DAMASCUS (AFP) – Syria's President Bashar al-Assad said on Sunday he is determined to "eradicate terrorism" which he blames for the conflict raging in his country, according to state news agency SANA.
"Syria has welcomed all constructive, genuine efforts to find a political solution to the crisis" that erupted in March 2011, Assad was quoted as saying.
But Damascus "is at the same time determined to confront terrorism and eradicate it," he added in reference to a rebellion that broke out against him after his regime unleashed a brutal crackdown against dissent.
Assad made his remarks during a meeting with a visiting delegation of Mauritanian party leaders in Damascus.
He said "the cohesion between our heroic army and the people" would help Damascus defeat the rebellion, according to SANA.
Assad's latest remarks come two weeks after he promised in a rare speech to strike out "terrorism" with an "iron fist."
Despite international efforts to end Syria's conflict and to bring regime and rebel representatives to the negotiating table, the war has cost more than 100,000 lives, the UN says.