Regional Developments in Syria's favour: Abdullahian

TEHRAN-  Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hussein Amir Abdulahian has stressed that the accelerating developments in the region are in favour of Syria, as they proved the rightness of the Syrian-Iranian stances on the region's causes and on the confrontation of the Western-American scheme which has been aiming at fragmenting the region to serve  the Zionist entity's interests.

Abdullahian's remarks were made  on Wednesday during his meeting with Syria's Ambassador to Iran Adnan Mahmoud.

Abdullahian reiterated his country's strong and firm support for the region's resistance front in which Syria is positioned at the frontline, urging continuous action to consolidate Syria's steadfastness in all domains.

The Iranian diplomat held the regional and international parties, which have provided financial and arms support for terrorism in Syria, responsible for killing the Syrian people and threatening the region's security and stability. He stressed that these parties aim at undermining the efforts exerted so far  to hold the international conference on Syria to solve the crisis through unconditional national dialogue.

"The recent changes in stances on the Syrian issue at the regional and international arenas, are a reflection to the strategic victories attained by the Syrian Arab Army and the steadfastness of the Syrian people and institutions in the face of Syria's enemies, Abdullahian said.

For his part, Ambassador Mahmoud affirmed that all the parties participating in the aggression, conspiracy and inciting against Syria, are now paying the price for their destructive behavior, pointing out that the enemies' attempts to create sedition among the Syrians found no fertile soil in Syria and Iran as it is strange to the Syrian society's values and civilization.

Mahmoud reiterated that the coming era will witness more cooperation between Syria and Iran, particularly in economy, and more consolidation of the elements of steadfastness in the confrontation of the blatant economic war against Syria.

H. Mustafa 

The International Conference an Opportunity to Restore normal life to Syria- Lavrov

ALGIERS,(ST)_ "We follow with concern the boost of coordination between the various Al-Qaeda branches and its efforts to undermine all opportunities for progress towards peace in Syria, which inflame sectarian and ethnic tension, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov  on Wednesday, adding that  extremists are committing heinous crimes, including the terrorist attacks in public places or sectarian cleansing operations along the lines of the massacre committed in the village of Htalh in Deir Ezzor countryside, where 60 civilians were killed, homes were blown up and clerics were executed by hanging,"

In an interview wit the Algerian daily al-Khabar ( the News)  Lavrov   stressed that his country hasn't any geopolitical goals in Syria, stressing that what Moscow wants is that the Syrians decide the future of their country by themselves.

"Russia hasn't any geopolitical targets in Syria, nor it has agents who implement its orders. All what we want is that the Syrians themselves decide the fate of their country through democratic mechanisms," .

"We do not interfere in the Syrian conflict and do not divide the Syrians among proponents and opponents, but we strictly condemn all forms of terrorism, extremism and violence against civilians, especially crimes committed out of hatred, sectarian or ethnic lines," he added.

"We do not support the position of those who oppose negotiations, provide pre-conditions and push things towards confrontation without hesitating to shed the Syrian blood in order to overthrow the regime by force," Lavrov went on to say.

The Russian official refused to describe the situation in Syria as being a fact of confrontation between the superpowers, stating that Russia calls for a political solution to the serious crisis through internal dialogue without any foreigner interference or dictation.

"This fully comes in line with the standards and norms of the modern system of international relations based on the United Nations Charter. This is the only way to a long-term solution that responds to the interests of all spectrums of Syrian society," the minister elaborated.

"This logic led to the Russian-American consensus on May 7 in Moscow, on which we are working to organize an international conference on Syria in order to gather the government and the opposition at the negotiation table and launch the political process according to Geneva statement adopted on June 30, 2012," the Russian official added.

Lavrov also reiterated Russia's refusal to arm the Syrian opposition by some Western countries:
"Peace cannot be achieved in this way. This will only lead to further suffering of the Syrian people and to a dangerous escalation of the regional situations. It is wrong to talk about a winner or a loser because everyone will lose," he said.

Lavrov stressed that the international conference on Syria, "might be an opportunity to restore normal life to Syria," stating that "the achievement of this duty falls on all potential participants (in the conference) who have to show the bulk of the good will and seek to provide real support to the Syrians."

"We are sure that it is difficult, but not impossible," the Russian minister concluded.


