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President Bashar al-Assad vowed on Monday not to reform Syria under "chaos" but said dialogue could lead to a new constitution, after his deadly crackdown on anti-regime protests that has stirred Western condemnation.
Syria was at a "turning point" after "difficult days", the president said in a televised speech at Damascus University, vowing the country would emerge stronger in the face of the "plotting" against it.
Offering his condolences to the families of "martyrs" from the unrest rocking the country since mid-March, al-Assad said there could be "no development without stability, no reform in the face of sabotage and chaos".
European foreign ministers, frustrated by Russia's threat to use its veto in the UN Security Council, gathered in Luxembourg to discuss tougher sanctions of their own against al-Assad's government as its deadly crackdown intensifies.