Information Minister, Omran al-Zoubi: “The Syrians want Bashar al-Assad to remain the president. The honest, strong and national Syrian people and our armed forces want that, regardless of the wishes of the opposition, the US, the traitors and the agents”
Damascus – SANA – 1/10/2013 – With the participation of journalists and analysts from Iran, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon, a workshop on the national media and the current challenges kicked off on Tuesday at Dama Rose Hotel in Damascus.
The three-day workshop, which was organized by the Ministry of Information, highlights the points of strength and weakness in the national media as it is intended to come out with recommendations that could help improve the national media performance.
In his opening speech, Information Minister, Omran al-Zoubi, stressed that Syria has been able to prove itself as a great state thanks to its people, army and leadership, and it forced the world to listen to the voice of Damascus.
He pointed out that Syria has gone through one of the most dangerous battles for two years and a half, and now the whole world with all its media outlets “is listening to Damascus’s voice willingly or unwillingly having realized that this steadfastness is a fruit of the steadfastness of the Armed Forces, media and state institutions altogether.” Al-Zoubi noted that the workshop, which hosts several Arab and regional media guests and experts, in addition to a large number of highly-qualified national media cadres, aims at shedding light upon the negative points in the performance of national media, considering that aggression on Syria has contributed more than any time before in bringing the shortcomings and mistakes of the Syrian media to surface.
He stressed that there is no power that could undermine Syria, clarifying that Syria’s firmness has not come out of thin air, because over decades and since the expulsion of the French colonialists, “we now, more than ever, find out about the greatness of the Syrian people who have showed that much steadfastness thanks to their achievements, sacrifices, martyrs, leadership as well as their national and pan-Arab awareness”.
The Minister saw that Syria has showed during the past period an extraordinary patience, in terms of facing life hardships, threats, terrorism and suffering the loss of thousands of civilian and military martyrs.
“I’s the love for Syria which has fed this patience that has kept the homeland steadfast,” al-Zoubi stressed.
He affirmed that Syria which has never yielded to an enemy or colonialist, “will never bow not to the US nor to anyone else”.
“We have friends, brothers and allies…but no country can impose any terms on Syria”, al-Zoubi added. He noted that the presidential elections due in 2014 are now close and the President has the right to take the decision he wants.
“But I can tell you that the Syrians want Bashar al-Assad to remain the president. The honest, strong and national Syrian people and our armed forces want that, regardless of the wishes of the opposition, the US, the traitors and the agents,” said the Minister.
He affirmed however that the ballot box will be the judge and that the government will not impose anything on anyone.
He said had the opposition had the courage to go to the ballots right from the beginning, things would not have gone that far and the Syrian armed forces would not have had to sacrifice thousands of lives.
‘Syria, the state, the homeland, the people and the president, will remain as this is the will of the Syrian people,” said al-Zoubi, adding that the political work can be organized through parties and honest elections according to the constitution.
“The political work needs political objectives and political projects and programs,” he said, asking “Can anyone tell us what is the political program of some of the opposition groups abroad? They only talk about toppling the state.”
For his part, Chairman of the Journalists Union Elias Murad said that the Syrian journalists have played a significant role in conveying the truth about the events in their country to the international public opinion despite being faced with biased media without any regard to honesty, transparency, freedom and responsibility.
In Turn, Head of the National Media Council, Mohammad Razzouq, said that the awareness of the Syrians have foiled the media war waged against the country, adding that the Syrian media succeeded in many places and failed in other places.
“We have the courage to point to any weak point as to overcome it and improve our performance,” he said.