions being drafted by the United States will last long, I do not think that states will abide by them for long, because all the states we have mentioned are affected by these sanctions. None of these countries wants to go into direct conflict with the United States but I see action against this current as valid as President Putin said yesterday, he said we are not seeking a military alliance with China but trust with China is very strong and we will contribute to all industrial and technical products with China.
There is a world that is being formed, allied and works, but not to confront who imposes these sanctions. But I think in the short term these sanctions will lose its impact.
KK: Some may consider expanding sanctions to other entities and other countries as a weakness of this law, but on the other hand, is there coordination between you and allies: Iran, Russia, China, and possibly other countries in the face of these sanctions?
DBS: Sure, of course, there is coordination at many levels between us and our allies, and there is a common understanding and understanding between us and our allies about where the world is today and what the United States is doing in this world, and there is great resentment and a vision of what we should all do. So I don’t think all this pressure from the United States will work at all in any file you want from Syria, it’s not going to work.
KK: Today, Doctor, you are telling the Syrian people that Caesar’s law will not change anything?
DBS: No, it won’t change anything. True because since the beginning of the crisis, all the items I have read in Caesar’s Law have nothing new at all: Boycott, ban spare parts and (sanctions on) the central bank and officials, all of them. They are already punishing allies who wanted to send us oil, medicine or food, all of this exists.
I didn’t see anything new in this law. We have to pay attention to the media; they create a media aura about any action to win the war before it begins. In fact, part of this law is a psychological war, especially the way it was drafted.
KK: We hear in the street that after the passage of Caesar’s law, the exchange rate of the dollar will rise to a record level against the Syrian pound.
DBS: The dollar has nothing to do with Caesar or the economic level, there is no economy that goes negatively or positively in a day and night, these are speculations of exchange companies, when they say that the dollar reached the price of 850 Lira you find that in the market no one sells or buys at this price, all of it is just talk on paper, it has nothing to do with the reality of the Syrian economy.
I met with colleagues in charge of the economy and they told me today the economy is 50 times better than it was in 2011, the reality of economic reality is much better than it was at the beginning of the crisis. There is work going on in agriculture, industry, in enterprises and institutions, there is strong work because we know that we must be self-sufficient in everything and we must rely on ourselves.
KK: This is very reassuring, Doctor, especially for Syrians with expectations of the effects of this law, but the law comes amid tremendous U.S. pressure and a firm application of the strategy of extreme pressure on Iran. Is there a relationship between the strategy of extreme pressure on Iran and the passage of Caesar’s law on the one hand, and also is there a connection to what is happening in Iraq and Lebanon? Are these things connected?
DBS: I would like to tell you, Mr. Kamal, that I see the world as one square, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, China, Venezuela and Libya, all one square and there are strategies put in place to break up our countries from within to prevent communication and solidarity between our nations. What is happening in Lebanon and what is happening in Iraq is undoubtedly against Syria, against Lebanon, against Iraq, against Libya, and against all these countries.
They have resorted to methods to break up our societies from within. It is true that there is no doubt that people have right demands and that they have the right to revolt against corruption and against the absence of services, this is their right, but these revolutions did not bring all countries to a better level, including what happened in Syria, did Syria become better because of what some called and took to the street to destroy institutions and destroy factories, is this a way that leads to more freedom, more democracy and more prosperity?
AS: The sanctions and economic pressure exerted on Syria, Lebanon and other countries is mainly aimed at creating a state of popular restlessness and thus the emergence of social classes to claim their rights.
DBS: Thus, the creation of government puppets of the United States of America, we return to the subject of independent national decision. What these governments want, for example, Adel Abdul Mahdi (Iraqi Prime Minister) now resigns, he signed with China two months ago for $10 billion and to pay Iraqi oil, i.e. to exchange Iraqi oil, he opened the Albu Kamal crossing (with Syria) despite all the American pressure, he stood against the Deal of the Century at the United Nations and call for the right of return to the Palestinians, these are the principles and prescriptions that caused these moves against Adel Abdul Mahdi. We all felt that when this Iraqi government came, it was more independent of the United States of America, and that’s what the United States doesn’t want, all the United States wants today is to have a subordinate government in Iraq, a subordinate government in Lebanon, a subordinate government in Syria, in Libya, to hand over this area to Israel to become an Israeli space as they normalize (with Israel) today, this is the real goal of all of this.
