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Barari, Hassan

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Arab News - Saudi Arabia | 27/01/2014

Global perspectives: Assad casts himself as anti-terror fighter

At the ongoing Syria peace conference in Geneva, President Bashar al-Assad's delegation is not interested in reaching a compromise with the opposition but in presenting itself as a last bastion against terrorists, columnist Hassan Barari writes in the Saudi daily Arab News: "[Syrian Foreign Minister] Muallem made it perfectly clear that the conference is about forming a common front against terrorism rather than setting up a transitional government with full executive powers. ... The truth is that Iran and the Syrian regime are complicit with the radicals in order to paint the revolution with negative pictures.  They believe this would change the perception of the West and therefore Assad would become a partner in fighting terrorists. Put differently, Assad and Iran will work hard to have Washington subcontract Assad to fight terrorists."

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