Tag Archive: Arab League


by Staff Writers
Damascus (AFP) Feb 07, 2014

Syria’s deputy foreign minister, Faisal Muqdad, said on Friday that Damascus will take part in a second round of peace talks in Geneva due to start on February 10.

“It has been decided that the delegation of the Syrian republic will take part in the second round of negotiations in Geneva,” state news agency SANA quoted Muqdad as saying.

“The Syrian delegation wishes to pursue the efforts it deployed during the first round in Geneva, and insists that the discussions focus on all clauses in the Geneva I communique, beginning with the first clause,” he said.

Ten days of talks in Switzerland last month between government and opposition delegations yielded no tangible results, and Damascus had said it was unsure whether it would return to the negotiating table.

Despite persistent pressure from UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, and cosponsors Russia and the United States, the two sides failed to agree on a single point.

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Escobar: Israel gets US’s blessing to bomb Syria

RussiaToday RussiaToday

Published on May 6, 2013

Syria says Israel has effectively declared war after its planes bombed targets in Damascus, the second airstrikes in as many days. Egypt has condemned the Israeli airstrikes on Syria, with the Arab League also demanding action from the UN Security Council. For more on this RT speaks with Asia Times Online correspondent Pepe Escobar.

RussiaToday RussiaToday

Published on May 5, 2013

Syria says Israel has effectively declared war, after its planes bombed targets in Damascus, the second airstrikes in as many days. Syria’s state media says Israeli rockets targeted a military research centre on the outskirts of the capital. Video footage and eye witness accounts suggest the attacks hit weapons dumps, triggering large explosions.

Syria says a number of people were killed and wounded amid widespread destruction. The Arab League has condemned the strikes and demanded the UN Security Council act to stop any more. The League say there has been a “dangerous violation of an Arab state’s sovereignty”. Article 2 of the United Nations Charter bans the use of force against the territorial integrity of any state. RT’s Gayane Chichakyan in Washington and Polly Boiko in London told RT more about the reaction coming from the UK and the US.

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Israeli Raids in Syria Highlight Arab Conundrum






Five weeks ago, the head of the Arab League capped a summit in Qatar with an impassioned appeal to strengthen the rebel fighters trying to bring down Syrian President Bashar Assad. On Sunday, he denounced Israeli’s airstrike into Assad’s territory as a dangerous threat to regional stability.


The contrast reflects a fundamental conundrum for Arab leaders.


Nearly all Arab states have sided with the rebel forces seeking to topple Assad and inflict a blow to his main ally, Iran. And Sunday’s attack by Israeli warplanes in Syria — the second in three days — was the type of punishing response many Arab leaders have urged from the West against Assad after more than two years of civil war.


The fact the fighter jets came from Israel, however, exposes the complications and regional crosscurrents that make Syria the Arab Spring’s most intricate puzzle.


While Israel and much of the Arab world share suspicions about Iran, including worries over its nuclear ambitions and expanding military, the perception that they are allied against Assad — even indirectly — is strongly knocked down by many Arab leaders.


The airstrikes also highlight one of the critical side issues of the Syrian conflict: the Iranian-backed Shiite militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon.


Mideast Syria Israel.JPEG


The Israeli warplanes apparently targeted a shipment of highly accurate, Iranian-made Fateh-110 guided missiles believed to be bound for Hezbollah.


Toppling Assad would cut the arms pipeline that runs from Shiite giant Iran to Hezbollah. But Hezbollah remains deeply popular on the Arab street for its battles with Israel, including a war in 2006 in which Hezbollah fired thousands of rockets into Israel.


No Arab leader wants to be perceived as giving a green light for Israeli attacks.


Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby warned of serious repercussions from the Israeli attacks and called on the U.N. Security Council to “immediately move to stop the Israeli aggressions on Syria.”


Elaraby described the Israeli airstrikes as a “grave violation of the sovereignty of an Arab state that will further complicate the issue in Syria and expose the region’s security and stability to the most serious threats and consequences.”


