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Syria's Government Endorses Reforms To Allow Political Parties

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Syria's government has endorsed a draft law that it says will allow the formation of political parties alongside President Bashar al-Assad's ruling Ba'ath Party.

The draft bill approved by the cabinet late on July 24 is part of a series of reforms promised by Assad in his bid to end more than four months of protests against his regime.

Syria's opposition has dismissed the government's proposed reforms as largely symbolic.

The Ba'ath party has held a monopoly and control over political life in Syria for decades.

Meanwhile, unrest in the country continues. Human rights groups say that about 1,400 civilians and 350 security forces personnel have died in the four months of protest.

compiled from agency reports