Syria’s emergency laws ‘to end next week’


The President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad has said he expects a state of emergency to be lifted next week, after weeks of anti-government protests.

He made the comments in a televised speech to his new cabinet.

The lifting of the 48-year-old emergency law has been a key demand of the protesters.

Though he repeated his view that his country was facing a conspiracy, Mr Assad said he did not believe the lifting of the state of emergency would lead to an unstable Syria.

The Syrian leader told the cabinet a legal commission asked to examine the lifting of the law had come to its conclusions.

“I think the commission has finished its work, on Thursday, and the recommendations will be given to the government so that they become law immediately. I don’t know how many days it will take you and I think that the maximum deadline for the lifting of the state of emergency will be next week,” he said.

The law bans public gatherings of more than five people.

New security legislation would be introduced in place of the emergency law, he said, adding that the new government should also study ideas for a multi-party system and greater press freedom.{jcomments on}