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The Boston Globe

World

In rare speech, defiant Assad justifies crackdown

Syria’s president rips negotiation, offers own plan

BEIRUT — President Bashar Assad of Syria, sounding defiant, confident and, to critics, out of touch with the magnitude of his people’s grievances, proposed Sunday what he called a plan to resolve the country’s 21-month uprising with a new constitution and Cabinet and a national referendum.

But he offered no new acknowledgment of the gains by the rebels fighting against him, the excesses of his government, or the aspirations of the Syrian people.

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