Assad interrupts speech after brief drop in blood pressure

Assad interrupts speech after brief drop in blood pressure

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has halted a speech in parliament, telling legislators he needed to "sit down for a minute" after suffering a drop in blood pressure.

The 54-year-old was half an hour through his speech on Wednesday when he began appearing tired, interrupting it twice to take a sip of water from a glass in front of him.

He was speaking about U.S. sanctions on Syria and the war-torn country's economic crisis when he told the room: "My blood pressure has dropped and I need to drink water."

Shortly afterwards, he said: "I need to sit for a minute if you don't mind," before exiting the huge hall.

It was not clear how long he was absent but when he returned, al-Assad, a trained eye doctor who is not known to have any specific health condition, joked that "doctors are the worst patients," Al Jazeera reported.

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