Monday, July 09, 2012

Every defector is a reformist

From Akram, Angry Arab's chief correspondent in Syria:  "Two stories from Moscow that shouldn't be interlinked directly:
1- Russia will not deliver any new types of weapons or sign any military contracts with Syria until the situation there stabilizes
2- A delegation of the Syrian opposition is in Moscow today. But before the delegation's arrival Jelena Sobonina, Chief of Asia and Mideast at the Russian Institute of Strategic Study conducted an interview with one of the delegation's members, Michel Kilo who said that defected Brigadier General Manaf Tlas is an acceptable figure for the transitional period in Syria. Interestingly, it was Sobonina who, initially, asked about Tlas the father (Mostafa Tlas). Here is the transcript of Kilo's answer (voice- Arabic):

Sobonina: Is it true that figures like Hikmat Al-Shihaby or Mostafa Tlas (both were prominent military figures during Hafez Al-Assad period and Mostafa Tlas is the father of the defected Manaf Tlas) could lead the transitional government in Syria?

Michel Kilo: I don't know, believe me I don't know. I'm not aware there are serious talks about this issue. But I think Mr. Manaf Tlas is a reformist figure that, from the beginning, was seeking a political solution and he was in disagreement with Bashar Al-Assad on this issue. For him violence is no solution for the Syrian crisis which can be solved only by dialog and political, social and economic procedures. He's, now, out of power somewhere- he's actually, a friend of mine- but I think this man is suitable for the coming phase.

A joke? Maybe not".