Wednesday, 29 May 2013

S-300 missiles for Syria, stabilizing factor

Press TV has conducted an interview with Daoud Khairallah, Professor at Georgetown University, about Russia sending S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Now first of all, Russia says that the missiles that is sending are helping stabilize the situation but there are people who are saying that this is actually working against the Geneva II Conference. What is your opinion?

Khairallah: I think it is legitimate for Syria to be able to have a defense system that is effective. Israel has more sophisticated weapons including more sophisticated missiles and it has deployed these missiles and then we have to remember that Israel is occupying Syrian territories.

The Golan Heights are occupied by Israel and this is recognized by the international community, by the United Nations Security Council and there is lots of evidence to that.

So I do not know how Israel would say that Syria is not within its right to have these weapons at least to defend itself.

Press TV: So we are seeing at the same time the EU foreign ministers agreeing to lift an arms embargo to be able to send weapons to insurgents. Do you think that Russia’s announcement is kind of a response to that decision made by the EU?

Khairallah: Well the Russians respond it, it is a stabilizing factor. When you have one party that has the ability of committing aggression without any impediment, it will be tempted to do that.

When the Israelis would know that the Syrians have ways to defend themselves against what-- against aggressive missiles from Israel, then the missiles are a stabilizing factor.

Press TV: So do you think that the Geneva II Conference however will be a successful conference?

Khairallah: Well we hope it will be a successful conference because a peaceful solution, a negotiated solution is the only way out. We know how resorting to weapons, resorting to force on the part of the opposition, what it lead to… the destruction of the country, a bloodletting that has not succeeded yet.

So we hope that the conference in Geneva would reach some happy conclusion for everyone, the Syrians in the first place.

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