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Arab ministers condemn Israeli “crimes of war”


A general view of the opening session of the foreign ministers meeting at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo March 5, 2008 REUTERS-Amr Dalsh
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal (R) laughs with Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa (L) before the opening session of the foreign ministers meeting at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo March 5, 2008. REUTERS-Amr Dalsh
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit (L) speaks with his Libyan counterpart Abdel Rahman Shalgham before the opening session of the foreign ministers meeting at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo March 5, 2008. REUTERS-Amr Dalsh

By Aziz El-Kaissouni

CAIRO | Wed Mar 5, 2008 3:43pm GMT

(Reuters) – The Arab League condemned Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip as “crimes against humanity” on Wednesday.

Arab foreign ministers said they “strongly condemn the barbaric crimes that the Israeli occupation forces committed in Gaza and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories”.

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Meeting to prepare for an Arab summit in Syria this month that is expected to focus on Gaza and Lebanon, the ministers said in a statement they were “recording these Israeli crimes as crimes of war and crimes against humanity”.

Israel ended a five-day Gaza military offensive on Monday in which more than 120 Palestinians and two Israeli soldiers were killed. It has threatened to send troops back to the Hamas-run coastal territory if cross-border rocket attacks continue.

Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said: “The criminal aggression against Gaza shows that Israeli policy against the Palestinian people is based on genocide and ethnic cleansing.”

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday that Israel and the Palestinians had agreed to resume peace talks, but did not specify a date.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who froze negotiations on Sunday in protest at the Gaza attacks, said talks could not get underway until Israel reached a ceasefire with Gaza militants behind the rocket attacks.

In Cairo, the Arab ministers called on Palestinians to end internal divisions. Islamist Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip from Abbas’s Fatah faction in June.


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Published on Apr 5, 2013

Syrian President Bashar Assad warned in comments broadcast Friday April 5, 2013 that the fall of the Syrian government or the breakup of his nation will cause a “domino effect” that will fuel Middle East instability for years, in his sharpest warning yet about the potential fallout of his country’s civil war on neighboring states.

In an interview with the Turkish TV station Ulusal Kanal broadcast Friday, Syrian President Assad accused his neighbors of stoking the revolt against his government, saying “we are surrounded by countries that help terrorists and allow them to enter Syria.” But he warned that those same countries may eventually pay a price down the road.

“Everybody knows that if the disturbances in Syria reach the point of the country’s breakup, or terrorist forces control Syria, or if the two cases happen, then this will immediately spill over into neighboring countries first, and later there will be a domino effect that will reach countries across the Middle East,” he said.

He also lashed out at Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was a close ally of Assad before the crisis began but then turned into one of his harshest critics.

“When the prime minister (Erdogan), or the government or officials get involved in shedding Syrian people’s blood there is no place for bridges between me and them or the Syrian people that don’t respect them,” Assad said.

Turkey has been one of the strongest backers of the Syrian Islamist “opposition,” and has provided it with logistical support and shelter.

“The Arab League lacks legitimacy. It’s a league that represents the Arab states, not the Arab people, so it can’t grant or retract legitimacy,” he also stated in reference to the recent move by the league to give Syria’s seat to the Doha coalition headed by Moaz al-Khatib.

The president also used the interview to quash rumors that he had been killed by one of his guards in the capital Damascus.

Asked by a journalist whether he is still alive, Assad told Ulusal Kanal: “I am present in front of you and not in a shelter. These are mere rumors.”

He said he is living as usual in Syria and is not hiding in underground shelters.

Source: Ulusal Kanal

Syrian rebels ask US to shoot down Assad’s warplanes with Patriot missiles

Mohamed Al-husain / Shaam News Network / Reuters

A look back at the conflict that has overtaken the country.

By Ayman Mohyeldin and F. Brinley Bruton, NBC News


NATO already has Patriot surface-to-air missile batteries in NATO-member Turkey to help defend the country from potential airstrikes by President Bashar Assad’s regime.

Syrian opposition leader Mouaz al-Khatib — who appeared Tuesday as the representative of Syria at an Arab League summit meeting following the Assad regime’s suspension — said that he had asked Secretary of State John Kerry “to extend the umbrella of the Patriot missiles to cover the Syrian north and he promised to study the subject,” Reuters reported.

