My headline is also a better indication of what Assad said than the AP report opener:
Syrian President Bashar Assad on Sunday refused any security cooperation with Western nations or the reopening of their embassies, until they cut ties with opposition and insurgent groups.That's not what he said -- how and why would he make such a demand when his own government and allied governments routinely negotiate with "opposition and insurgent groups?"
However, the AP reporters didn't get around to quoting him until the seventh paragraph:
“Let’s be clear. There will be no security cooperation nor opening of embassies or even a role for some countries that say that they want to play a role in ending the crisis in Syria before they clearly and frankly cut their relations with terrorism,” Assad said. “At that point maybe we can speak about opening embassies.”Note he didn't explicitly address "Western" countries because of course it's not only governments in such countries that have been aiding and abetting terrorist groups in Syria -- and having the gall to term the groups "rebels."
As to why AP delayed for seven paragraphs reporting what Assad actually said -- I darkly suspect it's because AP knows the anchors who report 'wire' stories on TV newscasts are under orders to never read further into a report than the first
I also suspect AP editors knew they didn't have a snowball's chance in hell of selling the report to any Western or Gulf Arab publication if their headline and lede accurately conveyed Assad offering the olive branch to foreign governments if only they'd give up supporting terrorism.
But the scariest part is that the liberty taken with just this one headline is a strong indication of the extent to which the news industry continues to distort and even outright omit the truth in its reporting to the public.
How can democracy exist under such circumstances? It can't.
* Below, a handful of headlines at Google News from major press on the AP report. All the rest of the publications I saw at Google that feature the AP report also show virtually the same headline:
Syria's Assad rejects security cooperation with the West - The ...
https://www.washingtonpost.com/.../syrias-assad-reject-security-cooperation...west/.../b3...21 hours ago - Syria's Assad rejects security cooperation with the West. The inside ... (SyrianPresidency Facebook page via AP) (Associated Press). By Albert ...
https://www.theguardian.com › World › Syria18 hours ago - Syria: Bashar al-Assad rejects security cooperation with west. Assad praises Russia, Iran, China ... Associated Press. Sunday 20 August 2017 ...
https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/08/20/world/middleeast/ap-ml-syria.html?...23 hours ago - Syrian President Bashar Assad has blasted the West, rejecting any security cooperationor reopening of ... By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS AUG.