Damascus: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has ruled out collaborating with France and said his country is ready to share intelligence with it only if Paris changed its policy toward Syria.
“We are ready to exchange intelligence with France if Paris changed its policy toward Syria and we have repeatedly called for the necessity to form an international coalition against terrorism,” a news agency quoted Assad as saying during an interview with a French magazine.
“If the French government is not serious in its fight against terrorism, we will not waste our time collaborating with a country, government or an institution that supports terrorism,” he said.
Assad said the only way to determine what the Syrians want will be through the ballot boxes, not through foreign pressures.
“The question of my resignation from the post depends entirely on the will of the people of Syria and parliament. Those who want to destroy Syria, most of all want to destroy the last secular state in the region,” he said.
The interview came after November 13 attacks in Paris that claimed art least 129 lives and injured over 350 people.
In his first comments on the attacks, Assad on Saturday condemned the attacks, saying France is suffering the same terror as Syria has been.
“What France suffered from savage terror is what the Syrian people have been enduring for five years,” Assad said during his meeting with a visiting delegation of French lawmakers.
“The wrong policies of the West, including France, in the Arab region, have contributed to the spread of terrorism,” added Assad.
The Syrian government has for long accused the West of supporting the insurgency against Assad’s rule, deeming such actions as a “support of terror”.
Assad stressed the importance of adopting new policies that could be efficient in curbing the support of terror groups, by drying up their resources and halting their logistic and political support till finally eliminating them completely.