Information Minister: Erdogan Should Respect His People's Will and Leave for Doha
Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi called for releasing the prisoners of conscience in Turkey, stressing that there is no justification for the arrest of this huge number of peaceful demonstrators.
Answering questions of the reporters on Sunday, the Minister said the use of excessive force in the face of the Turkish people is wrong, pointing out that the Turkish demonstrators are not terrorists.
Al-Zoubi said there is still an opportunity for Erdogan to halt the violence in Turkey, stressing that Erdogan should respect the will of his people and leave for Doha that might host him.
Popular protests against the policies of the Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan continued in Ankara and Istanbul for the third day in a row.
The Turkish police have used water cannon and tear gas to disperse a peaceful protest against the destruction of Gezi Park in central Istanbul.
Helicopter launched tear gas on the residential neighborhoods, while photos on the Youtube showed an armored police truck hit a protestor.
Rescue people told the media that about 1000 people were admitted to hospitals in Istanbul, while hundreds others were injured in Ankara due to clashes with the police.
The Amnesty International criticized the use of excessive force by the Turkish police to disperse the popular protests against Erdogan's government, saying "The use of tear gas against peaceful protestors and in confined spaces where it may constitute a serious danger to health is unacceptable, breaches international human rights standards and must be stopped immediately."
Amnesty International Europe and Central Asia Director John Dalhuisen said "The Turkish authorities must order police to halt any excessive use of force and urgently investigate all reports of abuse. They have a duty to ensure that people can exercise their right to free expression and assembly."
Al-Moallem: The Army Works to Help Citizens Get Rid of Terrorists in al-Qseir
Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister, Walid al-Moallem affirmed Syria's keenness on the security and stability of its citizens.
Al-Moallem's remark came during a phone call made by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon today afternoon during which the conversation touched upon the situation in the city of al-Qseir.
The Minister stressed that what the Syrian Arab Army is doing in al-Qseir is to help the citizens get rid of the armed terrorist groups and restore security and stability to the city and its countryside.
Al-Moallem expressed his wonder at "the rising voices on the situation in al-Qseir, whereas we didn't hear this worry when the terrorists seized the city and its countryside and committed the ugliest crimes against the citizens for over 18 months."
The Minister stressed that the Syrian authorities will allow the Red Cross, in cooperation with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, to enter al-Qseir area immediately after the military operations end there.
Syrian Community in Bulgaria Protest outside Turkish Embassy in Sodality with Syria
21 May 2013
The Bulgarian Committee in Solidarity with Syria, the Syrian community and the Syrian National Students’ Union in Bulgaria staged on Tuesday a mass protest outside the Turkish Embassy in the Bulgarian capital city of Sofia.
Participants in the protest expressed their solidarity with Syria’s army, leadership and people in face of the conspiracy and their condemnation of the crimes committed by the Turkish Government in Syria.
They stressed full support of the Bulgarian political parties and forces to the leadership, army and people of Syria, highlighting the right of Syria to defend its territories against the Erdogan-backed terrorists who come from the Turkish-Syrian borders.
They underscored that what is happening in Syria has become clear for the whole world, condemning the western-backed terrorism in Syria.
the participants considered what is being promoted for in the media on Syria as “completely untrue as events proved that the armed terrorist groups are one form of al-Qaeda supported by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey under the supervision of the U.S. administration with the aim of looting the wealth of Syria.”
The Syrian students in Bulgaria expressed condemnation of the Turkish policy which is based on supporting and facilitating the entry of terrorists across the borders and providing them with chemical weapons just as what happened in Khan al-Assal in Aleppo.
They stressed their support to the Syrian Army and leadership, pledging allegiance to the homeland and the Syrian Army, in addition to their support to the political program to resolve the crisis in Syria.
Terrorists Commit Massacre against 4 Member Family in al-Qseir
HOMS/ DAMASCUS, (SANA)- An armed terrorist group on Saturday committed a massacre against a family of four members, including a woman, in the countryside of al-Qseir in Homs.
An official source told SANA reporter that the terrorist group's members killed the family members inside their house in the area between al-Dab'a village and the industrial area in the city of al-Qseir before they looted the house.
The source pointed out that the martyrs are a woman called Yusra Abdul-Rahman al-Qaissi and three young men.
Terrorists Fire 3 Mortar Shells on al-Dwailaa Area, Damascus, 4 Citizens Injured
Earlier, terrorists fired 3 mortar shells on the residential neighborhoods in al-Dwailaa area in Damascus, causing the injury of 4 citizens and big material damage.
An official source told SANA reporter that the terrorists targeted a crowded area, causing the injury of 4 citizens and big material damage in the residential building and the cars parking at the site.
H. Zain/Ghossoun/H. Said
Al-Halqi: Government Offers Aid and Free Basic Services to Citizens in Need
Prime Minister, Dr. Wael al-Halqi said that the government is offering care, aid and free basic services to citizens in need under the current crisis.
Chairing a qualitative meeting of the Higher Committee for Relief, al-Halqi highlighted the financial and moral support that the government is offering citizens, expressing regret over the exploitation of the humanitarian conditions of the displaced Syrians by neighboring countries through international aid that goes to their coffers.
Al-Halqi called upon the Syrian families in the camps to ''cast away humility and hunger and return to the homeland,'' reiterating that the government's doors are open to all citizens.
''Syria's potential and resources are many and varied, and it has big reserve of basic materials, oil derivatives and medicine,'' al-Halqi said, adding that the government is working to rehabilitate what has been destroyed and to keep its basic services running across Syria.
He indicated that the government has decided to build 10 thousand residential units to host the affected families, which are to be redistributed to the families of state employees after the crisis ends.
Al-Halqi called upon the Committee to coordinate with international NGOs and activate the role of popular organizations, unions and the civil society to upgrade the committee's work and ensure its success.
Al-Halqi reiterated that Syria will emerge victorious from the crisis thanks to the faith of the Syrian people in implementing the political program, away from foreign meddling.
The committee's members expressed appreciation for the government's support, adding that the government is working under immense pressure and extraordinary circumstances, and continues to meet the needs of the displaced families and secure decent livelihood for citizens.
May 29, 2013
Under the auspices of President Bashar al-Assad, the Internal Security Forces' Day was marked as a commemoration of the parliament's guards and internal security members who were martyred by the French occupation in 1945.
Interior Minister, Lt. Gen. Mohammad al-Shaar said in a speech during a ceremony organized on the occasion that ''It is a great honor to represent President Bashar al-Assad here, and to convey to you his pride in the efforts of the internal security forces to preserve the homeland's security and stability.''
The minister recalled in his speech the heroism day on May 29, 1945 and the valor of the internal security members who refused to bow to the colonizer and take down the Syrian flag, falling martyrs by the gunfire of the French forces.
He added that this horrible crime was a desperate attempt by the French colonizer to emerge from the bottleneck as it was driven into a corner by the national resistance over more than 25 years, in an attempt to bring Syria to its knees.
