ZALIN (QAMISHLI) – The Syriac Union Party (SUP) in Syria issued a statement denouncing statements made by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in which the leader of the Syrian Baath regime distorted the origin and identity of Syria and the Syriac people. In his speech to representatives of the Syrian Ministry of Endowments, al-Assad answered those doubting the Arab origin of Syria, the Levant, and the Middle East that those living in Syria in history were Arabs but spoke Aramaic because it was the dominant language:
The SUP statement reads as follows:
The Syrian regime and its President Bashar al-Assad continue to deny the original identities of Syria and stubbornly refuse to recognize them, including the Syriac identity. This is nothing less than the deliberate continuation of the abolishment of the national rights of the Syriac people (Arameans-Assyrians-Chaldeans) in Syria and to end their ancient existence. This denialist policy has been persistently practiced by the Syrian Baath regime during its 50 year-rule over the peoples of Syria.
Today, we find out through al-Assad’s speech before representatives of the Syrian Ministry of Endowments that this policy of denial of the Syriacs as a people will not change. His words distort history by falsifying established facts. Furthermore, by claiming one unified [Arab] identity and religion for Syria he sanctifies the regime’s exclusivist chauvinism which led the country to the tragic state it is in today in the first place. Therefore, the Syriac Union Party considers this denialist policy only deepening the current crisis and al-Assad’s statements are merely a next step in hindering a political solution to the crisis.
Al-Assad’s speech meant to satisfy sentiments of certain groups within Syrian society to continue his rule, but it makes a useless and unconstructive attempt, unbeneficial for any real solution for Syria. It is in fact a policy that only further divides Syrian society and creates more discrimination and discord.
We in the Syriac Union Party reject these insulting statements against the Syriac people (Arameans- Assyrians-Chaldeans) and Syria, the cradle of many ancient civilizations and humanity that contributed to the spread of science, language, and cultures all over the whole world. At the same time, we do stress the importance of the role of the Arabs, their history, and culture, as well as of the Kurds and all other nationalities living in Syria. But we are against the chauvinist project that cancels out the ‘other’ and annihilates the rights of the indigenous peoples in Syria; it is in violation of international law.
We can only conclude that the continuation of this denialist and chauvinist mentality of the Syrian regime keeps it far away from the required political solution to be implemented as intended in the ongoing negotiations in Geneva. This requires the unification of all efforts of the Syrian democratic opposition under the slogan “Syria is for all its people.” We repeat our call to achieve the demands of the peoples of Syria by building a decentralized, pluralistic, democratic Syria that guarantees equality to all nationalities, religions, private and public rights. We also call on our Syriac people and all its organizations and institutions to stand together and reclaim their usurped rights, defend their identity, and their threatened existence on their historical land.
Disclaimer: translated from the original Arabic.
بيان للرد على تصريحات بشار الاسد ضد الهوية السريانية في سوريا وضد هذه العقلية الشوفينية وهي لا تقل عن جرائم الابادة التي تعرض اليها السريان عبر تاريخهم pic.twitter.com/5mgPNnvU2m
— sanharib barsom (@SanharibB) December 11, 2020