x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Defiant Assad vows to endure

Syria's president Bashar Al Assad vows that he will not bow to mounting pressure and 'plots'.

DAMASCUS // Syria's president Bashar Al Assad vowed yesterday that he would not bow to mounting pressure and "plots".

"Syria will remain the beating heart of the Arab world and will not give up its principles despite the intensifying pressure and diversifying plots not only targeting Syria, but all Arabs," he told the state news agency, Sana.

Meanwhile, the opposition chief, Ahmed Moaz Al Khatib, said he had received "no clear response" from Damascus over his offer of peace talks.

He said late last month that he was prepared to hold direct talks with regime representatives that had no "blood on their hands", on condition the discussions focused on replacing Mr Al Assad.

"The issue is now in the regime's camp," said Mr Al Khatib in Cairo yesterday.