In his speech he denounced his opponents as ‘enemies of God and puppets of the West’. Assad has also set out a plan involving a national dialogue conference and a referendum on a national charter.
Mr Assad’s speech was his first public speech since June 2012 and he rejected the Syrian opposition and said that Syria wanted to negotiate with the “master not the servants” as to negotiate with people who are not ‘terrorists’.
By the end of the speech he was mobbed on stage. Mr Assad had accused the rebels of stealing wheat from the people, depriving children of school and cutting off electricity and medical supplies. Here are his series of steps he said would provide a solution to the crisis:
– Outside powers to stop arming what he called “terrorist groups
– The army would then halt military operations, while reserving the right to defend state interests
– The government would then contact what he termed “Syrian individuals and political parties” to engage in a conference of national dialogue
– The conference would try to establish a national charter that would be put to a referendum, leading to parliamentary elections and a new government
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