Pro-Assad demos held in Syria

DAMASCUS (AFP) – Tens of thousands of Syrians rallied on Tuesday in central Damascus in support of President Bashar al-Assad, a day after he offered a national dialogue to end Syria’s political crisis, an AFP correspondent said.

Omeyyades Square was turned into a sea of pro-Assad demonstrators, waving Syrian flags and the president’s portrait, chanting, “We will sacrifice ourselves for you, Bashar!”
 
State television said a huge demonstration in support of Assad was also being held in Homs, a city north of Damascus.
 
In a speech on Monday, Assad said a national dialogue could lead to a new constitution and even the end of his Baath party’s monopoly on power but insisted that there would be no reform in Syria during the current chaotic situation.
In a 70-minute televised speech, Assad acknowledged that the demands for reform were legitimate, but he reiterated allegations that “saboteurs” were exploiting the situation.

President Assad added, “Credibility has formed the basis of the relation between the people and me, the credibility which has been built on deeds and not words, on substance and not on form.”

Meanwhile, Syrian president ordered a new general amnesty for all crimes committed in the country up until June 20.

The state news agency, SANA, announced the move on Tuesday, nearly a month after Assad issued a similar amnesty for all political crimes.

“President Assad has issued a decree granting a general amnesty for crimes committed before the date of June 20, 2011,” SANA reported, without giving details.

The president ordered a reprieve on May 31 for all political prisoners in the country, including members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. Hundreds of detainees were released, according to rights groups.

From Tehran Times

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