Syria vows to ‘overcome protests’ within two months

The anti-government uprising in Syria will be overcome within two months, parliament speaker Mahmoud al-Abrash said on Sunday.

Protests against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which have gone on for more than three months, are “temporary difficulty,” Abrash said during talks with a senior Russian diplomat in Damascus.

“It will be overcome,” Abrash told Alexander Dzasokhov, chair of the Russian-Syrian Friendship Association, adding that the crisis should be resolved through national dialogue.

“It is important that any changes should be made in accordance with the yearnings of the people,” he said.

Yassir Houria, member of the ruling Baath party, said work was underway to carry out electoral, judicial and media reforms.

These reforms will bring about the changes needed for a democratic transition, he said.

“We are talking about the creation of a democratic and free society. Both the authorities and opposition want this,” Houria said.

Anti-government demonstrators plan a conference on Monday to discuss ways to defuse the unrest, as hundreds of Syrians continue to flee into Lebanon and Turkey.

At least five civilians were reportedly killed by security forces on Sunday during house searches and funerals held for those killed in protests following Friday prayers.

Human rights groups say more than 1,300 protestors have been killed by security forces since the uprising began in March. The government insists it is tackling armed groups.

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