Damascus: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad addressed the new parliament in a speech broadcast on state television on Tuesday, congratulating lawmakers on a record turnout in an April general election.
"The Syrian people surprised the world yet again with an unprecedented voter turnout... and an unprecedented number of candidates," Assad said.
The vote was held in government-controlled areas only, and was dismissed both by the opposition and internationally as a sham.
Syria`s conflict began in 2011 with protests calling for Assad to step down, and several rounds of UN-backed peace talks have failed to bring an end to what has become a complex civil war.
The slender head of state was shown approaching the podium to cheers of support from lawmakers.
It was unclear if the broadcast was live or a pre-recorded address from earlier this week.
Assad`s last address to parliament was in June 2012, just after general elections in May of that year.