27 April, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 02/25/2012
SYRIA
"Friends of Syria" arm rebels and sanction Assad
The opposition confirms receiving arms from Western countries. Saudi Arabia decides to arm the rebels and overthrow Assad. France, Great Britain, the United States are pushing for a resolution of the UN Security Council. Hamas sides with the opposition, for an "Islamic Syria". Damascus declares that the Tunis meeting supports "terrorism". Tomorrow the referendum for new constitution.

Tunis (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The "Friends of Syria" group that gathered nearly 60 nations in a hotel in Tunis, has publicly agreed to step up sanctions against the regime of Bashar Assad, demanding "an immediate end to violence" and the opening of humanitarian channels. But Saudi Arabia and Qatar have also decided on military support for the opposition, already a reality albeit in a hidden way.

In a final statement, the group decided to step up sanctions against Damascus such as "a ban on travel by members of the regime, freezing their assets, a block Syrian purchases of hydrocarbons, reduction of diplomatic ties with the Syrian regime. " The group also supports the Arab League's proposal for the deployment of an Arab force with UN blue helmets "to keep the peace" and recognizes the Syrian National Council (NSC) as the "legitimate representative of the Syrians who seek a peaceful democratic change", but calls on it to increase its representativeness by including other elements of Syrian society.

The declaration also states that the group wants to provide "effective support" to the opposition, but without any further explanation of what that support is.

In the discussion, Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi chief diplomat, said the "best" idea is to "arm the opposition" and stressed that the only solution to the Syrian crisis is to remove "willingly or by force " President Bashar Assad. Qatar instead wants "peace" imposed by force.

Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki, supports the idea of UN peacekeepers and diplomatic efforts to "convince" Assad to step down from power, guaranteeing him and his family "judicial immunity" and a refuge in Russia.

Some members of the Syrian opposition, however, have already admitted that the Free Syrian Army (FSA), composed of military deserters, receives weapons from neighbouring countries or buys them on the black market. Western countries are also involved in trade, content to turn a blind eye on smuggling. So far the FSA has been able to take possession of small arms, communication equipment and night vision goggles. Anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons are urgently needed, as well as military advisers to coordinate the rebels.

Western countries, including France, Britain and the United States, while condemning the violence of the regime in Damascus, are of the opinion that every move must be made following the UN Security Council.

The head of the NSC, Burhan Ghalioun, has shown himself dissatisfied with the results of the meeting. He had hoped for a decision in favour of military intervention or overt support for FSA troops by the international community.

Instead that open support has come from Hamas. Yesterday, from Cairo, Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, welcomed the Syrian people's struggle "for democracy". Until recently, Hamas has seen Damascus as their protector. Yesterday its adherents in Cairo shouted: "Neither Iran, nor Hezbollah, Islamic Syria. Assad, butcher, go away."

The emphasis on "Islamic Syria" and the strong support of Saudi Arabia show that the tensions in Syria, born as an "Arab spring", is turning into a war for Sunni supremacy against the Shiite Iran.

According to experts, this is one of the reasons why opposition representatives of the Syrian National Coordination Body did not attend the meeting in Tunis.

In an attempt to broaden support for the NSC, Ghalioun has promised that "the new Syria will not be owned by any sect, denomination or group, but will be home to all citizens the same level." It has sought the support of Kurdish and Christian minorities, guaranteeing them that their rights will be respected.

Damascus branded the Tunis meeting as a "meeting of the enemies of Syria", of "supporters of terrorism" and the "friends of America and Israel."

Tomorrow in Syria a referendum on the new constitution is due to be held, which reduces the power of the Baath Party and the president of the republic. Given the instability in many regions of the country, it is difficult to predict a peaceful poll. (PD)


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
12/06/2011 SYRIA
Damascus accepts Arab observers, but on conditions
11/28/2011 SYRIA
Arab League imposes sanctions to stop the killing of civilians in Syria
11/14/2011 SYRIA
Damascus: emergency summit and concessions to avoid Arab League suspension
02/17/2012 SYRIA - UN
UN General Assembly condemns Syria
10/29/2011 SYRIA
The Arab League calls on Damascus to stop the killing of civilians

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope remembers and prays for "latest tragedy" of migrants, "our brothers and sisters" who "are seeking happiness"At the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis says he is praying for the hundreds of victims in a sinking off the coast of Libya. An appeal to the international community to "act decisively and promptly." "Every baptized person is called to witness in word and deed, that Jesus is risen, He is alive and present in our midst." The Christian message "is not a theory, an ideology or a complex system of precepts and prohibitions, or moralism, but a message of salvation, a concrete event, even a person: the Risen Christ, the living and only Savior of all" . The Pope will be in Turin on June 21 to honor the Shroud, the exposition of which begins today.
SAUDI ARABIA – YEMEN
Saudi war in Yemen masks widening domestic tensions
by Afshin ShahiSaudi Arabia is using the conflict in Yemen to control domestic problems, especially social inequalities and religious sectarianism. However, whilst the royal family flaunts its wealth, some 20 per cent of the population lives in poverty. Many disgruntled young Saudis end up becoming "foreign fighters" for the Islamic state (IS). Some 15 per cent of the Saudi population is Shia, under the heavy thumb of the Sunni-dominated state. Afshin Shahi, director of the Centre for the Study of Political Islam and lecturer in International Relations and Middle East Politics at University of Bradford, provides the following lucid analysis.
VATICAN
Pope: on the persecution of Christians, the international community should "not stand by mute and inactive” and “look away”For the sixth time in a week, Pope Francis mentioned the martyrdom of Christians in today’s Regina Caeli (the Marian prayer at Easter), slamming the indifference of the international community towards this "alarming failure to protect basic human rights.” Today’s martyrs "are many, and we can say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries." In addition, “Faith in the resurrection of Jesus and the hope He has brought to us is the most beautiful gift that a Christian can and must offer his brothers and sisters. To one and all, therefore, do not tire of repeating: Christ is Risen!”

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.