INTRODUCTION: Celebrations were held in Syria on Saturday (5 March) to mark the sixth anniversary of the March Revolution in 1971 which brought President Hafez al-Assad to power.
GV: Syrian President Hafez al-Assad arrives at Congress of National Union of students in Damascus and waves to delegates.
SV: delegates seated
SV: President Assad addressing congress. (2 shots)
SV: delegates listening.
GV: Assad addressing congress.
GV EXTERIOR: President Assad waving to crowd.
SV PAN: parade in street. (2 shots)
GV: Assad and other officials applauding.
SV PAN: parade
SV PAN: crowd watching
SV: circular banner and Assad watching parade. (3 shots)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Celebrations were held in Syria on Saturday (5 March) to mark the sixth anniversary of the March Revolution in 1971 which brought President Hafez al-Assad to power. President Assad, who's currently attending the Afro-Arab summit meeting in Cairo, was nominated as the country's President on the 2nd of March, 1971. Ten days later his nomination was endorsed at a public referendum by 99 per cent of two million votes cast.
SYNOPSIS: Before departing for the meeting in Cairo, President Assad delivered an address at the 7th Congress of Syrian National Union of Students which opened in Damascus on Saturday (5 March). Later in the day he watched a colourful demonstration organised to mark the anniversary.
President Assad has been in power longer and given Syria greater stability than any other leader since the first post-independence coup of 1949. Before he assumed presidential power there had been 21 coups in the country in 24 years.
The British national newspaper, The Observer, says, President Assad has strong claims to be considered the most powerful, independent and stable of the Arab leaders, It says that, with growing authority, he has imposed peace terms on the rival factions in Lebanon, ??? the Palestinians' cause, drawn his isolated neighbour Jordan back into the Arab fold and developed close ties with the oil states. Dr Kissinger, described him once as the most interesting figure in the Middle East.