» 06/19/2012, 00.00
RUSSIA - USA
Bilateral US-Russian agreement, on Syria Putin brings home a victory
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.
27/08/2016 14:22:00 MIDDLE EAST
Middle East wars and unrest lead to lower life expectancy
Syria is particularly affected. War shaved off six years from men’s life expectancy (from 75 in 2010 to 69 in 2013), five from women’s (from 80 to 75). Millions of people have to face the consequences of water shortages and poor hygienic conditions. Non-communicable illnesses like diabetes or cardiovascular disease are up as well.
Syria: Arab Parliament calls for the immediate withdrawal of observers
The advisory body of the Arab League says: "The mission of the Arab League has failed in its objective," and thanks to it, the regime continues to carry out inhuman acts. In Syria there are 60 observers, a second group should arrive on January 5. More deaths as the year begins, the first is a child of seven.
25/08/2016 10:59:00 RUSSIA - SYRIA - TURKEY
'Euphrates Shield ' worries Moscow; relations with Ankara at risk
Russia is not in favor of the Turkish operations in Syria against the IS, which have US backing. Moscow calls for an "extensive coordination." Russian experts: Erdogan has made it clear that the priority remains his relationship with the US.
Melkite Patriarch of Damascus calls for urgent dialogue between government and youth
In a message addressed to Muslims for the end of Ramadan, the Catholic patriarch says, “it is not too late” for Assad to interact with the young people of the opposition. He criticises Arab government for being deaf to “the pain and aspirations of their peoples” and the United States and Europe for trying to impose their will.
Aleppo, Syrian rebels attack the Damascus intelligence headquarters: dozens dead
At least 20 victims among Syrian security forces, another 14 on the rebels side. But the Damascus army managed to repel the assault. The offices of the Air Force Intelligence building targeted. Six other victims among civilians in a second attack. The rebels reject UN envoy’s truce proposal.
Card. Tong’s article on China-Holy See dialogue, arouses joy and dismay
The Hong Kong bishop’s optimism over a change in the method of appointing bishops and the function of the Patriotic Association. But it is unclear whether it is real change or just nominal, in words. Underground bishops are patriotic and love their country, but the Party is suspicious of them. Freedom in episcopal appointments is “essential", but the bishops are not free to exercise their ministry. Patriotic bishops controlled in their visits with members of the universal Church. The "bugs" (hidden microphones) in a bishop’s office.
Card. Tong: The future of Sino-Vatican dialogue from an ecclesiological point of view
Card. John Tong
The Hong Kong Cardinal outlines the steps that hope to propel dialogue between China and the Holy See. Themes include the Pope's role in the appointment of bishops; A change of vision in the Patriotic Association; the possible integration of the underground bishops in the Episcopal Conference. A new article by card. John Tong, following a previous article published a few months ago on "Communion of the Church in China with the universal Church."
18/02/2017 CHINA - VATICAN
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