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Syria's Assad refuses to resign

[ 2012-01-11 17:03]     字号 [] [] []  
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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad vowed on Tuesday to respond to threats against him with an "iron hand" and refused to step down, insisting he still has his people's support despite the 10-month uprising.

In the president's first national address in more than six months, Assad said no one can denythat fighting the "terrorists" is the right policy and pledged the government's continued efforts to ensure the country's security.

Assad said in a two-hour speech at Damascus University that his priority is to regain the security in which the country "basked in for decades, and this can only be achieved by hitting the terrorists with an iron hand".

"We will not be lenient with those who work with outsiders against the country," he said.

Assad also lashed out at the Arab League, saying the Cairo-based bloc failed to protect Arab interests. The league has suspended Syria and sent a team of monitors to assess whether the government is abiding by an Arab-brokered peace plan that Assad agreed to on Dec 19. The moves were humiliating for Syria, which considers itself a powerhouse of Arab nationalism.

Assad said that "The Arab League failed for six decades to protect Arab interests, and was not surprised that it has "failed" again.

The president has made only four public speeches since the anti-government uprising began in March, inspired by the revolutions sweeping the Arab world. The government's crackdown on dissent has killed more than 5,000, according to UN figures, and led to international isolation and sanctions.

Tuesday's speech differed little from his previous appearances, in that Assad struck a defianttone and reiterated claims of conspiracy.

The opponents denounced the speech. A Syria-based activist claimed that "Bashar is completely removed from reality, as if he is talking about a country other than Syria".

Also on Tuesday, Assad accused hundreds of media outlets of working against Syria to "push us toward ... collapse".


1. Where did Assad give his two hour speech?

2. Which city is the Arab League based in?

3. What did the Syria-based activist claim about Assad?


1. Damascus University.

2. Cairo.

3. That he is completely removed from reality.

(中国日报网英语点津 Rosy 编辑)

Syria's Assad refuses to resign

About the broadcaster:

Syria's Assad refuses to resign

Emily Cheng is an editor at China Daily. She was born in Sydney, Australia and graduated from the University of Sydney with a degree in Media, English Literature and Politics. She has worked in the media industry since starting university and this is the third time she has settled abroad - she interned with a magazine in Hong Kong 2007 and studied at the University of Leeds in 2009.