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Syrian Baath Party Proposes Relaxing Emergency Laws, Other Reforms

Syria's ruling Baath party has endorsed political and security reforms that include relaxing the country's long-standing state of emergency laws.

Other recommendations include allowing greater media freedoms, more political parties and provisions for addressing grievances of the country's Kurdish community, which has long complained of discrimination.

The party recommendations were broadcast Thursday on Syrian state news media.

They are expected to be voted on by the full party congress later today, but are still a long way from being implemented by parliament. Analysts say it could take more than a year for the recommendations to take effect, and that they could be changed before then.

The Baath Party has held power since 1963, and comes under frequent criticism for alleged human rights violations and repressive emergency laws.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.