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US Decision to Arm Terrorist Groups in Syria Undermines Geneva 2 Talks, Says Syrian Official Delegation's Statement

GENEVA,(ST)_Delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic to the Geneva 2  -Conference has proposed a draft statement censuring the United States' decision to resume arming the terrorist groups operating in the country.

The statement, which was proposed during today's morning session between the UN Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and the Syrian official delegation and the 'opposition coalition', appealed to the US and other countries that provide terrorists with weapons to stop doing that.

'Irresponsible' decision

It described arming terrorists as 'irresponsible' act, stressing that it will undermine the Geneva 2 conference and will foil efforts exerted to guarantee the success of the conference.  

The statement made it clear that the US decision contradicts the Geneva I Communiqué which calls, in its first clause, to end violence and terrorism. It noted that the Geneva 2 conference is being held according to the US-Russian initiative based on the Geneva communiqué.

"The world was surprised by the decision adopted by the US- which is one of the two parties of the initiative- and the timing of the decision," the statement read, adding that the provocative decision of the US violates the UN resolution No.1373.

It cited that everyone knows that the US weapons end up in the hands of the blacklisted terrorist groups, such as "the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, al-Nusra Front and the Islamic Front".

Coalition rejects political solution

The statement proposed by the official delegation was rejected by the 'opposition coalition' delegation.

Sources close to the Syrian official delegation were quoted on the official news agency as saying: "the rejection of the statement stresses that the coalition delegation is unserious and it doesn't want a political solution."

They also see that the US military support for gunmen in Syria fuels violence and terrorism and means a retreat from the political solution.

Basma Qaddour  

President Bashar Al-Assad Personality of Year 2013

Beirut- President Bashar Al-Assad on Monday was announced as Personality of the Year 2013 according to a three-week poll carried out by "Al-Mayadeen" Channel on its website. The poll included 16 Arab and foreign personalities.

According to "Al-Mayadeen", President Al-Assad got 193404 votes, that is; 36.97% of the total number of voters who exceeded half a million.

According to the channel, Sultan Qaboos bin Saeed of Oman came second in the poll's results, while Nouri al-Maleki, the Iraqi Prime Minister came third.

H. Mustafa

'Opposition Coalition' Rejects Geneva I communiqué, Says al-Zoubi

GENEVA,(ST)_Information Minister has confirmed that  rejection of the 'opposition coalition' of the national sovereignty and the political and democratic pluralism is a flagrant rejection of the Geneva I communiqué.

Omran al-Zoubi , who was speaking to reporters on Monday, unveiled that the so-called 'opposition coalition' rejected the political statement presented by the official delegation today in just 2 minutes after making a call possibly with Robert Ford, Saud al-Faisal or Ahmet Davutoglu.

He clarified that the statement of the official delegation included no word about presidency or the president. "I think that Lakhdar Elibrahimi was disappointed because the statement was neither read nor discussed but was rejected in 2 minutes."

He promised that the Syrian official delegation will not be fumed and will not withdraw from the ongoing talks in Geneva.  

"We are open to discussion and we came to Geneva 2 conference to present new ideas and methods in order to launch a political process. But they ' coalition and their masters' do not want this," al-Zoubi said.

All Syrians are equal

On the other hand, the minister asserted that all Syrians are equal wherever they are and the Syrian state deals with them equally and under one standard.

"No one wants to achieve a political victory in the humanitarian topic and we will never allow the others to think that they are doing so. The humanitarian topic has nothing to do with political calculations and investment," al-Zoubi said.

 He added that the Syrian government, in cooperation with the UN organizations, provides humanitarian support to all areas nationwide according to the response plan.

"There are areas, such as Homs, Ma'aloula, Nobbel, al-Zahra'a and Adra, that are in need of humanitarian support. All areas in Syria are part of the country regardless of any consideration," al-Zoubi said.

"A month ago, some 800 Syrian citizens, held by gunmen, were evacuated from al-Zara area in Homs and they were provided with shelters, food and medical services. There are big numbers of Syrian citizens besieged in the areas of Ma'aloula, Adra, Nobbel and al-Zahra'a,"

The minister underlined that before launching the response plan, the Syrian government was providing aid to the areas in need through popular committees  and mayors.

"Providing aid to the old city of Homs is being arranged with the International Red Cross and it has nothing to do with what have been discussed in the Geneva conference," al-Zoubi said.

Coalition has no proof 

Relative to the detainees file, the minister underscored that the coalition delegation presented no list of the children arrested in the Syrian jails, adding that the Syrian state doesn't arrest children.

"When the authorities arrest the children who have been recruited by the armed groups in the ongoing war, they are being treated as children not as detainees. The authorities take into consideration the psychological effect children have been through," he added.

