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Syrian President makes televised speech

01-11-2012 08:55 BJT

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has delivered a speech on State television on "internal issues and international and regional developments". He spoke at noon local time, his fourth speech since the start of anti-government protests last March.

Bashar al-Assad claims foreign parties are trying to destabilize the country, as pressure mounts for the United Nations to take the lead in efforts to end 10 months of bloodshed.

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar
Assad delivers a speech at Damascus Univeristy, Syria, Tuesday, January 10, 2012.

He blames terrorists for the country’s chaotic situation. He says Syria is risking losing its sovereignty. He also says Syrians are surprised that Arabs are not standing with Syria.

He accused the international community of trying to use Arab countries as cover for interference in Syria. He also blasted the mission of Arab League monitors, saying it has so far failed.

Bashar al-Assad said: "The Arab role we’ve recently seen in Syria, we’ve never witnessed before in any other parts of the Arab world, not during the invasion of Iraq or Libya. And now they’ve failed to convince the world with their lies, they needed an Arab cover to continue their plans. I was the first person to call for the Arab initiative months ago, but they showed no interest back then. And now all of a sudden, it’s become an international interest. Even if they suspend Syria’s membership in the Arab League, everybody knows that Syria is the heart of the body. And without the heart, the body cannot survive."

Assad hit out at the Arab League even further. He asked what right governments, including the absolute monarchies of the Gulf, had to lecture Syria about democracy or reform.

But he left the door open for negotiation, under conditions.

Bashar al-Assad said: "We do not close the door for the solutions or suggestions, and we do not close any door for any Arab initiative, as long as they respect Syrian sovereignty and the freedom of our decision and care about the unity of our nation."

Assad says the committee entrusted with rewriting the Syrian constitution is at its final stages. He says the new version will be focused on political and party pluralism and institutions and it will be put to the people.

Bashar al-Assad said: "I want to make sure that there will be a national referendum because the constitution is not for the country but it is in the interest each Syrian citizen. We will go to the referendum, after the committee will finish its work and give the constitution. We will put it in the constitution channels, aiming to go to the referendum and the referendum on a new constitution expected in March."

The President said he will not step down because he has support from the people.

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian
President Bashar Assad delivers a speech at Damascus Univeristy,
Syria, Tuesday, January 10, 2012.


Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: CNTV.CN

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