Advertisement
 
Friday, December 19, 2014
Amsterdam, NY ,

A boy is seen through a car window as he rides on the back of a truck in the streets of Aleppo, Syria, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013. The revolt against President Bashar Assad that started in March 2011 began with peaceful protests but morphed into a civil war that has killed more than 60,000 people, according to a recent United Nations recent estimate. (AP Photo/ Andoni Lubaki)

Advertisement

Assad outlines new Syria peace plan

Sunday, January 06, 2013 - Updated: 6:09 PM

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad on Sunday outlined a new peace initiative that includes a national reconciliation conference and a new government and constitution but demanded regional and Western countries stop funding and arming rebels first.

Assad ignored international demands for him to step down and said he is ready to hold a dialogue with those "who have not betrayed Syria."

Syrian opposition forces, including rebels on the ground, are likely to reject Assad's proposal. They have repeatedly said they will accept nothing less than the president's departure, dismissing any kind of settlement that leaves him in the picture.

"We are in a state of war. We are fighting an external aggression that is more dangerous than any others, because they use us to kill each other," he said.

He stressed the presence of religious extremists and jihadi elements among those fighting in Syria, calling them "terrorists who carry the ideology of al-Qaeda" and "servants who know nothing but the language of slaughter."

Assad was speaking Sunday in a rare address to the nation, his first since June. He spoke to a packed hall at the Opera House in central Damascus, and the audience frequently often broke out in cheers and applause.

Wearing a suit and tie, the president spoke before a collage of pictures of what appeared to be Syrians who have been killed since March 2011.

The Internet was cut in many parts of Damascus ahead of the address, apparently for security reasons.

As in previous speeches, Assad said his forces were fighting groups of "murderous criminals" and jihadi elements and denied that there was an uprising against his family's decades-long rule.

He struck a defiant tone, saying Syria will not take dictates from anyone but urged Syrians to unite to save the country.

"The first part of a political solution would require regional powers to stop funding and arming (the rebels), an end to terrorism and controlling the borders," he said.

He said this would then be followed by dialogue and a national reconciliation conference and the formation of a wide representative government which would then oversee new elections, a new constitution and general amnesty.

However, Assad made clear his offer to hold a dialogue is not open to those whom he considers extremists or carrying out a foreign agenda.

"We never rejected a political solution ... but with whom should we talk? With those who have extremist ideology who only understand the language of terrorism?" he said.

"Or should we with negotiate puppets whom the West brought. ... We negotiate with the master not with the slave."

As in previous speeches and interviews, he clung to the view that the crisis in Syria was a foreign-backed agenda and said it was not an uprising against his rule.

"Is this a revolution and are these revolutionaries? By God I say they are a bunch of criminals," he said.

     

Comments made about this article - 0 Total

Comment on this article

Advertisement
The Recorder Sports Schedule

 

The Recorder Newscast

Most Popular

    Area high school sports calendar
    Tuesday, December 16, 2014

    Amsterdam Police help Schenectady find homicide suspect
    Thursday, December 18, 2014

    URGENT New York panel picks 3 upstate resort casinos
    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    Amsterdam's comeback attempt falls short in loss to defending NYS Class A champion Scotia-Glenville
    Saturday, December 13, 2014

    Lady Rams defeat S-G
    Saturday, December 13, 2014

    Port Jackson Media changes ownership
    Tuesday, December 16, 2014

    Jury acquits Broadalbin woman in fatal crash trial
    Saturday, December 13, 2014

    New tax: Vehicle use tax approved
    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    The Outlet Pass: AHS, B-P set to meet
    Monday, December 15, 2014

    Amsterdam bounces back from S-G defeat with impressive win over Broadalbin-Perth
    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Advertisement

Copyright © Port Jackson Media

Privacy Policies: The Recorder

Contact Us

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook