How do you see the future of the regime of President Assad in Syria? You know Assad well; you had a close relationship with him. Do you think he will go down with the ship, or will he leave his country? What do you think will happen?
If we look at history, we will see that regimes which persecute [their people] do not remain standing. In the process of the Arab Spring, we have unfortunately seen a development in Syria where the regime has been oppressing its people. Tens of thousands of young and old people and children have been killed or displaced as a result of these actions. This cruel regime continues to pursue the same policies.
We have 83,000 refugees in Turkey, and the Lebanese have about the same amount, and there are about 200,000 in Jordan. These people have not fled their country because they wanted to. Also, there are currently 2.5 million people within Syria who have been displaced; close to 30,000 people have been killed in this conflict.
As a result, we see the opposition gaining strength every day. So this regime will go. Bashar is politically dead. Of course, it is difficult to tell whether this will take place in a week, a month or when. This also has to do with how Russia and China approach the situation.
China is a problem, as well as Russia, in vetoing U.N. resolutions that would support the opposition?
China and Russia have been acting in the same way. We have, of course, been talking to Russia, China and Iran — and will continue to do so.
Will Russia continue to arm the Assad regime?
The Russians won’t accept that they are arming the Assad regime.
But aren’t they?
It would not be befitting for me to point a blaming finger at Russia.
Iran has said it has Revolutionary Guards on the ground in Syria.
We know such statements from the newspapers.
In your talks with China, Russia and Iran, do you see any hope that they will change their position and stop supporting the regime?
We see that they, too, believe that Assad will go. The question they ask is: What happens after Assad? My answer to them is that if we believe in a democratic parliamentary system, then the will of the people will be what will come to pass. We do not wish to see any external intervention in trying to form a regime in Syria. What we envision is a transitional government basing its actions on a fair constitution, a system where people are free to elect candidates and establish political parties.
Your government has been very supportive of the Syrian National Council [SNC], which is strongly influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood. Are you supportive of the SNC, and are you concerned about the Muslim Brotherhood’s domination of it?