Published March 03, 2013
AMMAN, Jordan – Syria's President has accused Britain and the U.S. of supporting terrorism by aiding rebels fighting his regime.
Bashar Assad told the Sunday Times that he will not step down or go into exile. He said he is ready for dialogue with armed rebels and militants, but only if they surrender their weapons. Recently his foreign minister offered such talks but left the question of laying down arms unanswered. Assad's regime often refers to rebels as "terrorists."
Sunday's publishing of last week's interview comes during U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's first foreign tour.
Kerry met with Syrian rebels in Italy Thursday. He has announced a package of non-lethal U.S. aid to the rebels.
In the interview, Assad also vowed to retaliate against Israel for an airstrike near Damascus last month.