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Countering the narratives and ideologies of terrorism

Wednesday, 11 May 2016
Dr. Bashar Ja'afari
Security Council

At the outset, I would like to congratulate you, Mr. President, on the Arab Republic of Egypt’s leadership of the Security Council for this month. I welcome the presence of Mr. Sameh Shokry Selim at today’s important meeting. We are grateful to Egypt for convening it. Before I begin, I would like to express our sincere condolences to the Government and the people of Egypt for the victims of the heinous terrorist attack a few days ago. I would also like to convey our condolences to the Government and the people of Iraq for the hundreds of victims of the car bombs today in Baghdad.

They are suffering from the very same terrorism that we are enduring in my country, and thus today’s topic is therefore very timely. Some five years have elapsed since the assassination began in Syria of the principles of international law, the Charter of the United Nations and good-neighbourly relations around our territory. After exhausting every possible means of destroying Syria — its State, its people, its infrastructure — including terrorism, media misinformation, recruiting foreign terrorist fighters and mercenaries from every corner of the globe, facilitating terrorist groups’ use of chemicals, trafficking in the suffering and hopes of millions of refugees and internally displaced persons, creating opponents abroad who are in alliance with every thief around the world sponsoring terrorism and criminality — after all of that, we are justified in telling those involved in fuelling and lengthening the crisis to keep their hands off Syria.

Enough misinformation, enough intervention in our internal affairs under pretexts that have been proven to be false in Syria, Iraq, Libya and many other States. Since the start of what some like to call the Syrian crisis, the Security Council has held hundreds of meetings and adopted dozens of resolutions and statements. It has set up fact-finding mechanisms and has quite seriously been unable to take a single step to bring pressure to bear on the sponsors of terrorism; to stop the export of terrorists and mercenaries from abroad into Syria and Iraq; to control borders in order to halt the flows of terrorists; to end the Qatari-financed treatment of injured terrorists in Israeli and Turkish hospitals; or to prohibit broadcasts by television stations from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and London inciting people to sectarian terrorism that utterly violates all the relevant Security Council resolutions. My delegation has repeatedly stressed its full support for any sincere effort to confront the threat posed by terrorism and its poisonous ideologies and to uphold the values of peace, dialogue and respect for religious, ideological and cultural diversity. We continue to assert that terrorism is the gravest threat to the world today; it is the common enemy of all mankind. Therefore the United Nations and the Security Council must take up their responsibilities to coordinate and promote international cooperation to combat terrorism. However, such cooperation must be very far removed from selectivity and double standards.

It is unreasonable for persons to be deemed to be terrorists in France, Belgium, Spain, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia and Tunisia while elsewhere they are called jihadists, non-State armed groups or the moderate Syrian armed opposition, and showered with money, weapons, entry visas, intelligence and protection. Indeed, they are brought to Syrian borders and their entry into Syria is guaranteed. Some have created a State for terrorism called the Caliphate, with an official flag and with media sites. Words like “Islam” are used. It has two capitals, in both Syria and Iraq, and therefore an international coalition was set up to confront it. Today the scenario of constructive chaos is complete. The entire world 11/05/2016 Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts S/PV.7690 16-13286 55/94 is watching the theatrics of the so-called anti-Da’esh coalition.

That scenario is not serious. It is not credible, particularly since, instead of targeting Da’esh elements, the so-called international coalition is destroying the infrastructure of the Syrian State, of the Syrian people, under the pretext of combating terrorism. At the same time, the coalition is turning a blind eye to the Da’esh trade in petroleum and archaeological treasures with Turkey and their export through Turkish territory to Israel and European countries. The mask has now fallen from the faces of the States that are sponsoring takfiri terrorism in my country, the region and Africa. The efforts of those murderous Governments are doomed to fail. The series of lies and crocodile tears shed because of the suffering of the Syrian people — caused by the very Governments claiming to combat terrorism — have ended. Many WikiLeaks documents have disclosed the role of those Governments in targeting Syria following the invasion and destruction of Iraq. Those who manufactured Da’esh, the Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaida, the Al-Fatah Army, the Army of Islam, the Al-Ahrar Al-Sham, the Jund Al-Aqsa, the Liwa Al-Sultan Murad, the Turkestan Liberation Party, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, the Salvation Front and dozens of Al-Qaida-affiliated terrorist organizations; those who provide weapons, money, training, fatwas, political and media protection and describe them with such terms as “political violence” and “jihadism” in order to hide their true terrorist nature — they comprise the very party that has been holding up the flag of terrorism and should be the common enemy of all mankind.

Confronting the poisonous ideologies of terrorist organizations and their supporters and financiers is no less important than confronting the use of biological or chemical weapons by terrorist organizations. In that regard, we cannot turn a blind eye to the important role taken by the Governments of States sponsoring terrorism. The Saudi and Qatari regimes are abusing Arabs and Muslims through the dissemination of Wahabi extremist thoughts and their erroneous thinking that distorts Islam. Together with the Turkish regime, they are providing all kinds of support to takfiri terrorism that crosses borders and crosses continents — the very terrorism that my country is confronting. The honourable achievements of the Syrian Army, with the support of our friends in the battle against terrorism, including the liberation of the historic city of Palmyra and its liberation from Da’esh, the return of art and music to its old amphitheatre — those are the victories of civilization and light over terrorist ideology. My delegation stresses the need to end Israeli occupation of the Syrian Golan and other occupied Arab territories and to put an end to the practices of the occupation forces that support terrorism and led to the expulsion of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force from the separation zone in the occupied Syrian Golan and to their replacement by terrorist elements from the Al-Nusra Front and the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade .

In conclusion, my delegation stresses that terrorists must not be rewarded. Their sponsors must not be rewarded for their criminal acts. It is unfortunate and shameful for Europe to conclude an agreement with the Erdogan regime, which is supporting terrorism in a way that allows Erdogan to blackmail Europe, to take advantage of the situation of refugees and internally displaced persons and to profit from their suffering. That is the result of the practices of Erdogan, thanks to which his citizens have received visa-free travel to Europe, a base achievement.