Syrian Vice President Farouk Shara rebukes U.S. for saying that Bashar Assad had ‘lost legitimacy’ to remain in power.
Syrian Vice President Farouk Shara has said that no country has the right to call for President Bashar Assad to step down, according to a report published Wednesday.
“No one has the right to interfere in the Syrian affairs,” he added in remarks to the Algerian newspaper Al Khbar.
In the sharpest rebuke of Assad, who has been facing unprecedented protests to his rule since mid-March, U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday said Assad had “lost legitimacy” for failing to lead a democratic transition.
“The Syrians alone are the ones to make decisions for themselves along with President Bashar Assad whom they have elected,” said Shara, who is heading “national dialogue” talks boycotted by opposition.
The United States stepped up its criticism of Assad after his supporters attacked the U.S. and French embassies in the Syrian capital Damascus on Sunday.
Around 1,400 Syrians have been killed in a security crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations, according to human rights groups.