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Assad says Syria will continue to fight "terrorism"

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad said on Sunday authorities would maintain a crackdown against the armed opposition but were still ready for dialogue with political opponents.

“We will continue firmly confronting terrorism, leaving the door open for those who want to return,” Assad told parliament. “I urge all those who are still hesitant to do so, to take this step. The state will not take revenge.”

Authorities were prepared to hold dialogue with political opponents who did not have outside backing “or have not participated in terrorism,” he added.

(Reporting by Mariam Karouny and Khaled Yacoub Oweis; Editing by Jon Hemming)

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