The insurgents have few weapons to counter Assad’s helicopter gunships and warplanes. Al-Khatib added that the United States should play a bigger role in helping end the two-year-old conflict in Syria, blaming Assad’s government for what he called its refusal to solve the crisis.

Al-Khatib, who is considered a moderate preacher, appeared at the summit despite his resignation as the head of the Syrian National Coalition on Sunday, when he slammed the lack of action by the international community. An estimated 70,000 Syrians have been killed in the two-year conflict.

The United Nations is  withdrawing half of its staff from Syria after shelling near their living quarters.   Channel 4’s Alex Thomson reports from Damascus.

“We have been slaughtered under the watchful eyes of the world for two years, in an unprecedented manner by a vicious regime,” he said Sunday.


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Diplomat Warns of Spillover of Syrian Crisis

TEHRAN (FNA)- Tehran’s Envoy to Rome Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini called for rapid termination of foreign funding and arming of the Syrian rebel groups, and cautioned that continuation of such support will result in a spillover of the Syrian crisis.

FARS News Agency

Speaking to FNA on Sunday, Hosseini stated that the current crisis in Syria needs “political, not military” solution, and added, “The opposition groups and the Syrian government should hold talks and find a way to end the crisis.”

“We believe that if the existing conditions worsen, their consequences will spread to the other regional countries,” he said.

“Termination of financial and arms support by foreign parties for extremist and terrorist groups is the first and the most important provision of obtaining results in Syria. Countries that are supporting these groups should know that if they maintain the present policy, unrests will spill over into their countries.”

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against Syrian police forces and border guards being reported across the country.

Hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, have been killed, when some protest rallies turned into armed clashes.

The government blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad.

In October 2011, calm was eventually restored in the Arab state after President Assad started a reform initiative in the country, but Israel, the US and its Arab allies are seeking hard to bring the country into chaos through any possible means. Tel Aviv, Washington and some Arab capitals have been staging various plots in the hope of increasing unrests in Syria.

The US daily, Washington Post, reported in May that the Syrian rebels and terrorist groups battling the President Bashar al-Assad’s government have received significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, a crime paid for by the Persian Gulf Arab states and coordinated by the United States.

The newspaper, quoting opposition activists and US and foreign officials, reported that Obama administration officials emphasized the administration has expanded contacts with opposition military forces to provide the Persian Gulf nations with assessments of rebel credibility and command-and-control infrastructure.

According to the report, material is being stockpiled in Damascus, in Idlib near the Turkish border and in Zabadani on the Lebanese border.

Opposition activists who several months ago said the rebels were running out of ammunition said in May that the flow of weapons – most bought on the black market in neighboring countries or from elements of the Syrian military in the past – has significantly increased after a decision by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Persian Gulf states to provide millions of dollars in funding each month.




Saudi Arabia warns of Syria crisis’ regional spillover

 Al Arabiya
Tuesday, 26 March 2013
Saudi Crown Prince Salman al Saud looks on during the opening of the Arab League summit in Doha March 26, 2013. (Reuters)
Al Arabiya With Agencies –

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz, in a statement to the Arab League read by Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, warned of serious repercussions of the Syrian crisis on the Middle East’ regional security.

King Abdullah said the Syrian regime of embattled President Bashar al-Assad is bent to spoil any initiative to achieve a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

Syrian opposition representatives took the country’s seat for the first time at an Arab League summit that opened in Qatar on Tuesday, a significant diplomatic boost for the forces fighting President Bashar Assad’s regime.

In a ceremonious entrance accompanied by applause, a delegation led by Moaz al-Khatib, the former president of the main opposition alliance – the Western-backed Syrian National Coalition – took the seats assigned for Syria at the invitation of Qatar’s emir, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.

Al-Khatib used the forum to call for a greater U.S. role in aiding the rebels and said he had appealed to Secretary of State John Kerry to consider using NATO Patriot anti-missile batteries in Turkey to help defend northern Syria against strikes by Assad’s forces.

The decision for the opposition to take Syria’s seat was made at the recommendation of Arab foreign ministers earlier this week in the Qatari capital, Doha. The Arab League in 2011 suspended the Syrian government’s membership in the organization as punishment for the regime’s crackdown on opponents.