Al-Shaar said that the global war waged on Syria that is led by major powers is ''yet another chapter of the colonialist conspiracy,'' reiterating that no one can undermine Syria's cultural, national, regional and international role.
Al-Shaar added that backing the terrorists with weapons and funds to commit heinous crimes and target every facet of the Syrians' lives will only sharpen the resolve of the Syrian people, who had had a taste of colonialism throughout history and ''refused to bow or cede one single right or grain of land.''
The interior minister lauded the sacrifices of the Syrian people, army and security forces against the armed terrorists on whom the noose is tightening under the strikes of the Syrian army, adding that the frenzied media campaign is a desperate attempt to lift their flagging morale.
Al-Shaar added that the Syrian-Syrian dialogue is the only way out of the crisis, which Syria is trying to achieve through the political program for solving the crisis for building the Syria that is a homeland of all ''except those who took up arms and had the blood of Syrians on their hands.''
Al-Shaar said that commemorating the May 29 anniversary celebrates martyrdom as a sublime value and ''the pride in the heritage that was passed down to us by the parliament's martyrs.''
He pointed out that the internal security forces stand side by side with the armed forces in combating terrorism for restoring security and stability, safeguarding liberties and enforcing law and order.
Assistant interior minister emphasized the sublime meanings of the occasion which embodies the homeland's freedom ''that is the most precious of all.''
Families of the May 29 martyrs, along with the families of martyrs who fell in the line of duty and a number of injured security members were honored in the ceremony.
Minister al-Shaar and senior police officers visited the Martyrs' Hall at the People's Assembly and met with Speaker of the Assembly, Mohammad al-Laham. The two sides elaborated on the heroism and sacrifices of the parliament's guards and internal security members who were martyred on May 29, 1945.
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Photos: Obama and Google. On 3.14.2012, America’s Defense Department’s best-known geek announced that she was leaving the Pentagon for a job at Google. This is why the Google posts are focused on U.S. politics.
Interview Given by President al-Assad to Lebanese Al-Manar TV
May 30, 2013
Al-Manar: But, Mr. President, the nature of the battle that you and Hezbollah are waging in Al-Qseir seems, to your critics, to take the shape of a safe corridor connecting the coastal region with Damascus. Consequently, if Syria were to be divided, or if geographical changes were to be enforced, this would pave the way for an Alawite state. So, what is the nature of this battle, and how is it connected with the conflict with Israel.
President Assad: First, the Syrian and Lebanese coastal areas are not connected through Al-Qseir. Geographically this is not possible. Second, nobody would fight a battle in order to move towards separation. If you opt for separation, you move towards that objective without waging battles all over the country in order to be pushed into a particular corner. The nature of the battle does not indicate that we are heading for division, but rather the opposite, we are ensuring we remain a united country. Our forefathers rejected the idea of division when the French proposed this during their occupation of Syria because at the time they were very aware of its consequences. Is it possible or even fathomable that generations later, we their children, are less aware or mindful? Once again, the battle in Al-Qseir and all the bemoaning is related to Israel. The timing of the battle in Al-Qseir was synchronized with the Israeli airstrike. Their objective is to stifle the resistance. This is the same old campaign taking on a different form. Now what’s important is not al-Qseir as a town, but the borders; they want to stifle the resistance from land and from the sea. Here the question begs itself - some have said that the resistance should face the enemy and consequently remain in the south. This was said on May 7, 2008, when some of Israel’s agents in Lebanon tried to tamper with the communications system of the resistance; they claimed that the resistance turned its weapons inwards. They said the same thing about the Syrian Army; that the Syrian Army should fight on the borders with Israel. We have said very clearly that our Army will fight the enemy wherever it is. When the enemy is in the north, we move north; the same applies if the enemy comes from the east or the west. This is also the case for Hezbollah. So the question is why is Hezbollah deployed on the borders inside Lebanon or inside Syria? The answer is that our battle is a battle against the Israeli enemy and its proxies inside Syria or inside Lebanon.
Al-Manar: Mr. President, if I might ask about Israel’s involvement in the Syrian crisis through the recent airstrike against Damascus. Israel immediately attached certain messages to this airstrike by saying it doesn’t want escalation or doesn’t intend to interfere in the Syrian crisis. The question is: what does Israel want and what type of interference?
President Assad: This is exactly my point. Everything that is happening at the moment is aimed, first and foremost, at stifling the resistance. Israel’s support of the terrorists was for two purposes. The first is to stifle the resistance; the second is to strike the Syrian air defense systems. It is not interested in anything else.
Al-Manar: Mr. President, since Israel’s objectives are clear, the Syrian state was criticized for its muted response. Everyone was expecting a Syrian response, and the Syrian government stated that it reserves the right to respond at the appropriate time and place. Why didn’t the response come immediately? And is it enough for a senior source to say that missiles have been directed at the Israeli enemy and that any attack will be retaliated immediately without resorting to Army command?
President Assad: We have informed all the Arab and foreign parties - mostly foreign - that contacted us, that we will respond the next time. Of course, there has been more than one response. There have been several Israeli attempted violations to which there was immediate retaliation. But these short-term responses have no real value; they are only of a political nature. If we want to respond to Israel, the response will be of strategic significance.
Al-Manar: How? By opening the Golan front, for instance?
President Assad: This depends on public opinion, whether there is a consensus in support of the resistance or not. That’s the question. Al-Manar: How is the situation in Syria now?
President Assad: In fact, there is clear popular pressure to open the Golan front to resistance. This enthusiasm is also on the Arab level; we have received many Arab delegations wanting to know how young people might be enrolled to come and fight Israel. Of course, resistance is not easy. It is not merely a question of opening the front geographically. It is a political, ideological, and social issue, with the net result being military action.
Al-Manar: Mr. President, if we take into account the incident on the Golan Heights and Syria’s retaliation on the Israeli military vehicle that crossed the combat line, does this mean that the rules of engagement have changed? And if the rules of the game have changed, what is the new equation, so to speak?
President Assad: Real change in the rules of engagement happens when there is a popular condition pushing for resistance. Any other change is short-term, unless we are heading towards war. Any response of any kind might only appear to be a change to the rules of engagement, but I don’t think it really is. The real change is when the people move towards resistance; this is the really dramatic change.
Al-Manar: Don’t you think that this is a little late? After 40 years of quiet and a state of truce on the Golan Heights, now there is talk of a movement on that front, about new equations and about new rules of the game?
