Al-Halqi Stresses Government's Seriousness To Materialize The Political Program (2)

DAMASCUS, (ST)- " the government is serious in dealing and openness to dialogue, inviting all citizens to engage in the political process, "said Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi .

Al-Halqi's remarks came during a meeting held on Wednesday between the Ministerial Committee tasked  with implementing the political program to resolve the crisis and  a delegation of the Popular Front for Liberation and Change, chaired by Adel Naisa.

"We are genuine    partners in rebuilding  the homeland and regaining  stability ,"affirmed al-Halqi.

The PFLC delegation underlined  the suffering of citizens as regards ensuring  their daily needs because of the rise of prices.

After the meeting ,the PFLC chairman  Naisa stated  that the ongoing events in Syria stress require a rapid solution to save the blood of the Syrians,".


Mikdad :Some European Countries Support Terrorism In Syria

DAMASCUS, (ST) – Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister, Faisal al-Mikdad, on Wednesday briefed  Czech media delegation on the political program to resolve the crisis in Syria and the measures the government has taken to materialize  this program.

Al-Mikdad  wondered "why should some opposition figures and those supporting  them are afraid of engaging in the national dialogue and reconciliation "?

Referring to Britain and France's role in supporting terrorism, al-Mikdad  slams them for standing by al-Qaeda and its offshoot 'Jabhat al-Nusra' in Syria urging  them to perpetrate terrorist crimes in Syria.

"We are very happy to be in Syria .We will do our utmost to convey the true image of Syria to the Czech and international public opinion," the Czech media delegation underscored.

The delegation made it clear  that "some media outlets are nothing but  a tool for further aggravating the crisis in Syria,"


Renews Passports for Nationals Abroad: Interior Ministry

DAMASCUS, (ST) – The Ministry of Interior has extended the validity of passports from six to ten years for one time starting from January 1st, 2013.

"Passports will now be renewed regardless of the reasons that had earlier prevented their renewal ,and without obtaining the necessary authorization, "said the circular issued by the Interior Ministry on Saturday.


Saudis Step Up Arming Terrorist in Syria With Croatian Arms


Saudi Arabia has financed a large purchase of infantry weapons from Croatia and quietly funneled them to terrorists   in Syria, according to American and Western officials familiar with the purchases.

The weapons began reaching terrorists  in December via shipments shuttled through Jordan, officials said, and have been a factor in the rebels’ small tactical gains this winter against the army .

The arms transfers appeared to signal a shift among several governments to a more activist approach to assisting Syria’s armed opposition. The weapons’ distribution has been principally to armed groups viewed as nationalist and secular, and appears to have been intended to bypass the takfiri  groups .

But one senior American official described the shipments as “a maturing of the opposition’s logistical pipeline.” The official noted that the opposition remains fragmented and operationally incoherent.

While Persian Gulf Arab nations have been sending military equipment and other assistance to the rebels for more than a year, the difference in the recent shipments has been partly of scale. Officials said multiple planeloads of weapons have left Croatia since December, when many Yugoslav weapons, previously unseen in the crisis in Syria, began to appear in videos posted by rebels on YouTube.

Many of the weapons — which include a particular type of Yugoslav-made recoilless gun, as well as assault rifles, grenade launchers, machine guns, mortars and shoulder-fired rockets for use against tanks and other armored vehicles — have been extensively documented by one blogger, Eliot Higgins.

He first noticed the Yugoslav weapons in early January in clashes in the Dara’a region near Jordan, but by February he was seeing them in videos posted by rebels fighting in the Hama, Idlib and Aleppo regions.

Officials familiar with the transfers said the arms were part of an undeclared surplus in Croatia remaining from the 1990s Balkan wars. One Western official said the shipments included “thousands of rifles and hundreds of machine guns” and an unknown quantity of ammunition.


Extremists in the Lines of Syrian Opposition Block Dialogue-Lavrov

MOSCOW,(ST)_ Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday slammed "extremists" within the Syrian opposition who he said were blocking the start of dialogue.

"Several days ago we thought that the conditions had become more clear for the sides to sit at the negotiating table and begin discussing the future of their country," Russia Today reported Lavrov today (Tuesday)  after meeting with counterpart from the Netherlands Frans Timmerman in Moscow.

"There emerged voices in favour of urgently starting such dialogue, without prerequisite conditions."

However these voices were later silenced, he added. "Blood continues to be shed and statements are being made which move away the prospect of starting dialogue."

"It seems that extremists who bet on an armed solution to the Syrian problem have prevailed in the ranks of the opposition at this time, including the so-called (Syrian) National Coalition, blocking all initiatives that could lead to the start of dialogue," Lavrov said.

Other countries with leverage over the Syrian problem seem to "increasingly understand the need to influence both the government and the opposition, to convince them not to put forward unrealistic demands as prerequisites for starting dialogue," Lavrov added .

Lavrov continued he would discuss this issue during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, due today in Berlin, adding: "It seemed to me from our recent telephone conversation that he understands the grave situation".

In a statement on Tuesday,  the Russian Foreign Ministry announced t Lavrov will discuss today in Berlin with his U.S. counterpart, John Kerry, several  key international issues  and matters common interest.

In a telephone conversation last week, Lavrov and Kerry discussed the situation in Syria and the position towards  DPRK , following its recent nuclear test.


T. Fateh