A demonstration supporting the government of President Bashar al-Assad. The government has said that the unrest is a product of a western conspiracy., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Assad Blames 'Foreign Conspiracy' On Syrian Unrest
1/10/2012 6:41 AM ET
(RTTNews) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday alleged a "foreign conspiracy" to destabilize his country by encouraging unrest, and said that he would not step down as he enjoyed people's support.
In his first nationally televised address since he agreed to an Arab League plan to halt government crackdown on dissenters and withdraw troops from streets, a beleaguered Assad said he had not given any orders to shoot civilians. "There is no cover for anyone.
There are no orders for anyone to open fire on any citizen," he said in his address at the Damascus University where the audience was seen applauding his remarks.
Stressing his claims that a foreign conspiracy is behind the current unrest sweeping Syria, Assad said: "Nobody is deceived anymore. Regional and international parties who are trying to destabilize Syria can no longer falsify the facts and events."
"They turned to assassinations... with regional and international media coverage. After all their attempts failed, the role of foreigners emerged," he added.
Rejecting the Opposition demand for his resignation, Assad said "we will declare victory soon. When I leave this post it will be also based upon the people's wishes."
Referring to the Arab League monitors currently visiting Syria, he said he would not close doors to any regional solution, as long as it was one that respected Syrian sovereignty.
Taunting rulers of neighboring Arab countries, Assad asked what right the governments including the absolute monarchies of the Gulf had to lecture Syria about democracy or reform. "The first Parliament in Syria was in 1917. Where were they then?" he asked.
"Their situation is like a doctor who smokes and recommends to his patient to give up smoking while he, the doctor, has a cigarette in his mouth."
Assad also accused hundreds of media outlets of working against his country to "push us toward ... collapse. They failed, but they have not given up."
Assad has made few public appearances since anti-government protests erupted in March, drawing inspiration from the 'Arab Spring' uprisings sweeping North Africa and the Middle East. The United Nations says that thousands of people have been killed in brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters seeking reforms. Suppression of dissent had brought the country several round of sanctions and international isolation.
Assad came to power 11 years ago following the death of his father Hafez Assad who ruled the Middle East country for more than three decades.
by RTT Staff Writer
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