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Al-Zoubi: Turkish Government is to Blame for al-Rihaniyeh Bombings

May 13, 2013 – DAMASCUS – Information Minister, Omran al-Zoubi, stressed that the bombings which rocked al-Rihaniya city in Turkey are a terrorist act that is condemned by all moral, human and legal standards, offering condolences to the Turkish people for the martyrs and wishing recovery for the injured.

“Any accusation against Syria in any statement, where explicit or implicit, by any Turkish official is completely rejected,” said al-Zoubi addressing the Intellectual Political Symposium which kicked off Sunday at the al-Assad National Library in Damascus.

Minister al-Zoubi, said that the Turkish government led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to blame for the bombings in al-Rihaniyeh havign urned the border areas with Syria into “international terrorist concentrations,” and turned the Turkish civilians’ houses, farms and properties into centers and passages for terrorist groups.

He added that the Turkish government has been facilitating the delivery of weapons, explosive devices, car bombs, money and killers into Syria.

Al-Zoubi held Erdogan and the Turkish government directly responsible, both morally and politically, towards the peoples of Syria and Turkey, the region, and the whole world.

He stressed that what happened in al-Rihaniyeh is blamed on Erdogan and the Justice and Development Party, pointing out that Syria has nothing to do with this as it is not how it behaves.

“We have problems with Turkey since hundreds of years, yet Syria…has never acted this way or done such an act. It’s not because we can’t, but because the way we were raised and our morals, conduct and values don’t allow us to do such a thing,” he added.

The Minister reiterated that no one has the right in Turkey to issue arbitrary accusations against Syria, expressing deep sorry over the victims of the bombings in al-Rihaniyeh.

Al-Zoubi wondered how the Turkish Interior Minister has accused Syria of the bombings only then to say that he will prove his accusations when they reach evidence, pointing out that when the Turkish minister says he would reach evidence that means he wants to fabricate one.

Al-Zoubi said big questions need to be answered by the Justice and Development Party and Erdogan government, including what interest do [they] have in destroying Syria? Why going too far in killing and destruction? Why this timing for al-Rihaniyeh operation?

He continued asking “Why should the bombings in Turkey take place days before Erdogan’s meeting Obama?…Is it that [Erdogan] wants to show off and say he has enough power to intervene in Syria?… Does Erdogan want to foil the Russian-U.S. efforts to hold an international conference?” al-Zoubi asked.

Al-Zoubi commented on the statements made by the Turkish Foreign Minister yesterday in which he said “Turkey can defend itself” by saying “Against whom does it have to defend itself? Does it have to defend itself against terrorism and terrorists?, noting that the government of Erdogan should shoulder complete responsibility for what happened.

“It Turkey, the state and the people, want to defend themselves, they have to ask Erdogan and his government to step down because they are to blame for what happened,” the Information Minister added.

“I ask Erdogan to step down as a murderer and blood shedder and I say to him that that it’s not his right to brag out his glories at the expense of the blood of the Turks and the Syrians,” al-Zoubi added.

He highlighted the cooperation between the Israeli enemy and the Turkish government, despite the latter’s claim of supporting the Palestinian people, referring particularly to Turkish government allowing the Turkish Airlines company to sponsor the Israeli second international fair in occupied Jerusalem and the joint military exercises between Turkey and Israel, reminding that the Israeli enemy has not even apologized for the martyrs of Mavi Marmara.

He stressed that Israel has committed an aggression against Syria recently and raided military sites near Damascus and violated, through this aggression, the international commitments (Disengagement of Forces Agreement), adding that Israel has allowed terrorists to operate inside the demilitarized zone and to kidnap the UN observers.

“Accordingly, Syria has the right at this time and at any other time to deal with the Golan issue in the way the owner has the right to deal with his property, because the Golan is and has always been a Syrian Arab land,” said the Information Minister,” adding that “Israel must understand that it can’t take a promenade in the Syrian sky because the Syrian land and sky are not a promenade for anyone.”

He stressed that “The Syrian army and people know very well how to defend Syria,” noting that this talk is addressed to “all who think that the circumstances are convenient for them to tamper with the country.”

“Everybody should know that we are people who don’t forget to respond to an aggression against the aggressors, nor do we forget our martyrs and those who killed them,” said al-Zoubi.

He pointed out that the Syrian media is facing a real battle, along with all the state’s institutions, in terms of offering martyrs and having to confront great pressures by foreign parties to suppress its voice.

He noted that the Ministry of Information has allowed access to 300 media outlets, including American, French and British because “we believe that it they would convey at least part of the truth, that would be in Syria’s interest.”

Al-Zoubi indicated that Syria has conducted many investigations into lots of incidents which took place on the borders with Turkey and Jordan and come to know quite well who are the perpetrators and the accomplices.

Answering a question on how Syria’s future would be, he said reaching “the renewed Syria” is a national political, economic, social, human and cultural project to which all Syrians should contribute regardless of any differences among them.

Al-Zoubi added that this project cannot be launched without a comprehensive national dialogue that does not exclude anyone.

For his part, Head of the Journalists Union, Elias Murad, said the Syrian people can achieve renewal for themselves and their homeland through the package of decisions which have been issued in the framework of the political reform and the national dialogue project.


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