Secret talks

Regarding rumors of talks, on the sideline of the conference, between western delegations and the Syrian official delegation and coalition delegation, al-Zoubi said: "This is a political process and the goal of our presence here [in Geneva] is to meet the other delegation – the so-called opposition- according to decided logistic measures. We are seriously seeking to achieve progress and to pave the way for political process."

Basma Qaddour    

Shaaban: The Syrians are Eligible to Decide their own Good

GENEVA, (ST)_ The Republic 's Presidency Political and Media Advisor Dr. Butheina Shaaban stressed that the Syrian people are eligible to decide their own good and not the Western countries and their hirelings in the region.

"Syria is ten thousand year- old, and we know our interest. Let the Syrian people decide what 's good for them, not the Western hegemony" Shaaban added in a televised interview.

She regretted that over the three years of the war, which caused the destruction of most of the Syrian infrastructure including factories, schools and hospitals, the opposition had been talking about power, ignoring the"six million displaced Syrians inside the country and two million expelled"adding that those who call themselves / opposition / are required to talk"about Syria and the danger facing the Syrian people."

She stressed that the reason behind what is taking place in Syria"is a lot of intervention practiced by 83 states, and sending a lot of money and foreign terrorists to Syria,"calling for"cessation of hostilities, terrorism, and the launch of a political process in which the Syrians decide the future of their country,"as demanded by Geneva 1st.

She explained that the ballot boxes have the word on choosing the leadership in Syria, calling for the creation of an appropriate atmosphere to start the political process and not jump to it at a time when the country ablaze."

As for the "efforts made to deliver aid to Homs" Shaaban said the Syrian government "has a program for Syria as a whole with the Red Cross and Red Crescent and UN agencies and humanitarian aid of food and medicine is delivered daily for every place in Syria".
Shaaban emphasized that the important thing for the Syrian official delegation and the 23 million Syrians is to solve the problem of the return of the displaced citizens and to rebuild Syria as wanted by the Syrians.

 

T. Fateh

Official Syrian delegation lays out political declaration, coalition delegation of so-called "opposition" rejects

GENEVA, (ST) – The Syrian Arab Republic's official delegation to the Geneva 2 Conference presented a declaration of principles and was rejected by  the coalition delegation of the so-called "opposition" .

The declaration of basic principles  underlines  respecting Syria's sovereignty, restoring its usurped lands, preserving its establishments, and abandoning all forms of extremism and takfiri ideas.

The declaration further  rejects all forms of interference or foreign dictation, with the Syrians deciding upon their country's future using democratic methods, in addition to asserting that that it's not permissible to relinquish any part of Syria.

The declaration also stresses that the Syrian Arab Republic is a democratic country based on the basis of political pluralism, the rule of law, independence of the judiciary and citizenship, and protecting national unity and cultural diversity of the components of the Syrian society and protecting public freedom, and the Syrians are the ones who have the right to choose their political system without out compromising on any subject unacceptable to the Syrian people from any imposed formulae.

The declaration asks all countries to prevent supplying weapons or training or harboring terrorists, and also stopping all kinds of media hatred incitement to perpetrate terrorist acts in accordance with international resolutions relevant to combating terrorism.

The declaration  also noted that the state establishments cost people money and hard work and therefore must be preserved, in addition to stressing the need to preserve and protect all state establishments and utilities, infrastructure, and public and private properties.

"the delegation was and still is open to discussing all points, but it proposed these principles which no patriotic Syrian would reject in order to find common ground, yet the coalition delegation of the so-called "opposition" rejected them," said sources close to the Syrian official delegation to Geneva .

Following is the full of the declaration:

Basic principles for a political declaration

Full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and inadmissibility to give up any part of its territory. Commitment should be made in order to restore all its occupied territories.

Rejection of all forms of dictate and foreign interference in the Syrian internal affairs directly and indirectly so that the Syrians decide the future of their country through democratic means and the ballot box as the Syrians are the ones who have the sole right of choosing their political system without compromising on any subject unacceptable to the Syrian people.

The Syrian Arab Republic is a democratic country on the basis of political pluralism, the rule of law and the independence of judiciary and citizenship and protecting national unity and cultural diversity of the components of the Syrian society and protecting public freedom.

Rejection of terrorism and combating it and rejecting all forms of extremism, racism, and takfiri Wahabi thinking and asking the countries to stop providing terrorist groups, supplying them with armaments, training, financing and providing them with information or financing for those and also stopping all kinds of media hatred incitement to perpetrate terrorist acts in accordance with international resolutions relevant to combating terrorism.

Preserving all state institutions and the country's infrastructure and public and private properties and protecting them.

R.S