Topic: Protests in Syria
BEIRUT, February 11 (RIA Novosti) - Syria will never forgo its principles and cave in to outside pressure, President Bashar Assad said at a meeting with a delegation of Jordanian political activists, lawyers, doctors and engineers on Monday, the Syrian state news agency SANA reported.
As delegation members expressed their support for the Syrian people and pledged that “honest Arabs will not leave Syria” at a difficult time, Assad thanked them.
“Syria will remain the beating heart of Arabism and will not relinquish its principles no matter how much pressure is exerted upon it and regardless of the conspiracies that not only target Syria, but also all Arabs,” SANA quoted Assad as saying.
At least 60,000 people have been killed in Syria’s conflict since March 2011, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has said, citing new research released by the UN in early January.
Russia has faced strong international criticism over its refusal to back UN sanctions against Syria, its last ally in the Arab world, over what it called the pro-rebel bias of some resolutions proposed by Western nations.
Moscow denies it is backing president Assad and says it is concerned that the Syrian president’s forced departure would only worsen the conflict.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.