Bashar Al-Assad (737)


The English transcript of the interview of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad with Turkish TV on December 28, 2005.


The English transcript of the interview of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad with Russian TV on December 12, 2005.


The English transcript of the interview of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad with France 3 on December 05, 2005.


The Syrian pound remains shaky as the country’s political perspectives remain very cloudy. On November 30th, the US dollar was selling at SYP 57.75, lower from its peak of SYP 60.00 it reached on the 24th of the month but yet stronger than the ra...

Mr. President;
Your Excellencies Heads of States and Governments ;
My Colleagues Ministers for Foreign Affairs;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
It gives me great pleasure to convey to you the greetings of President Bashar al-Assad, and thank the King and Government of Spain, and this historic city, Barcelona for hosting this summit. We also express our appreciation for the thorough preparations for this summit and hope that it will arrive at constructive results.
President Bashar al-Assad on November 10 accused Washington of sabotaging Syrian efforts to normalise ties with Baghdad and offered an invitation to President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari to visit Damascus.

Former Syrian prisoner of conscience and founder of the Liberal Democratic Union in Syria, Kamal al-Labwani was arrested at Damascus airport on November 8 after returning to Syria from meetings in Washington with US officials, including President George Bush’s Deputy National Security Advisor.


Syria was in breach of UN Security Council Resolution 1636 as the third week of November began after a Syrian foreign ministry delegation failed to reach agreement with a UN team over the venue for questioning six Syrian officials allegedly involved in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.


Two of the key recommendations of June’s Ba’ath Party conference appeared to be on ice after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad failed to set a timetable for the restoration of citizenship to an estimated 250,000 stateless Kurds and said the introduction of a party’s law, that would legislate for independent political parties in Syria for the first time under Ba’ath rule, would “take a long time”.


Canadian citizen Arwad al-Boushi was freed from Sednaya prison west of Damascus on November 3 as part of an amnesty of 190 political prisoners ordered by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad appeared to set the country on a collision course with the UN, and international sanctions, after a defiant speech on November 10 in which he pledged that Syria’s “national interests” would be the limit of its cooperation with the UN probe into the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and said that “resistance” was preferable to “chaos”.


The English transcript of the speech of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad at Damascus University on November 10, 2005.

Pressure on the Syrian regime escalated further on October 31 after the UN Security Council resolution was backed up by a call from a leading opposition figure for the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has sacked 81 judges and increased wages for the profession as part of a reform programme for the legal system.

The authority of the Syrian regime has been thrown into a deep crisis by the death on October 12 of a man who for 35 years was a major power broker and enforcer of Syria’s authority, both at home and in Lebanon, and who was one of the key witnesses interviewed in Syria as part of a UN investigation into the killing of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.


The English transcript of the interview of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad with CNN on October 12, 2005.


"Syria is ready to review all the signed agreements with Lebanon and all these agreements are for Lebanon's interests. The cancellation of these agreements will not affect Syria’s interests. Syria is not a charity society for supporting Lebanon. Syria is a state and will deal with Lebanon as it does with all world states."

Syria and Qatar agreed to establish a joint holding company with USD 200 million in capital to invest in industrial, transportation and tourism sectors in both countries, with potential investments reaching some USD 1 billion, the official state news a...
Syria took a first legislative step towards establishing its own stock exchange on June 19 when Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad issued Law No. 22 for 2005 demanding the creation of a regulatory body known as ‘The Syrian Securities and Exc...

Following on from a momentum gathered up in the changes to the Ba’ath Party’s Regional Leadership during the recent Ba’ath Congress (Read Baath conference ends with mild reform recommendations) President Bashar al-Assad appeared to have asserted his authority over Syria’s powerful and multi-various security services with the dismissal on June 19 of General Bahjat Suleiman from his key position as Head of the Internal Security Forces.


The concluding recommendations of the 10th Baath Party Regional conference as printed in the official Al-Ba'ath newspaper on June 13.


The English transcript of the speech of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad at the 10th Conference of the Regional Command of the Baath Party on June 06, 2005.


