Russia, China and Iran showed support for Syrian President

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Posted By Sanjay
Date  21 Feb 2012

Russia, China and Iran showed support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday, days before an international meeting likely to pile more pressure on him to step down in the face of an increasingly bloody uprising.
 
Assad met a senior Russian politician in Damascus, who reiterated Moscow’s support for his self-styled reform program and spoke out against any foreign intervention in the conflict, Russian and Syrian news agencies reported.
 
China accused Western countries of stirring up civil war in Syria, and two Iranian warships docked at a Syrian naval base, underscoring rising international tensions over the near year-long crisis.
 
Government forces pressed on with their crackdown on the anti-Assad uprising, with opposition activists reporting five people killed in renewed shelling of an opposition-held district of Homs and troops and militia blockading Hama. Both cities have been in the forefront of the revolt.

The crisis is entering an important week, with Western and Arab powers due to meet at a conference in Tunisia on Friday to pressure Assad to give up power, while Assad forges ahead with plans for a referendum on Sunday for a new constitution.
 
The referendum, which would lead to multi-party elections within 90 days, is part of what Assad describes as a reform programme to address demands for more democracy. Syria’s official SANA news agency said about 14,600,000 people are eligible to take part in the referendum.
 
The West and Syrian opposition figures have dismissed the plan as joke, saying it is impossible to have a valid election amid the continuing repression.
 

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