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Syrian Government Resigns in Wake of Violent Demonstrations

Tuesday, 29 Mar 2011 09:37 AM

Syrian Prime Minister Muhammad Naji Otri’s government resigned in the wake of protests that began this month and marked the strongest challenge to President Bashar al-Assad’s rule since he took power in 2000.

Assad accepted Otri’s resignation, state television reported.

The move follows a series of concessions the government has made to demonstrators that also included the release of more than 200 prisoners, steps to combat corruption, a media law guaranteeing more freedom, improving living standards for residents of border areas and changes to criminal law to ban random arrests.

Syria is the latest Middle Eastern country to be hit by a wave of uprisings that ousted longtime rulers in Egypt and Tunisia, and sparked an armed conflict in Libya. Assad’s regime is an ally of Iran and a power broker in neighboring Lebanon, where it supports the Shiite Muslim Hezbollah movement.

More than 90 people have been killed as the government cracked down on dissent, according to unconfirmed reports that Amnesty International cited.


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