Syrian president maintains "business as usual": In an interview aired on Monday on the Hezbollah
affiliated al-Mayadeen network, Bashar Assad
said there is no reason why he should not run for president in the 2014 elections.
However, he stressed that it is still too early to discuss his candidacy before a date has been set.
Later in the interview Assad slammed Saudi Arabia for its public support of the rebel forces and called it "executor of American policy." He added that though it is difficult to find proof of direct US support of the rebels, "the actions of the US, the European and Arab states in Syria
constitute support of the terror groups."
Bashar Assad (Photo: Reuters)
Assad added that "Syria has been the subject of pressures for decades due to its known stances and foreign strategies."
According to him, "radical tendencies inside Syria intensified after the American invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan."
Assad also claimed that "We've cooperated with everyone to fight terror, including with the US,"
but that "the Americans consider all states to be their employees and on that we are at odds."
The Syrian president added that "those who seek loyalty with the American government are delusional. Their dialogue is driven purely by their interests."
Assad also commented on the Arab Spring and said that "what happened in Syria is different than in Egypt,
Tunisia and Libya, especially considering outside intervention," and claimed that from the outset of the Syrian crisis foreign countries were involved and fomented the unrest.
According to him, "armed gangs joined the demonstrations claiming they're for their defense, but then they opened fire."
According to Assad, "bearing arms makes any opposition a rebellion or terror."
About two weeks ago Assad was interviewed by the German newspaper Der Spiegel,
where he surprisingly said that he made mistakes in the civil war, and that no side is completely innocent.
In the interview he also referred to the possibility of him running for office again, and said he has yet to make up his mind. His current term will officially end in August.
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