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Syrian official: 'West will deal with us as a fait accompli'

With presidential elections in Syria scheduled for June 3, a Syrian official says, "Turkey will suffer greatly from its involvement against us."
A woman walks past election posters of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad along a street in Damascus June 2, 2014. Buoyed by a sequence of victories over the past year, won in large part through Iran and Hezbollah, its Lebanese paramilitary proxy, Assad will be elected president this week for a third seven-year term, symbolically contested by selected opponents playing walk-on roles to pad out the main drama. To match Insight SYRIA-ELECTION/ASSAD    REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS
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DAMASCUS, Syria — The temperature had exceeded 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) in the Syrian capital. Traveling to the office of a government official required circumventing multiple blocked roads. The taxi driver took the initiative to explain: "The old presidential palace, known as Muhajireen Palace, is located here. It lies in the center of Damascus, in a neighborhood carrying the same name, Muhajireen. The president now spends much of his time here." He then said, "As for his house, it's located across the street [from the palace]. He moves between the two without large escorts or tight security measures. But this is what necessitated the closure of some of the narrow streets surrounding the location."

In the office of the Syrian government official, who requested anonymity, the air conditioner was running slowly. However, he was smiling and seemed relaxed, even delighted. He presented all of the developments occurring in his country with clear optimism. These developments ranged from the balance of military forces, international stances, public and secret diplomatic contacts, all the way to preparations for the presidential elections scheduled for June 3. Al-Monitor asked him: If President Bashar al-Assad is re-elected, and if this occurs with a large voter turnout, according to what you will announce, how will other countries deal with that? Will there be an external acknowledgment of the electoral process and its results?

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