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Al-Zou'bi opens exhibition of damaged sanctuaries in Syria

DAMASCUS,(ST)_Information Minister Omran al-Zou'bi has underscored the need for documenting terrorists' crimes in Syria, saying that what is going on in the country is a large-scale systematic aggressive war.

Al-Zou'bi's  remark came during the opening ceremony of the 1st documentary exhibition mounted by Dam Post Establishment in al-Baath Newspaper's headquarters in Damascus under the title: "Minarets and church bells in hard  times"

The exhibition included photos of destructive acts that had targeted mosques, churches and holy shrines in Syria over the past six months, and a documentary about terrorist groups' crimes and media role in this regard.

A reporter for Dam Post establishment, Iyad al-Jajeh, said: "the photos show peaceful life in Syria before the arrival of Wahhabis, who came to spread corruption and terrorism in the country."

He clarified that photos of the sanctuaries damaged by terrorists, especially the Great Omayyad Mosque in Aleppo and Saidnaya monastery as well as Sayeda Zainab shrine, were selected to address a message to all spectrums of society.

Representatives from Iranian, Korean, and Chinese embassies , Arab and foreign establishments attended the opening ceremony .

Basma Qaddour

Qatar: a frog who wants to be an ox

Qatar, a tiny country in the Gulf, has been resolved to play a role in international equations, a thing that has created much trouble for it.

Belgian daily La Libre wrote in its report on Qatar’s attempt to widen its influence in the region and the world. “Christian Chesnot, journalist, researcher and co-author of a book entitled Qatar, the "Secrets of its Power', says Qatar is like a frog, who wants to become an ox.”

In Aesop’s fables, a conceited frog who thinks he is very great, upon hearing the description of an ox from his grandson, decides to emulate the greatness of the ox, but finally he bursts.

“Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, the Qatari Emir, wants to play the game even with who is the enemy, and we see that it supports in Mali, but also it announces its support to French operation there, and on the other hand, it is an important ally for the US and has relations with Taliban,” adds Chesnot,according to MNA.

“In order to show himself great, Hamad relates himself to all sides, as he supports Ikhwan in Egypt and Tunisia, and his capital city Doha has become the capital of Syrian "opposition" groups,” he adds.

Nabeel Nasri, French political analyst and the writer of The Enigma of Qatar says that “Qatar has adopted a policy of extending unrest and domination,” and adds that “Qatar helps confound the chaos in countries-as is the case in Libya and Egypt-, and then it works to control the political scene, and interferes in internal affairs of other countries through providing financial resources and money.”

Nasri believes that Qatar supports terrorists in Syria to implement its plans to export gas to Europe through a pipeline crossing Syrian soil and reaching Mediterranean Sea. “Natural gas reserves newly discovered in Syria and Lebanon has enticed Qatari Emir,” he adds.



Moscow will Vote Against UN SC one-sided Resolution on Syria

MOSCOW,(ST)_ The Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that Moscow will vote against a “contradictory” draft resolution on Syria,  as its authors are seeking approval for “unilateral” action through the guise of the UN General Assembly,

Russia, along with China, voted against the General Assembly’s non-binding resolutions in August  and February  2012. As with this new draft, Moscow slammed both documents as unbalanced and one-sided.


In a statement  on its online, the Russian Foreign Ministry added that the draft was proposed by several UN member-states and is expected to be put to a vote shortly, the ministry said on Saturday; Moscow has criticized the resolution for being “one-sided.”

The draft resolution blames only the Syrian government for the tragic and bloody crisis in the conflict-torn republic. This is despite the Syrian opposition’s “illegal, including terrorist, actions,” the Foreign Ministry said, adding that many such violations had been confirmed by international organizations.

In addition, the draft “completely ignores” the external logistical and financial support that the Syrian rebels already receive.

The document is also full of contradictions, the Russian Foreign Ministry explained: It supports the Arab League’s decision to delegitimize the Syrian  government while placing a range of demands on the regime, “which in fact means the recognition of its legitimacy.”

Moscow said that this “antagonism” also undermines the mandate of the UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, who has been tasked with negotiating with all parties involved in the conflict to broker a political solution.

The resolution's authors seek the General Assembly’s approval for their “unilateral plans on Syria, guided by the sole purpose of the regime change and totally ignoring regional and political consequences of such a scenario,” the Foreign Ministry said.

The new draft document is also “practically identical” to two previous UN resolutions adopted in February and August 2012, which only “hampered the crisis settlement process,” the ministry said. 

