Syrian regime will not fall: Maliki
Iraqi prime minister warns Arab countries against supplying weapons and financial support to rebels fighting to oust Syrian president. AP photoSyrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime will not fall and attempts to overthrow it by force will aggravate the crisis in the region, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said yesterday.
“It has been one year and the regime did not fall, and it will not fall, and why should it fall?” Maliki told a news conference in Baghdad. “We reject any arming (of Syrian rebels) and the process to overthrow the regime, because this will leave a greater crisis in the region,” Maliki said. “We want to extinguish the fire by draining the sources of force, we want to find a peaceful solution to the crisis,” he added. Iraq’s Shi’ite-led government has adopted a more moderate position on Syria than Sunni Gulf neighbors Qatar and Saudi Arabia which have advocated supplying arms to the Syrian rebels. Without naming them, Maliki said “the stance of these two states is very strange. They are calling for sending arms instead of working on putting out the fire, and they will hear our voice, that we are against arming and against foreign interference.” “We are against the interference of some countries in Syria’s internal affairs, and those countries that are interfering in Syria’s internal affairs will interfere in the internal affairs of any country,” the Iraqi leader added.
If Assad were to lose power, Iraqi Shi’ite leaders are worried their own country’s fragile sectarian balance among Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurds could be unsettled, especially if a hardline Sunni regime replaced the al-Assad government.
Compiled from AFP and Reuters stories by the Daily News staff.