President Assad: They always talk about Syria opening the front or closing the front. A state does not create resistance. Resistance can only be called so, when it is popular and spontaneous, it cannot be created. The state can either support or oppose the resistance, - or create obstacles, as is the case with some Arab countries. I believe that a state that opposes the will of its people for resistance is reckless. The issue is not that Syria has decided, after 40 years, to move in this direction. The public’s state of mind is that our National Army is carrying out its duties to protect and liberate our land. Had there not been an army, as was the situation in Lebanon when the army and the state were divided during the civil war, there would have been resistance a long time ago. Today, in the current circumstances, there are a number of factors pushing in that direction. First, there are repeated Israeli aggressions that constitute a major factor in creating this desire and required incentive. Second, the army’s engagement in battles in more than one place throughout Syria has created a sentiment on the part of many civilians that it is their duty to move in this direction in order to support the Armed Forces on the Golan.
Al-Manar: Mr. President, Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would not hesitate to attack Syria if it detected that weapons are being conveyed to Hezbollah in Lebanon. If Israel carried out its threats, I want a direct answer from you: what would Syria do?
President Assad: As I have said, we have informed the relevant states that we will respond in kind. Of course, it is difficult to specify the military means that would be used, that is for our military command to decide. We plan for different scenarios, depending on the circumstances and the timing of the strike that would determine which method or weapons.
Al-Manar: Mr. President, after the airstrike that targeted Damascus, there was talk about the S300 missiles and that this missile system will tip the balance. Based on this argument, Netanyahu visited Moscow. My direct question is this: are these missiles on their way to Damascus? Is Syria now in possession of these missiles?
President Assad: It is not our policy to talk publically about military issues in terms of what we possess or what we receive. As far as Russia is concerned, the contracts have nothing to do with the crisis. We have negotiated with them on different kinds of weapons for years, and Russia is committed to honoring these contracts. What I want to say is that neither Netanyahu’s visit nor the crisis and the conditions surrounding it have influenced arms imports. All of our agreements with Russia will be implemented, some have been implemented during the past period and, together with the Russians, we will continue to implement these contracts in the future.
Al-Manar: Mr. President, we have talked about the steadfastness of the Syrian leadership and the Syrian state. We have discussed the progress being achieved on the battlefield, and strengthening the alliance between Syria and the resistance. These are all within the same front. From another perspective, there is diplomatic activity stirring waters that have been stagnant for two and a half years. Before we talk about this and about the Geneva conference and the red lines that Syria has drawn, there was a simple proposition or a simple solution suggested by the former head of the coalition, Muaz al-Khatib. He said that the president, together with 500 other dignitaries would be allowed to leave the country within 20 days, and the crisis would be over. Why don’t you meet this request and put an end to the crisis?
President Assad: I have always talked about the basic principle: that the Syrian people alone have the right to decide whether the president should remain or leave. So, anybody speaking on this subject should state which part of the Syrian people they represent and who granted them the authority to speak on their behalf. As for this initiative, I haven’t actually read it, but I was very happy that they allowed me 20 days and 500 people! I don’t know who proposed the initiative; I don’t care much about names.
Full Interview: http://sana.sy/eng/21/2013/05/30/485037.htm
SYRIA: President Bashar Al-Assad: Full interview:
May 30, 2013
Algeria says the deadly turmoil in Syria can be settled through a political solution which seeks to protect unity in the Arab country.
Addressing the International Conference on Syria in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Wednesday, Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci said the violence in Syria can be immediately settled through a political solution which would encompass the entire Syrian nation and prevent foreign interference in the country.
Since the outbreak of turmoil in Syria, Algiers has called for a political solution to prevent the bloodshed in the Arab country, Medelci told the meeting.
On Wednesday, Iran hosted the Friends of Syria Conference in Tehran under the banner of “Political Solution, Regional Stability.” The event was attended by representatives from 40 countries, seeking to find a political solution to the crisis in the Arab country.
The Algerian diplomat further thanked Iran for its honest efforts to deal with the Syria issue, expressing hope that the Tehran conference would be a successful prelude to the upcoming Geneva 2 conference.
May 30, 2013
Syria’s main Western-backed opposition group says it will not take part in the upcoming US-Russian-sponsored conference aimed at finding a solution to the ongoing crisis in Syria.
The so-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC), in comments delivered by its president George Sabra, claimed on Thursday that the talks, due to be held in Geneva next month, have no meaning in light of the ongoing bloodshed that the coalition blames on the Syrian government.
Russia and the United States agreed in Moscow on May 7 to convene an international conference on Syria, which will serve as a follow-up to an earlier Geneva meeting held in June 2012.
On May 26, Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said that his country agrees “in principle” to attend the conference.
He noted that any deal reached at the conference will have to be put to a referendum in Syria.
Syria has been gripped by a deadly unrest since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of government forces, have been killed in the violence.
The Syrian government says the West and its regional allies including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are supporting the militants fighting in Syria.
Several international human rights organizations have accused militants operating in Syria of committing war crimes.
“There is progress in dismantling the terrorist networks. We are confronted by small groups who practice terrorism and have links to terrorist parties,” Larayedh said on Thursday.
“Members from the Tunis Salafist movement have connections with local and foreign terrorist groups. They are encouraging armed rebellion against the state through violence and terrorism,” the Tunisian premier stated.
Tunisian authorities arrested over 200 people including the supporters of the Ansar al-Sharia group on May 19, during clashes that erupted when the group called on its followers to assemble in the capital’s suburb of Ettadhamen.
The Tunisian government recently banned Ansar al-Sharia from holding its annual congress in Kairouan, the capital of Kairouan Governorate, saying the group posed a “threat to public order.”
Larayedh also warned, “We will continue to pursue them and all people who practice violence or have links with the terrorists.”
The Army Restores Security to al-Brak and Arjoun Villages in al-Qseir
May 30, 2013
HOMS, (SANA) - The army units on Thursday restored security and stability to al-Brak village in the northern countryside of al-Qseir city in Homs province.
An official source told SANA reporter that units of the armed forces also restored security and stability to Arjoun village in al-Qseir countryside.
The source said the army units destroyed all the terrorists' gatherings and dens to the last one in the two villages and killed all the terrorists.
Scores of explosive devices planted by the terrorists were dismantled during the operations aimed to regain control over the two villages.
Lavrov: Opposition Coalition Doesn't Want Dialogue, Seeks Foreign Intervention
May 30, 2013
MOSCOW, (SANA)- Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, said that 'Doha Coalition' does not want dialogue and launching a political process to resolve the crisis in Syria but it seeks foreign intervention in Syria.
Lavrov said in a press conference in Moscow that the Doha Coalition's call for President Bashar al-Assad's departure as a precondition to take part in the international conference on Syria scheduled to be held in Geneva are " impracticable and aim to hinder the conference and pave the way for military intervention in Syria."
"No one has the right to throw threats and ultimatums around," Lavrov told the press conference following talks with his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez.
"This coalition doesn't have any positive program and it is busy with sharing positions, especially the position of the presidency," he said, adding that "the only thing they are united about is the demand for President Bashar al-Assad's immediate stepping down."
"But everyone including our Western partners understands that this condition is unrealistic," Lavrov said.
