London Says Assad Speech 'Beyond Hypocritical', Berlin Sees 'No New Insights'

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Britain denounced President Bashar Assad's speech on Sunday calling for a conference of national dialogue to end the Syrian conflict as "beyond hypocritical," as Germany said the address offered "no new insights."

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Assad's first speech to the nation since June was full of "empty promises" and would "fool no-one".

In an address to an ecstatic audience in a Damascus theater, Assad described the opposition as "slaves" of the West and outlined a reconciliation plan aimed at resolving a civil war which according to the U.N. has claimed more than 60,000 lives.

He called for a conference of national dialogue to be followed by a referendum on a national charter and parliamentary elections.

Assad also called on foreign powers to end their support for rebels seeking to bring down his regime.

Hague took to Twitter to vent his anger about the speech, writing: "AssadSpeech beyond hypocritical. Deaths, violence and oppression engulfing Syria are his own making, empty promises of reform fool no one."

Prime Minister David Cameron earlier reiterated his calls for the Syrian leader to stand down.

"My message to Assad is go," he told BBC TV. "He has the most phenomenal amount of blood on his hands."

Meanwhile, Guido Westerwelle, Germany's foreign minister, said "unfortunately the Assad speech contains no new insights."

"Instead of martial tones again, he should finally free the way up for a transition government and a political new start in Syria," he added in a written statement.

And he called for Assad "not only to vaguely declare the readiness for a ceasefire, but to finally stop the violence of his troops".

Comments 5
Missing phillipo 06 January 2013, 16:23

"My message to Assad is go," he (British PM Cameron) told BBC TV. "He has the most phenomenal amount of blood on his hands."

What more needs to be said.

Thumb hakawati 06 January 2013, 16:38

What Cameron really said:
"He has the most phenomenal amount of blood on his hands but I'm unbeatable."

Default-user-icon ITISWHATITIS (Guest) 05 August 2013, 08:56

I agree, my one question is how can two wrong make one right?
even I admit the western right is nothing less than speak your mind with non fear and you stay alife...on the other hand assad ask Lebanese Christians and even the beautiful state of Israel the same question

Default-user-icon Itis what it is (Guest) 05 August 2013, 08:58

please if I may say and I quote ask Geroge carlin to speak his fearless mind is all I did and pride, plus Dignity

Default-user-icon It Is What It Is (Guest) 05 August 2013, 09:11

Weird, But True. Now Assad is talking what he doesn't walk...
ask him how many people in Lebanon he ordered killed when it was the Lebanese People own decision? I say give him a taste of his own medicine and it is all happening, unfolding even two wrong is in actions I choose to see him having a taste of his own regime wrongful actions against Lebanon of all religions specially the Christian. the other wrong the west will take care of and am sure..
Assad enjoy the bitterness of YOU, YOUR Father own medicine...
awaiting this day asap Aug is around the corner 2013 see YOU going and on your way to Justice. This take to the bank...
Long Live Justice