Beirut: The Syrian government is accusing President Barack Obama of meddling in its internal affairs.
The US President on Thursday called for President Bashar Assad to lead his country to democracy or "get out of the way”. It was his most direct warning to the leader of a nation embroiled in violence as the government cracks down on a popular uprising.
Syria's official news agency said on Friday Obama's speech amounted to "incitement”. It accused Obama of interfering in Syria's internal affairs.
Rights groups say more than 850 people have died in the regime crackdown on the uprising since it erupted in March.
Obama said Assad must start a serious dialogue or his regime will continue to be challenged from within and isolated abroad.
First Published: Friday, May 20, 2011, 16:48