» 09/09/2013, 00.00
SYRIA -USA- VATICAN
Bashar Assad : I did not use chemical weapons. U.S. intelligence proves him right
In an interview with CBS the Syrian President denounces lack of evidence. U.S. intelligence sources speak of "manipulated evidence". Pope Francis’ condemnation of chemical weapons and the Holy See's commitment to a peace conference . Among the priorities: to ensure Syrian national unity, equal citizenship for Christians and Muslims, denouncing of rebels tied to Al - Qaeda.
Washington (AsiaNews) - Bashar
Assad denies having used chemical weapons against his own people. He did so in an interview with CBS television,
which will be broadcast later today . The
Syrian president also says that there is "no proof" that his
government has used such weapons. His
statements are at odds with those of Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State
John Kerry, who are working to increase international support for an attack
against Syria, guilty of having used chemical weapons .
In recent days, Kerry has been in
Paris and London to urge the members of the European Union to attack. He
said that "the evidence speaks for itself " and that the link between
chemical weapons and the Assad government is "irrefutable ."
fact, U.S. intelligence sources quoted by the Washington Blog, say that the so-called "irrefutable
evidence" was manipulated to reach the desired conclusion, that of a
military attack against Syria.
The intelligence sources speak of
a telephone call intercepted by Israel's famed Unit 8200 in which the Syrian Foreign
Ministry demands an explanations from the Military as to whether there had been
an unauthorized attack with chemical weapons. From
the tone of the conversation , it was clear that the member of the ministry
" was out of hi mind with panic ." According
to the original Unit 8200 transcript, the military officer "vehemently denied
the use of any missile "and urged the ministry member to see for
themselves that all weapons [ chemical ] were present and accounted for. In
the end, the military has concluded that "all the weapons were under
the descriptions of Kerry and the U.S. administration this last important
detail is never mentioned. .
In fact, many observers and
analysts fear that the rebels are in possession of chemical weapons , and that
they used them against their own people to push the international community to
hit Assad and promote their cause.
in the U.S., the Obama campaign continues to win public opinion and snatch a
vote in the Senate and Congress , which resume sessions today after the summer
will give interviews to four national television channels and with his staff is
contacting senators and parliamentarians one by one. But
so far it seems that he can only rely on a third of politicians. Public
opinion in the U.S. is 60% against the attack on Syria.
Some commentators contrast Obama's
outrage at the scandal of the use of chemical weapons and several hundred dead,
and his silence over the 100 thousand dead Syrians in these two years and more
of civil war. Ezra
Klein , on Bloomberg , notes with irony that " the American intervention
will encourage future dictators to kill with firearms, rather than with sarin
Pope Francis again urged Christians to pray for Syria and the Middle East ,
thanking Catholics , Christians of other denominations , members of other
religions for taking part in the prayer vigil for peace organized on September
7 evening in St Peter's Square . Announcing
the vigil, at the Angelus of September 1 , the pope said : " With utmost firmness I condemn the
use of chemical weapons: I tell you that those terrible images from recent days
are burned into my mind and heart. There is a judgment of God and of history
upon our actions which are inescapable!".
is clear that a peace conference rather than chemical weapons should be the
On September 5 , Msgr. Dominique
Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States, expressed the Vatican 's
concerns for Syria to all ambassadors to the Holy See:
First of all - he said - it is
indispensable to do one's utmost for the revival of the dialogue between the
parties and for the reconciliation of the Syrian people. Then the unity of the
country must be preserved, avoiding the establishment of different zones for
the various components of the society. Finally, next to the unity of the
country, its territorial integrity must also be guaranteed.
It will be
important to ask all the groups - in particular those who hope to recover posts
of responsibility in the country - to offer guarantees that in tomorrow's Syria
there will be posts for all, also and in particular for the minorities,
including the Christians. The concrete application of the said principle can
take various forms, but in every case the importance of respect for human
rights cannot be forgotten and, in particular, that of religious liberty. Likewise,
it is important to have as reference the concept of citizenship, on the basis
of which everyone, regardless of their ethnic or religious membership, has the
same citizen's standard and dignity, with equal rights and duties, free "to
profess publicly their own religion and to contribute to the common good" (cf.
Benedict XVI, Address to the Diplomatic Corps, January 7, 2013). Finally,
a cause of particular concern is the growing presence in Syria of extremist
groups, often coming from other countries. Hence the importance of exhorting
the population and also opposition groups to distance themselves from such
extremists, to isolate them and to oppose terrorism openly and clearly."
28/09/2013 SYRIA -UN
Unanimous approval for UN resolution on chemical weapons in Syria. Peace conference for mid-November
Assad must hand over all weapons and give green light to inspectors. No threat of automatic military action . Ban Ki -moon : historical resolution . Holy See seeks peace conference.
10/09/2013 SYRIA -USA- RUSSIA
Obama holds off on attack after Russia's proposal that Damascus hand over all chemical weapons
The Russian Foreign Minister calls on Syria to hand over all chemical weapons so that they may be destroyed. The Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs agrees. Proposal appeals to Ban Ki -moon. But Obama remains skeptical and continues his campaign in favor of a military intervention against Syria. U.S. public opinion increasingly opposed: in a week those against military action have gone from 48% to 63%. Obama is likely to lose in Congress.
23/01/2014 VATICAN - SYRIA
Geneva II: For the Vatican, dialogue, not war, is the only solution to the Syrian crisis
Mgr Silvano Tomasi spoke yesterday at the Peace Conference, noting that the meeting should consider first the people of Syria, not the quest for power of one or the other faction. In his address, the Holy See delegates laid out five proposals for immediate implementation, including full citizenship for all Syrians irrespective of communal affiliation. He also reiterated Pope Francis' commitment to peace and a culture of dialogue.
29/08/2013 US- SYRIA
Obama 'sure' of Damascus’ use of chemical weapons, but unsure of what action to take
The American public is 60% opposed to any military intervention in Syria. British Prime Minister Cameron blocked by parliament: No action before the results of the UN inspection on use of Chemical Weapons. New videos on the use of chemical weapons by the Free Syrian Army . Ban Ki -moon : Give experts time.
19/09/2013 SYRIA -UN
Assad reiterates his innocence. A year and a billion dollars to destroy chemical weapons
Syria has handed over more "evidence" on the use of gas by the rebels to Russia. Russian diplomacy judges the UN report "biased". According to the UN, the trajectories of missiles with lethal weapons come from an area under army control, but the target area is in the hands of the rebels and was manipulated.
Defeated on ice, but 'first' in history, joint Korean hockey team players hug
After losing to Sweden in their last match, the Korean team ends up in seventh place. Players burst into tears at their imminent separation. "Politicians made that executive decision [to have a joint team]. Our players and staff are the ones that made it work,” said the team’s proud Canadian coach. One South Korean athlete hopes the country is proud of them. "It was bigger than hockey."
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