Rifa’t Assad to Address Syrian Nation via ANN

Published June 12th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The London-based Arab News Network (ANN) television channel said Monday it would broadcast a statement by Rifa’t Assad, brother of the late Syrian president, addressing the Syrian nation (19 GMT), reported AFP. 

AFP quoted Monday Rifa’t’s spokesman, Hafez Kheir, as telling the BBC Arabic Service “Rifa’t considers himself the legitimate successor to the post.” 

"Rifaat al-Assad represents the true legitimacy and is ready to take up his responsibilities at any moment," Kheir said. 

Rifa't, 63, was stripped of his post of vice-president by his elder brother, who died Saturday, in 1998 and now lives in Europe, said the agency. 

Kheir slammed the Syrian authorities, describing them as "ill-advised" and "incapable of making the right judgment of the situation," AFP said. 

He called for "all popular forces to work together to get Syria out of its difficult situation." 

Asked about Rifa’t's eventual return to Damascus, Kheir said he was expecting the Syrian authorities to issue an arrest warrant against him, said AFP. 

Security sources Monday told Albawaba.com that they received orders to arrest Rifa't upon his arrival in Damascus in case he decided to attend the funeral of the late Syrian president – Albawaba.com 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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