‘Assad is a brutal tyrant’ – People Before Profit national secretary reveals tough foreign policy stance ahead of election

As Ireland continues to welcome refugees fleeing Syria, People Before Profit has branded the country’s ruler a “brutal tyrant and a dictator”.

By Cameron Weymes

Ahead of this weekend’s General Election, People Before Profit National Secretary Kieran Allen has come out in complete and unequivocal opposition to Bashar al-Assad in an exclusive interview with TheCity.ie. 

The party of outspoken TD Richard Boyd Barrett is taking a tough stance on the Syrian leader who has overseen more than 500,000 deaths in his country since the outbreak of the civil war.

Kieran Allen, the party’s National Secretary, told this website:

“We regard Bashar al-Assad as a brutal tyrant and a dictator” 

“In addition, we oppose the presence of the many foreign powers in the country – along with their aerial bombardments of the civilian population.”

And with Ireland hoping to take a seat on the United Nations Security Council for the 2021-2022 term, People Before Profit have outlined their stance on the Middle East and beyond.

Ireland’s UN candidacy is bringing party stances on foreign policy issues beyond our immediate borders into sharper focus during this general election.

Despite being a small party, People Before Profit’s members are often among the most outspoken in the Dáil about international issues like Palestine and Syria.

Generally, the party takes an anti-imperialist attitude towards the world and is a fierce critic of US foreign policy.

“Our candidates elected to the Dáil will promote human rights and stand up against colonisation globally.

Twitter/@LeoVaradkar

“If elected, we will oppose the United States’ war efforts around the globe, along with their presence at Shannon Airport,” Allen explains.

A likely issue for the UN Security Council during Ireland’s potential membership is that of Israel and Palestine. That issue alone has been the subject of 225 UN Security Council resolutions since 1948.

People Before Profit has a history of opposition to Israeli government policies – and settler colonialism – in the occupied West Bank. 

“We reject Israeli colonialism and the recent farcical peace deal offered to the Palestinians that greatly favoured the Israelis,” Allen told TheCity.ie.

Since 2012, Syria has been the subject of 16 UN Security Council resolutions and is likely to be on the agenda during Ireland’s potential tenure next year.

Meanwhile, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is likely to cause issues for the Security Council in the near future as his country plays an increasingly active and aggressive role in the Mediterannean and beyond. This was most notable during Turkey’s recent incursion into Syria.

Allen said the PBP is “in favour of the rights of the Kurdish people in Northern Syria and elsewhere.”

He added: “The Kurds have been used and abused and we condemn the recent Turkish aggression against the [Kurdish-led] SDF.”

In Iraq, the assassination of Qassem Soleimani by order of US president Donald Trump led the parliament in Baghdad to request that the US military leave the country. 

The PBP is “opposed to the presence of US troops in Iraq or any country in the Middle East,” Allen said. 

The UN Security Council now recognises climate change as a “threat-multiplier” that negatively impacts world peace – but People Before Profit go a step further in their “Planet Before Profit” manifesto.

“Carbon-fuelled capitalism is now the biggest threat facing humanity,” it says, adding: “If we do not act immediately, we will face extreme weather, flooding and intolerable heat in the near future.”

Photo credit: Pexels

What is the United Nations Security Council?

The role of the United Nations Security Council is to maintain peace and security in the world.

They seek to determine whether there is a threat to world peace or an act of aggression among a nation state.

They can take action with methods such as sanctions or the deployment of peacekeeping troops.

Irish soldiers are currently deployed as peacekeepers in the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East.

The Security Council is made up of 15 different nations, five of which are permanent members: China, Russia, the US, France and the UK.

The other ten seats are rotated among the rest of the world and a country can be elected for a two-year term on the council.

Ireland has previously served three terms on the council, most recently in 2001-2002, when they had to deal with the aftermath of 9/11 and the subsequent US invasion of Afghanistan.

And if Ireland is to be elected to the council again next year, you can be sure People Before Profit candidates will be seeking to influence our decision making process.

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