Speech by the President of the Syrian Arab Republic Bashar al-Assad on August 20th, 2017 to the Syrian Diplomatic Corps
See full transcript: Bashar al-Assad on the Utter Corruption of the West and Eastern Future of Syria
[...] Just as we have responded flexibly to promote dialogue initiatives, we welcomed positively those on the cessation of fighting, even if we had no doubt that terrorists would benefit from these initiatives to fool us (betraying their commitments), as they have done repeatedly. But our forces were on alert.
Hence the question: if the results of the meetings are non-existent and if they do not honor their agreements, why waste our time? Because since the beginning of the crisis, we have not missed any opportunity to stop the bloodshed without strive to grasp it, even when hope was minimal, in order to preserve the innocent.
From there, we attended the Astana meetings, starting from a clear national vision, and great trust in our friends, Iran and Russia. But what about the third partner Turkey?
We do not view it as guarantor or partner in the peace process and, of course, we do not trust it. It supports terrorists. It guarantees nothing but for terrorists. And the real reason for the participation of Turkey in Astana Congress is that Erdogan has no other options before him. Terrorists fall everywhere, successive defeats, scandals also because of his relations with terrorists. Therefore, to enter the process of Astana is on one hand a kind of cover, and also allows h to protect terrorists. That is what he did and, as you know, the blocking of a number of sessions took place to protect the terrorists.
On the other hand, the participation of Erdogan in the Astana meetings gives it a role in Syria, a role it seeks to legitimize its role and the presence of Turkish units in Syria, that is, to legitimize the occupation, whereas our position was straight away clear: any Turkish individual present on Syrian soil without the consent of the Syrian government is an occupier.
This means that Erdogan has practically become a kind of political beggar on the roadside, begging for any role, because he feels the imbalance in Turkey and the scandal of his relationship with terrorists that is clearly discovered throughout the world.
And indeed, if he remains in power, it is not for his wit and wisdom as some try to present it, but because he still has a role to play in supporting terrorists in Syria. But if the Syrian situation were to end in favor of terrorism or other forces supporting terrorism, he would become useless and no one would support his maintenance. He therefore remained in power because of his role of the moment in Syria: a destructive role. [...]