Damascus blasts 'Enemies of Syria' meeting



DAMASCUS- Damascus on Sunday blasted a "Friends of Syria" meeting in Istanbul that is seeking ways to up the pressure on President Bashar al-Assad's regime as a "platform for the enemies of Syria."
"Only the naive and those who want to see through the eyes of the Americans believe that this is a conference for the friends of the Syrian people," said Al-Baath newspaper, mouthpiece of Assad's ruling party of the same name.



"The call by (Prince) Saud al-Faisal to arm the terrorists, encourage the bloodbath and destroy infrastructure makes the conference a platform for the enemies of Syria, who are discussing everything but the interests of the Syrians," it added.
The Saudi foreign minister said on Saturday that "arming the opposition is a duty" because it is unable to defend itself, despite the opposition of Washington and other Western and Arab states to the idea.
But the Damascus daily accused those attending the Istanbul gathering of seeking to weaken Syria.
"This is a regional and international offensive to find ways of killing still more Syrians, and ruining their society and their state, to weaken Syria and transform it into a country resembling those that pander to Washington, Paris, London and Tel Aviv."
Separately, state television broadcast images of the opening of the conference and condemned those present.
"(Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip) Erdogan speaks of the interests of the Syrian people and forgets that he hosts the terrorists and facilitates their criminal operations in Syria," it charged.
"Erdogan talks about justice and forgets the massacre that was committed against the Kurds. He forgets the rape camps of Turkish Syrian" refugees, the broadcaster charged.
Turkey's premier, speaking at the start of the conference, said the international community would have no choice "but to accept Syrians' right to self-defence," if the UN Security Council fails to intervene to halt the crisis.
Those interviewed by the channel denounced the Istanbul meeting.
"What friends? Those countries, their only friend is Israel," said one young man. Another called participants in the Istanbul meeting "traitors and agents of the West."
"This conference is a conspiracy against Syria," added another.
The Syrian regime has attributed the violence during the uprising that erupted in mid-March last year to "terrorists."
Syria regularly denounces "infiltration" from Turkey where the leaders of the rebel Free Syrian Army are based, including dissident military officials who switched sides to the opposition.
Syria's state broadcaster also lashed out at Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr al-Thani, who also spoke at the start of the meeting.
"Hamad speaks of a political solution in Syria and prides himself, like Faisal, on supporting terrorism with weapons and money to kill the Syrian people," it said.
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Sunday, April 1st 2012
AFP
           


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