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Syrian Opposition Rejects Bashar al-Assad's Offer Of "National Dialogue"

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Syria's opposition and its international backers have rejected Bashar al-Assad's latest initiative to end violence, insisting that he offered no meaningful concessions after 21 months of bloodshed and must surrender power at once. Hopes for a breakthrough in the crisis were dashed after an hour-long speech in Damascus in which the Syrian president called for "a war to defend the nation" against "terrorist" violence and urged foreign countries to stop supporting his enemies -- while offering a national dialogue and a constitutional referendum.

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At www.guardian.co.uk

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