Mikdad,Dardari Discuss ESCWA Projects in Syria

DAMASCUS, (ST)_"Syria has accomplished remarkable achievements  as regards economy and infrastructure over the past period before the onset of  the ongoing crisis plus the conspiracy targeting Syria's historical and cultural landmarks, "said  Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister, Dr. Fayssal Mikdad.

Al-Mikdad's remark was made during a meeting with  Director of the Economic Development and Globalization at the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), Abdullah al-Dardari .

During the meeting,al-Mikdad and Dardari discussed the ESCWA's project for rehabilitating infrastructure in Syria in various sectors.

Al-Mikdad underscored  that Syria is looking forward to ending violence and starting national dialogue, and is determined to start reconstruction in harmony with restoring security and stability.

He  underlined the negative impact of the unjust sanctions imposed on Syria and the necessity of exerting efforts for lifting sanctions.

Al-Dardari ,for his part,said that the ESCWA's project identifies the current challenges and offers the available options for assisting  the Syrian government in mobilizing resources after the end of the crisis.

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The Government Has Multiple Options to Pass the Ongoing Crisis,Says al-Halqi

DAMASCUS, (ST)_"the government has multiple options to pass the ongoing crisis .It is able to remove hindrances as the government along with the Syrian people's destiny is steadfastness, confrontation, challenge ,patience and victory .Hence,the said attributes go in line with the great achievements realized by the valor army against the terrorist groups ,"said  Prime Minister, Dr. Wael al-Halqi .

Al-Halqi comments came during a meeting ,presided over by Dr.Wael al-Halqi,of the Supreme Council of Tourism on Sunday

"with the Syrians' will and determination ,the government is going ahead in the national dialogue through materializing the political programme to solve the crisis in Syria ,"said al-Halqi ,confirming that the solution will be Syrian-made and on Syrian soil. No body or nation has the right to impose anything on the Syrian people.

"the Syrian people ,renowned with deep-rooted history ,are able to tackle its crucial issues alone without foreign interve4ntions,"added al-halqi.

As for the current situation of tourism in Syria,al-Halqi assured that despite targeting this vital sector by terrorist groups ,destroying touristic facilities and archaeological sites ,the government spares no effort to boom this developmental sector.

 

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Hagel: United States, Russia Want Stability in Syria

WASHINGTON- US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has stressed that both the United States and Russia want stability to be attained in Syria, but warned against  the repercussions of the crisis in the country.

During a press conference he held with Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the US Chiefs of Staff last night in Washington, Hagel said that his country along with Russia are sparing no effort to convince powers in the region to be cautious against any military escalation or armament.

“We plan to face any military action . We and the Russians don’t want to witness an explosion in Syria that puts us in front of a regional war in the Middle East,” Hagel said.

For his part, Dempsey criticized Russia’s arms supplies to Syria.

Earlier on Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergi Lavrov affirmed that his country is committed to implementing the agreements signed to supply Syria with defensive weapons in accordance with international laws.

Russia's General Staff Rejects Intervention in Syria

 Meanwhile, Russia's General Staff is opposed to military intervention in Syria, saying this would be meddling in the country's domestic affairs, Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff, Col. Gen. Alexander Postnikov said.

According to the voice of Russia,  the Russian Defense Ministry "fully supports" the stance voiced by President Vladimir Putin that Russia is against forcefully intervening in Syria’s ongoing events to resolve the crisis, Postnikov told the Ekho Moskvy radio station.

   "I think we will be sticking to this hands-off attitude as long as possible," Postnikov said adding that it is up to the Syrian people to decide on the country's future.

 H. Mustafa

Iranian VP: Terrorists Target All Walks of Life in Syria

BEIRUT, (ST) –"Iran calls for solving the crisis in Syria through political dialogue, "said Iranian Vice  President Mohammad Reza Mir -Tajedddini .

Tajeddini's  remark came during a with Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament Nabih Berri in Beirut on Friday.

Tajedddini expressed sorrow over the western countries which are supporting and bankrolling  the armed terrorist groups in Syria.

" everybody realizes that if the ongoing situation in Syria continues, the fire will spread into other countries. What is going on in Syria is an aggression with political goals, "underscored  Tajedddini

The Iranian diplomat made it clear  that the crimes of the terrorist groups targeted all walks of life in Syria ,stressing that the USA and Israel are behind the suffering of the Syrian people

"The Organization of Islamic Conference, the Arab League should work together to find a political solution to the crisis in Syria," he concluded.

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Germany fears return of European" jihadists" in Syria

Berlin,(ST)-German interior minister Hans Peter Friedrich wants the EU to bar Europeans "jihadists from returning

Hans-Peter Friedrich, the German interior minister, will raise the issue at a meeting of EU governments next month, according to the Guardian.

Up to 700 Europeans are fighting the Syrian government  in Syria mainly as militant "Islamists", the German government has said, warning that the militants could return as "homegrown terrorists" and calling for a controversial new policy that would temporarily bar them from re-entering Europe.

In the first disclosures of western intelligence from an EU government about Europeans fighting in Syria, senior officials in Berlin said they knew of up to 40 people who had left Germany for the battlefields since last summer. Most of them had German passports.

While German security services monitor the situation closely – the German interior ministry has banned three Salafist   organizations in the past year – the fighters could not be stopped from leaving Germany because it could not be proved that they were going to Syria, the officials said. Their passports could be confiscated, but frequently it was possible to travel to the Syrian border simply using an ID card.

"You can't mark their ID cards Jihadist or Salafist," a senior official said.

The interior ministry is worried that the fighters will return to Germany where they could operate as "homegrown terrorists" and is pushing for pan-European action to diminish that risk. The chances of success, however, look limited.

Hans-Peter Friedrich, the German interior minister, will raise the issue at a meeting of EU governments next month, calling for a two-year re-entry ban to the EU for the suspected Islamists. However, it may be difficult legally to keep them out as most of them carry passports from EU countries, many will often have families in the countries concerned and may have had jobs and entitlements in the EU.

Altogether there were 400-700 Europeans fighting in the opposition in Syria, around 10% of up to 6,000 foreign militants apparently fighting the Syrian government.

In addition to the Syrian "fighters", up to 60 militants had also left Germany for Egypt, officials said. The fighters had been traced to training camps in Somalia where they were taught to use explosives and car bombs, officials said. "Most have joined the "Islamists". The dangers are growing for us," said the senior government figure. 

A year-long survey by King's College London of more than 200 martyrdom posts on jihadist-linked websites and hundreds of Arab and western press reports found last month that up to 600 individuals from 14 countries including the UK, Austria, Spain, Sweden and Germany had taken part in the conflict since it began more than two years ago.

The largest contingent, the study found, came from the UK, with estimates of fighters running between 28 and 134. Based on their populations, the figures for Belgium, the Netherlands and Ireland –with about 200 fighters between them – made these countries the most significant, said the lead researcher, Professor Peter Neumann from the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King's College.European fighters made up to between 7% and 11% of the foreign contingent in Syria, which ranged between 2,000 and 5,500 people. The researchers also said there were likely to be at least 110 named Europeans engaged in fighting currently.

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