Sunday, January 01, 2006

Tea Leaves: Ex Syrian VP Abdul Halim Khaddam

Speaking yesterday to al-Arabiya as reported by the BBC.

And the response from Syria today reported on Ireland OnLine,
Calling Khaddam “a traitor” to Syria and the Baath Party, the statement said, “Khaddam has joined the band of enemies who are targeting the country and its attitudes.

“Khaddam has betrayed the party, the country and the (Arab) nation. The National Leadership has decided to dismiss Khaddam from the party and put him on trial.”

The parliament’s bill recommending Khaddam’s trial was passed unanimously at the end of a day-long parliamentary session on Saturday, during which members accused Khaddam of treason and lying. The measure was sent to the Justice Ministry so it could prepare a case against Khaddam.

Khaddam made the claim as he declared a formal break with Assad in a television interview from Paris, criticising the regime and citing corruption and its failure to reform.
And here is a report on the al Arabia interivew from Arabic News,
Abdul Halim Khaddam, Syria's former vice president, launched an unprecedented accusation on President Bashar al-Assad, saying al-Assad had threatened Rafik al-Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister before he was assassinated in February this year.

In an exclusive interview with al-Arabia satellite TV, Khaddam said "al-Assad told me he had delivered some very, very harsh words to Hariri... something like 'I will crush anyone who tries to disobey us'," adding that Hariri started to have nose bleeding after this meeting with al-Assad, as possible result of the stress he may have felt.

Khaddam, who resigned in June, denied reports that one Palestinian suicide bomber had assassinated Hariri, saying that this crime "requirers much technology skills and tons of explosives and planners who have leadership." Khaddam did not speculate on who had ordered Hariri's murder, saying "we must wait" for the final results of an investigation being carried out by the United Nations.

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