News Focus – Syrian conflict caused by geopolitical factors

Jakarta, Nov 4 (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Ambassador to the Syrian Arab Republic, Djoko Harjanto, speaking at a seminar held by the Indonesian Syrian Alumni Association recently explained that the current Syrian conflict was caused by geopolitical factors and was influenced by the Arab Spring situation.

At the opening of the seminar in Jakarta, Ambassador Djoko explained the history of the conflict in Syria that began with a wave of protests known as Arab Spring in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

"The Arab Spring scenario then spread to Syria with the aim of bringing down the government of President Bashar Al Assad," the ambassador said.

The ambassador stressed that all information presented at the seminar was a fact which he obtained as a representative of Indonesia in Syria.

"There is nothing I subtract and add. What I say is the fact that I got directly during my serving time as Indonesian Ambassador to Syria. Sweet or bitter is a fact, without any tendency to support certain parties," he stressed.

According to the ambassador, the demands for democratization in Syria changed after it was found that demonstrators were carrying weapons in the Daraa region.

Furthermore, the political situation has worsened with the intervention of various foreign groups including ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) and Jabhat Al Nusra which are affiliated with Al-Qaeda, as well as Western and Israeli influence.

The ambassador also stressed that the United States, European Union countries, Israel and even the Gulf countries also supported and funded the armed opposition groups.

"It is clear that the conflict in Syria is sparked by foreign parties. It is a geopolitical conflict and not a Shia-Sunni sectarian conflict," Ambassador Djoko said.

He underlined that the main task of the Indonesian Ambassador to Syria was to protect Indonesian citizens in the country.

Ahsin Mahrus, an Indonesian student in Damascus who was also the speaker at the seminar, added that when Ambassador Djoko Harjanto arrived as the Indonesian representative in Damascus, the first thing he asked was to visit an Indonesian citizen in Adra prison located in the center of the conflict area, near Ghouta.

"I remember, when I arrived in Syria, the first thing the ambassador did was to ensure the safety of the Indonesian citizens in the area. Initially, there was no staff dared to accompany him, but because of his courage he finally left for Adra wearing a bulletproof vest and helmet," Ahsin explained.

In 2015 the ambassador also tried to penetrate Aleppo to ensure the condition of Indonesian citizens and the evacuation process.

Source: ANTARA News

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