Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad has ordered the formation of a committee to look into lifting the country’s emergency law, the local Syrian Arab News Agency reports.

Al-Assad gave the go-ahead for the creation of a committee to look into removing the emergency law, which has been in place since his father seized power in 1963.

The president had been expected to talk about lifting the emergency law in his live televised address to the Syrian Parliament on 30 March. However, no reference was made to the reform during the 45-minute speech. During the address Al-Assad blamed protests around the county on “enemies” of Syria and did not say anything about lifting the emergency statute or any other reforms.

But in response to increasing pressure, the president has reportedly agreed to look into removing the ruling statute.

Al-Assad’s live address was the first time the president has spoken publicly since unprecedented protests began on 16 March. On the 29 March, the government was forced to resign in an attempt to appease protesters and quell political unrest.

At least 60 people have been killed during clashes with government security forces since the protests began in the Middle of March.