He went on saying that the opposition coalition and its regional sponsors are doing everything to hinder the start of a political process by any means, including "being dishonest with the public opinion in the West to bring military intervention in Syria."
The Russian Official described the opposition coalition's approach as "unacceptable", adding that "regardless of what they said or did, we believe that the opposition coalition is not the one and only representative of the Syrian people as they try to depict."
He stressed that there are "other serious forces inside Syria" that are ready to participate in an international conference on Syria without preconditions, adding that those forces have presented a constructive base in the framework of contributing to the talks for implementing the agreements reached in the Geneva communiqué issued last June 30th.
He also indicated other "main opposition groups who have taken positions that are not in line with the hostile stances nor with the national stances," referring particularly to the opposition National Coordination Body.
"The leaders of those opposition groups did not leave to any foreign country…and probably they are entitled no less than others to represent those who seek reform in Syria today and those who are ready to participate in this national dialogue," said Lavrov.
Gatilov: Russia to Take Part with High-Level Delegation in Meeting on International Syria Conference
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said that Russia will take part with a high-level delegation in Geneva meeting due next week to discuss preparations for the international conference on Syria.
RT website said that Gatilov had not ruled out that the UN envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi might take part in the meeting.
Russian Foreign Ministry: Russia, US and UN Representatives to Meet on June 5 to Discuss Preparations for Int'l Syria Conference
A source at the Russian Foreign Ministry said that representatives of Russia, US and UN will meet on June 5 in Geneva to discuss the preparations for the international conference on Syria 'Geneva 2'.
RT website quoted the source as saying that it is likely that the UN Under-Secretary-General, Jeffrey Feltman will be president of the UN delegation.
The US Department of State spokeswoman, Jen Psaki announced earlier that the US and Russia will hold talks on Syria next week in Geneva, indicating that the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Wendy Sherman and Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Elizabeth Jones will be representing the USA.
A Russian diplomatic source said that Russia's deputy foreign minister, Mikhail Bogdanov will represent Russia in the Russian-US talks.
The Russian source mentioned that ''the agreement on holding talks came during the latest contacts between the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his US counterpart, John Kerry.''
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich stressed that the U.S. statements on the possibility of imposing a no-fly zone on Syria raise doubts about the U.S. intentions for political solution to the crisis, expressing Moscow's hope that the U.S. respects its agreement with Russia on Geneva 2 Conference.
Lukashevich added that Russia intends to cooperate with the U.S. in the Syrian track for a political solution based on Geneva Communiqué.
Russian Defense Minister: Russia Might Reconsider Commitments on Sending Arms Shipments to Syria
Russia's Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu said that Russia is disappointed over the EU decision to lift the arms embargo on sending weapons to the Syrian opposition, indicating that Russia might reconsider its commitments on the restrictions imposed on sending arms shipments to this war-torn country.
Novosti News Agency quoted Shoigu as saying during a joint press conference with his Finnish counterpart in Finland's capital, Helsinki that ''If one party decides to lift the restrictions, the other party might deem himself free of earlier commitments.''
Friends of Syria Conference: National Dialogue Only Solution to Crisis in Syria
May 30, 2013
TEHRAN, (SANA) – The final statement of the Friends of Syria Conference which was convened in Tehran on Wednesday stressed that the Syrian comprehensive national dialogue is the only way to resolve the crisis in Syria, asserting rejection of any foreign interference and support to the international efforts for solution, particularly the Geneva Conference.
The statement rejected any aggression on the Syrian territories and the killing of citizens, stressing the necessity of halting violence, lifting the economic embargo on Syria and the return of the displaced Syrians.
The statement added that participants from Arab, Islamic, African, Latin America and European countries and international personalities representing the genuine friends of the Syrian people at the international conference convened in Tehran stressed the necessity of preserving the regional stability and agreed to consolidate the national dialogue being the only way for settling the crisis in Syria.
The statement called on all conflicting parties in Syria to avoid violence and halt clashes immediately as well as paving the ground for a democratic process.
The participants rejected any foreign interference in Syria, strongly condemning any foreign aggression on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and the massacres committed against the Syrian unarmed citizens by the armed terrorist groups.
They considered the flow of arms and money to Syria as contradicting the international law and the political solution and it aggravates the crisis and jeopardizes the regional stability.
The statement stressed the necessity of halting violence and bloodshed immediately, expressing concerns over escalating the crisis and fueling conflicts in the region.
The participants expressed support to the ongoing international efforts and accord concerning Geneva Conference, hailing the preliminary agreement of Syria to participate in the conference. They also expressed support to the efforts exerted by the UN and the mission of UN Envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi.
The statement emphasized the necessity of sending humanitarian aid to cut down on the suffering and pain of the Syrian people through the Red Crescent in the Syrian Arab Republic, asserting the necessity of lifting the economic sanctions imposed on Syria immediately and facilitating the return of the displaced Syrians to their homes.
After reading the statement, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi answered the questions of journalists as he condemned the EU decision on lifting the arms embargo on the armed terrorist groups in Syria.
He pointed out that some EU countries opposed the decision, but the authoritarian and colonialist powers managed to impose their views on the rest of the EU countries.
He strongly condemned the stealthy entry of U.S.Senator John McCain into the Syrian territories and his meeting with a number of armed terrorist groups' leaders.
Earlier, the Friends of Syria conference kicked off in the Iranian capital of Tehran, with delegations from 40 countries participating in the conference under the headline of "political solution and regional stability."
In his opening speech, Minister Salehi said that this conference constitutes an important step for resolving the crisis in Syria, stressing that since the beginning of the crisis, Iran focused on the need to stop bloodshed and take peaceful steps to restore calm in Syria in order to implement reforms and realize the Syrians' demands.
Salehi pointed out that Iran supported Moscow's efforts to hold an international conference, and that it proposed a six-point plan for resolving the crisis in Syria based on stopping violence, continuing national dialogue, and laying the groundwork for free elections to form a new parliament and form a new constitution, all of which would allow the Syrians to dictate their true will democratically away from foreign interference.
He asserted that Iran rejects funding and arming irresponsible armed groups in Syria by some sides, the need for not allowing foreign interference in Syria and that the sides claiming to want democracy for the Syrian people must let them decide their destiny on their own.
Salehi warned that what is happening in Syria will destabilize the region and the world and lead to destructive repercussions, affirming that violence and delaying the political solution isn't in any country's interest and would lead to a situation that's even more difficult to manage than the current crisis.
He pointed out that Iran communicated effectively with all Syrian opposition groups which respect sovereignty and oppose foreign interference, in addition to supporting regional and international steps that emphasize a political solution, such as Kofi Annan's initiative and the efforts of Lakhdar Brahimi.
The Iranian Foreign Minister noted that his country spared no effort in providing support and humanitarian relief to the Syrian people, participating in international efforts, helping displaced Syrians in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, and sending shipments of essential goods to the Syrian people, in addition to supporting the electricity grid in Syria.
