06/01/13 13:16 CET
| updated xx mn ago
| updated at xx
Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad has given his first public speech in seven months – rejecting the idea of talks with what he described as the “puppet” opposition.
Speaking to a raptuous crowd in Damascus, Assad, who has not been seen in public since November, blamed the conflict on outside forces using a “handful of Syrians and many foreigners.”
He also said the country is “in a state of war in every sense of the word”.
“The relationship between the opposition and the Syrian regime must be internal, but if an internal part is managed by the outside there is a relationship between inside and outside, between the country’s liberation and it’s independence. It has now become a matter of international politics, with outside forces becoming involved,” Assad told the audience.
The president branded opposition fighters “terrorists” and “murderous criminals”.
His proposals for a peace plan include a new constitution and an amnesty. He also appealed for dialogue once fighting ends.
However, there was no talk of him stepping down.
Latest world news
A leading German politician says the country’s mosques should come under state control
Will Michel Platini be back in charge for Euro 2016?
Air strike on Kunduz hospital ‘not a war crime’ says US military report
Lisbon is a no-go, taxis on a go-slow
The United Nations appeals to save the truce and negotiations in Syria
Wires > News
- 01:51 CET Oil rig helicopter crashes off Norway coast, 13 presumed dead
- 00:44 CET Six-storey building collapses as floods hit Kenyan capital, three…
- 00:10 CET Britain praises Cuba’s Castro for embracing realities of modernity
- 23:29 CET ‘Monstrous’ violence in Syria as government excludes Aleppo from…
- 23:12 CET Russian fighter did barrel roll over U.S. reconnaissance plane -…
- 21:30 CET China denies Hong Kong visit request by U.S. carrier group -…
- 21:14 CET Iran moderates eye more gains in run-off parliamentary election
- 20:14 CET Lavrov, Kerry discuss ways to strengthen Syria ceasefire – Russian…