Syrians must decide fate of Assad, foreign minister says

by Reuters
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 09:47 GMT

MONTREUX, Switzerland, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said on Wednesday that only the Syrian people can decide the fate of President Bashar al-Asssad.

Moualem, in a lengthy speech to the start of an international conference in the Swiss resort of Montreux, also called on foreign powers to stop "supporting terrorism" and to lift sanctions against Damascus.

"We came here as representatives of the Syrian people and state and everybody should know that nobody in this world has the right to withdraw the legitimacy of a president or government ... other than the Syrians themselves," he declared. (Reporting by Samia Nakhoul and Mariam Karouny, writing by Stephanie Nebehay)

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