Syria's Bashar al-Assad dismisses remarks by the U.S. Secretary of State that the Syrian President should be included in negotiations to reach a political transition. Mana Rabiee reports.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, meeting with Iranian officials in Damascus. Speaking on state television, he dismissed remarks made by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday, that he should be included in negotiations to enable a political transition in Syria. Declarations from the outside, says Assad, are just that -- "words". (SOUNDBITE)(Arabic) SYRIAN PRESIDENT, BASHAR AL-ASSAD, SAYING: "Whether they say I remain or not, the Syrian people have the final say on this particular matter. So whatever has been said on this since the first day of the crisis up until today, after four years, does not concern us." What Syria wants, Assad says, is more 'action'. Namely, that foreign countries stop supporting the rebels he's been fighting now for four years. Washington has long insisted that Assad has to be replaced ... but the rise of a common enemy -- Islamic State in Syria -- may have softened the U.S. stance towards Assad, and further complicated a political crisis that has led to a civil war now entering its fifth year.