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Syrian prez pledges for democracy

Syrian president Bashar al Assad on Wednesday told a delegation of officials from India, Brazil and South Africa his security forces did make "some mistakes" in the initial stages of unrest, but he was now committed to multi-party democracy.

world Updated: Aug 12, 2011 01:14 IST
Yashwant Raj

Syrian president Bashar al Assad on Wednesday told a delegation of officials from India, Brazil and South Africa his security forces did make "some mistakes" in the initial stages of unrest, but he was now committed to multi-party democracy.

Assad told the delegation the necessary constitutional revision would be completed by February-March 2012, according to a joint statement by the three countries. The Syrians also said elections will be held in 2011.

These were just the right things that the international community wanted to hear, said a UN source, refusing to be identified for not being authorised to speak on the matter. "This is what the PRST called for," he added. A PRST is UN-speak for Presidential Statement issued on behalf of the Security Council as the consensus view of all the members, considered a short step away from punitive, legally enforceable Resolutions.

The statement issued on August 3 by the chair of the Security Council, held for the month of August by India, sought an immediate end to violence from both sides and urgent implementation of political reforms.

Around 2,000 people are believed to have died in the months long protests.

Wednesday's assurances were perhaps not enough for the US and other countries that are pressing for an immediate end to crackdown against protestors and urgent implementation of the political reforms promised by Assad.