[ Friday, March 25, 2005 ]
It's your turn to pull out, Syria tells US
WASHINGTON: Syria's ambassador to Washington said on Wednesday he hoped the United States and Israel would follow his country's example and withdraw from Iraq and Palestinian areas, just as Syria was leaving Lebanon.
"I hope this will inspire other countries in the Middle East to withdraw their occupations from Iraq and Palestine and from Syria itself," he said.
"President Bush has many times spoken about making Iraq a model that will inspire the whole Arab world... I think the Arab people will love to see this (Syrian) model followed by the Americans and the Israelis."
Moustapha was critical of US policies throughout his speech, saying many were hypocritical or dictated by Israel.
"I do not feel proud that Syria has political detainees just like you have in Guantanamo Bay, people who don't know what are they charged of, when will they ever be released, if they will be tried, and if they have access to their attorneys," he said. "Our plans are by June 2005 not to have a single political prisoner in Syria. We want to make anything similar to your Guantanamo Bay a part of our past," Moustapha said.
"I don't think any country in the world would like to be regarded as an enemy to the US. If you don't believe me, go and ask the list of 30 countries that were invaded by your troops in the past 30 years," the Syrian envoy said.
art [4:51 PM]