RealNews

Syria Leader Looks Set to Stay the Course

Buffeted by criticism and demands for reform, Syrian President Bashar Assad opened his party congress Monday by sidestepping all mention of political change, pledging continued devotion to pan-Arab nationalism and calling modern technology a threat to Arab identity. The 39-year-old president had touted this week’s Baath Party gathering as a turning point for a nation under pressure. Analysts had predicted the sessions could lay the groundwork to ease emergency laws, remove obstacles to opposition parties, weed out some of Syria’s aging functionaries and extend citizenship to thousands of stateless Kurds. Full Story

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