His statement was published in the Syrian military's journal, and also included an implied threat to Israel. "Anyone who thinks Syria will compromise on its solid principles is wrong. We know that the price of standing firm and resisting, high as it may be, will still be lower than the price we would pay for submission."
The Syrian president further wrote that "the calamity is no evidence of strength, and even if it reaches unprecedented levels, it is merely evidence of frustration, distorted foresight, and loss of the confidence that is rooted in destruction with the power of deterrence and the occupation. The near and distant future belongs to the peoples of the region and their countries."
Assad also addressed the international community and said, "We want to make it clear to the world that a just solution of peace is required, one that is based on principles that ensure security and stability in this sensitive part of t he world. In order to achieve this, there is no other option besides restoring all the rights that were stolen, in accordance with the international resolutions."
Being more specific, the Syrian president commented on the issue of the Golan Heights. "The first component on the path to peace is the obligation to maintain dignity and sovereignty. We must not be hasty with a single grain of sand or drop of water, as these rightfully belong to the peoples and their ownership of them is exclusive. In order to achieve peace, all the occupied lands must be returned. Anyone who thinks Syria will hold negotiations over this is delusional, as the liberation of the Golan is a right that is very deeply rooted in the Syrian people, its military, and its conduct."
Over the weekend Assad took part in a summit in Beirut, along with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Saudi King Abdullah. They discussed the consequences to follow should the international tribunal into the assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri determine that Hezbollah was behind his death.
It was also reported that Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah is slated to travel to Damascus in the coming days to discuss with Assad the outcome of his meetings with the Saudi king.
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