The Qatari ruler, who chairs the summit, said the Syrian opposition deserves “this representation because of the popular legitimacy they have won at home and the broad support they won abroad and the historic role they have assumed in leading the revolution and preparing for building the new Syria.”

The diplomatic triumph and Qatar’s praise, however, could not conceal the disarray within the top ranks of the Syrian opposition.

Besides al-Khatib, the Syrian delegation included Ghassan Hitto, recently elected prime minister of a planned interim government to administer rebel-held areas in Syria, and two prominent opposition figures, George Sabra and Suheir Atassi.

Khatib however was the one who did the speaking, after the opposition flag was raised in place of the official Syrian bunting.

“We demand … all forms of support from our friends and brothers including our full right for self-defense and the seat of Syria at the United Nations and at other international organizations,” he told the summit.

He called for a “freezing of the funds of the regime which it had stolen from our people,” estimated by the opposition at around two billion dollars.

He also stressed that the Syrian people alone would determine the future of their country.

“They ask who will rule Syria. The people of Syria will decide, not any other state in this world,” Khatib said, possibly alluding to accusations by Damascus that the rebels are implementing Qatari and Saudi agendas.




Israel gets Turkey on board to destroy Syria: Dr. Kevin Barrett

Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:13PM GMT
Press TV

Interview with Kevin Barrett

…all of these countries are under the sway of the international Zionist and they are trying to break up [Syria] as part of the Oded Yinon plan to smash all of the potential enemies of Israel in the region into little tiny statelets along ethnic and sectarian lines. So that is the real reason of course that Israel wants to make friends with Turkey to get Turkey fully on board with the Israeli plan to destroy Syria.”

A political analyst tells Press TV that the real reason that Israel wants to make friends with Turkey is to get Turkey fully on board with the Israeli plan to destroy Syria.

The comments came after Israeli President Shimon Peres said Israel has a thousand reasons to be friends with Turkey, expressing his satisfaction with the resumption of relations with Ankara. Peres stated that somehow both Israel and Turkey “wanted to put an end to this misunderstanding and return to the good relations that have existed between Turkey and ourselves for many good years.”

Press TV has conducted an interview with Dr. Kevin Barrett, author and political commentator, to further discuss the issue. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.

Press TV: One thousand reasons for Israel and Turkey to be on friendly terms according to Shimon Peres, what are some of those reasons in your opinion?

Barrett: Well I guess the one thousand reasons for Israel and Turkey to be friends according to Shimon Peres are the one thousand Zionist agents who are planted throughout the Turkish military, many of them at very high levels.

Turkey was taken over by Zionist basically agents of international banking and freemasonry with the end of the Caliphate and Ataturk with his fascist war on Islam throughout the past decades in Turkey was the worst enemy of Islam on the planet and in that sense Turkey under Ataturk and his followers became aligned with Zionism.

But today Turkey is gradually becoming a democracy, an Islamic democracy and a vast majority of the people of Turkey have absolutely no use for Israel.

So those one thousand reasons that Peres was talking about are not actual policy reasons, they are certainly not reasons that have anything to do with what the Turkish people want. Those reasons I would say are the remaining members of the Turkish military who haven’t yet been purged due to their treasonous links with Israel and Israeli-linked organized crime networks.

Sibel Edmonds, former FBI translator here in the US has talked extensively about these Israeli-linked organized crime networks that operate in Turkey. They smuggle heroin, they were involved in planning the 9/11 attacks according to Sibel Edmonds, she is one of our biggest whistleblowers here in the USA and they have purged a number of these organized crime figures and Israeli agents from the Turkish military already.

I believe there are well over a dozen Turkish high level military officers serving life sentences in prison for plotting to carry out 9/11 style false flag terrorist attacks in Turkey to overthrow their democratic government and install a fascist military regime in crackdown and descent.

Press TV: Let me interrupt you there, many are saying and also as admitted by the Israeli and Turkish side the reason for the recent rapprochement between Israel as well as Turkey is for the sake of Syria in manufacturing what is taking place there to their advantage.

