The United Nations Secretary-General has strongly criticised Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at a conference in Beirut, and called on him to stop killing his own people.
Delivering a keynote address at the UN Arab democracy conference, Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said,
"From the very beginning of the year's, last year's revolutions, from Tunisia through Egypt and beyond, I called on leaders to listen to their people, listen to the genuine aspirations of their people, what they need, and what are their voices.
Some did and benefited; some didn't, and today they are reaping the whirlwind.
Today, I say again to President Assad of Syria: Stop the violence. Stop killing your people. The path of repression is a dead end.
The winds of change will not cease to blow. The flame ignited in Tunisia will not be dimmed."
His words come as President Assad offered yet another amnesty for all civilians who have taken arms against the regime, the second such amnesty since protests broke out 10 months ago.
The amnesty was dismissed by opposition members as "neither serious nor credible."
The opposition Muslim Brotherhood commented,
"The regime is trying to make its unrealistic plans for reconciliation and national dialogue credible, and it is in this context that it is making such announcements, for propaganda purposes."