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Labwani Says He Has Persuaded Israel to Relinquish Assad

Labwani says Arab states have let down Syria
Labwani Says He Has Persuaded Israel to Relinquish Assad

The fierce attack on the Syrian dissident Kamal Labwani because of his visit to Tel Aviv, and his explicit request from Israel to help the opposition in its fight against the regime of Bashar al-Assad and the extremists of the Islamic Front and the Nusra Front did not prevent him from talking openly about this visit and its objectives.


Labwani even justified the request for cooperation with Israel as a "patriotic act that serves the interests of Syrian people". 


We met him on the last day of his 10-day visit, during which he participated in the Herzliya Conference which was dedicated to how to confront terrorist organizations.


Labwani visited the Golan Heights and did not forget the Syrians in Ziv Hospital in Safad. All these activities were public.


Labwani revealed the plan he discussed with Israel, saying it is intended primarily to change the international policy towards the Syrian crisis, to ensure the establishment of the new Syria on the geographic areas adjacent to Israel, areas ruled by a new regime that cooperates with Israel in the management and support of these regions.


"The goal is to turn these liberated geographic areas into a model for the future Syria, where our country will form the nucleus of the civilized Levantine state that will restore the old glories of the past," Labwani said.


The plan, according to Labwani, will be presented to the United States within two months as a joint venture between the opposition, represented by Labwani, and Israel in the presence of representatives of other countries.


According to the details Labwani revealed about the plan, discussed over months, a united state with a federal formula will be established.


"There are Sunnis, Alawites and Druze. We can establish two parliaments: one that governs the identity of the state and its foreign policy and another that adopts the plan to represent both parties," he said.


"It is difficult today to prevent revenge and bloodshed because we are going towards genocide, and as the world is heading towards globalization. There is a need to establish a general project in the Middle East, a project to create unions within the states. But each state needs a different model of this coexistence that can be applied to all countries."


"If we look around us, we find unstable states in Lebanon and Jordan, as well as Syria and Iraq, and this requires the creation of another, different path," Labwani cntinued.


According to Labwani, an American decision can change in the position of the Israelis; "We have tried the Arab countries, Turkey and the countries of Syria's friends for three years, they were not useful. Everyone left Syria to die. Let's say that Syria would die, the Islamic State will become stronger and terrorism will grow. If we get support and help, we will be able to confront these terrorists, integrate them into Syrian society and bring them back to moderation and build the social fabric of Syria. But this cannot be achieved if I was not strong politically and militarily, and to be able to be present militarily; I must have a strong authority."


"What we are trying to reach to resolve the Syrian issue can be applied in any other state. When we go to the United States, we will seek – through the plan that we have discussed – to create a new formula in the Middle East, different from the form of Sykes-Picot. We are looking for American political cover for a project that ensures the interests of everyone and the stability and peace in the Middle East."


"The critical point for us is to rebuild Syria through the establishment of a buffer zone in the south and in the north, where we can build an army committed to an ideology, restore the national unity, build institutions and rehome the refugees. Then, when we expand our region, people will leave the others and come to us," he said. 


Labwani does not exclude the Syrian Baath Party from this project, he even says he can deal with the base of the regime and reach a deal with them. The only condition is to eradicate the head of the regime and remove Assad from power. How?


"They are aware of how to dispose of him, probably through a coup or deportation or an agreement with him, but it is important to eradicate the head of the regime without harming the system itself," he said.


"We are ready and strong, and so we are the biggest force, if we reach an agreement, only then we can convince the extremists to return and we will fight those who refuse to."


Asked about the reasons for his choice of Israel to launch the project, Labwani said: "I personally went to Israel, without any call, I asked to meet officials in Israel and they accepted the request. We are convinced that Israel is a key player and has a great role and is able to play a role in the management and organization. We do not want Israel to engage militarily, but we want an American political cover. We want an effective management and organization, we want institutions and we will be able to manage them. We do not want anyone to interfere in Syria, we are able to manage our institutions, but we asked them to provide assistance". 


According to Labwani, Israel must be involved in the management of this area, otherwise, everything will fail.


"I believe if I went alone to the United States, they would tell me: you have an enemy; Israel, and if Israel went alone, they are going to tell her: you have an enemy; the Syrian opposition. And there will be no progress. This was another motivation for my approach to Israel to agree on such a plan. It does not matter who raises the flag on Golan."


Labwani refused to talk about the content of the official meetings with the Israeli officials and politicians, but said that these meetings were secret.


But regarding Golan, Labwani said that the problem of Golan is similar to the problems of Jerusalem, Jaffa and Haifa.


"Golan can be used as a garden of peace and not a war zone. It is unimportant who raises the flag on Golan, it is more important how to use the area. For me, there are refugees that should return, and for Israel it deals with the land as an economic and security element. I do not want to start a war in Golan, but partnerships, gardens, hospitals and projects open to all the Lebanese, Palestinians and everyone," Labwani added.


Regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict, Labwani said: "We didn’t give Jewish people other options. Jews are intelligent people and they have institutions, if you talk with them in the language of mind, logic and interests, they will understand you, while the Arab countries do not have neither minds nor interests. Here (in Israel), people listen to people and there are institutions and when you talk to them about the interests, it is possible to reach results."


Labwani left Israel convinced that he succeeded in his visit.


"I succeeded in my mission, but I did not achieve anything yet for my people, and that we will achieve if we came to an agreement in the United States", Labwani said. When we asked him how he believes and trusts Israel when its leaders confirm that in the current situation, the survival of Assad is better than any other alternative for Israel, Labwani said: "This sentence will not be heard again from Israeli officials, and this is one of the results that we have achieved in this visit. No more Assad nor IS; there is a third alternative for Israel; the Syrian people."


Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer 


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