Al Hayat interview with Bashar Assad

In which he discusses (with editor Ghassan Charbel and Damascus bureau chief Ibrahim Hamidi)Syria's relationship with Jordan, Egypt's negotiation of behalf of mini-Hariri, Arab fears of Iran's growing regional role, growing sectarianism in Lebanon, his willingness to deal with anyone in Lebanon (Aoun, mini-Hariri, Seniora, etc.) except Walid Jumblatt and maybe Jacques Chirac. Although the interview doesn't make earth-shattering revelations, Bashar handles it pretty well overall.

This is part one, and in part two (not yet online) he apparently says there's a growing Al Qaeda presence in Lebanon.

Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region,