He said that helping resolve Syria's economic problems in the face of unjust sanctions is an issue that should receive serious attention from all countries and international organizations, as the sanctions never served the interests of the Syrian people; rather they exacerbated their suffering.
Salehi pointed out to Iran's work in providing aid to the Syrian people as per the request put forth by Switzerland, with Iran holding a meeting with representatives of Syria and Switzerland on two stages which produced positive results in terms of providing relief to Syrians with the help of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC).
He reiterated Iran's denouncement of the recent Israeli attacks on sites and Syria and its rejection for any foreign and military intervention, affirming support for discussing this issue in Geneva and the steps taken by the UN Secretary-General to resolve the crisis peacefully.
The Iranian Foreign Minister warned against interfering in Syria's internal affairs through international establishments since this undermines' Syrians right to self-determination and consequently would make the crisis more complicated.
Salehi said that halting violence in Syria is done by preventing the flow of funds and weapons to terrorists in Syria through group action, controlling the borders, and preventing the sending of extremists into Syria, calling on neighboring countries to exert efforts in this regard.
He also suggested forming a communication group as soon as possible to move the proposed international conference forward and communicate with the Syrian government and opposition.
Salehi concluded by saying that the crisis in Syria has become complicated due to the recent Israeli attacks, which requires constructive and effective efforts by friendly countries which believe that Syria is an important and influential country in the Middle East and that the continuation of the crisis in it poses a serious threat to stability in the entire region.
F.Allafi / H. Sabbagh
Interview with President al-Assad to Lebanese al-Manar TV to Be Broadcast Thursday
May 30, 2013
The Media Office at the Syrian Arab Presidency mentioned on its Facebok page that the interview will be simultaneously broadcast by the Syrian satellite channels.
Photo: President Assad - Damascus University
Martyr Journalist Yara Abbas Laid to Rest
Yara Abbas, a prominent female Syrian, 26, who worked for the privately-owned Damascus-based Al-Ikhbariyah TV (Syrian News Channel), was killed by sniper fire.
May 29, 2013
Final tribute was paid to martyr journalist Yara Abbas, the reporter of al-Ikhbariya TV channel, who was assassinated Monday by the gunfire of the armed terrorist groups while covering the Armed Forces' operations near al-Daba'a airport in al-Qseir in Homs countryside.
Abbas was escorted from al-Zaeem Hospital in Homs to her final resting place in Nisaf village in Masyaf area in Hama amid wide official, civil and popular participation.
Abbas was received with flowers and rice by the residents of the villages in Masyaf area who chanted slogans stressing support for Syria, the Syrian Army and the martyrs.
The speeches delivered at the funeral ceremony stressed that martyr Abbas and all martyrs of Syria will remain "in the mind and hearts" of all the Syrians.
The speakers hailed the courage and professionality of martyr Abbas which she showed by insisting on conveying the truth from the battleground alongside the Syrian Army members.
They affirmed that the "hateful terrorism" which hit Syria will be defeated thanks to the Syrian people's will and the strength of the Syrian Army.
Afterwards, funeral prayers were performed for the repose of the martyr's soul and the music of the "Farewell" and the "Martyr" was played.
The funeral ceremony was attended by the governors of Homs and Tartous provinces, secretaries of Tartous and Hama branches of al-Baath Arab Socialist Party, Commander of the Central Region and Christian and Islamic and cultural, social and civil figures in Homs and Hama.
Information Minister Receives Condolences Cables from Russia and Yemen
Meanwhile, the Information Ministry continued receiving cables of condolences over the martyrdom of journalist Abbas.
Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi received a condolences cable from Russia's Ambassador in Damascus Azmatullah Kulmohammadov in which the ambassador strongly condemned what he described "a heinous crime".
The cable considered this crime and all the terrorist acts targeting the Syrian citizens as "lying outside the framework of human morals that are unjustifiable," expressing the Russian Embassy's condolences to the family of martyr Abbas.
Minister al-Zoubi also received a condolences cable from the Charge d'Affaires at the Yemeni Embassy in Damascus, Mohammad Faraj al-Shuhoubi, who expressed his condolences over "the continued attack against the journalists and patriotic Syrians."
Al-Shuhoubi expressed the Embassy's condolences to the family of martyr Abbas.
Interview with Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, May 29, 2013
‘If they (the Western Leaders) were concerned and sincerely committed to the peace process, they would immediately cease supporting a terrorist organization which is linked to al-Qaeda and which is involved in atrocities and killings in Syria.”
Press TV has talked with Michel Chossudovsky, Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization in Montreal, to get his opinions on the role of the Israeli regime in the ongoing foreign-backed unrest in Syria.
Press TV: Mr. Chossudovsky, today we have Israel threatening Moscow possibly with force. How does Israel play into this equation and how much physical involvement can we expect from Israel?
Chossudovsky: Well, first I should say that Israel is supporting the insurgency. In other words, it is supporting al-Qaeda in Syria.This is not known to public opinion. Through the Golan Heights, it is supporting terrorist units of al-Nusrah, which are fighting the Syrian government.It has logistics, weapons supplies, Israeli vehicles going into Syrian territory; it also has a hospital facility for the rebels located in the Golan Heights.
So, in effect, right from the outset Israel has been involved in supporting the various factions, the so-called Islamist factions, which are, as we know, mercenaries trained in Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
So, in effect, we have to ask ourselves who are the main military actors in the Syrian war theater. The al-Nusrah rebels, which allegedly represent the opposition, are supported by the Western military alliance and Israel.
These are the foot soldiers of the Western military alliance and they are waging a war against the Syrian people.
Now when the European Union decides to lift the arms embargo, what they really have in mind is to channel military aid to this mercenary force, which is supported by foreign powers.
That is a very different position to that of Russia or Iran for that matter, which provide military assistance to a sovereign country to a government through bilateral agreements.
In effect what we are also dealing with is Western and Israeli military aid channeled to a terrorist entity, which is illegal under the international law but it is also in violation of the US’ anti-terror legislation.
Press TV: Mr. Chossudovsky, recently US senator John Kerry went to Syria via Turkey. How do you interpret this visit?
Chossudovsky: Well, John Kerry who is secretary of the state, is actually in blatant violation of the US’ guidelines on anti-terrorism.
There is an anti-terrorist list, there is a list of terrorist organizations, which is made up by the State Department and John Kerry is negotiating, interfacing, with representatives of that terrorist organization and the same thing is true for John McCain when he crosses into Syria or the same thing is true with the former ambassador to Syria Robert Steven Ford, who is also supporting these terrorists.
So we have to distinguish between military aid through official channels, from government to government, which is what the Russians are providing to Syria on the one hand, and the type of assistance which Israel, Britain, France, the United States, are channeling to an illegal organization (according to their own criteria).
So in other words these Western officials should be arrested on anti-terrorist charges because they are in violation of international law.
