Farnaz Fassihi
March 30, 2011

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad offered no concrete concessions in a much anticipated speech to parliament and blamed foreign enemies for plotting unrest in Syria through a series of antigovernment demonstrations over the past two weeks.

“I’m addressing you during extraordinary events; we are facing a test of our unity,” Mr. Assad said at the start of his speech Wednesday. “But we will successfully overcome it.”

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Mr. Assad, to the surprise of many observers, failed to offer the government’s promised reform plans or a timetable for when any such reforms might go into effect.

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