Latest News: Hillary Clinton meets Angela Merkel

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After US and UK, Germany is the largest weapons supplier to Turkey

NATO members have both sold and donated a wide range of weapons to Turkey, including more than 500 combat aircraft, 500 combat helicopters, 5,000 tanks, and thousands of artillery pieces, mortars, machine guns and assault rifles. The United States has been Turkey's main supplier, providing about 80% of Turkey's arsenal. Over the past decade (up to 1995), the US Congress has appropriated $5.3 billion in military aid (grants and loans to purchase weapons) for Turkey, making Turkey the third largest recipient of US military aid (after Israel and Egypt).

Turkey has recently invited bids for the supply of four early warning aircraft (AWACS) (mid-1998). The contract is worth around $1 billion. The aircraft would enable Turkey not only to command and control its own airspace but also that of the surrounding region. Likely suppliers are Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grunman, and Israel Aircraft Industries.

After US and UK, Germany is the largest weapons supplier to Turkey. Germany is currently trying to sell Turkey 1,000 Leopard II main battlefield tanks.

'A new Middle East is about to be born. We will be the owner, pioneer and the servant of this new Middle East' said Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu some weeks ago...




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Syria: meeting of Syrian and Russian leaders

Michael Bogdanov .jpgNov. 7, 2012, MOSCOW, (SANA) - Special representative of the Russian President for the Middle East affairs, Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Bogdanov discussed with the Syrian ambassador in Moscow Riad Haddad the latest developments in Syria and the region.

A statement for the Russian Foreign Ministry stated Wednesday that during their meeting, the two sides discussed means of accelerating measures to put an end to the acts of violence in Syria and adopting the peaceful solution through a national comprehensive dialogue.

Pushkov: Majority of Syrians Support President al-Assad, Russia and US Stances Differ Regarding Resolving Syrian Crisis

Chairman of the Russian State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Alexey Pushkov affirmed in a press conference on Wednesday in Moscow that the majority of Syrians support President Bashar al-Assad, pointing out that the stances of Russia and the United States differ regarding resolving the crisis in Syria, rejecting the opinion that says that goals are one but the methods are different.

Pushkov said that the goal presented by the US isn't strictly the establishing of a democratic Syria and preserving its unity and territorial integrity; rather the primary US goal as State Secretary Hillary Clinton has stated repeatedly is to depose President al-Assad, asserting that this is the only missions the Americans seek to accomplish in Syria and they claim that freedom, democracy and prosperity will prevail after that.

He noted that the US administration is making amendments to this unrealistic policy, as it's become clear to everyone that deposing President al-Assad will not lead to these results automatically, explaining that Clinton announced that the Istanbul Council isn't the sole representative of the opposition and now they're betting on other formations within the opposition, saying that this represents an unseen backtracking of US policy but their main goal remains the same.

In an interview with SANA's correspondent in Moscow, Pushkov said that the US policy is changing, as Washington used to rely exclusively on Istanbul Council and the so-called free army, but now US officials have reached the conclusion that there are extremist Islamist groups that pose a risk to the US and the west in general, which is why they're trying to expand cooperation beyond the Istanbul Council and form an opposition that's more acceptable to the west and the Syrians as well.

He said that Washington listened to some degree to Russian and Chinese warnings about the danger of supporting and arming the Syrian opposition, but it still refuses to acknowledge that the Syrian government is supported by the majority of Syrians, which is very important and cannot be ignored or underplayed.

Pushkov went on to say that Russia insists on carrying out the goals of the Geneva declaration, particularly launching dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition, affirming that this is the only way that can accommodate those who support the opposition as well as those who support the Syrian government who, according to Pushkov's own experience and observations made during his visit to Damascus in February, constitute a large number of Syrians.

Mazen / H. Sabbagh


Note: The website of the Syrian Arab News Agency SANA is regularly blocked by Washington that doesn't stop its war propaganda and its financial and military aid to terrorist groups. Some months ago, Obama signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for Syrian terrorists and C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey. The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar...


Meeting with UN envoy to Syria

meeting with.UN envoy to Syria.jpgPresident al-Assad: Any Initiative or Political Process Should Be Essentially Based on Principle of Halting Terrorism



Oct 22, 2012

DAMASCUS, (SANA) – President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday stressed that Syria supports the efforts of the UN envoy to Syria and is open to any sincere efforts seeking to find a political solution to the crisis based on respecting Syria's sovereignty and rejecting any foreign interference.

The President's stress came during his meeting with the UN envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, which tackled the developments in Syria and the efforts exerted by Brahimi and the outcomes of his latest tour to a number of countries in the region.

President al-Assad clarified that any initiative or political process should be essentially based on the principle of halting terrorism and what is required in this regard from the countries involved in supporting, arming and harboring the terrorists in Syria to halt such acts.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem, Presidential Political and Media Advisor, Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister, Fayssal Mikdad, Assistant Foreign and Expatriates Minister, Ahmad Arnous, and Head of Foreign Media Department at the Ministry, Jihad Makdissi.

Brahimi: Meeting Was Open and Responsible as Usual

Later, in a statement to the journalists following his meeting with President al-Assad, Brahimi described the meeting as "open and responsible as usual".

He said the meeting tackled the issues related to the Syrian situation "with us looking forward to the future which we hope will end up in solving the crisis in Syria and restoring peace and security to it."

"I talked with President al-Assad about halting the fighting during the Eid, and I also talked with all those whom I met inside and outside Syria about this personal initiative which isn't an advanced project or part of the peace process which we seek for this country," the UN envoy told the journalists.

Brahimi: My Only Agenda Is Serving the Syrians

He considered that "if each of the parties would take a decision on its own, then there would be a collective decision on the non-use of arms during the Eid."

Brahimi noted that this idea of his had the support of the opposition parties abroad and the officials in the neighboring countries whom he met.

He said that being in charge, he hasn't got any other agenda except that of serving the Syrian people, wishing them a blessed Eid.

"I'll come back after the Eid. If there was calm during it, we would build on it, and even it there wasn't, we would work to realize calm," Brahimi pointed out, expressing hope that the door to ease for the Syrian people will open.

Answering a question regarding him having a long-winded plan or a ready paper, Brahimi said "We are working on getting this paper prepared with the various internal and external parties."

He added that the Syrian people expects something more than this days-long armistice and they have the right to this, noting that "What we can promise to do is to work tirelessly to achieve the aspirations of the Syrian people."

Asked on whether he had guarantees from the armed groups on commitment to halt fighting, the UN envoy said "this call doesn't require prearranged guarantees as guarantees are promises by the people to halt the fighting. Therefore, they either commit themselves and their conscience to do so, or otherwise if they didn't, then it is the Syrian people who would hold them accountable."

R. Milhem / H. Zain/ H. Said