Syria Daily: Assad “Significant Chance That I Stand for Re-Election”

By Scott Lucas January 20, 2014 10:53 Updated- eaworldview – President Assad told AFP on Sunday that he is likely to run for re-election in 2014:

    I see no reason why I shouldn’t stand….(If) there is public desire and a public opinion in favor of my candidacy, I will not hesitate for a second to run for election.     In short, we can say that the chances for my candidacy are significant.

Assad said that, despite this week’s “peace” talks in Switzerland, he expected the civil war to continue as he waged a “fight against terrorism”:

    What we can say is that we are making progress and moving forward. This doesn’t mean that victory is near at hand; these kinds of battles are complicated, difficult and they need a lot of time.

He dismissed the opposition as “created” by foreign powers and said the possibility of one of its members as Prime Minister in a transitional governing authority:

    [They] come to the border for a 30-minute photo opportunity and then they flee. How can they be ministers in the government?

    These propositions are totally unrealistic, but they do make a good joke!

Assad warned, “Should Syria lose this battle, that would mean the spread of chaos throughout the Middle East.”

He added that this week’s “Geneva II” conference must “produce clear results with regard to the fight against terrorism in Syria….Any political solution that is reached without fighting terrorism has no value.”