Press TV: Despite the fact that the European Union has lifted the arms embargo on Syria, how optimistic are you that the Geneva II talks would bear fruit and resolve the Syrian crisis politically?
Chossudovsky: Well, I think that the Western leaders are, in effect, attempting to build peace and democracy by threatening war. Essentially that is what they are doing, heightening the threats, channeling weapons to the terrorists,
Incidentally those terrorist have been decimated by the Syrian Armed forced, so in effect the Western military alliance is in a dead end.
So, they are now considering all the options
But essentially if they were concerned and sincerely committed to the peace process, they would immediately cease supporting a terrorist organization which is linked to al-Qaeda and which is involved in atrocities and killings in Syria.
The European Union decided to expand the economic siege against the Syrian people for an extra 12-month and to lift the siege on exporting weapons to the Syrian insurgents...
European Council on Foreign Affairs
'Syria: towards a political solution'...
... 'The prospect of arming the opposition raises concerns inside and outside the country. Channelling weapons into the country would likely set the scene for an even deeper and long-lasting civil conflict with very uncertain regional consequences (particularly given the indeterminate nature of many of the country’s armed groups). Though unarmed civilians continue to bear the devastating brunt of the crackdown, expanding and supporting armed resistance would invite even wider violence. Moreover, unless foreign backers were prepared to provide artillery and air capabilities, arming the opposition is unlikely to change the balance of power. It is more likely that arming the opposition may further empower the regime by discrediting the opposition among Syrians still on the fence, while also providing justification to the regime (and its international backers) to continue using violence. Finally, air strikes remain deeply problematic because of both Syria’s strong Russian-supplied air defence systems and the complexity of a battle that is largely unfolding in urban environments.
All of these options, though opening the possibility of an eventual rebel victory, do so by enabling a wider militarisation of the conflict that is likely to be long and painful for much of the country’s population...'
Army Kills Terrorists, Destroys their Criminal Equipment
A military source told SANA reporter that an army unit eliminated all members of an armed terrorist group on al-Naseryeh-al-Qaryatain road in Homs countryside, adding that terrorists Fahd Ali al-Miz'el and Mufleh Basem al-Hayyan were identified among the dead.
Another army unit killed members of a terrorist group that was trying to infiltrate into al-Qseir city from the town of al-Huseinyeh and destroyed their weaponry and munitions.
The army also destroyed terrorists' gatherings in the areas of al-Rastan, Talbiseh, Bait Hajjo, al-Buwaida al-Sharqyeh, al-Dab'a, Argoon and Kiseen and killed and injured scores of terrorists.
Army Kills Terrorists' Leaders in Damascus Countryside
The armed forces eliminated numbers of terrorists' leaders and destroyed factories to make explosive devices and terrorists' hideouts in Damascus Countryside.
An official source told SANA that Ammar al-Asfari, a terrorist leader affiliated to the so-called " Shabab al-Huda battalion" terrorist group, was killed along with number of his group's members in al-Ob farms in eastern al-Ghota.
The source added that ten factories to manufacture explosive devices and mortar shells were destroyed in the Industrial Zone in Douma.
An army unit clashed with an armed terrorist group in the western entrance of Haratsa city and killed the group's leader, Mohammad Mahfoud and scores of his group's members, among them were Abdullah Qasem and Abdul-Ghani al-Rayyes.
In Bait Sahm town, an army unit destroyed a terrorists' hideout and killed and injured scores of terrorists in it, among them was Husam Badee' al-Obaid.
Meanwhile, the army continued pursuing terrorists in the areas of Talat al-Mistah and Barzeh, destroying terrorists' hideout and the weapons hidden in it.
In Jubar, the army carried out several operations in the areas of al-Manasher Roundabout and the teachers' building, killing and injuring scores of terrorists, among the injured terrorists was Abu Bassam Dalila.
Jabhat al-Nusra Terrorists Eliminated in Idleb
Units of the armed forces eliminated terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra in a number of villages and towns in Idleb and Hama countryside and destroyed a rocket launcher and heavy machineguns.
An official source told SANA reporter in Idleb that terrorists were killed and injured in the villages of Ein al-Kasab, al-Sindianeh, Ariha, Bzabour, Jabal al-Arba'in, and north of Abu al-Dohour Airport.
The source added that units of the armed forces continued their operations against the terrorists' hideouts in Maartamsarin, Binnesh, Saraqib, Taftanaz, al-Nirab, Sirmin and near the Youth Camp, killing and injuring a number of terrorists.
The source said that a number of terrorists were killed and a car equipped with a heavy machinegun was destroyed with all the weapons and ammunition inside it in Deir Sinbul and Maaret al-Numan.
Rocket Launcher Destroyed in Hama
In Hama countryside, a military source said that a unit of the armed forces destroyed a rocket launcher and a number of Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists' vehicles in the village of Kafr Nabboudeh, while another unit arrested 6 terrorists in al-Skilbieh area.
A terrorist was killed in the explosion of an explosive device while he was planting it on Jourin-Ishtabrak road in Jisr al-Shughour countryside, Idleb.
An official source told SANA reporter that the explosion caused the killing of the terrorist and material damage in the place.
The source added that a unit of the armed forces foiled terrorists' attempt to detonate 3 explosive devices planted in the area surrounding Ishtabrak village to be detonated by remote.
Talking about 'Peace', Israel and the U.S. are preparing an open war with Syria...
November. 2, 2010
‘IDF intelligence chief: Israel’s next war will see heavy casualties’
In farewell meeting at the Knesset, Gen. Amos Yadlin says next conflict will hit Israel far harder than recent wars in Lebanon and Gaza – and hints for first the time at Israeli involvement in a 2007 strike on a nuclear plant in Syria…
In a final meeting at the Knesset, outgoing Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin warned on Tuesday that Israel’s next war would be fought on several fronts – causing far heavier damage and casualties than other recent conflicts. A new war would be far deadlier than Israel’s last two, relatively short, conficts in Lebanon in 2006 and Gaza in 2008-9. Syria, particularly, posed a greated military obstacle to Israel than at any time in the past three decades, Yadlin said, having amassed advanced Russian-built antiaircraft missiles that seriously limited the operational freedom of the Israel Air Force. Yadlin also hinted at Israel’s involvement in attacking a Syrian nuclear facility in September 2007. That strike has been widely attributed to Israel, but the government has never officially taken responsibility for the operation. The veteran soldier, who turns 60 next year, told the committee that during his position as MI chief he had contended with two enemy nuclear programs – apparently a reference to Iran and Syria. Yadlin also warned of a growing threat from the Iranian nuclear program, saying Iran now had enough highly enriched uranium to build a bomb.
Israel, Syria and the United States
Tehran: Russia, China Will Participate in Meeting on Syria
May 25, 2013
"The meeting is a step in the framework of realizing the political solution, based on the halt of violence and conducting national dialogue in Syria," Abdullahian said in a statement to IRNA.
He added that his country sent invitations to several countries including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar which had different stances over the crisis in Syria.