Kk: I also have two points about Caesar’s law, but before that, the German Firil Center for Studies publishing objectives related to Caesar’s law, we will present a summary of these goals as stated by the German Study Center.
Prolonging the Syrian crisis and hindering the reconstruction process and reducing the role of Iranian, Russian, Chinese and other companies, in short, Trump wants his share in reconstruction, says the Center for Studies.
Also, pressure Syria and Russia to secure the withdrawal of Iranian forces from Syria and prevent Russia’s expansion in the eastern regions and the (Syrian) Jazeera region, and limit its presence to the bases of Hmeimim and Tartus.
Among the goals to further disintegrate Syrian society in preparation for the 2021 elections.
The law exempts NGOs operating in Syria that provides humanitarian aid to those in need in the occupied territories by Turkey and the United States, these areas will not suffer from economic crises like other areas liberated by the Syrian army and we will see the flow of aid to them more, here will show the economic and living difference which will push, according to the American conviction, the pro-Assad street to move against him, and as a result of economic pressures and threats of submitting Syrian officials to war crimes courts, the Syrian state will make political and military concessions, including bowing to separatist projects.
READ MORE: Targeted Sanctions: Break the “Economic Siege” on Syria. “Decades of Progress Wiped out”
What do you think of these targets, Doctor?
DBS: These objectives are correct, prolonging the Syrian crisis, trying to pounce on Russian influence and expansion in the region that they consider a threat. These are all correct objectives, but as a result where these goals want to reach? It expresses blatant interference in the affairs of states and the attempt to impose a new colonial hegemony on our state, that is the reality of the matter. They are also concerned that Russia is now on the Mediterranean Sea and as a key partner in Syria, it also has excellent relations even with America’s allies, starting to build relationships and sell weapons even to America’s allies.
The whole international track is worrying for the United States of America. The United States of America sees itself today as no longer the only pole in the world, there are economic, military, geopolitical and regional movements that suggest that the world is heading towards a multipolar world.
So we see this irritating move from the United States of America, whether for Jerusalem or for the Golan, for the Deal of the Century, or for Venezuela, take what you want from what the United States is doing, are irritated movements that try to say that I am the only power in the world and I will remain the only power in the world, this will not happen because the course of economic, political and intellectual progress of the whole world will not allow the USA to remain so, until today the United States is a military and financial force, without a doubt, and the main reason is the Gulf states selling oil in dollars if the dollar fell today the United States would fall or if the oil was sold in non-dollar.
Two weeks ago, I attended an important conference in Beijing called the South-South Dialogue and the Development of Human Rights, and there were important speakers from Africa, Asia and Latin America, you feel that all these speakers are very angry at the Use of Human Rights by the United States to interfere with state affairs.
I gave my speech and I see the representative of Venezuela, the representative of Nigeria and the representative of Tanzania come to me and say to me, “I have spoken on behalf of all of us, we love you and this is what we have to do. Everyone demanded that the Countries of the North also be invited to this Conference and that the Bill of Human Rights be redrafted so that the Countries of the South have an opinion and a voice because they did not have a voice in the drafting of the Bill of Human Rights or in the use of the Bill of Human Rights which is used by America.
What I would like to say is that the world is maturing with important thinking in order to get rid of this American military and political hegemony and colonial domination, in which today the sanctions constitute as one of the most egregious aspects of this hegemony.
KK: A point related to the law of (Caesar) before we talk about other issues in the Syrian and regional affairs, how true is the impact of what is happening in Lebanon, especially with regard to the actions of banks in Lebanon on the Syrian economy?
What we have heard in Syria is that one of the important causes of the current crisis is what is happening in Lebanon, especially the banking issue, is this accurate?