Russia has called on the draft's authors to drop the resolution, and to work with all the parties involved in the Syrian crisis according to guidelines of the June 30, 2012, Geneva Communiqué. “This document remains the only viable platform” for resolving the two-year conflict, Moscow said.

Moscow maintains that the only solution to the violence engulfing Syria is open political dialogue between the opposing sides.


T. Fateh

Ending Violence in Syria,Russia's First Priority,Says Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia's  first priority is to end the violence in Syria as fast as possible to avoid more civilian deaths and to search for a final settlement for the future of national reconciliation.

Lavrov's remarks came after meeting Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter Friday in

Neuchatel, Switzerland ,according to the AP.

On N.Korea, Lavrov supported renewed talks in Geneva, if Pyongyang were to agree to hold discussions with Russia, Japan, South Korea, the United States and China.

But both officials made clear there was no such general agreement.

"If we can re-establish that, Russia would, of course, support it," Lavrov, who spoke in Russian, said in response to a question.

North Korea agreed in principle in 2005 to scrap its nuclear program, including a presumed small stockpile of weapons, in return for aid and diplomatic incentives from other members of the six-party talks. But Pyongyang walked out of talks in 2009 and later conducted more nuclear tests.

Recently, North Korea warned it has weapons "on standby" and aimed at its foes if provoked, but has not revealed specific plans to fire a missile or carry out another nuclear test.

Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter, who spoke in French, said his nation had offered to host such talks "but, of course, that should be agreed by all parties and that is not the case at the moment."

Lavrov also warned the United State against naming Russians accused of human rights abuses, who are to be targeted for U.S. financial sanctions and visa bans under a new law dubbed the Magnitsky Act. The law was named for Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who was arrested in 2008 for tax evasion after accusing Russian police officials of stealing $230 million in tax rebates.

Lavrov hinted that Russia has its own list of U.S. officials that would be similarly sanctioned and would release those names in retaliation, along with using the so-called Magnitsky List to possibly block future cooperation on security issues.

"Of course, Moscow will react and our American partners know about that very well," he told reporters. "And given the circumstances, I don't think they've chosen very good timing, since the American national security adviser is coming to Moscow to bring President Obama's message with his vision for the prospects of our broader cooperation."


Damascus warns against spread of terrorism in ME

DAMASCUS,(ST)_Syria has called on the UN Security Council to list 'al-Nusra Front in the Levant among al-Qaeda-affiliated organizations according to the UN resolutions No.1267 issued in  1999 and No 1989 issued in 2011.

The call came after posting audio recording released by al-Qaeda organization's leader on internet.

The audio recordings were released on April 7-9-10 by al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, and Leader of the 'Islamic State of Iraq', Abu Baker al-Baghdadi, as well as al-Nusra Front's leader in Syria Abu Mohammad al-Golani.

According to the recordings, al-Baghdadi said that his group and al-Nusra Front would operate under united leadership called the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant.

While al-Golani said: "As al-Nusra Front had received assistance from the Islamic State of Iraq, his group would continue operating under its own banner, with Loyalty to al-Zawahri."

"These statements attributed to al-Qaeda organization's leaders proves what the Syrian Arab Republic stressed in previous letters sent to the UNSC as regard the armed terrorist groups' affiliation to al-Qaeda and dangerous of crimes being perpetrated by them in Syria," Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said.

It added: "Syrian Arab Republic warns against spread of terrorism in the Middle East region and outside it as the International Community turns deaf ear to crimes being perpetrated by al-Qaeda-linked Takfiri terrorist  groups and the so-called "Free Syrian Army" in Syria."

In two identical letters sent on Thursday by the ministry to Security Council's Head and UN Secretary General, it was referred to the fact that some states have hindered the UN condemnation of the terrorist organizations' crimes documented by the Syrian government.

Inaction encourages terrorists

The international community's inaction, the letters read, has encouraged terrorists to go ahead with their crimes against Syrian citizens through suicide bombings and random mortar shells targeting homes, state services establishments, hospitals, mosques and churches.   

 The ministry also noted that international reports talked about transporting sophisticated weapons to terrorists, recently delivered to terrorist groups in Daraa province.

The transportation was funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, according to the reports.

The Ministry appealed to the UNSC to shoulder its responsibility under the UN resolutions related to combating terrorism and call on states involved in supporting terrorism in Syria to halt violations that threaten security and stability in the region and the world as well.

Basma Qaddour