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Assad speech resoundingly dismissed by opposition and allies (+video)

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(Read caption) Assad refuses to step down
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• A daily summary of global reports on security issues.

Syria's opposition and its supporters in the West dismissed President Bashar al-Assad's rare speech yesterday as nothing new, though analysts warn that it indicates that the Syrian strongman intends to hold his present, defiant course against the rebels and that no end to the nearly two-year-old conflict is in sight.

The National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces, which the US and Europe have recognized as the representative of the Syrian people, called the speech "a pre-emptive strike against both Arab and international diplomatic solutions" and proof of Mr. Assad's "incompetence as a head of state," reports Al Jazeera English.

[The speech] demonstrates that [Assad] is incapable of initiating a political solution that puts forward a resolution for the country’s struggle and an exit for his regime with minimum losses because he cannot see himself and his narrow based rule except as remaining in power despite being rejected by his people and his traditional allies.

Assad repeated the talk about a national unity government, a national dialogue, and a new constitution – which is an acknowledgement of the failure and illegitimacy of the constitution that was passed and prepared under the supervision of his regime- at the same time as his militias commit massacres against the residents across Syria.

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