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Assad says process of reform in Syria not from foreign pressures

08-18-2011 08:49 BJT Special Report:Unrest in Syria |

DAMASCUS, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Wednesday that the process of reform in Syria emanates from the conviction and the pulse of the Syrians and does not come in compliance to any foreign pressures.

Al-Assad made the remarks during a meeting held with members of the central committee of the Baath party and representatives of popular syndicates.

Syria's official news agency (SANA) quoted al-Assad as saying that Syria would remain strong and never give up its dignity and sovereignty. He stressed that Syria is targeted today in an attempt to "weaken its resistance as defendant of legitimate rights."

SANA said the meeting tackled recent measures taken by the Syrian government on the road of building modern Syria, adding that an emphasis was put on the need of making Syria a "model" to be followed up in the entire region and "this could not be achieved without restoring security to the Syrian citizen and smashing out all aspects of armed forms."

Syria has been gripped by five months of anti-government protests, during which the protestors' demands have snowballed from modest reforms to the downfall of the leadership who has ruled the country for about four decades.

Activists say the unrest has claimed the lives of at least 1, 700 civilians, who were allegedly killed during the government's crackdown on anti-government protestors. However, the authorities disputed the toll, blaming the unrest on armed groups backed by foreign conspiracy aimed at fomenting crisis in the country.

International pressures have been increasing on the Syrian government to end its military crackdown. Syria defended its crackdown as saying it's tracking down terrorist groups tampering with its security and terrorizing people.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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