Middle East

Jan 6, 2014

Inside the WikiLeaks meeting with Assad: Syrian morale rising, he insists

A delegation including Australians from the WikiLeaks Party met with the Syrian President last week. Journalist Chris Ray was in the room and reports what Bashar al-Assad thinks about his country's future.

Wartime Damascus is a city of sandbagged checkpoints where lines of idling vehicles await inspection by soldiers and militiamen carrying Kalashnikovs and bomb detectors. Concrete blast walls surround government buildings, where visitors go through airport-style examination. There is the frequent thump of government artillery aimed at rebel positions, which send mortars crashing into the city centre and other loyalist districts.

The relatively low-key security around President Bashar al-Assad therefore came as a surprise to members of an Australian “solidarity delegation” visiting the Syrian capital. They answered an invitation to meet the President on a cold morning just before Christmas — finally splashed across the front page of The Australian last week, prompting fierce condemnation from Prime Minister Tony Abbott and others — during a week of meetings with government ministers and religious leaders.

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One thought on “Inside the WikiLeaks meeting with Assad: Syrian morale rising, he insists

  1. AR

    The age-old political calculus, rather than which is better but which is the worst, for western interests. Not what is right for humanity.
    If the insurgents take over it will embolden wahhabists & fanatics to continue cutting a swathe through the middle east and eventually the asian muslim societies which previously were tolerant & civilised – forget Bali beaches & booze then.

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