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Syria's Assad announces wide-ranging prisoner amnesty

Two women walk past a huge billboard bearing a portrait of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the capital Damascus on May 27, 2014Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad announced an unprecedented prisoner amnesty on Monday, less than a week after his re-election, the most wide-ranging since the beginning of the revolt against him. Announced five days after Assad was re-elected with nearly 90 percent in a ballot decried as a “farce” by the opposition and the West, the amnesty is the first extended to those accused under a controversial anti-terrorism law. Meanwhile, in key rebel-backer Qatar, the prime minister urged the United Nations to impose a ceasefire to end Syria’s conflict. And Iran’s president pledged during a trip to Ankara to work with Turkey despite opposing positions on the war.

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