The crisis in the Middle East has brought tens of thousands of refugees from Syria, Libya and Iraq to Europe. Syria is the main hotspot in the Middle East today. A military solution to the Syrian conflict does not exist - Bashar Assad's army would have destroyed all militants long ago otherwise, Orientalist Said Gafurov said in an interview with Pravda.Ru.
"Current TV reports are all about the refugee crisis in Europe. Crowds of refugees in European countries, piles of garbage in the streets and frightened Europeans who, in fact, have never been able to protect themselves. Is it a new wave of the great migration of people?"
"This is a very serious crisis, of course, but the the current amount of refugees is not dangerous to Europe yet. Some predict that their number may grow to one million people, though. In Russia, however, we have two million officially registered Ukrainian refugees."
"Don't you think that the refugees from Ukraine in Russia are very much different from the refugees that Europe is dealing with right now? It goes about language, their lifestyle and mentality. People have been migrating to Europe from those regions for decades. Today, there is a crowd of them migrating, and they do not know either local European traditions or European languages - they only want something."
"The Syrians say that the current events in Europe are a part of a deliberately organized action. All the refugees that have been flowing into Europe are coming from refugee camps in Europe. Most likely, it was the Turkish government who started all this. Turkey can not afford maintaining refugee camps. The Turks have actually started a war on two fronts: with the Islamic State and the Kurds. They do not need the problem of the refugees."
"Does Europe need this problem? People go to Europe without any belongings - they do not even have warm clothes."
"The Syrians, like all people, have their flaws. However, Syria has always been a "crossroads of the world." History has taught them how to be polite, how to learn to coexist with other nations, nationalities and religions. But I assure you, the Syrians quickly learn to adapt themselves to new conditions. According to official data, there are 100,000 Syrians living in Moscow today - does anyone notice that?"
"Against the background of the refugee crisis, everyone has suddenly discovered that "Europe without borders" is nothing more but a nice myth. In fact, Europe is fragmented, embittered, and everyone is blaming each other for what is happening."
"Migrants are cheap labor force. The Syrians and Libyans will certainly work for lower wages, without trade unions.
"A Ukrainian website has recently reported that Russia has already started receiving coffins with the bodies of Russian soldiers, who were killed in Syria. The Ukrainian media are in no way a reliable source of information. The question is - does Russia take part in the combat actions in Syria?"
"Someone said: "We are not crazy to go into Syria." There is no military solution to the Syrian crisis. The Syrian army, in its current state, is capable of destroying any city. Yet, this is not the goal for the Syrian leadership. The Syrian administration wants to solve the crisis by political means. A war in this case is a tool to create conditions for a political settlement.
"Of course, there are Russian specialists in Syria today. Russia has been cooperating with Syria for decades. Russian experts maintain Russian-made equipment in Syria and train the Syrian military. Still, there are no regular Russian troops in Syria. The rumors about the coffins appeared after the meeting with representatives of the Syrian opposition in Moscow. That was a breakthrough meeting. The UN set up four workgroups, in which all representatives of the current opposition will be represented. That was a huge diplomatic success of Russia, which, of course, they had to defame.
"Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov asked his US counterpart Secretary of State John Kerry why Washington considered Bashar Assad an illegitimate president. For some reason, when the US was signing the treaty for the destruction of chemical weapons with Syria, Assad was a legitimate president for the US administration.
"The essence of the Syrian problem is that during a direct, open and honest election, Assad gets sixty or seventy percent of the vote and becomes the winner in the first round already. Yet, the remaining 30 percent do not want to see him as president at all. The split in the Syrian society is so strong that people are ready to shoot each other. The country needs reforms, and Assad does not deny it.
The following year, Syria will hold parliamentary elections, and the opposition demands the government should be formed by the parliament, but not the president. The Syrian leadership does not mind delegating a part of the powers of the president to the parliament and the government."
Interview conducted by Inna Novikova
Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru