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  • » 01/10/2012, 00.00

    SYRIA

    President Bashar al-Assad set to address the crisis in Syria, violence continues



    The Syrian leader will speak of the internal crisis and its effects on a regional and international level. June 20, 2011 he addressed the nation, with promises of reforms that were not implemented. Controversy shrouds the mission of Arab League observers.
    Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will address the nation today before noon (local time) focusing on domestic issues in the country, and on developments on a local and regional level. The brief announcement was made by the official Sana agency, recalling that on 20 June, the Syrian president had spoken on the situation, in the amphitheatre at the University of Damascus. On that occasion, Assad announced a series of reforms and changes, which have remained largely unfulfilled.

    Apart from an interview a few weeks ago to an American TV network, addresses by the Syrian president are very rare. It is quite significant that Assad should intervene today, given the growing controversy over the mission of Arab League observers and the continuing violence across the country coupled with fears that the situation could degenerate into a civil war.

    On 9 January, the Arab League decided that the observer mission will continue and be strengthened. Yesterday, the Syrian National Council, an organ of the opposition, attacked the Arab League mission, saying that it "tries to cover up the crimes of the Syrian regime giving it the time and opportunity to kill our people." The Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who hosts the opponents of the Syrian regime, said that "the situation in Syria is heading towards a sectarian and racial civil war, and this should be avoided" claiming his country has a leading role in resolving the crisis.

    Meanwhile, the leadership of the Baath Party is preparing to hold a general conference next month. According to reports in regional press it will decide launch a transformation from the one-party system to a more pluralistic one, with the aim of reaching a wider participation. The move, which will be managed by President Assad, according to analysts is a final attempt to prevent the further radicalization of the situation in Syria.

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    See also

    07/09/2011 SYRIA
    Syria’s no to Arab League imperils pan-Arabism
    By postponing the visit of the Arab League secretary, Damascus could undermine its own power. Could Arab forces act against it?

    10/01/2012 SYRIA
    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."

    05/07/2012 SYRIA
    Nuncio in Damascus: All peace initiatives to end the war in Syria
    Archbishop Mario Zenari appreciates the efforts of the UN, Arab League and the opposition that emerged during the meetings in Geneva and Cairo. But world leaders and Syria must not get lost in the details. Priority: evacuate civilians from affected towns.

    01/02/2012 UN-SYRIA
    UN deadlock over Syria. Russia and China block Arab League plan
    The United Nations Security Council discussed the Syrian crisis for a whole day without reaching a conclusion. India is also opposed to external pressures and demands that a political process led by Syrians, respecting the sovereignty of the country.

    16/01/2012 SYRIA
    Assad offers amnesty, Arab League discusses military intervention
    The act of clemency would apply to crimes committed during the ten months of unrest, and to deserters. Qatar sheikh calls for Arab troops deployment to the country to the stop the killing. He had taken the initiative against Gaddafi in Libya.



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