Says world body's observers are able to access the country's trouble spots

Syria has welcomed the United Nations Security Council's latest resolution and said the world body's observers have been able to access all the trouble spots that they wished to visit.

In the first reaction from Damascus minutes after the UNSC resolution, Syria's Minister of Information Adnan Mahmoud said Syria welcomed all international observers, “whether from BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa] and all those who look objectively but wanted the West and their three Middle East allies — Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia — to stop using the armed groups as a “tool for executing their plans in the region.”

The Minister accepted the right of the U.N. Secretary General to approve “the mission and observers,” a stand that conforms to the spirit of the UNSC resolution.

Reservations overcome

Syria has also overcome its initial reservations and on Saturday facilitated the entry of U.N. observers in the trouble-torn cities of Homs and Dara. “The U.N. observers freely toured Homs, they also visited Dara and listened to the people. I heard the U.N. team leader say that they were allowed with assistance from the Syrian side.” On Friday, the team was unable to visit Homs while another group had to take shelter in a military camp after being caught in crossfire between the insurgents and the security forces on the outskirts of Damascus.

Syria also had a word of appreciation for the Indian view at the UNSC. “The Indian stand was positive in support of Syria…by rejecting foreign interference and insisting on the sovereignty of Syria. They support a solution,” he said unlike the Western powers and the West Asian trio which had been utilising the crises to “weaken Syria economically, politically and create sectarian divisions.”

Doubts still

But Syria still nursed doubts about Western intentions and wanted all sides to make former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's six point plan to succeed. “Terrorists are entering everyday from the Turkish side which has become a tool for executing American plans in the region. It is part of the crises and would lead to weakening of the Arab society from a sectarian basis.”

The Minister was particularly bitter about the mis-utilisation of access granted to certain sections of the media which “fabricated images and news” to create an unfavourable impression about the Syrian government's attempts to control the violence. Once normalcy was restored and Parliamentary elections due on May 7 held, “we will establish a new phase of political diversity that will ensure open competition and equality among all parties.”

For comprehensive dialogue

Damascus would facilitate “true expression of all Syrians including the national opposition” and was agreeable with the U.N. Secretary General's efforts to achieve a comprehensive dialogue among all people of Syria. The Minister said nine parties had been registered, in accordance with the sentiments expressed in the new Constitution and an independent body to oversee the expansion of the media had been set up.

Syria has also called for rolling back of sanctions that had affected the banking sector, saying they were affecting the common man, and reigning in of armed groups which were damaging vital infrastructure such as gas pipelines and other infrastructure. “Such actions are in contradiction with the statements of those countries which say they are helping the Syrian people,” said Mr. Mahmoud.