Former prime minister Saad Hariri on Friday called on the Arab countries to recognize the opposition Syrian National Council as the “legitimate representative” of the Syrian people.
Hariri warned about “the dangers of the war waged by the Syrian regime against the growing popular revolution across Syria,” said a statement released by his press office.
“The military campaign waged by the armed brigades of the Syrian regime against the cities of Homs, Zabadani, Daraa and other cities witnessing popular movements, is a dangerous episode of the bloody series sponsored by international and regional parties that agreed to give Bashar al-Assad the opportunity to pounce on his people and protect his political regime with all brutal methods,” Hariri said, as quoted in the statement.
“The Syrian regime has reached the edge of collapse,” the ex-PM noted, adding that Assad’s government has disregarded “the almost unanimous Arab and international condemnation of the regime and of its crimes.”
Hariri said Assad “would not have dared to invade the Syrian cities and villages with tanks and rocket launchers hadn’t he received an external cover that allows him to do so.”
He called on the Arab countries to take “practical steps that go beyond condemnation, and even beyond imposing economic sanctions.”
“They should start by recognizing the Syrian National Council as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, and pull the rug from under the feet of the brutal regime.”
Hariri claimed that “Assad’s Brigades are currently engaged in the last battle to defend a regional axis, which is seeking to remove Syria for good from the Arab sphere and to seize its national decision under the pretext of defending the regimes of resistance and defiance.”
The former premier said the Lebanese had “a national duty and a brotherly responsibility” to express solidarity with the Syrian people.
“Large Lebanese groups have lived similar situations of oppression and tyranny in the past and were subjected to military attacks by the same regime that is killing its own people now,” he noted.
“We are confident that the Syrian people will triumph in the end, no matter how brutal the regime is, and that the forces of tyranny will receive the same fate that all criminals receive usually,” Hariri added.
Separately, the ex-PM’s press office said Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem visited Hariri on Friday at his Paris residence to inquire about his health following the leg surgery he underwent.
“Hariri also received, for the same purpose, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, and MPs Michel Pharaon, Sami Gemayel, Hadi Hbeish, Ghazi Youssef and Khodr Habib as well as (Independence Movement chief) Mr. Michel Moawwad and Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh,” the press office added.
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