Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, speaking in an interview with state television, said changes to the country’s constitution are still being studied and local elections may be held in February.
Assad said people were free to form parties and that Syria aimed to be more inclusive of the country’s youth.
He said that any attack on the country would result in “huge” consequences.
Assad, who wore a dark suit and was interviewed by two state journalists, said the Obama administration and other governments had no right to call for his removal because he was appointed by the Syrian people.
To contact the reporter on this story: Zaid Sabah Abd Alhamid in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at email@example.com