Do you agree with that because many are saying this is basically a declaration of war against Syria?

Barrett: Well yes. Israel wants Turkey to help the Zionists destroy Syria in retaliation for Syria’s help for Hezbollah and Hamas in the recent military victories over Israel.

So that’s the kind of a bottom line here is that Israel is using all of its influence in all of this various countries that it largely owns, Turkey being one of them or semi owns it, the USA being another, Saudi Arabia being the third, all of these countries are under the sway of the international Zionist and they are trying to break up [Syria] as part of the Oded Yinon plan to smash all of the potential enemies of Israel in the region into little tiny statelets along ethnic and sectarian lines.

So that is the real reason of course that Israel wants to make friends with Turkey to get Turkey fully on board with the Israeli plan to destroy Syria.

Press TV: And also right now we have just seen Israeli forces open fire on Syrian territory from the occupied Golan Heights, is this the beginning of an intervention that we are going to see as a result of this rapprochement between Israel and Turkey?

Barrett: Well it will be very interesting if Israel is the outside party that intervenes most blatantly in Syria and that would show all of the supposedly Muslim friends of the supposed resistance in Syria which is really mostly mercenaries and terrorists from armed and paid for by other countries that the real force behind this destabilization of Syria is Israel.

So that would be a strategic mistake on part of the Israelis and their allies in the destabilization of Syria for Israel to directly invade Syria or get even more involved, obviously involved than it already is.



Giving Syria’s Arab League seat to opposition, dangerous precedent: Iran

Press TV


Qatar’s Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (R) attends the opening of the Arab League summit in Doha on March 26, 2013.
Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:41PM GMT

Related Interviews:
Iran has criticized the Arab League (AL) for giving Syria’s seat to the foreign-backed opposition, warning that the move will set a “dangerous” precedence in the Arab world.

This hasty decision can turn into a new procedure and be applied to other Arab League member states in the future, Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Tuesday.

“This measure taken by the Arab League will be taken to mean the end of the [Arab] League’s role in the region,” he noted.

The Iranian official also advised Arab leaders to end their silence toward Israel’s aggression and crimes and focus their efforts on supporting the Palestinian people.

In November 2011, the Arab League suspended Syria’s membership, though Damascus is a founding member of the organization.

It consequently called on the opposition National Coalition on March 6 “to form an executive body to take up Syria’s seat” at the AL summit scheduled for Tuesday in the Qatari capital of Doha.

Damascus has censured the decision and condemned the Arab League for giving the country’s “stolen seat to bandits and thugs,” Syrian government daily al-Thawra said in a report published on Monday.

Iraq and Algeria are the only countries that have expressed reservations about the decision, while Lebanon has opposed the move.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of Syrian army and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.

The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of militants are foreign nationals.

Damascus says the West and its regional allies including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are supporting the militants.


Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:28PM GMT

Interview with Vyacheslav Matuza

They (the US) don’t like real investigation; they don’t like a real solution to the Syrian crisis; they are trying to achieve their egoistic political goals in the Middle East not less that’s why to reach any compromise, any political solution with such kind of approach it will be very difficult for all those who are trying to push Syrian crisis from military content to political dialogue between Syrian political sides.”

Related Viewpoints:
An analyst says the United States does not wish to resolve the Syrian crisis as Washington is misusing it to pursue their own egoistic political goals in the Middle East region

The comment comes as the United Nations will launch an independent investigation into the recent use of chemical weapons in the Syria unrest, which would be “a crime against humanity.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the decision on Thursday a day after the Syrian government called for an independent inquiry into the terrorist chemical attack in Aleppo.
“I have decided to conduct a United Nations investigation into the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria,” Ban told reporters in his office, adding that “I intend for this investigation to start as soon as practically possible.”

Press TV has conducted an interview with former councilor of the Russian Embassy in Washington, Mr. Vyacheslav Matuza in Moscow to further discuss the issue. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Sir, welcome to the program do you believe the US, France and Britain are advertently trying to delay this probe and more importantly why is the United Nations rather still lingering in this case?

