BEIRUT Jan 6 The following are excerpts from
President Bashar al-Assad's speech in Damascus on Sunday in the
capital's Opera House.
HOPE BORN FROM PAIN
"Today we meet and suffering permeates Syrian land and there
is no place for joy in any corner of the country while security
and safety are absent from its streets and alleyways."
"We meet today and there are mothers who have lost their
finest children and families who have lost their providers,
children who have been orphaned and brothers divided among the
martyrs, the refugees, and the missing."
"But from the womb of pain hope must be born and from the
depth of suffering the most important solutions are produced."
CALL TO MOBILIZE
"Syria will only exit this calamity by converting this
energy into a total national mobilisation to save the country
from the clutches of a crisis which has no precedent in this
"Every citizen is responsible for doing what he can to offer
something no matter how simple in his eyes, for the nation is
for everyone and we all must defend it with all that we have."
"Terrorists holding the views of al Qaeda who call
themselves jihadists are the ones running the terrorist
operations here and we are fighting them. It is not impossible
to destroy them if we have the courage."
"WAR IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD"
"Whoever talks solely of a political solution only is
turning a blind eye to the facts and he is either ignorant or
has been fooled into selling his people and the blood of martyrs
for free and we will not allow this."
"We are now in a state of war in every sense of the word.
This war targets Syria using a handful of Syrians and many
foreigners. Thus, this is a war of defending the nation."
"We will have dialogue with all those who opposed us
politically and all who have rejected our positions as long as
their positions were not based on trying to destroy our
principles and national foundations."
"We will have dialogue with all parties and individuals that
did not sell our country to the foreigner. The political
solution will be along the following lines:
"The first stage: First of all, regional and foreign
countries must stop funding, arming and harbouring militants at
the same time that gunmen stop all terrorist operations in order
to ease the return of displaced Syrians to their original homes
in safety and security."
"Immediately after that, all military operations by our
armed forces will stop, though they will reserve the right to
respond in the case of attack on the security of the nation or
residents or public and private property."
"Second, a mechanism will be created to ensure commitment to
all previous agreements for controlling the borders."
"Third, the current government will immediately begin
intensive communications with all elements of Syrian society,
its parties and organisations...It will hold a national dialogue
conference that all forces interested in a solution in Syria can
"The second stage: First, the current government will hold a
comprehensive national dialogue to reach a national pact that
commits to the sovereignty of Syria and the unity and peace of
its territory and the rejection of intervention in its affairs
and the rejection of terrorism and violence in all its forms."
"This pact is what will outline the political future of
Syria and will propose a new constitutional and legal system
along with its political and economic features. It will agree on
new laws for parties, elections and local administration."
"Second, the national pact will be sent for popular
"Third, an expanded government will be formed, which
includes all elements of Syrian society and it will implement
the articles of the pact."
"Fourth, the new constitution will be put to popular
referendum and after it is confirmed, the expanded government
will use the new agreed laws from the pact and the new
constitution and will run new parliamentary elections."
"The third stage will be the forming of a new government
according to the constitution."
"Second, a truth and reconciliation conference will be held
and a general amnesty will be issued for all those arrested
because of the events, in keeping with civil law."
"Third will be the work towards rehabilitating
infrastructure and rebuilding and compensation to citizens hurt