Embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is facing a two-year rebellion aimed at unseating him , will run for a third term in 2014, his foreign minister Walid Muallem said on Wednesday, despite the fact that over 94,000 Syrian people have been killed in the brutal crackdown against the revolt.
“Will President Assad run for a third term or won’t he, that will depend on conditions in 2014 and the will of the people,” Muallem told the Beirut-based Arab news channel Mayadeen, which is close to Syria and its ally Iran.
“If the people want him, he will present himself, and, if they don’t, he won’t. Mr Assad is in constant touch with his people,” Muallem said.
“The Americans have no say on who governs Syria,” he added.
Western and Arab governments are demanding that Assad step down as part of efforts to end the deadly conflict in Syria .
Assad has ruled Syria since 2000, when he took over on the death of his father Hafez.
He was elected in 2000 and again in 2007, virtually unopposed.