New Delhi: Hitting out at the "western media war" against the Syrian regime, President Bashar Al-Assad's special envoy on Friday urged India and the other BRICS nations to speak out more forcefully to put an end to the raging violence in her country and for a political dialogue to help the Syrian people decide their own future.
Syrian special envoy Bouthaina Shaaban, addressing a news conference at the Indian Islamic Cultural Centre , said India and the other BRICS countries of Russia, China, Brazil and South Africa should make "a very strong decision" at the forthcoming summit at Durban to help put an end to the violence that has left an estimated 70,000 people dead.
They should also support a political solution in accordance with the Geneva accord, she added.
Shaaban, political and media adviser of President Assad, who has delivered a letter from him to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, has met External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed and National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon on Wednesday. She has been to China, Brazil and Russia to put forward the Syrian government's case.
"Like India we are a multicultural, multi-ethnic society, we are a secular society, Syrian people don't want fundamentalists to take over," said Shaaban, blaming neighbouring Turkey and Qatar for "spearheading a war against Syria".
Stating that the clashes in Syria are around the places where the rich oil and gas reserves are located, the envoy alleged that "what the west cares about is the oil and gas.
"Look what Libya is facing. Few know what is happening in Libya. Once NATO got into Libya, got the gas and oil, they took Libya off the screen. We don't want Syria to become like that."
Referring to the Iraq war, she said despite the West's intervention on the pretext of restoring democracy, "Is it (Iraq) a model of democracy? Or is it going to suffer for 50-100 years to come.
"Vicious sectarianism has been introduced in Iraq, and now it is on verge of partition.. Libya, Yemen, Tunisia, Iraq, Sudan - the design for the region is evil. To divide the countries into small states so that the Jewish state can be superior."
She alleged that more than 3.000 schools and around 2,000 factories were burnt down and libraries and museums looted in Syria by the "Wahhabi fundamentalist terrorists".
She denied any sectarian war in Syria, saying that while Assad is a Alawite, a Shia sect, there are Sunni ministers in his cabinet.
She said Turkey's Islamic prime minister was supporting Wahabi fundamentalists in fomenting violence in Syria and warned that it would affect Turkey in turn soon.
Shabaan said it was essential to first stop violence in Syria and after that hold dialogue to decide what the Syrian people want.