Following the first conference of the National Salvation Front in London, Abdel Halim Khaddam gave interviews to AFP and UPI. Here are some excerpts from Khaddam's interview with AFP (Arabic. Elaph, 6/5/06).
Asked about the means to be used to change the regime in Syria, Khaddam said: "There exists in Syria a state of tension and suffering first because of repression and injustice and also because of poverty, hunger, and the economic crisis from which the country is suffering. ... There is popular pent-up tension, and there is fear and anxiety on the part of the regime, that is why it's using the security services to arrests citizens, especially intellectuals and writers, as it is in a state of fear of the domestic situation and the possibility of this situation quickly turning into a popular movement that would put it in a difficult position and lead to its downfall. The role of the National Salvation Front is to release this tension so as to reach the stage of civil disobedience, leading to the toppling of the regime peacefully. We will not resort to violence. ... We will not accept a military coup because we think that military coups have brought many disasters to Syria and other Arab states."
As for the Front's relations with other opposition forces in Syria, Khaddam said: "There are several organizations, and we are working on contacting these forces in order to unify everyone's efforts to make sure the change succeeds with everyone's participation. We will achieve this because we have common goals and the same motivations, and there are no contradictions between us as members of the opposition.
Khaddam was also asked about what the Front expected from the international community. He replied: "Our message to the international community is not to cover the mistakes of this regime and to help the Syrian people in confronting this crisis and getting rid of this tyrannical, corrupt regime which has lost both national and international legitimacy. Certainly we will work on explaining the situation in Syria for there to be a better understanding of this situation and in order to have a better movement towards supporting the Syrian people to get rid of this current crisis it's living in."
Khaddam gave another interview to UPI (Arabic. Al-Mustaqbal, 6/5/06). Here are some excerpts from that interview:
"Syria has two choices: the first is to continue with the current situation with the result being the end of Syria and the continued suffering of the Syrian people. The other path is to return to the people and build a new democratic system that adopts the principle of rotation in power through free elections. It would also guarantee the freedom of citizens, the freedom of society, and the freedom of groups and individuals ... and end the policy of isolation, discrimination, and ostracism."
Responding to a question about Iran's regional policy and its alliance with Syria, Khaddam replied, "Bashar Assad is not a strategic ally of Iran, but only a strategic tool." And commenting on the demands for Hezbollah's disarmament, he said, "Hezbollah has committed a sin in joining the political process [while retaining its arms]. ... [The unresolved status of the Shebaa Farms] has pushed other parties to ask why Lebanon should be held hostage to the policy of Bashar Assad or Iran."