Syria will remain “the beating heart of Arabism,” President Bashar Assad said on Monday at a meeting with Jordanian activists who came to voice their support of him and his regime.

The Jordanian lawyers, doctors and engineers met with Assad in Damascus to show backing “for the Syrian people in their current ordeal,” Syria’s state-run Arab News Agency reported. The group told Assad “honest Arabs” will back Syria’s fight to defeat “the conspiracies against it.”

Assad thanked the delegation, saying Syria would “not relinquish its principles no matter how much pressure is exerted upon it,” and declaring that his country would remain “the beating heart of Arabism” despite all opposition.

Syria is the midst of a nearly two-year-old civil war that has seen some 60,000 people killed and the country ravaged by near-constant battles. Assad, who is resisting international calls for him to step down, has painted the rebels as foreign-backed terrorists attempting to topple his regime and kill civilians.

The Jordanian supporters, members of a shrinking cadre of backers of Assad, said the blood spilled in the country was in defense of the Arab world and would “write Syria’s victory.”