DBS: I think no one has an accurate statistic about what is going on, but you know that I say and believe that everything that is happening in Lebanon affects Syria and everything that is happening in Syria affects Lebanon, and this is a fact that we are very close countries, the two people are very close to each other, the exchange between Syria and Lebanon is on daily bases, and no doubt a lot of Syrian money went to the Lebanese banks in this war on Syria, what happened in Lebanon may have an impact on the Syrian economy, but not so much that cannot be overcome, I do not think that this is a fundamental reason or disruption to the course of the movement and progress of the Syrian economy.
KK: We go back to the United States, directly and accurately, is the United States the reason why Syrian-Arab relations are not back to normal?
DBS: I think this is because of the absence of an independent national resolution in many Arab countries, unfortunately, this is possible, we know in the meetings before, the United States is distributing a statement either at the Non-Aligned Summit or in the Arab League or at the Conference of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, distributes statements to countries and force them to say what it wants.
It is not only preventing the relationship with Syria, but the course of normalization today with the Israeli enemy and the nonsense that we hear that they were like that before, yesterday I was reading how Shimon Peres got a Palestinian visa to enter Palestine, how they think and how to convince those people (of normalization).
We really do not want this version of Arab action, we want a formula similar to our relationship with Algeria, to be a country of resistance, a resistance environment that believes in the Arab-Arab relationship, capable of being independent. This is the future we aspire to with the Arab countries, and God willing, this future will be achieved.
KK: It is (the United States) that prevents the return of refugees. On this subject I will link what we read from the German Center Firil a little while ago, I was struck by the topic of preparing for the 2021 elections, one aspect of U.S. pressure on Syria is to put pressure on Syrian society because the United States has a bet in the 2021 presidential election. Also, the issue of the return of refugees is said to be in the same context, is that true?
DBS: I think they are betting that by not allowing refugees to return to Syria, they may be able to control more of the results of the 2021 presidential elections. However, more than a year ago, I read the publications of the Israeli National Security Center, which explained when the refugees had begun to return and suddenly measures were taken to prevent them from returning and measures were taken in Jordan, where they were not allowed to work and suddenly they were allowed to work, in Turkey and other countries, I read that the non-return of refugees is very important to Israel, because in Jordan, for example, there is a proportion of Syrian refugees and it is changing the demographic nature of Jordan, as well as in Lebanon, it is changing the demographic nature of Lebanon, it also impoverishes Syria by cadres and professional people, these are strategic calculations of first and last objective.
KK: Not including using them as a vote tank in the upcoming (presidential) elections?
DBS: The report of the Center for Israeli National Security Studies did not have this subject, but there is no doubt that this topic is in the minds of Western countries, I think it is time for them to know that they cannot undermine the footsteps of the Syrian Arab Republic and the Syrian people, who have sacrificed all these sacrifices to be their voice independent and to be able to choose who they want to govern.
KK: The process of returning refugees continues, albeit in varying proportions.
On the subject of Arab relations, there were signs of a new Saudi approach, has this topic reached a certain level?
DBS: No, it did not reach a certain level, just words and attempts remained in its place, there is no serious path.
KK: Why? The United States and the American decision?
DBS: I think that the Gulf states are not capable, even during the war some of these countries were sending us whispers that “we wish to win the war because we know that without Syria, we will not have a future, but we cannot say that.”
Kk: Like: our hearts are with you and our swords are on you.
DBS: Yes, our hearts are with you, our swords are on you, and we are forced to raise our swords on you. Mr. President always says that we understand that this is the case, we cannot change this situation. The goal of war in the whole world and these sanctions and all the labor of countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East is about the independent national decision, what was Evo Morales’ fault? He was an independent man, Lula de Silva, what was the issue with Lula de Silva? is that he was an independent man of the U.S. decision, it is therefore very important to bear in mind that what the United States is always doing is based on its attempt to maintain the hegemony of one pole over the world and that all the course of events and peoples in the world today is to get rid of this path and to create a new reality leading to a multipolar world, and that is what will happen. These are difficulties on the way, no problem.
