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» 06/21/2011
SYRIA
Damascus Christian personality: change, but not at the price of civil war
Assad has denounced a plot against Syria and promised amendments to the Constitution. Opposition demonstrations against the president’s overtures, branded as "insufficient" even from his Turkish counterpart Gul. AsiaNews sources: the future is uncertain, the country is being subjected to "premeditated international pressure" need for more balance in West and media.

Damascus (AsiaNews) - "We want change, but not at the price of blood and civil war." This is what a Christian source in Damascus tells AsiaNews, who has requested anonymity for security reasons. The people are calling for 'reforms and fight against corruption ", but there is also the fear that the situation can escalate. Yesterday Bashar al-Assad gave a speech to the nation, the third after two months of silence. The internal opposition strongly criticized the words of the Syrian president, deemed "insufficient", also by his Turkish counterpart Gul and the Western bloc.

Bashar al-Assad delivered his speech in the aula magna of the University of Damascus, a speech that lasted about 70 minutes and broadcast live on state television. Three main points of the president's speech: first, he admitted that Syria was experiencing "difficult days" due to a plot hatched by " blasphemous intellectuals" and "foreigners who threaten national unity and risk causing the collapse of the economy". He then announced the creation of a committee of 100 scholars, called to consider amendments to the Constitution. Finally he promised "gradual changes" in a process that should conclude by September or, at most, the end of the year.

Assad's words were rejected by the opposition, which within a few minutes from the end of his speech took to the streets to demonstrate in several cities: on the streets of Aleppo, Homs, Hama, Lattakia demonstrators chanted slogans against the regime, demanding greater "dignity and freedom." Criticism of the Syrian president also came from the Turkish Abdullah Gul, who branded the Assad’s concessions as "unsatisfactory", giving him "a week to implement reforms." Meanwhile the EU is drawing up a new round of sanctions against Damascus, while the refugee emergency continues (nearly 9 thousand) along the border with Turkey.

Commenting on the President’s words, the source spoke to AsiaNews about the "difficult situation" because Assad "wants to make reforms, but the opposition does not intend to wait, it demands change now". What was proposed, he said, "can not be done overnight" and "it is not possible to envisage future developments", because "everything depends on how the situation develops." The Christian source denounces "premeditated international pressure," of "indiscriminate criticism" because "any opening would not be enough" in their eyes.

The source says feeling is emerging in Damascus "that the media are actually pushing an agenda in their news reports, because they want the regime to change". From the home front there is a visible "will to remodel a new Middle East on the basis of a religious nature," as in Iraq where "Christians are fleeing in fear" and are among the targets of attacks.

Finally the AsiaNews source launches an appeal to the media and the West to "reflect before they act." "We all want to reform and to fight corruption – he clarifies - we want change, but not through the spilling of blood and civil war." Because if it is true that there are riots, demonstrations and dead ends, it is equally true that these episodes appear to be "fomented" from the outside. (DS)

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See also
08/25/2011 SYRIA
Assad speaks of reform and security. The opposition is divided
by JPG
08/30/2011 SYRIA
Melkite Patriarch of Damascus calls for urgent dialogue between government and youth
by JPG
03/05/2015 SYRIA
Aleppo, Syrian rebels attack the Damascus intelligence headquarters: dozens dead
02/21/2013 SYRIA
Carbombing rocks Damascus, 53 dead
07/26/2012 SYRIA
Al Qaeda-allied Islamic rebels in the fight against Assad

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