Bashar Al-Assad (784)

18-06-2006
Former Syrian Vice President Abdel Halim Khaddam’s media campaign against President Bashar al-Assad moved up a gear in June following a London meeting of the exiled Syrian opposition, with Khaddam claiming he has evidence that implicates Assad in the assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri and saying he had given extensive testimony on such to the UN inquiry into the murder.

18-05-2006
The unlikely pairings forged between the foreign opposition to the Syrian state continued into May with a meeting on April 30 between Lebanese Druze leader Waleed Jumblatt and a delegation from the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, Syria's largest Islamic opposition group, at the Lebanese politician’s mountain palace in Lebanon.
18-05-2006
The Syrian Foreign Ministry denied on May 16 reports that Serge Brammertz, head of the UN investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri had visited Syria on May 13.

18-05-2006
The UN Security Council adopted on May 17 resolution 1680 that calls on Syria to establish diplomatic relations with Lebanon and to delineate the common border.

03-05-2006

Syria's exiled former Vice President Abdel Halim Khaddam in a letter signed with Ali Bayanouni, the leader of the outlawed Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, has called on Syrians to stand up to the government of president Bashar al-Assad.

03-05-2006

Syria’s recent public support of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority (PA) continued with the launch of a nation-wide public fundraising campaign in defiance of an EU and US freeze on aid to the militant Islamic group over its refusal to renounce violence or recognise Israel.

03-05-2006
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met in Damascus Serge Brammertz, the head of the UN investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, on April 25, SANA reported.

03-05-2006
The last fortnight of April saw a number of reported human rights violations as well as the continued disappearance of a former political prisoner and the arrest of a dozen Syrians on charges related to association with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

17-04-2006
Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in a joint press conference with Syrian Vice President Farouk al Shara in Damascus on April 16 warned that any US attack on Iran over its nuclear programme would plunge the region into instability.

17-04-2006
A meeting in Damascus scheduled for April 9 between Serge Brammertz, chief UN investigator into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was cancelled after disagreement over the protocol of the meeting, according to reports.

17-04-2006
In a rare interview from Damascus published in the Kuwaiti Al-Rai Al-Aam newspaper on April 8, Rustom Ghazali, Syria's intelligence chief in Lebanon at the time of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri's assassination, strongly denied his country's involvement in the murder.

03-04-2006

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Saudi Prince Al-Walid bin Talal inaugurated on March 22nd, the Damascus Four Seasons Hotel, the first luxury hotel to open in Damascus in 20 years.

03-04-2006

Text of President Bashar al-Assad’s interview with Sky’s World News Tonight with James Rubin, recorded in Damascus and broadcast on March 16, 2006. Source: Sky News

03-04-2006
Exiled former Syrian Vice-President Abdel-Halim Khaddam and Ali Bayanouni, leader of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, announced the creation of a united front on March 17 aimed at forming a transitional government to bring about "regime change" from President Bashar al-Assad to democracy.

03-04-2006
The past fortnight has seen a state crack down on opposition forces in the country, with several leading pro-democracy activists detained for varying periods of time and large numbers of Kurds arrested in developments that have attracted criticism from the US State Department.

03-04-2006

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad gave interviews to the British satellite channel Sky News and the American television network PBS in the last two weeks of March, promising that UN investigators could “ask him anything” about the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri when they meet him later this month.

03-04-2006
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met Iranian Minister of Security Gholam Hossein Mohseni on March 20 in Damascus. The visiting Iranian minister, in a separate meeting with Syrian Vice-President Farouk al-Shara, reviewed "regional and international developments which are related to the region, especially in Iraq," the state-run Syria Times reported on March 21.

03-04-2006
Bashar al-Assad met with Lebanese Prime Minister Fuoad Siniora, a man the Syrian president described in November as being a "slave of all masters", for the first time since July for a brief meeting on the sidelines of the Arab Summit being held in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

30-03-2006

The English transcript of the interview of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad with PBS on March 30, 2006.

17-03-2006

The English transcript of the interview of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad with Sky News on March 17, 2006.

17-03-2006
After fading out of the picture a little over the past month, following his media flurry over the New Year, exiled former Syrian Vice President Abdel Halim Khaddam was back in the spotlight, interviewed on the Israeli-Palestinian radio station ‘Voice of Peace’ on March 7.

17-03-2006

The muted celebrations on March 8 that marked the 43rd anniversary of Ba’ath rule in Syria – a few extra party flags hung out, some signs of military brass out for show – were offset the following day as a crowd of several hundred pro-government students violently broke up a peaceful demonstration by activists calling for an end to the country’s emergency laws.

17-03-2006
The official text of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s speech to the Arab Parties General Conference held in Damascus on March 4. Text is from state news agency SANA.

17-03-2006
The first report by UN investigator Serge Brammertz into the assassination of former Lebanese premiere Rafik Hariri contains “nothing that is against Syria” said Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad responding to what he described as a “highly professional” report that found Syria had cooperated with the inquiry over the past three months.

