Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has proposed a plan to resolve the country’s crisis which includes a national reconciliation conference, the formation of a new government and an amnesty.
“The first stage of a political solution would require that regional powers stop funding terrorists. The second stage will be calling a government conference on a national dialogue. The third stage will be the formation of a new government and declaration of an amnesty,” Assad said in a speech at the opera house in central Damascus.
In his rare televised speech, which was met with cheering applause by his supporters, Assad denounced the opposition as “puppets of the West” and said Syria wanted to negotiate with the “master not the servants.” He said the reconciliation conference would exclude “those who have betrayed Syria.”
The Syrian leader said a national charter, which will include the main provisions of the new constitution, is to be established at the conference and put to a referendum, leading to parliamentary elections and a new government.
Assad also thanked Russia, China and Iran for their support of Syria and their stance that the Syrian people should alone decide their faith. “We salute you and we thank you for your support,” he said.
The Syrian opposition on Sunday rejected President Bashar al-Assad’s new peace initiative, including a national reconciliation conference and a new government.
Louay Safi, a member of the Syrian National Coalition, dismissed the address to the nation as “empty rhetoric”, RIA Novosti reports.