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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has delivered a rare TV address, denouncing his opponents as “enemies of God and puppets of the West”. He lamented the suffering of the people in the civil war, saying a “black cloud” of pain engulfed every corner, BBC informs.Mr Assad also set out a plan involving a national dialogue conference and a referendum on a national charter.The UN estimates that more than 60,000 people have been killed in the uprising, which began in March 2011.The speech was Mr Assad’s first public address since June. He rejected the Syrian opposition movement as puppets fabricated by the West, and said that Syria wanted to negotiate with the “master not the servants”. Mr Assad said Syria had not rejected diplomatic moves but insisted it would not negotiate with people with “terrorist” ideas.He said: “There are those who seek to partition Syria and weaken it. But Syria is stronger… and will remain sovereign… and this is what upsets the West.”His speech was interspersed with applause and chants from defiant supporters in the opera house in central Damascus, and at the end he was mobbed on the stage.Mr Assad said the opposition against him was not a revolution. “That would need thinkers and be based on an idea,” he said. “It needs leadership – who is the leader of this revolution?”Mr Assad accused the rebels of stealing wheat from the people, depriving children of school and cutting off electricity and medical supplies. He said: “Suffering is overwhelming Syrian land. There is no place for joy while security and stability are absent on the streets of our country.”Mr Assad called on every citizen to defend the country according to their means. “We are now in a state of war in every sense of the word. This war targets Syria using a handful of Syrians and many foreigners. Thus, this is a war to defend the nation. “The nation is for all and we all must protect it,” he said.