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March 25, 2011 12:18 pm

Gates: Syrian Army Should “Empower a Revolution”

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Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates addresses the Corps of Cadets in Eisenhower Hall

FT – The Syrian people should follow Egypt’s lead and the country’s army should “empower a revolution”, Robert Gates, US secretary of defence, said as thousands marched in a southern city.  Mr Gates made his comments – some of the toughest remarks to date by a US official about the rule of Bashar al-Assad, president – on a day of further upheaval in the Middle East and beyond.

Drawing a parallel between the unrest in Syria and the protests that unseated Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s former president, Mr Gates said: “I’ve just come from Egypt, where the Egyptian army stood on the sidelines and allowed people to demonstrate and in fact empowered a revolution. The Syrians might take a lesson from that.”

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