Agencia EFE, S.A. is the major multimedia news agency in Spanish and the world's fourth largest wire service after the Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse. (Wikipedia)
Assad in his element when given a chance to diagnose, and the EFE interviewers gave him plenty of opportunity to do so.
As introduction to the complete interview, which is stuffed with notable quotes, I've put together a handful of Assad's remarks:
"Actually, the reality if you want to go around in Syria, you will be surprised that most of the families of the militants, they don’t live with them, they live under the umbrella of the government, and they get the support of the government, which is another proof that we don’t work against the civilians or kill them, otherwise they would not come to the government’s side."
"Erdogan is a Muslim Brotherhood ideological person, so he cannot go against his ideology. He’s not a pragmatic man who thinks about the interests of his country. He’s working against the interests of his country for the sake of his ideology, whether it’s realistic or not. So we don’t expect Erdogan to change in that way."
"For us, in Syria, everyone who holds a machinegun is a terrorist, so without defining this term, reaching a definition, there’s no point of just meeting in New York, or anywhere else."
"This is a very complicated issue, not because of ISIS, because ISIS is an organization. There’s something more dangerous to be dealt with, which is the reasons. First of all, the ideology, something that’s been instilled in the minds of the people or the society in the Muslim world for decades now, because of the Wahabi institutions, because of the Saudi money that’s been paid to support this kind of dark and resentful ideology. Without dealing with this ideology, it’s just a waste of time to say we are going to deal with Daesh or al-Nusra or any other organization that belongs to Al Qaeda."
"So, this is something that should be dealt with on the long term; how to prevent those Wahabi institutions and Saudi money from reaching the Muslim institutions around the world in order to have more extremism and terrorism spreading around the world. This is first."
December 11, 2015