Politics in Syria is beginning to warm up again. Five years after the “Damascus Spring” - the brief thaw in political life that followed the assumption of Bashar Assad to the Syrian Presidency in 2000 - the past few weeks have seen a number of developments in Syria’s internal arena that suggest that the seeds of debate and dissent that were planted five years ago, only to be quickly frozen out of public life shortly afterward, may once again be trying to germinate. Here The Syria Report plots the key developments.

The upcoming conference of the Baath Party on June 6 has raised the heat in the domestic political scene.


Bashar al-Assad’s speech on March 5th announcing the withdrawal of his forces from Lebanon was welcomed with a sigh of relief in Damascus.


The English transcript of the speech of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad at the Parliament on March 05, 2005.


Syria’s huge debt to Russia has been largely written off following the visit to Moscow of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad late January.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad signed an agreement with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin on January 25 during of a four-day state visit that political leaderships in both countries hailed as an historic return to the strength of relations the two countries held during the Soviet era.


Compulsory military service in Syria has been reduced from two and a half years to two years by Decree No 1 for the year 2005 issued on January 6 by President Bashar al-Assad.

Syria and Turkey signed a historic free trade agreement between them on December 22 during the visit to Damascus of Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The United States has continued to send contradictory messages to Syria, reflecting dissensions within the US administration on the ways to deal with Syria.


Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, has appointed Terje Roed-Larsen as his Special Envoy for the implementation of UN Resolution 1559.

Antoine Makdessi, a leading Syrian intellectual has died of a heart attack at the age of 91 in Damascus.


A transcript of remarks from Richard Armitage, US Deputy Secretary of State, following his meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Foreign Minister Farouq al-Sharaa in Damascus on January 2, 2005.


Before the many regional and international events that are taking place in November and that will be of concern to Syria, such the US Presidential election, the future of the Sharon government, Iraq's path towards national elections, etc, the Syrian political arena went through many other changes last months.


The edited English transcript of the speech of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad at the Syrian Expatriates Conference on October 09, 2004.


The Syrian President, Bashar Al-Assad, inaugurated on July 17 the launch of the first stage of the fourth project to supply the northern city of Aleppo with 225 thousand cubic meters of clean water per day from the Euphrates River.


The Syrian government usually holds its weekly meetings on Tuesday. On July 20, the ministers were suddenly informed that the meeting was postponed to Wednesday, without any further explanation.

The historic visit of the Syrian President aims at bolstering ties between the two countries following the US sanctions.

The English transcript of the interview of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad with China People’s Daily on June 21, 2004.


By Mouaffaq Nyrabia*

Talking of the slowness in the reform process in Syria has become boring and repetitive. In the current circumstances, however, the issue remains very important and the consequences of this slowness are becoming all the more obvious.


An official delegation of American Jews of Syrian descent visited Damascus, where they met with Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, Minister of Expatriates, Buthaina Shaaban, Minister of Economy Ghassan al-Rifai as well as with the head of the Federation of the Syrian Chambers of Commerce, Rateb al-Shallah.


The English transcript of the interview of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad with El Pais on May 13, 2004.


The English transcript of the interview of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad with Al Jazeera TV on May 03, 2004.

Syria and Turkey are moving ever closer towards the setting up of a Free Trade Area between them.

By Samir Aita*

In the last weeks, two major events have provided a new shape to the Syrian business world and to Syria's position in the regional and international environments: the award of a major gas contract to a consortium involving Canadian and US companies, and the award to Syriatel, one of Syria's two mobile phone operators, of a GSM license in Pakistan, the country most concerned by the American "Greater Middle East" initiative.


Contradictory statements from the US administration are making difficult to understand the US approach to Syria. Syria meanwhile will bet on America's increasing difficulties in Iraq.


In what could be a historic decision, the Syrian authorities are said to have agreed to give the Syrian citizenship to up to 100,000 stateless Kurds living in the country.


The pullout of the US company from its lone project in Syria, following pressures from its shareholders, remains however a strong option.


By virtue of Legislative Decree No. 92, dated March 25, 2004, issued by Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad, Syria has joined the "Madrid Agreement for the International Registration of Trademarks" of 1989 and the "Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks", signed in Madrid on June 28, 1989.