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6 Dec, 2011 10:28

Arab Spring does not mean democracy - diplomat

The Arab Spring will not bring democracy, former Deputy Secretary General of the Arab League Adnan Omran warns. He says slogans brandished before elections are no guarantee that the winner is actually going to practice democracy.

The Syrian diplomat says spring is a time of sand storms in the Arab lands, a time “when you have to wait and see whether there is going to be a positive outcome.” He stressed that so far, the Arab Spring has brought no positive outcome in any country.Speaking about Egypt, the diplomat said the country’s future path will be crucial for the entire Arab world. At present, he points out, Egypt’s fragile political landscape is extremely vulnerable to both internal and external threats.The Syrian diplomat predicts that the new Arab regimes will try to reverse the disadvantages of previous agreements, such as the Camp David deal, which are tailored in favor of Israel.This prompts Israeli politicians to suggest the uprisings will grow into an anti-American and Anti-Israeli tsunami, Omran claims, noting however that “Israeli politicians are very subjective”.“They originate from the very narrow interests of Israel. They are not objectively talking about the subject,” he says. “They are concerned mainly with how much surrender or concessions the new regimes could give to Israel.” Omran says in his native Syria, it is “an established fact” that the west plans to derail the peace process between the opposition and the ruling regime. He recalls US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton openly saying that opposition groups in Syria should refrain from dialogue with Damascus, and even justifying the flow of arms going to the opposition.“The very big question mark is what the Americans need: do they need democracy, or do they need chaos,” he stresses, recalling former US President George W. Bush and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announcing plans to restructure and, in effect, divide the Middle East.As for Iran, Adnan Omran believes that NATO and Israel do have the military capability to strike the country, “but the question is – do they have the capability to win the war?”“I doubt it very much, because Israel is going to pay a very heavy price,” the diplomat argues, predicting that such a “stupid adventure” would affect all the countries in the region.“I hope that they will be less mad and consider the lessons of the past,” says the Syrian diplomat. He notes that the Americans have been fighting for oil in Iraq for eight years and spending hundreds of billions of dollars, but despite the loss of thousands of GIs and nearly a million civilian lives, they now have to leave.Adnan Omran predicts that despite all the pressure, Iran will never make concessions – simply because the US has made clear its plans in the region, and lost all credibility after the invasion of Iraq.Israel, the main guide of American policy in the Middle East, is not only the sole nuclear power in the region, but also America’s main military base there, the diplomat stresses.Speaking about the US plans to maintain new bases and radars in Turkey, Adnan Omran suggested that America still considers Turkey a spearhead, as it was during the Cold War, but today this spearhead targets not the Soviet Union, but Russia, continuing the policy of encirclement of Russia with military bases.“It is part of the strategy of reviving the Cold War, surrounding Russia with destructive bases,” he said, adding that Turkish society is changing, and the Turkish people will not accept this state of events for long.Adnan Omran says the situation in the Middle East is volatile and sensitive, because the region is well-armed and already on fire here and there. But if wisdom and dialogue prevail, “the regional conflicts could be solved in a matter of weeks and many innocent lives would be saved.”