Assad Says Arab Leaders Must Tune in to People's Needs
Syrian President Bashar Assad on Tuesday told a delegation of visiting U.S. senators that Arab leaders should tune in to their people's needs, state-run SANA news agency reported.
As anti-regime revolts rock several Arab nations, Assad said it is necessary "to better understand the will of the people and to carry out policies that reflect" their demands, SANA reported.
In a meeting with a delegation of Republican senators led by Richard Shelby, Assad also called on the United States to "review its role in the peace process through serious action for a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East."
Robert Ford, the new U.S. ambassador to Damascus who arrived in Syria mid-January, also attended the meeting, the agency said.
Ford's appointment came almost six years after Washington withdrew ambassador Margaret Scobey from Damascus in the wake of the February 2005 assassination of Lebanese ex-premier Rafik Hariri in Beirut.
The attack was widely blamed on Syria but Damascus has always denied the allegations.