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» 10/31/2005
SYRIA – UNITED NATIONS
Damascus on the jitters waiting for the UN's verdict
by Jihad Issa
Syrian Foreign Minister in New York to pressure "friends", but no veto is expected.

Damascus (AsiaNews) – Syria is on the jitters, waiting for the upcoming Security Council meeting which will be attended by 11 foreign ministers. It is expected that the resolution on the Mehlis report will come down hard on Syria despite attempts by Damascus to thwart it by, among other things, launching its own wide-ranging probe into the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa is currently in New York seeking the support of some Security Council members like Russia and China, which so far have not yet indicated whether they'll use their veto against the resolution the United States, the United Kingdom and France will present. Russia and China along with Algeria, the only Arab state on the Council, might instead just abstain.

For days now Syrians have been jittery. Streets are empty, and not only because it is Ramadan. A real fear permeates the country after the latest threats made against it. People are concerned its future might be very bleak after the US and its allies accused the Syrians of not collaborating enough with the Mehlis commission.

Christians in Syria are praying in churches, a gesture much appreciated by Muslims who are preparing to celebrate the end of the month-long fasting period of Ramadan.

Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Walid Moallem has met many Persian Gulf leaders, reiterating his country's willingness to cooperate with the UN commission. He stressed the investigation into the Hariri assassination ordered by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, an investigation with wide-ranging powers of subpoena for both civilians and military personnel.

Mr Moallem also thanked Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for his mediation, and urged everyone to take a "just and honest" position vis-à-vis his country.

He expressed gratitude to the King of Jordan for his role in mediating with the British government, another Security Council member with veto power.

Similarly, the Syrians have appreciated the initiative undertaken by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in finding a dignified and just solution to the problem, and this despite the Pakistani leader's criticism of the Iranian regime. 


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See also
10/17/2005 LEBANON
In Beirut expectations are Mehlis commission's mandate will be extended
by Youssef Hourany
12/14/2005 UNITED NATIONS – SYRIA
Unless Syria co-operates the Hariri inquiry might last years, says Mehlis
10/21/2005 SYRIA – LEBANON – UNITED NATIONS
Mehlis report, right to the heart of Syria's regime
by Jihad Issa e Youssef Hourany
11/28/2005 SYRIA – LEBANON – UNITED NATIONS
In Vienna Mehlis ready to interrogate Syrians involved in the Hariri assassination
01/03/2006 SYRIA – LEBANON – UNITED NATIONS
Syria to reject UN request to interview Assad
by Jihad Issa

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
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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