Syrian president Bashar Assad said he will not step down before elections are held in his war-ravaged country.
The Syrian leader’s comments, published today in the Argentinian newspaper Clarin, highlight the difficulties the US and Russia face in getting the Assad regime and Syria’s political opposition to the table at an international conference envisioned for next month.
The country’s main opposition group has demanded that these talks lead to Mr Assad’s departure.
However, Mr Assad says such a dialogue should not “decide a matter that has not been decided by the people”.
Mr Assad likened himself to a ship captain in turbulent seas, saying: “I am not someone who flees from my responsibilities.”