Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Syrian Vice Prime Minister gives interview to Pravda.Ru

- We have a remarkable guest in Pravda.Ru studio today, our Syrian friend, Dr. Qadri Jamil. I am not saying which position our guest is taking, as we are getting back to this question a little later in our discussion. So, good afternoon, your excellency.

-  Good afternoon, so you've given people a hint about my position by this way of addressing me.

- Today, Dr. Qadri is one of the leaders of the Syrian opposition. He is the general secretary of People's Will party and the leader of the Popular Front for Liberation and Change. Last year, after the parliamentary elections, the government addressed to Dr. Qadri with a request to become a member of the government, and entrusted a very responsible post of the vice prime minister to him to curate economic issues. So my first question is - are you a member of the government or of the opposition?

- I am a revolutionary first and foremost. The question of where to be - in the opposition or at power - depends on circumstances and on the correlation of forces, in reality. The current situation in Syria is a very unique one. We, at the Popular Front for Liberation and Change, we urge to create the government of people's unity. That was two years ago, and when we became a part of the government, it became the first large step towards the creation of the mini coalition in the government of people's unity. You know from history that such governments are created during the times of the crises and wars. This idea sprang from the Europeans, but what surprises me now is that the Europeans are surprised to see opposition in the government. We tell them that we learned that from them, and the move was made for the critical times. When the crisis is over, everyone will go back to where they belong. It will happen depending on what elections will say.

- Dr. Qadri, how do you categorize your work in the party, your work in the government and in the people's front, in the parliament. Can we say that 90 percent of your time takes the work in the government?

- No one, either the party or the front will let me spend so much time on the government. In the worst-case scenario, my time is 50x50. Then, we made an important step, studying the experience of the CPSU and the Baath Party, we separated the structure of the government from the structure of the front. We have to be disciplined in the government, but it does not mean that we cannot vote against something, for example, or we cannot have our own opinion. We have no right to agitate, as ministers, against the decisions which the government takes. We can agitate inside government meetings. We can make them vote, have the minority and majority. We have never had that in the history of Syria. This is the first time when it happens ever. We are always in the minority, because there are only two of us, two ministers our of 33 ministers, but we feel that there is a new way opening for the execution of the new article 8 of the Constitution, which is about pluralism in the country and in the society.

- I need to clear something up here, because I know Dr. Qadri not just as a prominent political figure. He is also an outstanding theorist, he is one of the greatest Marxist economists in all Arab countries, not just in Syria. So do you have time for theoretic work?

- You know, what is the difference between theory and practice? Theory is a concentrated expression of practice.

- There's nothing more practical than a good theory. So today, we, in practice, are creating extensive reserves for the development of theory. This time you came to Moscow not as the vice prime minister, but as the leader of the national front for liberation and changes. There were consultations held  in Moscow about the forthcoming conference known as Geneva 2. I do not want to jinx myself, but there were very many attempts made to stop the war and the government has always taken a constructive position. President Assad set forth the plan of stage-by-stage- regulation that started from a national dialogue, then went on to total amnesty and then - to national elections. It has never materialized as of yet. Do you think the international conference in Geneva will take place?

- It should, taking into consideration the following factors. The first one - the USA should adjust itself to the new situation connected with the political, economic and social crisis. Today, the position of the USA could be compared to that of England and France after WWII. They could not adjust themselves to the new situation back then, because they entered the war as the first world force - England and France - and they finished the war as not the first world force at all. It took them a while to realize that, and eleven years passed to the Suez Canal war of 1956. The French and the English had been rejecting the new reality for eleven years. As for the USA, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the creation of the unipolar world, before 2011, for 20 years. They started to doubt their position after the fist veto from Russia and China. So I ask myself, how long will it take the Americans to deny the new facts, as it happened to England and France? According to Marx's theory, history goes with acceleration. If it took England and France 11 years to come to the realization of the new reality, then I thought that with the USA it would take 2-3 years only. Now the Americans have realized that their plans of a military intervention will not work, because new forces have appeared on the international arena. Such plans only lead to negative results, such as the appearance of radical Islamism in Syria. No one knows what can stop these atrocities, this new fascism.

-  Our viewers wonder if we can draw a parallel between the civil war in Spain in 1936-1939 and the current civil war in Syria?

