Advertisement
 
Monday, May 30, 2016
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
Subscribe to The Recorder

 

The Recorder Sports Schedule

Most Popular

    Area high school sports calendar
    Thursday, May 26, 2016

    Amsterdam man dies in car crash on Route 67
    Thursday, May 26, 2016

    Cheryl Reese recognized as 30-year employee for county
    Wednesday, May 25, 2016

    John H. Gentile
    Wednesday, May 25, 2016

    Agencies ask county to raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco products
    Thursday, May 26, 2016

    Council to ID skills community colleges need to emphasize
    Tuesday, May 24, 2016

    Students' success recognized at inaugural dinner
    Tuesday, May 24, 2016

    What's Happening
    Tuesday, May 24, 2016

    Stephen J. Widanka
    Tuesday, May 24, 2016

    Legislature sends local law for solar projects back to committee
    Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Advertisement

Copyright © McClary Media, Inc.

Privacy Policies: The Recorder

Contact Us

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook