Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad was today sworn in for the third seven-year term after winning the elections in June, the results of which were rejected by the international community.
Speaking to hundreds of supporters, members of his government and the parliament, Al-Assad attacked his opponents and the Arab and Western states saying the uprising was a plot and “planned hostility” against his country, which was shown by many countries being unwilling to allow voting in the last presidential elections to take place on their soil.
During his hour long speech, which was interrupted by applause and cheering from the audience, he defended the recent elections which he won, saying he considered it “a battle and a referendum on sovereignty”.
He attacked the Arab Spring, describing it as “fake” and stressed that: “They wanted it to be a revolution but you were the real rebels. They failed in trying to brainwash you, or break your will.
“Congratulations for your victory and congratulations for Syria and its people who have defied all kinds of terrorism,” Al-Assad said.
Al-Assad rejected the launch of the term “civil war” on the conflict in Syria, which he said is an attempt to give “terrorists” legitimacy, pointing out that the so-called “political solution” to the crisis in his country is built on “internal reconciliations” and stressed his country would continue to fight terrorism.
He said national dialogue is the solution in Syria; however the dialogue “will not include the forces that proved their lack of patriotism or operated for other countries”.
The premier added that the Arab and Western countries that support terrorism will pay “a high price”, adding that he would fight the insurgents until “safety return to every part of Syria”.
Turning to the events in Gaza, Al-Assad criticised the positions of some countries on the crisis, stressing that the Palestinian issue will remain the “central issue”.
He went on to thank Lebanon’s Hezbollah and described them as “loyal resistance”, in addition to key allies Russia, China and Iran.
He also promised to rid the province of Raqqa, in the north of the country, of the Islamic State (ISIS), as well as regain control of areas outside of the control of its forces in the northern province of Aleppo.
Reconstruction will be the next phase, he explained, following the destruction of the country’s infrastructure during the long conflict, which has entered its fourth year.
Since the March 2011, a popular revolution in Syria called for Al-Assad to step down. The peaceful protests led to an armed conflict, and the displacement of millions of Syrians, and the death of over 160,000, according to the Syrian human rights groups and UN statistics.
International efforts to bring about a ceasefire have failed to find a political solution to end the conflict in Syria.