"We welcome the participation of those states in light of the regional cooperation," Abdullahian said.
Iran's UN Representative: We Hope the Conference Will Result in Peaceful Solution
Meanwhile, Iran's Permanent Representative to the UN, Mohammad Khazaei, expressed his hope that Tehran meeting and the international conference due to be held on Syria will come out with results that can lead to reaching a peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria.
Khazaei expressed in an interview with the Monitor news website Iran's support for any move in the framework getting to solve the crisis in Syria peacefully.
The Iranian Fars news agency quoted as saying in the interview that his country welcomes the move to hold an international conference on Syria.
He stressed the need for the participation of all regional and international sides that are influential in the course of encouraging a peaceful solution and preventing interference in the Syrian internal affairs so as for the conference to be fruitful.
On Iran's participation in the conference, Khazaei said this participation is dependent on the "detailed mechanisms" of the conference, adding that "we will study the invitation if we received one."
He stressed that "The basis in the Syrian issue is to reach a peaceful solution that is led by the Syrians themselves."
The Iranian diplomat denied the allegations which say that Iranian military forces are present in Syria, stressing that "Contrary to the allegations made by some, there isn't any military force or military advisors for Iran in Syria."
"Unfortunately, there are some countries which are interfering in Syria and working to stoke the crisis in it by sending weapons to the extremist terrorist groups," Khazaei added.
On the use of chemical weapons in Syria, he said it has become more evident that the armed terrorist groups in Syria did use chemical weapons, which was already mentioned in the report of Carla deL Ponte, Head of the Commission set up by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate reports on chemical weapons use in Syria.
Mazen /H. Said
Indian FM: Dialogue is the Way to Solve Crisis in Syria
May 25, 2013
Indian Foreign Minister, Salman Khurshid stressed that dialogue is the way to solve the crisis in Syria to put an end to violence.
In a press conference with his Saudi counterpart, Khurshid said "We are sure that peace will prevail eventually, and that any difficulties in the way of peace should be solved through dialogue."
He added "We discussed the issues of the region, particularly in Syria, and we will keep close contact as to ensure ending violence and moving to a peaceful future."
M. Nassr/ M. Ismael
May 25th… Victory Day of National Resistance, Liberating the South From Israeli Occupation
"Withdrawal which won't touch dignity", with this brief, Israeli General Shaul Mofaz tried to justify the reason behind the Israeli army humble defeat in South Lebanon on May 25th, 2000 which became the victory Day of the National Resistance and liberating south Lebanon after 22 years of the Israeli occupation.
The withdrawal of the Israeli occupation from South Lebanon on this day without negotiations or conditions was a defeat for Israel which Yediot Ahronot newspaper described as "shameful" calling this day as "the day of shame".
The Israeli occupation forces invaded south Lebanon in 1978 and expanded its occupation to the Lebanese lands till reaching Beirut in 1982.
The Lebanese men rushed to bear weapon and defend their homeland to establish what is known later the Lebanese National resistance to confront what had been called as "the legend army" which can't be defeated.
The resistance military operations have forced the Israeli army to retreat under the density of their processes to from an occupation line before liberating the South in 2000.
The resistance launched hundreds of special operations in the first half of 2000 targeting the sites of the occupation, forcing Israel to withdraw from Lebanon.
The day before liberation, the resistance stormed the occupation and its militias, led by Antoine Lahd, posts with bombing explosives.
The hardest strikes which the Israeli occupation received in the first month of 2000 were the assassination of Akl Hashem, one of the Israeli agents, and after two hours, the resistance targeted two Israeli military convoys, claiming the lives of three Israelis and wounding many others.
At 6:42 a.m. the Mercedes of Israeli General Benny Gantz crossed gate 93 of Fatima on the Lebanese-Israeli borders to be followed by vehicles and troop carriers into the occupied Palestinian lands abandoning an occupation barbed wire for which they paid souls and money but in vain.
On the same day and at 6:43 Israel closed its borders with Lebanon after pulling out the last soldier to end a 22 year occupation that cost it 1200 soldier.
1) Google invests in data centre near Mons, Belgium
2) NATO's Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) Mons, Belgium
3) On 3.14.2012, America’s Defense Department’s best-known geek announced that she was leaving the Pentagon for a job at Google…
Google Alert - latest news Syria SANA - 24 mei 2013
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Syria opposition open key talks on peace initiative
Holding its seventh general assembly meeting since its creation last November, the National Coalition is expected to choose a new president, discuss incorporating new members and decide the fate of an interim rebel government, opponents said ...
See all stories on this topic »
Syrian News Agency Sana: http://sana.sy/eng/article/27.htm
The Israeli regime’s security bodies are working on a plot to assassinate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by the help of terrorist groups and armed rebels in the country after Damascus showed strength and months of resistance against the terrorist attacks orchestrated by US, Israel and their Arab partners, the Israeli media reported on Tuesday.
The Israeli Vala news website reported that the Israeli security and spy agencies were shocked at Assad’s resistance against two years of terrorist and sabotage operations against the country and are mulling other ways to topple him.
Health Minister Calls on International Organizations to Help in Rehabilitating Health Institutions in Syria
Health Minister, Dr. Saad al-Nayef discussed on Friday with Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Margaret Chan the efforts to meet the health needs of citizens amid the current situation in Syria.
Al-Nayef reviewed the damage caused to the health sector and its cadres due to the incessant attacks of the armed terrorist groups.
The minister invited Dr. Chan to visit Syria and get a close look at the health conditions and the services provided by hospitals and health centers to citizens despite the pressure, indicating that ''the health sector is under a methodical disinformation campaign waged by the countries hostile to Syria.''
The minister indicated that the ministry is focusing its care at the current stage on enhancing partnership with the civil sector and meeting health needs in society, pointing out that ''around 62 NGOs are backing the public sector'' in its humanitarian and relief work to deliver health services to those in need.
He urged the international organizations for ''more cooperation and financial and technical support to the health sector in Syria and help in rehabilitating the affected health institutions.''
For her part, Dr. Chan said the organization will continue to support the Syrian government to meet the health needs in all areas, expressing solidarity with the Syrian people.
Chan added that she saw first-hand the development of the health sector in Syria during an earlier visit, adding that the organization is fully committed to delivering all kinds of medical help to Syria via border crossings and in cooperation with the governmental bodies concerned.
The meeting comes on the sidelines of the WHO 66th session that started Monday and lasts until May 28, with the participation of 194 countries.
Photo: American Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, escorts United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon into the Pentagon as Ban Ki-moon arrives for an honor cordon, Thursday, April 18, 2013.
Ban Ki-moon has very close ties with the American government.
He earned a Master of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He further received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Washington. He has been posted twice to the South Korean embassy in Washington, D.C. Between these two assignments he served as Director-General for American Affairs in 1990–1992. He was the foreign minister of South Korea from January 2004 to November 2006 and in February 2006, he began to campaign for the office of Secretary-General.
