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» 07/12/2012
SYRIA
Appalled at the massacre of the Syrian people, prominent diplomat defects
Nawal al-Fares, ambassador in Baghdad, was a regime member since the days of al-Assad Afez. The Baath Party has become a tool to kill the innocent. Invitation to army to join the revolution and really defend the population against foreign enemies. Other major defections planned in coming days.

Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Nawaf al-Fares, Syrian ambassador to Iraq, has defected from the regime of Bashar al-Assad and the Baath Party. The fight against terrorism launched by the President has now become a "horrible massacre" against the Syrian people. The diplomat announced his resignation in a statement to the Qatari channel al-Jazeera.

"I urge all honest members of this party - he said - I to follow my path because the regime has turned it [the party] to an instrument to kill people and their aspiration to freedom." The ambassador appealed to the army to join the revolution and begin to defend the people and the homeland against foreign enemies, not by killing innocent people.

Fares, a Sunni Muslim born in Deir al-Zor, Syria's eastern city to the border with Iraq is a veteran of the Damascus government, active in the days of Hafez al-Assad, father of the President. He is the second leading diplomat who turns his back to the president. The first was Bassam Imadi, Syrian ambassador in Sweden, now a member of the Syrian National Council. Another major defection was that of Tlas Manaf, a general from a Sunni family and personal friend of Assad, who in recent weeks has left the country seeking asylum in France.

According Imadi defections are a sign that diplomats and members of the regime sense the imminent end of Assad. "We should consider [Fares] as someone very close to the regime - he said -  we should also remember that he is also calling on other ambassadors to resign, which means that others will follow suit".

Meanwhile, the UN has prepared a new plan to end the violence. The draft text - the fruit of the Paris conference of July 6 - orders the Syrian regime to cease "within ten days," the use of heavy weapons against rebellious cities'', or risk  "immediate" new economic and diplomatic sanctions as provided by Article 41 of the UN Charter.

There are no end to clashes between the army and rebels of the Free Syrian Army and foreign Islamist militants. Overnight there were clashes in the capital's neighborhoods and Ibril. In Homs attempts at reconciliation are in progress between the various families thanks to the "Mussalaha" launched by Christian religious leaders, Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox.

 


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See also
06/05/2012 SYRIA
Syrian rebels invoke "total war". Assad expels some ambassadors
04/03/2012 SYRIA - UN
Assad promises an end to violence by April 10, according to the UN peace plan
08/03/2012 SYRIA - UN
UN Divided: Kofi Annan steps down as war intensifies in Syria
04/10/2012 SYRIA - UN
Moscow wants Damascus to implement Kofi Annan plan. Opposition and U.S. skeptical
03/10/2012 SYRIA
Syria welcomes Kofi Annan with more than 80 dead

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SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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