Bashar Al-assad
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Assad Keeps Calm Image in Face of Biggest Threat to Rule

Syrian President Bashar Assad is trying to portray the image of a calm and determined leader ready to confront any challenge, as the West mulls military action against his regime.

"At the presidential palace, everything is calm today and work goes on as usual. There's no sign of nervousness. The same goes for the army headquarters. They will fight to the end," a Syrian businessmen familiar with the ruling elite told Agence France Presse on Wednesday.

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Assad Says Determined to 'Eradicate Terrorism'

Syria's President Bashar Assad said on Sunday he is determined to "eradicate terrorism" which he blames for the conflict raging in his country, according to state news agency SANA.

"Syria has welcomed all constructive, genuine efforts to find a political solution to the crisis" that erupted in March 2011, Assad was quoted as saying.

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Syria's Assad Bans Foreign Currency Transactions

Syrian President Bashar Assad issued a decree on Sunday banning the use of foreign currency in commercial transactions, state news agency SANA said.

"It is prohibited to make payments, reimbursements, commercial transactions and any other commercial operation in foreign currency or in precious metals," it quoted the decree as saying.

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Syria to Jail Anyone Entering Country Illegally

Syrian President Bashar Assad promulgated a law on Tuesday imposing a prison sentence and fine on anyone entering the country illegally, state news agency SANA said.

"Any person who enters Syrian territory in an illegal manner will face between a year and five years in prison," the text published by SANA said.

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Leaving Power Would be 'Betrayal,' Says Syria's Assad

Quitting power while his government battles a countrywide uprising would be a "national betrayal," Syria's President Bashar Assad has told a German newspaper in an interview.

"If I decided to leave office under these circumstances, it would be national betrayal. But it's another question if that's what the people want," he told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

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Putin Says Assad Should Have Gone ahead with Reforms

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday he had always believed that Syrian strongman Bashar Assad should have implemented political reforms that could have averted the current bloodbath.

But Putin also stressed that he remained firmly opposed to outside intervention and implied that Russia's position on the crisis remained unchanged.

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White House Condemns 'Nasrallah's Game in Syria' as FSA Threatens of Move Battle to Lebanon

The White House on Tuesday condemned Hizbullah's involvement in Syria's war, expressing that the party's leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah is “playing a dangerous game,” as the Free Syrian Army threatened to move the battle to Lebanon.

"We are deeply concerned by the continued fighting in (the Syrian border town of) al-Qusayr and condemn the indiscriminate killing of civilians by Assad's forces and his proxies, including Hizbullah fighters," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

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Assad Says to Run in 2014 Poll if People Want, Hizbullah Fighting in Qusayr Only

Syrian President Bashar Assad said on Thursday that he would run in the 2014 presidential poll if that is the desire of the Syrian people, noting that Hizbullah is only fighting in the town of Qusayr, not entire Syria.

"The main battle is in Damascus and Aleppo, not in Qusayr, and Hizbullah has a limited number of fighters, even if they numbered 2,000, but we're speaking of a war involving thousands of fighters," Assad said in an interview with al-Manar television.

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Assad Vows to Crush 'Terrorism', Find Political Solution

President Bashar Assad told a Tunisian delegation on Thursday he was determined to crush the rebellion against his regime and to find a political solution to the crisis in Syria, SANA news agency reported.

"Syria is determined to tackle terrorism and those who support it regionally and globally, and to find a political solution to the crisis," Assad was quoted as telling the delegation, the official agency said.

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Assad Stresses He Will Not Step Down, Denies Using Chemical Weapons

Syrian President Bashar Assad said Saturday he welcomed a U.S.-Russian peace initiative to end Syria's civil war but had no plans to resign, in an interview with an Argentine newspaper.

"To resign would be to flee," he told the Clarin when asked if he would consider stepping aside as called for by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

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