KK: In the chemical file, one of the pressures on Syria, this program has already discussed it in detail, but there is a very serious point that may be similar to the American Law of Caesar, which is to give additional powers to the investigation and fact-finding team with regard to chemical attacks, these powers have not been taken by the (OPCW) organization in its history to the extent that today even Russia says that this is not the job of the organization but the job of the United Nations Security Council, you will not deal with this fact-finding team, but I would like to know in this process the chemical issue, where will it eventually reach?
DBS: The subject of the chemical file there is a fundamental problem in the world (mainstream) media, because the world media is under the control of those who run the chemical file and the White Helmets and the war on Syria, what has been published in the last three months about the chemical dossier and what you have also displayed in your episode on Al-Mayadeen is enough for this (OPCW) organization to lose its credibility in the eyes of the people, because as I’ve seen, the team that did the fact-finding on the ground is not the team that wrote the report, the last article written by Tarek Haddad in Newsweek was a startling article, one person who was adopted by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to write the report, and the scientists who checked and investigated and said what was on earth had no opinion whatsoever and many of them came out and talked to WikiLeaks, Tarek Haddad resigned from Newsweek and spoke heartily about the lies that were fabricated about Syria and the chemical file, if there was any justice or shame in the world, such an organization would lose its legitimacy directly because of what it did in Syria.
KK: A member of the team leaked a letter and sent an email saying that “many things were presented in the episode, but the investigation we conducted is different from the report submitted to the Security Council or the United Nations.” But wasn’t there a force that stopped the investigation team? In other words, even the objection of Russia and other countries, and even the leaked letter of a member of the team?
DBS: Today more than one letter and more than one person called for a review, and now the truth is, there is a group from Alternative Media from Britain, France, Australia and Canada doing excellent work to correct the course of this media lie, but they do not listen to either for these or for others.
KK: Does the United States control the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons?
DBS: Sure, without a doubt, it is within the pressure as they passed Caesar’s law, they’re continuing. The White Helmets were given the Oscars Award, and they’re real criminals who worked with terrorist organizations and some of the White Helmets recently showed footage of how they were wrapping women in white gauze and telling them to pretend to be dead and how they brought the children. They put movies on the screens how they lied in all their reports, that’s part of the global path that we have to face and be patient with and no doubt we’ll get rid of it in the future.
KK: There is also a battle that took place a few days ago in the Security Council over a draft resolution to introduce humanitarian aid across the Syrian border, the purpose of this law, which was opposed by a Sino-Russian double veto and why was it rejected so categorically?
DBS: Unfortunately, Kuwait is an Arab country and one of those who adopted this law against Syria, unfortunately…
KK: Although you stood with Kuwait (during the Iraqi invasion).
DBS: We stood with Kuwait as the saying goes, “Everyone works with their origins,” unfortunately. But this law aims to introduce aid across the border without permission and without the knowledge of the Syrian government, that is, they can enter weapons and enter what they want, and exclusively to areas where there are terrorists.
Kk: As has been the case with attempts to bring convoys from Colombia to Venezuela.
DBS: Exactly, not to areas under the control of the Syrian government, this is a flagrant violation of the sovereignty of a state, and we cooperate with the United Nations from the beginning, distribute aid and do all the work that the United Nations monitors and participates in. As for China’s stand against this draft resolution, it is important, Russia could have used its veto alone, but China’s stand and perhaps some do not pay attention to the importance of this stand against this draft resolution to say that we are against the violation of the sovereignty of states, and we will stand against this violation. This latter position is very important by China, of course, and by Russia, of course, but for China because it is part of what China is trying to do to show the difference between those who believe in participation, equality, respect for states, respect for the sovereignty of nations and those who try to violate the sovereignty of nations.
KK: China, Russia and the Syrian government have a fear of this security council bill to introduce aid.
DBS: Weapons, not just aid.
KK: Bypassing Syrian sovereignty?
