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Pakistan’s ex-FM calls Syria’s Assad "good transitional figure"

October 26, 2015, 10:51 UTC+3 NEW DELHI

Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri also said that destroying Muslim states in the Middle East, North Africa and West Asia may lead to irreversible consequences

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Syria’s president Bashar Assad

Syria’s president Bashar Assad

© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

NEW DELHI, October 26. /TASS/. President Bashar Assad is an important figure during the transitional period in Syria and the international community, including the US and China, should back him, Pakistan's former Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri has told TASS.

"Frankly speaking, it depends on how you approach lots of time, do you regard President Assad as a stabilising force or a destabilising force. In my opinion, he could be a good transitional figure," Kasuri said in an exclusive interview with TASS.

The diplomat also said he understands Russia’s position to support Assad. "If Russia wants stability, I can understand them wanting transitional figure," he said. "So the best advice I can give being a Muslim is go for a quick solution, allow state structures to stay, have a transitional government supported by all, United States, Russia, China."

Meanwhile, Kasuri stressed that he does not see Assad as Syria’s leader in future. "He [Assad] cannot be a stabilising force in the future because the Sunnis hate him," the diplomat said.

"Otherwise, it will cause so much destabilisation that you have no idea and it will particularly cause problems in Russia which has a large Muslim population," Kasuri said.

Kasuri also said that destroying Muslim states in the Middle East, North Africa and West Asia may lead to irreversible consequences.

"If you do not destroy Muslim countries like Americans destroyed Iraq and then they destroyed Libya and they are trying to destabilise certain regions without caring for consequences, then of course when you destabilise a modern existing state, you are asking for trouble."

"That means everything is in the open. Now the fight begins, Islamic renaissance is there, everything is there. It is a fight for hearts and minds. As long as Iraq had a strong state, the same people lived there, the same religion they practiced but they were kept in check," he said.

The diplomat said after the foreign interference in the Muslim states, "a new equilibrium has to be created, that may take 20 years, 30 years, 40 years, so nobody knows what will come out of it. It is a very dangerous thing to destroy existing states."

Earlier this month, Kasuri, who was Pakistan’s foreign minister from November 2002 until November 2007, presented his first book in India titled "Neither a Hawk Nor a Dove: An Insider's Account of Pakistan's Foreign Relations.".

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