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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Tuesday, October 16, 2018

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Syrian President gives long awaited speech

Speaking to an appreciative crowd at the Opera House in the capital Damascus

Share on Facebook January 7, 2013, Reporter : Big News Network, Reader : 639

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Damascus January 6, 2013: Syria's president Bashar al-Assad has spoken in public for the first time in seven months.

Speaking to an appreciative crowd at the Opera House in the capital Damascus, Assad firmly rejected talks with the opposition whom he said were being managed by outsiders.

He said the current conflict had been brought about by outsiders, who had ensured there could be no independence because of the introduction of international politics and opposition fighters whom he branded "terrorists and murderous criminals".

Referring to his detractors as "puppets" he told his followers that Syria is "in a state of war."

However, he appealed for dialogue once fighting ends saying he would not step down but would offer a peace plan, a new constitution and an amnesty.

Following the speech, there was international criticism of his message.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague dismissed the speech, saying "empty promises of reform fool no one".

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu accused Assad of no longer being the "representative authority" in Syria and said that Assad was repeating empty promises.

Syria's official opposition, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, said they would not enter into dialogue with "a criminal, a killer, a man who does not abide by the law."

According to the United Nations, the conflict in Syria has caused 60,000 deaths. more...

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