01/10/2012, 00.00
SYRIA
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Assad: we will declare victory soon against the international conspiracy

Basically nothing new in the long-awaited speech by the Syrian president. There is no order to open fire on the citizens. " Criticism of the Arab League, in which there are no democratic countries but which wants to give lessons in democracy and threatens to "increase sectarian divisions", but Damascus "will not close the door."
Beirut (AsiaNews) - "We will declare an early victory" against the "international conspiracy" that has led to ten months of protests in Syria, and despite interference from Arab countries who want to give lessons in democracy to Damascus, without having a single democracy within their group. Only after this "victory" will it be possible to build reforms, including the possibility of putting an end to single party rule.

Basically nothing new in the highly anticipated speech that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad held this morning at the University of Damascus (pictured) and broadcast live on national TV. The intervention was also highly anticipated because for months he had failed to appear on television to address a crisis that has cost the lives, according to the UN, of at least five thousand people.

"There is no order to open fire on the citizens," declared Assad, who repeated his version of the protests, moved by "regional and international forces that are trying to destabilize Syria and which can not continue for much longer to falsify the facts and events". These “fabrications” in fact were the cause, he added, for the decision to "control" the media, including the ban on foreign in the country.

The President has also criticised the Arab League countries, which objected to Damascus’ behaviour, asking what right have countries without a single democracy to give lessons in democracy and reforms to Syria, "in which the first parliament dates to 1917." "The situation - he said - is that of a doctor who smokes and, holding a cigarette in his mouth, he tells his patients not to smoke." Despite the fact that Syria does not want to "close its doors," "provided that its sovereignty is respected."

Further, concerning the Arab League, Assad says it he was he who proposed the sending observers "to ascertain the truth," but fear that they might end up increasing "sectarian" divisions.

Assad's criticism of the Arab League are the only aspect of his speech, which coincides with the opposition, according to which observer mission is in fact covering the continuation of violence by security forces. (PD)

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