Syria's President Assad says state and people must unite
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has maintained a tough line in the face of anti-government protests, but said a national dialogue on reform will begin.
In his third address to the nation since protests began, he said Syria should deal with people's demands for reform but that a "small faction" was exploiting popular grievances.
He blamed anti-government protests on a small group of "saboteurs".
Rights groups say at least 1,300 civilians have died in protests since March. More than 300 soldiers and police have also been killed, they say.
20 Jun 2011
- From the section Middle East