Assad Meets U.S. Lawmaker, Talks of People's Legitimate Demands

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad spoke Tuesday of the legitimate demands of his people during a meeting with visiting U.S. congressman Dennis Kucinich, SANA state news agency said.

Assad told the anti-war Democratic Representative of "current events in Syria and the implementation of reforms" during their talks in Damascus, the agency reported.

The president told Kucinich that "Syrians have legitimate claims which the state is currently meeting and that armed groups have been exploiting these demands to create chaos and destabilize the country."

He made the same remarks to visiting British Conservative MP Brooks Newmark, SANA added.

Assad's regime has waged a bloody crackdown on unprecedented pro-democracy protests that erupted in mid-March, inspired by Arab world uprisings that have toppled the autocratic presidents of Tunisia and Egypt.

Source: Agence France Presse

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