DBS: Sure, no doubt. But how do they justify that they want to get aid into areas controlled by terrorists? How can they tell us that they are here in Syria to fight ISIS and to fight terrorism while all their goal in life is to provide assistance to terrorists, to areas and to areas controlled by terrorists?
Today, as the battle of Idlib began, today they are crying out for the civilians, while all the atrocities and crimes committed by the terrorists against our people in Idlib, Aleppo and everywhere have not condemned any of these acts.
KK: I have a little time left and I have three points, you mentioned the issue of Idlib, what is the purpose of the military operation, although it will really stop as we heard some reports today, and is the fact that the escalation in Idlib is linked to the battle in Tripoli in Libya?
DBS: Why am I laughing now? Because I remember when we stopped the military operation in Idlib a while ago, there was a scheme and then it stopped, they asked me did you stop the military operation because Russia said that the military operation should be stopped? When we start the military operation, they say that we started the military operation because Russia asked you to start the military operation…
Kk: But is there coordination?
DBS: Certainly there is coordination, and The Russian air force is supporting the Syrian army in Operation Idlib, but I want to insist that the battle stops, starts or continues according to military and strategic considerations that evaluate gain and loss at this moment or at another moment, it is not linked to what is happening in Libya, this operation has nothing to do with that, we, of course, regret that the Government of Erdogan is trying to wreak havoc in Syria, Libya and everywhere, but the battle of Idlib is aimed at liberating Idlib, a continuation of the battles fought by the Syrian Arab Army to liberate every inch of Syrian territory, God willing.
KK: The U.S. theft of Syrian oil, this is a subject that worries the Syrians, there is a sense of bitterness among the Syrians, especially after Trump said that there is 45 million dollars a month coming from this oil and this will not leave it, we even heard voices from the United States itself saying that this is against American law, what are you doing about this, oil and wheat as well?
DBS: Yes, oil and wheat, the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic, and this is what I say for the first time, is examining what legal measures we can take on an international level in order to bring a case against the United States of America, because it is actually stealing Syrian oil and violating Syrian sovereignty.
Even the CNBC reporter who met me a few days ago told me what you said to President Bashar al-Assad when he said that Trump is the most transparent president? How do you explain this? I told him it is because Mr. President says the United States in its history plunders the wealth of the people but it does not say so, but today Trump said the Iraqi oil is for me and the Syrian oil is for me, regardless of respect for the sovereignty of states and respect that this wealth belongs to the Syrian people.
What I would like to say is that Syrian oil and Syrian territory will be liberated from the Americans, the Turks and from everyone.
KK: You are preparing a legal file on this matter.
DBS: Yes, hopefully, we are preparing a legal file in this matter to sue the United States for the theft of Syrian oil.
KK: There is a major political, security and military battle in the eastern Mediterranean over gas and oil in the eastern Mediterranean, Turkey went to Libya for this, Egypt has formed a Mediterranean forum with a group of countries, there is a demarcation of the border, Lebanon will start exploring after a while also and has a problem with Israel, where is Syria in this matter?
DBS: I will also say this for the first time, Syria has begun to explore with Russian companies about Syrian oil and gas in the Mediterranean.
KK: You have begun?
DBS: We started, yes, of course, this is national riches and the Syrian government has been doing work for years and has been preparing for this exploration.
Kk: I was saying that Lebanon will start while you began.
DBS: We have come a long way and started exploring in the Mediterranean.
KK: In the gas fields?
DBS: In fields belonging to the Syrian Arab Republic.
KK: Doctor, the Constitutional Committee, where did it stop?
DBS: It stopped because there is a delegation of the Turkish regime that wants to do what it wants, and we, after all the sacrifices made by the Syrian army and people, will not be the future of Syria except as the Syrian people want, and the Syrian constitution will only be what the Syrian people want.
MM: Dr. Buthaina Shaaban, Media and Political Advisor in the Presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic, the time is very late, we had a lot of questions that we did not ask. Thank you very much.
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