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I Have No Political Ambitions: Tlass

Businessman Feras Tlass said no political organization represents him
I Have No Political Ambitions: Tlass

Feras Tlass, the prominent Syrian businessman and son of former defense minister, Mustafa Tlass, has rejected claims he aspires to holding any political office after the revolution.


Tlass, in an interview with Zaman al-Wasl, said that even if he had such political ambitions, he has yet to find any political organization he feels comfortable with.


"There is part of me in every available organization, but each has something which I don’t like, and this applies to the Baath party as well as Al-Nusra and every other organization between them," Tlass said.


Tlass said the Syrian National Coalition is "dying," and described it as the opposition's copy of the National Progressive Front.

"The Muslim Brotherhood deals with the other components of the Coalition the way the Baath party dealt with the other parties in the Front," he said.


"What we really need is a political interface for the revolutionaries inside Syria," he continued.


Tlass said he considers the attitude of some opposition figures as overstated, with some seeing themselves as "bigger than the revolution," which is wrong.


He described "old friend" Michel Kilo as a deep political analyst "but not a politician," while Mouaz al-Khatib, he said has been oppressed in his leadership of the Coalition, as he is "nationalistic, honest and clever… and these features rarely gather in a public figure."


"I thought of him, and still do, as a director of a supreme commission dedicated to reconciliation and justice, which we will need to build a united Syria despite all those who don’t want it to be," Tlass said.


He said that Syria has the right to reconciliation with its past, in order to build its future correctly" and emphasized that "Syria needs just judicial trials, not those through the media or Facebook."


On his attitude to the revolution, Tlass said his position had always been one of conscience, not political.


"Now I want nothing more than to see my sons walking in the streets of Damascus without looking back," he said.


As for debts and external money, including from the Gulf to rebuild Syria, Tlass said that "Syria is absolutely not a poor country, but its resources were wrongly consumed in the past. If we want to be realistic now, Syria must borrow after all this destruction and has to accept foreign investments…To adapt, with some conditions, requires this kind of investment."


"National resources are not enough to rebuild Syria and the economy," he said.


Fears about putting the future of Syria into the hands of international financial institutions is "poetic speech more than economic."


"I want to ask: Syria didn’t borrow from the World Bank before and where did this lead us? Did it lead us to a strong economy and satisfied citizens? Or did it lead us to destruction, collapse and death?"


Tlass said that he believes in sharing a proportion of his company "Mas" with employees and allocating the rest to developmental projects targeting youth, women and culture.



Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer


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