Syrian President to Give Rare Speech

Posted January 10th, 2012 at 2:10 am (UTC-5)
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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is due to give a rare address covering what the state-run SANA news agency says will be “domestic issues” and regional developments.

The speech Tuesday comes as a team of Arab League monitors continues its mission to observe Syria's compliance with a plan to end months of violence against anti-government protesters.

The United Nations says violence related to Mr. Assad's crackdown on the rebellion has killed at least 5,000 people. The Syrian government accuses armed terrorists of driving the 10-month revolt and killing 2,000 security personnel.

In June, Mr. Assad gave a 70-minute televised address in which he promised reforms and blamed “saboteurs” for trying to exploit calls for change in Syria.

Arab League foreign ministers decided Sunday to increase the number of monitors in Syria, despite criticism from opposition activists and rights groups who say the mission has failed to bring any halt to the violence.