- Yes, we can and we should. What is happening in the world today looks very much like the situation in Europe in 1932-1939, when fascists came to power. Westerns forces did not show a swift reaction to that. They took their positions against fascism after the civil war in Spain, and they created an alliance with their former ally - the Soviet Union - against the new plague of Nazism. They were very realistic politicians - Roosevelt, Churchill, they came into an alliance with Stalin and won the war. Nowadays, the same thing is happening in the West. New fascism is emerging - radical Islamism. Georgy Dmitrov defined fascism as the most reactionary type of power connected with financial capital. I would add - with criminal capital. Who funds Al-Qaeda? Only criminal capital can. So there is a new process of disassociation of these new powers in the West. It is hard to understand what is happening in the West right now because of this process.

Our viewers ask questions, although you may find some of them unpleasant, but they want to know how many times one person can become president of Syria under the new constitution.

- Under the new constitution, a person can become president twice - seven years for each term.

Do you think that the presidential election in Syria will take place in 2014, as scheduled?

- This is a link of the political process. If we want to stop violence, we need to start a political process. The beginning to this process will be given at the Geneva conference, so we are looking forward to it as the conference should dot all I's about the question of military intervention from the outside.

Another question from the viewers - is power in Syria delegated democratically, or is it hereditary?

- We want to create a new political mechanism in Syria. This can be done, but it is up for the people of Syria to decide. It is only the people of Syria who can define the form and the shape of the new democracy.

-  If the presidential election in 2014 takes place, do you think the Popular Front for Liberation and Change will nominate its own candidacy for the election?

- Look, Lenin used to say that a political decision should be a certain decision made under certain political circumstances. So you are asking me a virtual question, which is not serious at all. In Russia, presidential candidates are announced two or three months before the election. In Syria, the election is to take place in 9 months. Do you think it is too early to speak about it? This question can harm those, who indeed ponder the idea, so they have the right not to answer.

-  People are interested about the military situation in Syria. We conduct a poll on the website to find out how the conflict in Syria is going to end and most people think that Bashar al Assad will be able to cope with his enemies. Do you agree with our viewers?

 - No, I don't. No one can handle such situations militarily. What is happening in Syria today reflects the balance of forces in the world, both political and military ones. It does not mean that the Syrian army is weak. The country's army is a very strong one. This army has been able to resist intervention attempts from dozens of foreign countries into Syria's foreign affairs. When the correlation of forces in today's world is zero, no one will be able to solve the Syrian issue with the use of force.

Oleg Fomin, a well-known Russian specialist on Syria, said in this studio the day before that, according to his information, there were over 100,000 foreigners fighting against the republic today. This is not a civil war, this is external intervention. I do not really believe those reports from the military, but they officially say that the Syrian army destroys up to 15,000 foreign military men every month. This is a large number, if you can divide it by two. However, Syrian 18-year-old guys destroy world's best-trained gunmen.

- I've never heard about the number of 100,000 when it comes to foreign gunmen. In Syria, they talk about 20-40 thousand, but it is a lot as well. They are very well-trained indeed, and they have good weapons. This is international fascism that we have in Syria today - fascist gunmen from China to America.

Here is an economic question. Many people in Russia say that the economic front for Syria is much more important that the military one. The destruction of economy is a much bigger blow, and I am asking this question to you as a person who is in charge of economic issues.

- Politics and economics are two sides of one story, and like Lenin said - politics is concentrated economics. Unfortunately, the government has not been paying much attention to economic factors recently. This issue has surfaced now, and I would say that the economic factor is just as important as the political one. I wouldn't say it is the most important factor. The solution of Syria's political problems is being carried out through political methods only because there is no economic solution for economic problems. The problems of the Western blockade in Syria can not be solved through economic methods. If these problems are eventually solved, then about 75%  of the economic crisis in Syria will be solved.

The people watching would like to know if there is a point when there are no more terrorists.

- It will happen when all Syrians stand up shoulder to shoulder against foreign mercenaries. This is the only way to destroy them.

- The popular front for change and liberation has two mandates in the government. It is you and Dr. Aliheder. He is the minister for national liberation. Can Dr. Aliheder negotiate with those, whom you refer to as fascist internationalists? 

