President Havez al-Assad of Syria has accused the United States of increasing its support to Israel 'under the cover of peace'.
GV EXTERIOR President al-Assad of Syria arrives in car
SV INTERIOR Delegates chanting and clapping
SV President al-Assad speaking in Arabic
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: President Havez al-Assad of Syria has accused the United States of increasing its support to Israel 'under the cover of peace'. He renewed his attack on the American government on Thursday (13 March) in speech at a youth conference in Damascus.
SYNOPSIS: President Assad has frequently criticised the United States for backing Israel, but the Soviet Foreign Minister, Adrei Gromyko, recently promised Syria he would match the sophisticated weaponry supplied to Israel by the Americans.
After a rousing reception from the delegates to the youth congress, President Assad launched into his attack on the United States.
He aid that, under the pretext of peace, military, economic and political support to Israel had been increased. And he maintained that the United States wanted to make Israel the most powerful state in the are to expand its occupation of Arab land.
President Assad also claimed that America had 'instructed its agents to counter strongly Syria's stability'. He told the delegates that 'we warmly welcome such a battle'.
Later the President's comments were clarified by the Syrian Information Minister, Ahmed Iskander. He said it was believed that bellicose statements from Israeli leaders indicated that they might commit 'foolish aggression' against Syria. But Mr. Iskander added that Syria was in a good position to face Israel's 'arrogance and expansionist designs'. He referred to the Soviet Union as a sincere, honest and friendly country, and said Damascus and Moscow were linked by a 'deep strategic friendship).