President declares state of war
President Bashar al-Assad held the first meeting of his new Cabinet yesterday at which he declared that Syria was in a state of war.
The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reports that:
“President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday presided over the first session of the new cabinet after the new government members sworn in before him.
The President addressed the new government, calling on the ministers to contact with the citizens in transparency, specifying the priorities and immediately acting to carry them out, providing the basic needs, preventing prices’ increase, combating monopoly and reconstructing infrastructure sabotaged by the terrorists.
President al-Assad gave directives to make the priority to the poorest areas in Syria, putting mechanisms that achieve social equality among citizens, accelerating achievement of the laws related to the administrative reform, combating corruption, rehabilitating human resources and controlling the governmental losses.”
Significantly the Agency goes on to report that:
“President al-Assad referred to the big responsibility assumed by the new government in light of the current condition Syria is passing through, and the need for possessing the spirit of challenge and responsibly in order to become the government of challenging difficulties, working to achieve the aspirations of citizens, particularly this government comes after the new constitution.
The President underlined that we live a state of real war, and when we live a state of war, all our polices, directives and all sectors will be directed in order to gain victory in this war.”
The declaration of a state of war significantly affects the UN Special Representative Kofi Annan’s six point initiative and makes further diplomatic efforts to bring the two sides together as almost impossible.
In other news, NATO has condemned the downing of a Turkish reconnaissance plane off the coast of Syria last week. “We consider this act to be unacceptable and condemn it in the strongest terms,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.