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Supporters of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad welcomed his first public speech in seven months, despite international criticism of the message delivered at the Damascus Opera House.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague dismissed the speech, saying “empty promises of reform fool no one”.

Syria’s official opposition were not impressed either.

“He (Syrian president Bashar Al Assad) said that he will remain in power and that he wants the opposition to engage in a dialogue with him. How could he expect us to converse with a criminal, a killer, a man who does not abide by the law?” asked Haitham al-Maleh, a member of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu accused Assad of no longer being the “representative authority” over Syrians and concluded that Assad was repeating empty promises.

Refugees at a camp in Jordan say a peaceful solution is out of question after the president attacked his own people.

The conflict has caused 60,000 deaths according to the United Nations.

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