NOW ON TOUR: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad continues his global media tour to convince the world he intends to surrender his stockpiles of chemical weapons, the most recent with Italian channel RAI that aired on Sunday. While Assad asserted that he would comply with Security Council Resolution 2118, he again raised the specter of “terrorists” putting obstacles in the way of dismantling and disposing of Syria’s chemical weapons.
Assad declared his government was always interested in political reform.
“That’s what we’ve been doing since the beginning of the crisis, and this is the same action that we’re going to continue,” Assad insisted, even as he ruled out sitting at a negotiating table with the Syrian Coalition since they had called for foreign intervention in the wake of the August chemical weapons attack on the eastern Damascus suburbs.
“It’s about the Syrians meeting around the table, discussing the political system that they want, the future of Syria, and whatever they agree upon, you’ll have a referendum in order to have the endorsement of the Syrian people regarding whatever part of the future of Syria, whether it’s the constitution, or laws, or whatever,” the president told the Italian broadcaster.
“Yeah, of course. We need the reform,” said Assad who ends the interview by musing that he “could be the hope of the Syrian people, not any other one.”