NEWS

‘Olympic Games not at risk of terrorists’

Syria is a secular state and was always a secular state with no space at all for Islamic fundamentalists. Do you think that this recent kind of terrorist attack could pose a real danger for the stability of secular Arab states? Of course we cannot connect extremism to religion; extremism can be religious, social, national or anything else. All kinds of extremism are similar and all forms of extremism are dangerous. I believe that Syria suffered for a long time from extremism, which called itself religious extremism while it had no relation to religion at all. That is why we were the first country to call for a conference to fight terrorism and that was during the visit of the late President Assad to Greece. We sent a delegation to the countries of the world to talk about the danger of terrorism but nobody listened, especially in Europe. Nowadays it is not enough to say it is dangerous. What is important is to know the root causes of this. One of the reasons is the lack of dialogue between cultures, the other might be related to poverty; and there are also some causes that might be related to societies themselves. For example, education, poverty, lack of economic activities and faulty policies. All these factors might create a fertile soil for terrorism. Also, the existence of a marginalized United Nations, in addition to many other factors. If we deal with these factors, we should not be worried. Trust of others Your country has been very helpful in the crackdown on terrorists, and I wonder if there is any kind of cooperation or official talks with the Greek government for cooperation between our two countries regarding the issue of security for the 2004 Olympic Games? This was not proposed to us, but we are prepared to help Greece in this field; and I think we can be quite effective in that area. Although I do not think that Greece is in danger because Greece’s reputation is very good in the world, and I think it gained the trust of other peoples.