17-03-2006

Text of President Bashar al-Assad’s Interview with Charlie Rose recorded in Damascus and broadcast on the American PBS network on March 23, 2006. Source: PBS

17-03-2006

The full text of Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt’s address to the Saban Centre of Middle East Policy at Brookings Institute in Washington on March 6. The introduction and following question and answer forum was moderated by Martin Indyk, Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution. Source: Brookings Institute

06-03-2006

The edited English transcript of the speech of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad at the Arab Parties General Conference on March 06, 2006.

05-03-2006
Following on from a cabinet re-shuffle that appeared to put reform to key service ministries ahead of political or security reform, President Bashar al-Assad chaired a meeting of his new government on February 25, setting targets for each ministry to meet, in what appeared to be an attempt to re-start Syria’s sluggish reform process.

05-03-2006
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice flew into Beirut for a brief surprise visit on February 23, meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and Saad Hariri and Waleed Jumblatt, who control the anti-Syrian majority in the Lebanese parliament, to pledge US support for “the Lebanese people as they work to have a fully sovereign, democratic Lebanon."

17-02-2006

The nomination of the members of the Syrian Securities and Exchange Commission is bringing closer the set-up of the Damascus stock exchange.

 

17-02-2006
Analysts in Syria say the re-shuffled Syrian cabinet - which has no change in the key ministries of finance and economy and which sees the architects of Syria's foreign policy relations with the US under President Bashar al-Assad take control of the foreign affairs ministry – is a message of defiance to Syria's critics, both at home and abroad.

17-02-2006

The Syria Report talks to former MP and ‘Damascus Spring’ figurehead Riad Seif, imprisoned in 2001 on charges of tax evasion following his criticism of corruption in the family of the Syrian president, and released from prison last month.

17-02-2006
Syria has been widely criticised and the Danish ambassador to Damascus has been withdrawn after Syrian security services failed to prevent the burning and looting of the Danish and Norwegian embassies on February 4.
17-02-2006

Former Syrian Vice President Abdel-Halim Khaddam and the exiled leader of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood met in Brussels from February 7 to 8 and agreed to join forces to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

17-02-2006
Syria’s Permanent Envoy to the United Nations Faisal Mekdad presented the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan with the act of Syria’s joining to the Kyoto Treaty on climate change, the official news agency SANA reported on February 1. 

17-02-2006
Ties between Damascus and Tehran strengthened further this month with Iran’s First Vice President Parviz Davoudi on February 25 describing his three-day official visit, in which he met President Bashar al-Assad, new Vice President Farouk al-Shara and Prime Minister Naji Otri as "useful and valuable".

03-02-2006
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on January 21 the UN inquiry into the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was determined to blame Syria regardless of the facts but vowed it would not bow to international pressure.

03-02-2006
Fresh expectations that an estimated 300,000 Kurdish citizens are to have their Syrian citizenship restored to them were raised again in the last week of January after it emerged the Ba'ath Party Regional Leadership had invited over forty Kurdish figures to meet President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.

03-02-2006
Calling on the international community to respect the legitimacy of the Palestinian elections, which handed and overwhelming and unexpectedly large victory to Islamic militant group Hamas, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad met in Damascus with Khaled Masha’al, head of Hamas’ politburo on January 29.

03-02-2006
Five key opposition figures imprisoned following the ‘Damascus Spring’ pro-democracy movement that began after Syrian President Assad took power in 2000, were released from prison on January 18.

03-02-2006

Syria criticized on January 19 a move by the US Treasury to freeze the assets of Syria’s military intelligence chief Assef Shawkat as biased to protect Israeli interests. 

03-02-2006
Syria backed Iran’s nuclear programme during the first visit of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Damascus on January 19, saying US and European fears that Iran is seeking to build nuclear weapons were not persuasive.
03-02-2006
Before I start my speech…when I met with some foreign officials in Syria, they criticized Syrian stances and accused her of being hardliner… They said that the speech of President Bashar al-Assad was hardliner and the like…they accused Syria’s stances of being radical, and criticized the speeches of President Bashar al-Assad in their meetings with me. I used to tell them: you should not figure out a picture of the situation through your meetings with us as officials….on the contrary we are very quite…the street is boiling and we are quiet.

03-02-2006

Al-Hayat: Sayyed Nasrallah, are we on the verge of a civil war in Lebanon?

Sayyed Nasrallah (Laughing): This interview is starting off with a difficult question.

21-01-2006

The English transcript of the speech of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad Before the Bar Association, January 21, 2006.

17-01-2006

United States Vice President Dick Cheney arrived in Cairo on January 16 for talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and other top officials focusing on Tehran’s suspected nuclear weapons programme and Syria’s non-cooperation with the UN Hariri inquiry.

05-01-2006
Syria is still considering a request by the United Nation's (UN) team probing the February killing of former Lebanese Prime minister Rafic Hariri to meet President Bashar al-Assad and Foreign Minister Farouq al-Shara.

28-12-2005

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

12-12-2005

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

05-12-2005

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