Following are excerpts from President Bashar Al-Assad's remarks following his meeting with the new president of Pakistan:
"We, in Syria, remember with great appreciation Pakistan's positions toward Syria and the Arab nation throughout the Arab-Zionist conflict, a conflict that stems from Israel's aggression on Arab land. We especially appreciate Pakistan for refraining from recognizing Israel and from relations with it at the expense of the Arab nation."
"We stand by Pakistan in its just cause and hope that it will find proper solutions to its regional problems and challenges. The Arab Syrian people followed developments in Pakistan [i.e. the recent coup] with great empathy, in the hope that the Pakistani people - our brothers - will gain the power, the regional and international importance, and the prosperity to which they aspire. We hope that they will continue to support and defend the causes of the Islamic nation, and especially the sites that are holy to Islam and Christianity on the dear Palestinian land, and first and foremost, Jerusalem."
"The Arab-Zionist conflict is a struggle between truth and falsehood; between the spirit of tolerance and peace of Islam and the Zionist path of racism and aggression, as represented by Israel... It is a struggle between the desire for a peace based on justice and the granting of rights to their lawful owners, on the one hand, and the Israeli criminal aggression and barbaric crimes, on the other. Israel has been committing [these crimes], ever since it was [a bunch of] racist gangs; and it still commits them [now] that it is a state based on loathsome racist values and hatred towards Arabs and Islam."
"The Arab nation believed in resolving the conflict by a just and lasting peace based on the resolutions of international legitimacy and the principle of land for peace. According to this principle, Israel will withdraw from the Arab-Syrian Golan to the June 4, 1967 lines, complete its withdrawal from Lebanese lands, free the Arab prisoners, and fully recognize the right of the Palestinian people to establish an independent state with Holy Jerusalem as its capital, and the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland."
"But Israel responded to this position with deception, evasion and even with aggression and crimes, as we saw and still see on Palestinian lands. They threaten with aggression and evade the commitments they made to the international community."
"Threats will not divert us from the struggle for the liberation of the occupied lands, the return of stolen rights and the striving for a comprehensive and lasting peace. Never again will we fall into the trap of false and empty promises."
 Syrian News Agency [SANA], January 7, 2001. Bashar Al-Assad said almost the same thing following his meeting the Chinese deputy foreign minister. Al-Safir (Lebanon), January 11, 2001.