Assad will give speech Sunday on Syria regional developments

The embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will give a speech on Sunday in which he is expected to focus on the conflict that has raged in the country for the past 21 months, the official SANA news agency reported.

“President Bashar al-Assad will deliver a speech on Sunday morning on the latest developments in Syria and the region,” the agency said on Saturday, without specifying the time of the address.

The announcement came as Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi prepares to visit Egypt on Jan. 9 for a two-day trip aimed at discussing the Syria crisis and Tehran-Cairo bilateral talks, media reports said on Saturday.

Salehi will meet his counterpart Mohammed Kamel Amr and President Mohamed Mursi during his stay in Cairo, said Mojtaba Amani, the head of Tehran’s interests section in the Egyptian capital, according to the ISNA news agency.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and Egypt on Saturday called for a peaceful solution to the conflict roiling Syria, but said the terms of a settlement to end the bloodshed there must be defined by the Syrian people.

“A peaceful solution in Syria is necessary and it is desired by Arab countries and the international community,” Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said at a joint news conference with his Egyptian counterpart Mohammed Kamel Amr.

“But the way out of the crisis and the conditions for a solution are the responsibility of the Syrian people.”

Amr expressed similar views.

“If a peaceful solution can stop the bloodshed it will be desirable, but ultimately it is the Syrian people who will decide how to solve their problems,” he said.

Saudi Arabia and Egypt, two Arab heavyweights, have repeatedly called for the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad amid the raging violence gripping the country.

According to the United Nations the 21-month conflict has so far left more than 60,000 people dead.

Last Update: Saturday, 05 January 2013 KSA 21:04 - GMT 18:04