Barbara Walters To Interview Syria’s Al-Assad

By Alex Weprin 

In his first TV interview with an American outlet since the uprising began in his country earlier this year, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad will speak to ABC’s Barbara Walters.

Walters questioned Syria’s leader on the human rights violations the UN has said his government is committing, as well as the harsh treatment and crackdown of protestors. The interview will air across all of the ABC News platforms on Wednesday, December 7, including a special edition of “Nightline” dedicated solely to Syria.

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Walters presumably did not have to sneak into Syria for her interview, as NBC’s Richard Engel and CBS’ Clarissa Ward did recently.

2011 has been a good year for big interviews at ABC, particularly in the Middle East. In February ABC c”This Week” anchor Christiane Amanpour was the first American journalist to speak with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, who was subsequently deposed. Later that month Amanpour would speak with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhaffi, who was also deposed, and then killed.

Domestically, ABC had primetime special featuring exclusive interviews with Commander Mark Kelly and his wife Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, as well as Jaycee Dugard.