Interview with Syrian Ambassador to China, Dr. Imad Moustapha
Syrian President Assad on Tuesday toured the former rebel stronghold in Homs, the scene of a weeks-long siege by government forces. He was seen walking past ruined buildings and discussing reconstruction efforts.
Meanwhile, U.N.-Arab League joint envoy on Syria Kofi Annan met with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing also on Tuesday. Mr. Annan is talking with countries with influence in Damascus about how to stop the bloodshed.
In a statement Mr. Annan’s spokesman said the Syrian government had written to the joint envoy accepting his peace plan, which calls for a U.N.-monitored stop to the violence, access for humanitarian aid workers, and an inclusive Syrian-led political transition to a democratic, multi-party political system. Mr. Annan, however, stressed that “implementation will be key.”
China and Syria are friendly countries, and the Chinese people are deeply concerned about the situation in Syria. And in particular, the ongoing crisis and the real appeals of its people have for all these days weighed in the heated discussions and debates in Chinese social networking media as well as the noted microblog space Sina weibo.
Syrian Ambassador to China Dr. Imad Moustapha sat down with Sina English on Monday to shed light on what really becomes of his country, plagued by the already one-year-long crisis, and try to show a realistic picture to Sina’s audience, which is most extensive and inclusive in China.
He said the comprehensive political reform in the country will carry on, as President Assad has already set May 7 for parliamentary election, but the timeline should be decided by Syria people. And Syria’s political skyline should only be defined by its people, the ambassador stressed.
On Homs, which the ambassador called a stronghold of terrorists, and where armed terrorist groups have been committing atrocious acts of violence. Those groups are not freedom fighters, instead, they are terrorists, he said.
Mr. Moustapha also extended his appreciation via Sina.com to Chinese people for their attention and concern.
“I would like to avail myself of this opportunity to thank the Chinese people for their concern,” he said.