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  1/10/2012, Tevet 15, 5772

Assad: I'm Not Stepping Down


Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad said, Tuesday, that he does not intend to give up his position, despite ten months of unrest in his country. In a speech to the nation he said,  "I hold the post of president by virtue of the people and will leave this job if the Syrian people want me to." He added, "These unfortunate incidents have caused a heavy price, creating a scar on my heart. I call on all Syrians to listen to reason when coping with this crisis."

Assad argued that an international conspiracy against him, "There are international and regional organizations who want to undermine the stability of Syria. There are dozens of TV channels and Web sites who want to paralyze our will." Regarding the prohibition of entry of non-Syrian media to the country, he said, "all Arab channels were free to enter the country, but following the organized media campaign against Syria, which relied on incorrect information, we decided to be selective and choose who will enter our territory. Only then can we put an end to the false reports." He continued, "There were rumors that the President escaped or fallen [died -ed.]. They want to describe me as a person who abandons responsibility. I tell them I'm not one who abandons responsibility."