Matuza: The question of who stalled the chemical attack, the use of chemical weapons in Syria by opposition military groups means that obviously it is the stance of the United States the Syrian crisis as a whole because the United States is using the Syrian crisis in political purposes not for people’s right for democracy what is proclaimed before because basically if they want democracy, if they want the rights of the people to provide rights for people to develop political developments that means they should respond positively on requirement on Syrian government to make everything easy to state.

Why they are refusing is political reasons that’s stalling regarding this question in Security Council specially it means that boycotting this issue in the United Nations that means they don’t like real investigation; they don’t like a real solution to the Syrian crisis; they are trying to achieve their egoistic political goals in the Middle East not less that’s why to reach any compromise, any political solution with such kind of approach it will be very difficult for all those who are trying to push Syrian crisis from military content to political dialogue between Syrian political sides.

I think that reflects a global approach of the United States to the developments in the Middle East in different areas, regions in the Arab World, in North Africa, in Iran, in Afghanistan, in Middle Asia.

So I think it is a mirror of political stance of the United States towards the developments in this region of the world.

Press TV: Mr. Matuza one last question before we leave you how do you perceive the fact that certain European countries have been persistently pressing for the EU to lift the arms embargo on Syria?

Matuza: Well, we are speaking about positions of different countries not only European but some Arab states, the Arab League, we found out that America is manipulating today by some Arab states, the Arab League and also they are using this very vulnerable position of some European countries like France, like Britain who are really making some declarations, supportive declarations to the American policy in the world.

I think that the main counterpart of Russia in the world is not European countries, not the Arab world but the United States of America. That is clear and that obviously answers all these questions.


Why Arabs Fund Jewish Occupation


by Sami Jamil Jadallah

Window Into Palestine

I can understand if the US and European nations fund the Israeli Occupation. What I could not understand is why Arabs of all people are contributing to and funding the Jewish Occupation? Funding the PLO/Palestinian Authority is funding and perpetuating the Jewish Occupation. Thus the announcement from Doha that the Arab League decision to fund the Palestinian Authority to the tune of $100m a month ($1.2 Billions annually) did not come as a surprise.
When the Palestinian leadership of (Arafat, Abbas & Qurai) negotiated and signed Oslo, they did not do so to end the Jewish Occupation but they came back to manage it. The Palestinian leadership of the PLO/PA has been managing the civil, administrative and security needs of the Jewish Occupation since 1993 and being paid for it too.
Before the PLO/PA decided to take over from Israel the civil and administrative functions of the “disputed” territories according to Oslo” Israel was fully responsible for all financial and administrative costs including transportation, infrastructure maintenance, health, schools, and police. Israel as an occupying power was responsible for all of these costs.
Oslo Accord changed all that. Now the PLO/PA are fully responsible for the financial costs of all of these operations. Oslo shifted the financial burdens of the Jewish Occupation from Israel to the PLO/PA while Israel retained all the benefits and privileges of its occupation including land and water theft, arrests, targeted killing, ethnic cleansing, ever expanding security checkpoints and the right to raid any homes and offices within sights of Abbas office. Israel did just that this past week when it raided NGO offices in Ramallah. A clear act of contempt for the Palestinian leadership and authority.
On top of that the PLO/PA is committed to secure funding for a Palestinian Security Force whose main function is to ensure safety and security cooperation’s for the IDF and Jewish armed settlers. Providing civil safety (police) for Palestinians is only a byproduct of such obligations. Frankly this is the main issue for Israel. Oslo was nothing but a security coordination and management contract.
Over the years and based on my own estimates of the average budget for both civil and security operations the PLO/PA have saved Israel over $55 billions, money saved that Israel made sure to put to good use by building and expanding settlements.
Oslo as negotiated by the Palestinian leadership has nothing to do with freedom and independence or ending the Occupation or building state and governing institutions. It has every thing to do with a business and financial deal between Israel, the PLO and international community mainly the US and the EU.

Russia urges united action against Israeli aggression

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (file photo)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (file photo)
“The Quartet needs…to work together with the Arab League representatives and work out solutions together…to restart Israeli-Palestinian talks,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.

