First Published: 2011-02-22


Assad: Arab leaders must tune in to people's wants


Syrian President: Arab regimes must 'better understand the will of the people', 'carry out policies that reflect' their demands.


Middle East Online

Does Assad understand the will of his people?

DAMASCUS - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday told a delegation of visiting US senators that Arab leaders should tune in to their people's needs, state-run SANA news agency reported.

As anti-regime revolts rock several Arab nations, Assad said it is necessary "to better understand the will of the people and to carry out policies that reflect" their demands, SANA reported.

In a meeting with a delegation of Republican senators led by Richard Shelby, Assad also called on the United States to "review its role in the peace process through serious action for a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East."

Robert Ford, the new US ambassador to Damascus who arrived in Syria mid-January, also attended the meeting, the agency said.

Ford's appointment came almost six years after Washington withdrew ambassador Margaret Scobey from Damascus in the wake of the February 2005 assassination of Lebanese ex-premier Rafiq Hariri in Beirut.

The attack was widely blamed on Syria but Damascus has always denied the allegations.


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