Syria Wants Int'l Help for 'Honorable' Exit from Crisisإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Syria on Friday appealed to the international community as well as Arab countries to help it find an "honorable exit" to the crisis it is facing, notably by stopping the flow of weapons into the country.
"We are appealing to the outside world and our brothers in the Arab world to help Syria (prevent the) channeling (of) weapons" into the country, foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Maqdisi told a news conference in Damascus, speaking in English.
"We want the others, all the others, to support the Syrian evolution, not the armed confrontation in Syria," he said.
"If we all work together we can find an honorable exit to the crisis."
Maqdisi convened the news conference to denounce U.S. news network ABC, which this week broadcast an interview with President Bashar al-Assad.
"The network distorted what the president said," Maqdisi said.
"It deliberately deformed the president's words ... by airing videos (of violence) to incite" action against Syria, the spokesman said.
"That was a deliberate mistake."
Maqdisi said ABC had edited the interview Assad gave to veteran journalist Barbara Walters and broadcast only what it wanted the world to hear, leaving out long extracts of what the president said.
"The important thing (was) to show Syria is evil," Maqdisi said.
"The battle is political and we know that," he added.
Maqdisi stressed that Assad is "appalled and saddened" by the deadly violence that has shaken Syria for nearly nine months.
"The president has promised accountability," he added.
Maqdisi also stressed that Assad's regime gave "no clear instructions to use live ammunition" against pro-democracy protesters who have held almost daily protests since mid-March.
Assad denied in the interview with ABC that he ordered the killing of protesters in Syria and said "only a crazy person" would target his own people.
"We don't kill our people," Assad said.
"No government in the world kills its people, unless it's led by a crazy person."
Maqdisi said the network played up this quote as part of a concerted effort in the West to give a negative image of Assad.
The foreign ministry spokesman played part of the interview that was aired by ABC as well as another segment of the original tape to show that some of what Assad said had been edited out.
Assad in the interview also disputed U.N. claims that more than 4,000 people have been killed in Syria in a security force crackdown on dissent since mid-March.