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» 06/19/2012
RUSSIA - USA
Bilateral US-Russian agreement, on Syria Putin brings home a victory
by Nina Achmatova
In his first face to face with Obama since returning to the Kremlin, the Russian President had the satisfaction of seeing Washington admit the need for a "political process" in Damascus, and not outside intervention. Spokesman: Putin intends to continue with the reset.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - A "war of attrition" in which Vladimir Putin, for the time being, looks like the winner. So say some Russian newspapers, such as the authoritative Kommersant, commenting on the relations between the U.S. and Russia in the aftermath of the first bilateral agreement between the U.S. president, Barack Obama, and the head of the Kremlin, back in the highest seat in Russia since May. The two met on June 18, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico. The joint statement, coming out of the face to face after weeks of friction between the two chancelleries, reflects Moscow's intention to continue the policy of "resetting" (begun by Dmitri Medvedev in 2008) and Washington's willingness to not force the partners, aware that it would be a counter-productive choice with the new Russian president. Despite the tough trading of accusations in recent days on the mutual responsibilities in the violence in Syria and the tensions regarding the anti-missile shield in Eastern Europe, the parties have decided to avoid further critical statements and highlight the points in common.

Putin intends to give continuity to the positive process in relations with the United States, his spokesman Dmtri Peskov made known from Mexico. The two presidents addressed the burning issues which they see from different positions: first of all, that of the Syrian crisis, but within the context of "a very constructive and open dialogue," Peskov said. And it is precisely concerning Syria, the Russian newspapers noted, that Obama made concessions to Moscow, giving Putin a "trophy" to take home. In the joint statement, the two launched an appeal for an end to the violence and they admitted the existence of "many points in common" on the issue. Abandoning a more interventionist line, Washington recognized the need for a "political process" to prevent civil war. "We are united in the belief that the Syrian people should have the opportunity to choose their own future in a democratic and independent manner," the statement said. The Kremlin has always refused to support new measures against the regime in Damascus at the Security Council, fearing that, as in Libya, they might actually cover an external armed intervention and the overthrow of a friendly regime.

Also on the anti-missile shield - which the U.S. would like to install in Europe, and which Moscow opposes - conciliatory tones were used after those of the Cold War, which led Putin to boycott the G8 summit in Camp David. The two leaders expressed a willingness to find a compromise to overcome their differences. The entire meeting recalled the atmosphere of times when Obama met with the 'liberal' Medvedev. At the end, the head of the Kremlin invited his colleague to visit Moscow, where he hasn't been for three years.

No mention of the so-called "Magnitsky list", a list of some Russian officials banned from the U.S., because they are linked to serious human rights violations, and concerning whose approval the U.S. Senate will soon make a decision. Moscow has already threatened retaliatory measures, but after the meeting in Los Cabos, the U.S. initiative might not go ahead.

 

 

 

 


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See also
01/02/2012 SYRIA
Syria: Arab Parliament calls for the immediate withdrawal of observers
08/29/2008 RUSSIA - GEORGIA
Russia isolated; Putin accuses U.S. of preparing conflict in Georgia
08/30/2011 SYRIA
Melkite Patriarch of Damascus calls for urgent dialogue between government and youth
by JPG
03/15/2012 SYRIA
Christians in a divided country, after a year of revolt
by Nabil Hourani*
08/03/2011 SYRIA
Hama: “inhuman” Syrian army offensive against the rebels continues

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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