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Assad says only 'ballot box' can decide his future

Published on Nov 9, 2012 4:07 PM

MOSCOW (AFP) - Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad said his future could only be decided through the ballot box, in an interview with Russian television where he warned the country could face a protracted war.

Mr Assad told Russia Today that whether the president can "stay or leave" is a "popular issue" and "the only way (it) can be done (is) through the ballot boxes". He denied Syria was in "civil war" but said the conflict with rebels could be "a long-term war" if they continued to receive support from abroad.