'Change is unstoppable for Syria'

'Change is unstoppable for Syria'

Cansu Çamlıbel ISTANBUL – Hürriyet
Change is unstoppable for Syria

Egyptian presidential candidate Amr Moussa waits on line before casting his vote at a polling station in Cairo. REUTERS photo

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must understand that change is unstoppable and act accordingly, former Secretary-General of the Arab League told daily Hürriyet.

“I believe that the leaders in Syria, as the leaders everywhere in the Arab world, must see that this is the era of change. The people want to have their part in this world, freedom of expression, freedom in conducting their lives, they don’t want to be told what to do,” said Amr Moussa, former foreign minister of Egypt. “I hope all Arab leaders understand this; change is unstoppable. I hope also al-Assad [understands this]. Not only understands, but acts in that direction,” Moussa said. 

When speaking of the recent uprisings and regime changes seen in the Arab countries, commonly referred to as the Arab Spring, Moussa said the “correct word is change, not spring.” 

“This is change in black and white. No matter what happens we are not going back to the old systems,” he said. 

Moussa said the recent situation of deadlock in Egypt will be brought to an end by the election of a new president on June 16. 

“We are in a crisis situation but I am not pessimistic. We will move from here to a better future if democracy works,” he said. 

Moussa was in Istanbul to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF). He said he represented the Arab League showing support to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, when he stormed out of a conference in the WEF in Davos three years ago as a response to a moderator who cut his remarks short during a debate with Israeli President Shimon Peres. 

“Here [at the WEF meeting in Istanbul this year Erdoğan] took the floor, so the file is closed. Davos is here and [Erdoğan] showed his anger. The Arab League in my presence supported the [Turkish] prime minister. His reaction worked,” said Moussa.