The Syrian government has lifted the state of emergency that has been in place in the country for almost 50 years. The move meets a key demand of demonstrators in the country but opposition leaders dismissed it as part of President Bashar Assad’s efforts to claim he is implementing reforms while maintaining his hard-line rule, The Associated Press says.

Syria’s Cabinet has also approved abolishing the country’s state security court and has given the go-ahead to a law that allows the right to conduct peaceful demonstrations with the permission of the Interior Ministry, AP says, citing Syria’s official news agency. The decisions need parliamentary approval and are expected to get the thumbs up when the legislative body meets May 2, AP adds.

About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.