06 Jan '13, 7pm

Syria's Assad offers road map to end conflict

Syria's Assad offers road map to end conflict

DAMASCUS: President Bashar al-Assad offered a road map to end Syria's civil war in a rare speech Sunday in which he branded the opposition "slaves" of the West and told foreign powers to stop backing the rebels. The main armed opposition group the National Coalition, swiftly rejected the plan and Washington said Assad's speech, his first in public in seven months, showed he was "detached from reality." The European Union again called on him to step aside. Assad, speaking to wild applause from ecstatic crowds packed into a Damascus cultural centre, outlined a plan he said was aimed at resolving the 21-month conflict which the United Nations says has claimed more than 60,000 lives. The first step, he said, was for foreign powers to stop supporting armed rebels seeking to topple him. "Right after that, our military operations will cease," he said, adding, without elaborating,...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world/view/124...

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