Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, facing a popular uprising over 15 months, reiterated Sunday his determination to end the revolt, saying his country was facing a "plan of destruction" and a "war conducted from abroad. "The sensitive circumstances which our country is passing through necessitate us to be more courageous, strong and more responsible," he told MPs.
"We pay tribute and honor the souls of innocent civilian and military martyrs," al-Assad said as he addressed the People's Assembly on the occasion of its 1st legislative term, saying that the "martyrs blood will not be wasted."
"Performing your legislative and supervising duties can't be done in best way unless possessing a clear developmental vision based on constructive dialogue and communication with the citizens."
The Syrian president said: " We confront a big part of the campaign against Syria with reforms and building a strong fortress in the face of regional and international ambitions."
He stressed that conducting elections as scheduled "slapped those who wanted that Syria closes in on itself, drowns in the blood of its people."
Al-Assad stated "A year and a half after the crisis has begun, things became clear and masks were removed... the international role in what is taking place was exposed since decades ...colonialism remains unchanged but its methods and faces are changing and the regional role exposed itself."
He went on to say: "We are facing a real war and dealing with war is different from dealing with internal issues. When we boycott election, we boycott the people. Any political process that is not based on popular state has no popular value."
The Syrian president said " Since the first day, we have known that the political track will not lead to a solution but we did it because the Syrian people need it regardless of the crisis.
Assad ruled out any dialogue with the opposition in exile, particularly referring to the Syrian National Council, the main coalition of the opposition based abroad. "Syria is open to whoever wants a genuine reform and an honest dialogue; we welcome the participation of any honest Syrian in the process of developing the country."
The president stressed that the national security is a "red line" and "we can't be tolerant with whoever tries to tamper with it." "There will be no compromise in the fight against terrorism and those who support it," said the Syrian president. "We will continue to fight terrorism while opening the door to those who have not borne arms", said the Syrian president.