The Associated Press sat down with Syrian President Bashar Assad at a palace in downtown Damascus. Here’s a full transcript of the interview:
Q: I will start by talking about the cease-fire in Syria. Russia, the U.S., and several countries say a cease-fire could be revived despite the recent violence and the recrimination. Do you agree, and are you prepared to try again?
A: We announced that we are ready to be committed to any halt of operations, or if you want to call it cease-fire, but it’s not about Syria or Russia; it’s about the United States and the terrorist groups that have been affiliated to ISIS and al-Nusra and al-Qaida, and to the United States and to Turkey and to Saudi Arabia. They announced publicly that they are not committed, and this is not the first attempt to have a halt of operations in Syria. The first attempt was in last February, and didn’t work, I think, because of the United States, and I believe that the United States is not genuine regarding having a cessation of violence in Syria.