Interaction with Mr. Ribal Al-Assad on ‘Syria and the Arab Spring’
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At an interaction with eminent strategic experts held at VIF on Feb 08, 2011, Mr. Ribal al Assad, Chairman of the Organization for Democracy and Freedom in Syria, based in London, and son of the former Syrian leader Rifat al Assad, presently campaigning for democratic freedom in Syria, provided a rich insight into his country’s current internal dynamics in the larger Arab context. While remaining highly critical of the role played by outside powers in further vitiating the already muddied situation in Syria, Mr. Ribal Assad said that Russia and China, the two countries which vetoed a recent UN resolution on Syria for reasons of their strategic interests, remained opposed to the US’ growing engagements in the region. He urged strongly that a neutral country like India adopt a pro-active approach in brokering a dialogue for peace between various warring factions in Syria. India, the world’s largest democracy, not only has economic stakes in the region but is also widely respected in the Arab world for her secular and democratic credentials. Besides, allowing Syria to get further radicalized could not only pose grave threats to humanity, it would also be not in India’s interests. Mr. Ribal Al-Assad also went on to add that the international media, including the regional media, has so far remained largely bipartisan in covering incidents of violence in Syria. Underlining the need for bringing in a neutral media, he urged the Indian media to bring Syria more extensively under their lenses. The talk by Mr Ribal Al-Assad was followed by an active and detailed question and answer session.

Report prepared by Mr. Sanjay Kumar

Event Date 
February 8, 2012
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