- Why should we conduct negotiations with them? We shouldn't do that. they should be destroyed. One can negotiate with the Syrians, who under the pressure of circumstances were forced to take guns in their hands. Maybe they did that rightfully. The Syrians can unite, and Dr. Aliheder can play a role in that, which he does. Our front, the popular front plays a very important role in the efforts to conduct the dialogue with the gunmen of Syrian descent.

-  We have people saying that the Geneva-2 conference will only be about talking and nothing more. Many people believe that the conference will not bring any results. What do you think?

- What are the objectives of Geneva-2? I think there are three of them. The first one of them is to stop the military intervention in Syria. The Syrians can not stop this intervention. It is up for international forces to come to some sort of agreement on that. Russia plays a highly important role in stopping the military intervention in Syria. Once the level of violence goes down, it will create conditions to start a political process in the country.

Do you think that the USA, France, the Persian Gulf countries will be able to make their puppets come to Geneva?

- I think the Americans want to do that because of the crisis that the country has been in recently. They have become more realistic and they know the limit of their forces in the world.

Does Syria plan to respond to the sanctions from the USA by rejecting the dollar as a means of payment in international commercial relations? To which extent is Syria able to resist to Washington's sanctions economically? Some of these sanctions can be horrible, for example the embargo for the delivery of spare parts for civil Airbus aircraft. It is the people, who suffer from this, not the president.

- The tragedy of all this is that 60-70 percent of Syria's foreign commodity exchange is with the West. This was before the crisis. Changing the course during the crisis is impossible. Production volumes have been going down. But this crisis has convinced us all that we should change our economic relations by switching from the West to the East from the geopolitical point of view. In Syria,  it is believed that the East starts from Russia.

-  Our viewers say that they believe the Syrian people will cope with the rebels. They ask what will happen to Syria's foreign trade afterwards - gas, oil, weapons, what will be the new preferences for Syria? 

- Well, Syria is a very wealthy country. Gas is one of the basic types of the Syrian national production. We have very good perspectives for the time when the war ends and Syria begins to revive.

-  Even though you are not particularly willing to discuss economic issues during this visit of your to Russia, but people would like to know if Syria can become a member of the Customs Union between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

- Syria wants to do that. We have been working in this direction. Documents are ready. We are in talks already with Belarus and Kazakhstan. With Russian partners, the talks have already ended. We want to be in this organization.

-  To which extent is it profitable for Russian and Syrian economies?

- It is very profitable, it is an economic exchange, a new type of relations globally, where all are equal. This is an equal type of economic relations between countries.

-  The president of Syria says that he is prepared to ensure guarantees for rebels. The Syrian government tells them to lay down their arms and go agitate in the streets. If you shoot, you will not win people's support. Can you say that Geneva-2 should end positively?

- There's no other way. Everyone is in the dead end. The rebels the international community, the regime, the gunmen - everyone. Because the balance of forces is zero. So the only way out is to find a way to resolve the crisis through a political process. 

Will Syria lodge claims to Turkey because gunmen relocate Syrian production capacities to Turkey or exchange them to weapons in Turkey?

- This has not been decided yet, but we as a party believe that Turkey should pay compensations for that, like Japan and Germany paid to the Soviet Union after the war. And this is not only Turkey, but all the countries that made chaos happen.

-  I was personally a witness to that. When I was in Istanbul, I bought some ice cream and it said - Made in Aleppo. What did the Turkish do?

- They conquered the Syrian market, destroyed Syrian industry and agriculture to expand the zone of influence of the Turkish economy, which is now ruled by oligarchs. They are in a big crisis right now. The financial bubble is about to burst in Turkey and I believe that people will take to the streets there soon. This wave that started in Tunisia and in Cairo - no one should believe that it is only for the Arab world.   

-  In conclusion, I would like to ask the question, which, as I believe, you will try not to answer. Will the name of Qadri Jamil be on the list of presidential candidates in Syria in 2014?

- The list of candidates will contain more than two names. The names will be decided with it is time for that. The decision does not depend on me personally. It depends on my party and my front, so we need to wait and see what is best for the country.

- The CIA says that Bashar Assad will win in the first round, they say he will get 60 percent of votes in a democratic election. Everything can change very quickly. And we can see now the person, a representative of the opposition that wants to put an end to gunfire, violence and murder and this person feels his responsibility for that. We are very thankful to this person for coming to the studio of Pravda.Ru for this interview. Thank you very much for your time.