Lavrov made the remarks after at least one Palestinian was killed and seven others were injured by Israeli fire in the southern Gaza Strip despite an Egypt-mediated ceasefire agreement between the two sides on Wednesday.

Over 160 Palestinians, including women and children, were killed and about 1,200 others were injured in the Israeli attacks on Gaza that were carried out during the eight-day period starting November 14.

In retaliation, the Palestinian resistance fighters fired rockets and missiles into Israeli cities, killing at least five Israelis.

The Russian minister had also on November 15 lashed out at the Middle East Quartet for its failure to establish peace in the region.

Israel frequently carries out airstrikes and other attacks on the Gaza Strip, saying the acts of aggression are being conducted for defensive purposes. However, in violation of international law, disproportionate force is always used and civilians are often killed and injured.

The attacks rage on while Israel keeps up its crippling blockade on Gaza, which it imposed on the enclave in 2007.


Wars and Rumors of War

US plans to establish new Syrian opposition force in Qatar meeting

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

We’ve made it clear that the SNC (Syrian National Council) can no longer be viewed as the visible leader of the opposition. That opposition must include people from inside Syria and others who have a legitimate voice that needs to be heard.”

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

The US has launched an aggressive campaign to re-establish a new Syrian opposition force with its Secretary of State rejecting existing opposition leaders as “a bunch of out-of-touch exiles” that should be replaced by a group representing active insurgents.

“We’ve made it clear that the SNC (Syrian National Council) can no longer be viewed as the visible leader of the opposition,” said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday during an official visit to Croatia.

She further declared, “That opposition must include people from inside Syria and others who have a legitimate voice that needs to be heard.”

Clinton’s assertions clearly confirm the leading role of the American government, the closest Israeli ally, in fueling the anti-Syria insurgency aimed at removing the pro-resistance government of President Bashar Al-Assad.

The development comes as hundreds of opposition figures plan to gather in Doha, Qatar, next week in an attempt to establish a new insurgency group, presumably under the auspices of the Arab League but organized in effect by the US government.

Clinton, meanwhile, affirmed that she had been heavily involved in planning the Qatar gathering, including recommending individuals and organizations to include in any new leadership structure, according to a New York Times report.

According to the report, “some analysts are expecting that the United States could become more deeply involved by supplying weapons, including antiaircraft weapons, to the opposition.” Thus far, it adds, the US has insisted that it has only supplied nonlethal aid, “although it has been directing weapons from other states to favorite groups.”

Although the US and its allies are making great efforts to bring out military commanders from Syria for the Qatar meeting next week, there was no guarantee that the overall effort would succeed, the report says, adding that prior attempts to establish a more unified opposition have ended in “spectacular failure, with a similar meeting in Cairo last June descending into acrimonious shouting and fisticuffs.”

According to another report, US officials expect at least 50 opposition representatives, many from inside Syria, to attend the meeting and choose an executive council containing eight to 10 members. They, however, declined to name Syrian attendees, citing what they claimed as “security concerns.”

US Ambassador Robert Ford, who was withdrawn from Damascus for security reasons a year ago, plans to attend the meeting as well.

Not all members of the so-called Friends of Syria group agree with the American initiative.

Qatar and Turkey continue to support the SNC as the principal opposition group, while the Obama administration has spent much of the past several months trying to persuade them to see things differently.


Russia regrets Iran’s absence in Syria meeting

Mehr News.com

TEHRAN, June 29 (MNA) – In a statement issued on Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry regretted that Iran had not been invited to ministerial crisis talks on Syria in Geneva on Saturday, according to Reuters.
Regretting that Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Lebanon would not participate in the talks with foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, it said, “The Russian proposal on this has met unsurmountable objections from the U.S. side, especially on the part concerning Iran.”

Turkey, Kuwait, Qatar, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby will also attend.




Tunisia says Iran should be included in efforts to resolve Syrian crisis

Mehr News.com

TEHRAN, June 29 (MNA) – Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem has said that the Islamic Republic of Iran should be included in international efforts aimed at settling the Syrian crisis.
In an interview with RT published on Friday, Abdessalem also said, “Iran is also a regional player. And the region is keen to see Iran integrated into the region.”