Bashar al-Assad

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Bashar al-Assad
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Bashar al-Assad

Bashar al-Assad (بشار الاسد) (born September 11, 1965) is the current President of Syria and the son of former President Hafez al-Assad.

Studying in London for ophthalmology, Bashar al-Assad initially had few political aspirations. Hafez al-Assad had been grooming Bashar's older brother, Basil al-Assad to be the future president. However, Basil died in an automobile accident which in turn made Bashar his father's new heir apparent. When the elder Assad died in 2000, Bashar inherited the presidency.

He is often characterized as a very "hands-off" president, due to his political inexperience. Some accuse him of being little more than a puppet of hardliners from his father's administration. However, Assad has promised economic and political reforms since coming to power.

Despite tense relations with Israel, Assad has called for a resumption of peace talks on the issue of the Golan Heights.

In August 2004, Assad was accused by Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt of threatening Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri, allegedly saying, "If you and Chirac want me out of Lebanon... I would rather break Lebanon over the heads of Hariri and Walid Jumblatt than see my word in Lebanon broken." Assad is alleged to have further threatened both Mr. Hariri and Mr. Jumblatt with physical harm if they opposed the extension for Mr. Lahoud.[1] (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/20/international/middleeast/20lebanon.html?ei=5094&en=441b692d8c0ef46a&hp=&ex=1111294800&partner=homepage&pagewanted=all&position=). This account is quoted, but not confirmed, in the UN's FitzGerald Report [2] (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/25/international/middleeast/25hariri.html?pagewanted=all&position=):

Assad and some pro-Syrian Lebanese factions are accused of being responsible for Hariri's murder, which incited Lebanon's "Cedar Revolution." Both Damascus and Beirut have strongly denied any involvement. Hariri's rift with Assad began with the former's vehement opposition to the Syrian-backed constitutional amendment which extended pro-Syrian Lebanese president Emile Lahoud's term in office. Hariri resigned over the incident.


See also

Further reading

  • Bashar Al-Assad (Major World Leaders) by Susan Muaddi Darraj, (June 2005, Chelsea House Publications) ISBN 0791082628 for young adults
  • Syria Under Bashar Al-Asad: Modernisation and the Limits of Change (Adelphi Papers) by Volker Perthes, (2004, Oxford University Press) ISBN 0198567502
  • Bashar's First Year: From Ophthalmology to a National Vision (Research Memorandum) by Yossi Baidatz, (2001, Washington Institute for Near East Policy) ISBN B0006RVLNM
  • Syria: Revolution From Above by Raymond Hinnebusch (Routledge; 1st edition, August 2002) ISBN 0415285682

External links



Preceded by:
Abdul-Halim Khaddam
(Acting President)
President of Syria
2000–present
Succeeded by:
Incumbent

Template:End boxde:Baschar al-Assad es:Bashar al-Asad gl:Bashar al-Assad it:Bashar al-Assad he:בשאר אל אסד nl:Bashar al-Assad ja:バッシャール・アル=アサド sl:Bašar al Asad sv:Bashar al-Assad

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