» 01/10/2006, 00.00
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".
04/01/2006 SYRIA LEBANON UNITED NATIONS
Pressures on Syria mounting to accept UN demands
A top Saudi official is expected in Damascus following the Mubarak-Abdallah meeting. French President Chirac calls on Syria "to be more cooperative". Khaddam's next TV appearance is causing tensions. Syrian Prime Minister uses threatening tone against Jumblatt.
02/01/2006 SYRIA LEBANON UNITED NATIONS
UN commission's request for an interview with Assad a bombshell
The request stems from the inquiry into the Hariri assassination and follows statements made by former Syrian Vice President Khaddam according to whom Syrian intelligence services could not have carried out any operation without Syrian President Assad being informed. Lebanese President Lahoud is also involved.
More dissidents arrested in Damascus
More political opponents are put behind bars. The fate of artist Talal Abu Dan is similar that of many Syrian intellectuals recently jailed for their pro-democracy activities.
Absent from Rome, Syria views itself as key to unlock the Mideast problem
For Damascus the failure of Secretary Rice's mission and that of the Rome conference are due to its exclusion. Syrian sources say the US is trying to induce it away from Iran.
For 17 opposition movements Assad's fall is near
National salvation Front is in favour of a democratic state based on the rule of law and pluralism. Muslim Brotherhood chief says Sharia won't be applied.
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