Syrian president to address nation on TV Monday

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is expected to make a TV-address on the situation in the country on Monday, the country’s news agency SANA said said.

More than 1,300 people have been killed and over 10,000 arrested by Syrian security forces since an uprising against the Assad family’s 40-year rule broke out in Syria three months ago. Thousands of people have crossed into Turkey to escape the violence, overwhelming refugee camps at the border with Syria.

“President Bashar al-Assad addresses the nation tomorrow noon on the current situation in Syria,” SANA said.

The speech will be the third since the uprisings erupted in March.

Washington has not officially called on Assad, who has been ruling Syria for more than a decade, to step down as it did with former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Libya’s Col. Muammar Gaddafi. However, the United States, along with the European Union, has imposed sanctions on Assad and many of his family members.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Friday that the United States was trying to persuade Russia to work together on a resolution on Syria to be put to a vote at the UN Security Council.

Russia has opposed a resolution condemning violence in Syria and urged a diplomatic solution to the crisis, while France, Britain and Germany have been pushing for such a resolution to be passed by the Security Council to prevent further bloodshed.

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