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Saturday, 10 June, 2000, 17:38 GMT 18:38 UK
Full text of Syrian announcement
The following is the text of Syrian state TV's announcement of the death of President Hafez Al-Assad.

In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate.

Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with God: Of them some have completed their vow to the extreme, and some still wait.

But they have never changed their determination in the least.

Death has taken away a peerless leader and an unrivalled wise man

Syrian TV
O brother citizens, Arabs everywhere: The National and Regional Commands of the Arab Socialist Ba'th Party, the Central Command of the National Progressive Front, the People's Assembly, the Council of Ministers, the General Command of the Army and the Armed Forces, the popular organisations, the Professional Associations, the children of the great late leader: Bashar, Mahir, Majd, Bushra, and Al Al-Asad and Makhlu, announce to the Arab nation and the Syrian Arab people the death of leader Hafez al-Assad, Secretary general of the Arab Socialist Ba'th Party and President of the Republic.

Today morning, 8 Rabi al-Awwal 1421 Hegira, corresponding to 10th June 2000, God has decreed the death of a great, unparalleled leader and wise man.

He was a soldier, a fighter, and one who believed that life has no value without a free, dignified, and united homeland

Syrian TV

O Syrians and Arabs, the steadfast leader died in defence of the rights of the nation and the homeland.

The leader, whose values, principles, policies, and approach are lofty, has died. The leader has died.

He struggled for more than half a century for the sake of the Arabs' pride, unity, freedom, and for the sake of safeguarding their dignity and restoring their rights.

The leader, who relentlessly resisted strong storms, has died. His courage has never been weakened, his vision has never been narrowed, and his convictions have never been shaken.

He was the most courageous one in making decisions and confronting the enemies of the nation.

He was the one who loved the people the most. The star, who lit the sky of Syria and the Arabs for more than three decades, has fallen.

'He was a lion'

He devoted his brain, body, and heart for the sake of hoisting the banner of the nation.

He struggled, was patient, and endured for the sake of a safe, prosperous, proud, and strong homeland.

He preserved his pledge - the pledge of love for the homeland and struggle to regain the rights of the nation and raise its standing.

He was a lion in facing ordeals, difficulties, and storms.

He was a soldier, a fighter, and one who believed that life has no value without a free, dignified, and united homeland.

He was a president who was aware of his responsibilities in building the homeland and providing its requirements and liberating its occupied land.

He was a father. Yes, he was a father in his love for his citizens. He shared with them their sorrow and joy.

Legacy

My brothers: Today, we lost a brother, comrade, friend, father, leader, and teacher.

Today is a day of sorrow and pain in every house, in every school, university, factory, farm, and shop.

Sorrow is in every heart of every man, woman, and child. The one who departed was a piece of the heart.

He will remain in his legacy, accomplishments, thought, and conduct a star that shines not only for this generation, but also for future generations.

Peace be upon you, president leader. Peace be upon you, struggler comrade. Peace be upon you. You were an example of sincerity and loyalty, work and struggle.

From God we come and unto him we shall return.

To the righteous soul will be said: O thou soul in complete rest and satisfaction.

Come back thou to thy lord, well pleased thyself, and well-pleasing unto him.

BBC Monitoring (http://www.monitor.bbc.co.uk), based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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