WikiLeaks has published a document outlining the minutes of a high-level meeting between President Basher al-Assad and former United Nation’s Envoy to Syria Kofi Annan, during an effort to solve the Syrian crisis.
The Saudi diplomatic cable, one of thousands of documents released by WikiLeaks, shows Assad insisted on labeling Syria’s rebels as “terrorists”, claiming that the Syrian government is fighting a war against terrorism on behalf of the world.
The cables show that Assad warned Annan of possible “huge bloodshed” if the regime withdrew its forces from Syria’s cities, even though the meeting took place at a time when the revolution was in a peaceful stage.
The Saudi cable also described how Assad criticized and blamed Annan, saying: “You have not done anything, you have not pressured countries or other sides supporting the terrorist action in Syria”, adding “Before asking us to take any step forward, demand others to do so”. Assad also criticized Annan for reporting unfairly to the United Nations in regards to the Syrian crisis.
According to the cable, Annan requested the release of detainees to International observers, but was told by Assad that prisoners’ cases would be dealt with according to the “Syrian way”, with tribal prominent figures assigned to review the matter.
In the same meeting, Assad claimed that they had released many prisoners on grounds of amnesty, stating that demonstrations were also permitted inside Syria, much alike other countries.