While he is continuously talking in a hypocrite way about the 'Syrian Civil War' and he continuously criticizes the Syrian government, he remains silent about the American en Saudi-Arabian arms deliveries to the so called 'Free Syrian Army' and Syrian terrorist groups. Yesterday a top commander of a foreign-backed group fighting against the Syrian government said he has received a 35-ton arms shipment from Saudi Arabia...
On March 23, 2011, the U.N. Security Council adopted a wide-ranging resolution recommending 'humanitarian' and military action inside Libya. Both U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa were assigned key roles in “coordinating” the implementation of the mandate. Just like now, Ban Ki-moon was calling for “an immediate end to violence by all parties'. Just like now, he was talking about 'chemical weapons' and he called for a 'no-fly zone' which was just a pretext to bomb Lybia and to destroy the regime of Colonel Gadaffi. While the Lybian infrastructure was completely destroyed, he said the UN-mandated military operation was 'proving effective in protecting civilians'.
Recently Ban Ki-moon is echoing the Russian en Syrian proposes for a 'political dialogue' but at the same time he imposes unreasonable requirements that makes such a dialogue impossible. The current United States Secretary of State John Forbes Kerry, who expects a failure of political dialogue, said 'recent military gains by Assad's forces were only temporary'. So it is clear that the American government still hopes on a military intervention.
It is certainly not good for the credibility of the UN that its Secretary-General, as a friend to U.S. national interests in the United Nations, only advances U.S. and western-backed approaches in the Middle East, North Africa, and North Korea.
Political solution ?
'$10 billion arms deal with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates'
April 18, 2013
WASHINGTON — The Defense Department is expected to finalize a $10 billion arms deal with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates next week that will provide missiles, warplanes and troop transports.
A weeklong visit to the region by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will culminate a year of secret negotiations on a deal that Congressional officials said will be second only to the $29.5 billion sale of F-15 aircraft to Saudi Arabia announced in 2010.
While one goal was to ensure that Israel continues to field the most capable armed forces in the region. It was equally important to improve the capabilities of two important Arab military partners.
The objective, one senior administration official said, was “not just to boost Israel’s capabilities, but also to boost the capabilities of our Persian Gulf partners and also provide a greater network of coordinated assets around the region to handle a range of contingencies.”
Under the agreement, each country would be allowed to purchase advanced armaments from American contractors. In the case of Israel, there is also substantial American financial assistance, topping $3 billion in military aid this fiscal year.
Israel would buy new missiles designed to take out an adversary’s air-defense radars, as well as advanced radars for its own warplanes, new refueling tanker planes and — in the first sale to any foreign military — the V-22 Osprey troop transport aircraft.
The United Arab Emirates would buy 26 F-16 warplanes, a package that could reach $5 billion alone, along with precision missiles that could be launched from those jets at distant ground targets. Saudi Arabia would buy the same class of advanced missile.
The expectation is that the arms sale, which was outlined to Congress on Thursday, will encounter little opposition from lawmakers, especially from members representing the many districts where defense contractors are concerned about the impact of cutbacks in the Pentagon’s own weapons budget.
Under the terms of the deal, Israel would be allowed to buy the tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey, an aircraft that can take off and land like a helicopter but fly with the speeds and range of an airplane. Israel could use the Osprey for patrolling its borders, coastline and out to sea, and for moving troops to troubled areas.
A new generation of KC-135 refueling tanker planes would let Israel’s warplanes stay in the air longer, an ability essential for any long-range mission — like a strike on Iran.
Israel also would receive antiradiation missiles. Launched from a warplane, they can home in on an adversary’s air-defense radar signals and destroy those sites. New, advanced radars for Israel’s military jets also would be in the package.
Administration officials declined to identify the new missile to be sold to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, except to say that it is an advanced class of precision “standoff munitions” — those designed to be launched from warplanes safely distant from ground targets. The missile would fit the 84 F-15s that Saudi Arabia is currently buying under the previous arms deal, and it would be carried by the 26 F-16s the United Arab Emirates would buy under the new one.
Officials said Israel was assured that use of the advanced missiles would be monitored by United States Air Force personnel who train alongside both the Saudi and emirates militaries, and that any deployment would occur only after consultation with the Americans.
During his coming trip to Israel, Mr. Hagel will move to finalize the arms deal with Mr. Barak’s successor, Moshe Yaalon. Mr. Hagel will finalize the deal with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in visits to the two countries later next week.
“Friends of Syria”: Assad Has no Role in Future of Syria
May 23, 2013
Participants in the so-called “Friends of Syria” conference considered on Thursday that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad had no role in the future of Syria and pledged to “boost support to the opposition until a transitional government is in place.”
In a joint statement issued at the end of more than five hours of talks in Jordan, the 11 nations agreed that “Assad, his regime, and his close associates with blood on their hands cannot play any role in the future of Syria”.
The statement added that “the ministers also said that until Geneva conference in June results in the formation of a transitional government, they will intensify support to the opposition, and will take all the necessary measures.”
'New US Senate bill on Syria'
May 20, 2013
Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Bob Corker (R-TN), ranking members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced a new bill to support the transition in Syria (Syria Transition Support Act).
This text, which reflects John Kerry’s efforts, focuses on six key elements:
Authority to provide arms (including ground-to-air missiles) and military training to the Syrian armed opposition;
Creation of an annual $250 million fund through FY2015 for regional transition support;
Sanctions on arms and oil sales to Syria.
Coordination between the government and Congress for the Geneva 2 conference;
Amendment to the Syria Accountability Act to allow for sanctions removal once a transitional government is in place and chemical weapons are secured.Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Bob Corker (R-TN), ranking members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced a new bill to support the transition in Syria (Syria Transition Support Act).
This text, which reflects John Kerry’s efforts, focuses on six key elements:
Authority to provide arms (including ground-to-air missiles) and military training to the Syrian armed opposition;
Creation of an annual $250 million fund through FY2015 for regional transition support;
Sanctions on arms and oil sales to Syria.
Coordination between the government and Congress for the Geneva 2 conference;
Amendment to the Syria Accountability Act to allow for sanctions removal once a transitional government is in place and chemical weapons are secured.
President Barack Obama called his Lebanese counterpart Michel Suleiman to rile against Hezbollah’s intervention, at odds with Lebanon’s policy of neutrality.
'Kerry warns Syria's Assad against rejecting political solution'
May 22, 2013
(Reuters) - Western governments are ready to increase support to opponents of President Bashar al-Assad if he rejects a political solution to Syria's civil war, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday.
Kerry said recent military gains by Assad's forces were only temporary and that if the Syrian leader believed that the counter-offensives against the rebels would be decisive, "then he is miscalculating".
Kerry was speaking in Amman before a meeting of the Friends of 'Syriagroup of nations' - mainly Western and Arab opponents of Assad.