Amity,Tolerence Best Way to Solve Crisis, Locals Tell Premier

DAMASCUS, (ST) –The Ministerial Committee tasked with following up on materializing  of the political program to solve the crisis in Syria on Sunday  received a number of Wadi Barada locals who are interested in dialogue and lay down their weapons.

Prime Minister, Dr. Wael al-Halqi, voiced satisfactory over  the  meeting with people who experienced the laying down of  arms and who suffered its repercussions only to come to a conclusion that  amity and tolerance  are the Syrians' sole hope .

" the plans and programs have been set by the government to support agriculture in Damascus countryside, activate tourism and create job opportunities, in addition to restoring security and stability to all Syrian provinces, "underscored al-Halqi.

Wadi Barada locals positively respond to the government's sincere invitation to dialogue through the administrative and judicial procedures the government has made to enhance credibility.

Furthermore, They made it clear  that such a  meeting  has relay tackled appropriate ways   for solving the ongoing crisis  and restoring security  and stability to the homeland.



Aussies fighting in Syria pose 'threat', says foreign minister Bob Carr

FOREIGN Minister Bob Carr has said an increase in the number of Australians believed to be fighting in Syria marks a significant potential threat to national security and confirmed the Gillard government is currently looking at banning new terrorist organizations.

The Weekend Australian revealed that Australia's spy agency ASIO holds fears at least half of the now 200 Australians believed to be in fighting in Syria are fighting for radical al-Qa'ida offshoot, the al-Nusra Front.

It was also reported the Gillard government was preparing to ban al-Nusra, which has emerged as one of the most formidable brigades in the disparate coalition of groups that makes up the Syrian 'opposition".

Speaking on Sky News' Australian Agenda this morning, Senator Carr said it was a "big" concern that Australians were fighting in Syria, which had "without a doubt" become a magnet for jihadists.

"We are all aware of it and I probably can't go further because I can't comment of matters of security and intelligence but the relevant agencies are fully appraised of this," he said.

"There is a big investment of time and resources going into it, it is clearly a potential threat to Australia," he told the program.

Senator Carr said Australia had to "be deeply concerned" with the influence of al-Qa'ida affiliates within the Syrian "Opposition".

He said Australia was currently having discussions with international allies about whether it would be necessary to proscribe new groups as terror organizations.


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