File photo of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad answering journalists after a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris

 
File photo of Syria
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad answers journalists after a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris in this December 9, 2010 file photo. Syria's government passed a bill on April 19, 2011, lifting emergency law in the country, the official state news agency said. A senior lawyer said President al-Assad has to sign the legislation for it to take effect but that his signature was a formality. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Files (FRANCE - Tags: POLITICS HEADSHOT)