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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 01/10/2006
SYRIA – SAUDI ARABIA – EGYPT
Qualified support for Assad from Saudi Arabia and Egypt
Chirac meets Saudi foreign minister and again warns Syria to co-operate with UN probe into the Hariri assassination. Riyadh and Cairo are willing to save the Syrian regime if it "gives up the guilty".

Beirut (AsiaNews) – Arab regimes' efforts to save Syrian President Assad and his regime are intensifying as a result of the probe into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and mounting Western pressure on Damascus to co-operate with the United Nations. Meanwhile, in Syria itself some voices are daring to oppose the all-powerful Baath Party.

For French President Jacques Chirac, the time of interference and impunity in Lebanon is over. Today, in meeting Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faysal he said that Syria must co-operate unconditionally with UN investigators who want to interview President Assad.

Also today, former Syrian Vice President Abdel Halim Khaddam, whose statements led the UN's latest requests, reiterated "his profound conviction" that Assad instigated Hariri's murder. Talking on French radio channel Europe 1, he said that only Assad could order the murder of Hariri because "there is no security officer [in Syria] who could take such a decision".

The Saudi foreign minister's trip to Paris is the final leg of a diplomatic effort by the Saudi government. Before arriving in the French capital, Saud al-Faysal was in Damascus on Sunday.

The Syrian government rejected the UN demand to interview Assad the previous day, but according to Lebanonwire Assad himself flew the day before to the Saudi city of Jeddah after being "summoned" by Saudi King Abdullah.

Syria's official news agency SANA announced that the meeting was centred on "regional and international issues, especially Lebanon" and on "strengthening fraternal relations" between the two Arab countries.

The Mubarak-Assad meeting in Egypt on January 9 was instead unannounced. The tête-à-tête lasted an hour before Assad flew home.

Mubarak and King Abdullah met just a week ago, on January 3, in Jeddah. The meeting came the decision not to cut loose Assad on condition he comply with the UN requests to find the culprits in the Hariri assassination even among top Syrian officials; in other words, to quote Lebanese daily L'Orient Le Jour, on condition he "give up the guilty".

In Damascus, somewhere in the cacophony of "spontaneous" pro-Assad demonstrations and the hammering propaganda by the pro-regime press, Hassan Abd El Rahman El Azim, spokesman for the National Democratic Movement which some months ago released the 'Declaration of Damascus' that called for Assad's removal, was heard. Speaking to AsiaNews he said that Khaddam's statements are "part of the framework of a revolt that should be encouraged".


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See also
01/04/2006 SYRIA – LEBANON – UNITED NATIONS
Pressures on Syria mounting to accept UN demands
01/02/2006 SYRIA– LEBANON – UNITED NATIONS
UN commission's request for an interview with Assad a bombshell
02/01/2008 SYRIA
More dissidents arrested in Damascus
07/26/2006 SYRIA
Absent from Rome, Syria views itself as key to unlock the Mideast problem
by Jihad Issa
03/20/2006 SyRIA
For 17 opposition movements Assad's fall is near
by Jihad Issa

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"Stop! I am asking you with all my heart. Stop!" says pope as he speaks out on the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine He mentions children, victims of war, "from whom we take away the hope for a decent life," urging the parties to address "every diatribe with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation and the power of reconciliation". As tomorrow marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, "a day of mourning," we should learn the lessons of history. The Gospel makes us know the true Jesus, the living Jesus, who speaks to the heart and is a life changer as he was for Saint Francis of Assisi. "The joy of finding the treasure of the Kingdom of God comes through, can be seen. Christians cannot hide their faith."
IRAQ - VATICAN
Saddened by "the timidity of the civilised world," Baghdad patriarch's heart bleeding "for the innocent in Iraq, Syria and Gaza" "Forget us not!" says Mar Louis Sako in a message to Card Barbarin on the occasion of the march of solidarity with Iraqi Christians, held today in Lyon.
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".

Dossier
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pp. 176
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