What Assad Said

Excerpts From Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's March 30, 2011 Speech Before the Syrian People's Assembly

I speak to you at an extraordinary moment when events and developments seem to pose a test to our unity and altruism. It is a test which, as circumstances would have it, recurs every so often due to the continuous conspiracies against this country. And it is our will and solidarity, and God's will, that, when facing it, we pass it every time with flying colors, which only enhances our strength and immunity.

I know full well that the Syrian people have been waiting for this speech since last week. I deliberately delayed giving it until the picture became clear in my mind, or at least some of the main headlines of this picture. This way, today's speech would stay clear from emotional rhetoric which comforts people but does not alter or impact anything, at the time when our enemies are working every day, in an organized and scientific way, in order to strike at Syria's stability. Of course, we acknowledge their cunning in selecting highly advanced methods in what they have done, but we also acknowledge their stupidity in selecting the wrong country and people, where this type of conspiracies does not succeed.

We tell them, you have no choice but to continue to learn from your failure. As for the Syrian people, it has no other choice other than to continue to learn from its successes.

Brothers, you are aware of the major changes taking place in our region over the past few months. They are major and important changes that will have repercussions on the entire region without exception; on the Arab states but maybe even beyond. This concerns Syria, as it is part of these states.

However, if we wished to look at what concerns us, as Syria, in what has happened so far in this great Arab arena, we can say that what has happened vindicates the Syrian perspective from a very important angle. What has happened expresses a popular consensus. When there is a popular

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