Speaking to reporters in Damascus, Arab League Chief Nabil Elaraby said Assad assured him that “Syria has entered a new era and is now moving on the road of a genuine reform.’’
Syria came under withering international criticism Tuesday as the White House said Assad has lost legitimacy and the UN Security Council condemned attacks on the US and French embassies in Damascus.
It was a sharp escalation in pressure on Assad and a sign that the Obama administration could be moving closer to calling for regime change in Syria because of the violent crackdown on a four-month-old uprising. Previously, the US position on Assad was that he should lead a transition to democracy or leave.
Elaraby said nobody has the right to say the president of any country has lost his legitimacy.
“This issue is exclusively decided by the people,’’ he said after meeting Assad.
The Arab League had been mostly silent about the situation in Syria since the uprising began.