T. Fateh

Egyptians Ousted Morsi

 Egypt's president Muhammad Morsi was ousted by the military Wednesday, and  the armed forces announced they would install a temporary civilian government to replace  the Islamist President, who denounced the action as a "full coup" by the generals. They also suspended the Islamist-drafted constitution and called for new elections, according to AP.

Millions of anti-Morsi protesters around the country erupted in celebrations after the televised announcement by the army chief. Fireworks burst over crowds in Cairo's Tahrir Square, where men and women danced, shouting, "God is great" and "Long live Egypt."

Fearing a violent reaction by Morsi's Islamist supporters, troops and armored vehicles deployed in the streets of Cairo and elsewhere, surrounding Islamist rallies. Clashes erupted in several provincial cities when Islamists opened fire on police, with at least nine people killed, security officials said.

Gehad el-Haddad, a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood party, said Morsi was under house arrest at a Presidential Guard facility where he had been residing, and 12 presidential aides also were under house arrest.

The army took control of state media and blacked out TV stations operated by the Muslim Brotherhood. The head of the Brotherhood's political wing was arrested.

AP commented that the  ouster of Morsi throws Egypt on an uncertain course, with a danger of further confrontation, after  four days of mass demonstrations

Egyptians were angered that Morsi was giving too much power to his Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists and had failed to tackle the country's mounting economic woes.

On Monday, army chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi had given Morsi an ultimatum to find a solution to meet the demands of anti-government demonstrators in 48 hours, but the 62-year-old former engineer defiantly insisted on his legitimacy from an election he won with 51.7 percent of the vote in June 2012.

Any deal was a near impossibility, however, making it inevitable the military would move.

As the deadline approached, el-Sissi met with pro-reform leader Mohammed ElBaradei, top Muslim cleric Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb and Coptic Pope Tawadros II, as well as opposition activists and some members of the ultraconservative Salafi movements. The consultations apparently were aimed at bringing as wide a consensus as possible behind the army's moves.

The Brotherhood boycotted the session, according to its political arm the Freedom and Justice Party.

In a last-minute statement before the deadline, Morsi again rejected the military's intervention, saying abiding by his electoral legitimacy was the only way to prevent violence. He criticized the military for "taking only one side."

"One mistake that cannot be accepted, and I say this as president of all Egyptians, is to take sides," he said in the statement issued by his office. "Justice dictates that the voice of the masses from all squares should be heard," he said, repeating his offer to hold dialogue with his opponents.

"For the sake of Egypt and for historical accuracy, let's call what is happening by its real name: Military coup," Morsi's top foreign policy adviser Essam al-Haddad wrote on his Facebook page.

After the deadline expired, el-Sissi went on state TV and said the chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Adly Mansour, would step in as interim president until new elections are held. Mansour was appointed to the court by Mubarak but elevated to the chief justice post by Morsi and will be sworn in Thursday by judges of his court.

 Flanked by Muslim and Christian clerics as well as El-Baradei and two opposition activists, el-Sissi said a government of technocrats would be formed with "full powers" to run the country.

He promised "not to exclude anyone or any movement" from further steps. But he did not define the length of the transition period or when presidential elections would be held. He also did not mention any role for the military.

The constitution, drafted by Morsi's Islamist allies, was "temporarily suspended," and a panel of experts and representatives of all political movements will consider amendments, el-Sissi said. He did not say whether a referendum would be held to ratify the changes, as customary.

"Don't ask me if I am happy. Just look around you at all those people, young and old. They are all happy," said 25-year-old Mohammed Nageh, shouting to be heard in Tahrir. "For the first time, people have really won their liberty."

A statement from Morsi's office's Twitter account quoted Morsi as saying the military's measures "represent a full coup categorically rejected by all the free men of our nation."

The army insisted it is not carrying out a coup, but acting on the will of the people to clear the way for a new leadership. El-Sissi warned that the armed forces, police will deal "decisively" with violence.

Some of Morsi's Islamist backers, tens of thousands of whom took to the streets in recent days, have vowed to fight to the end, although he urged everyone "to adhere to peacefulness and avoid shedding blood of fellow countrymen."

Travel bans were imposed on Morsi and top figures from the Muslim Brotherhood including its chief Mohammed Badie and his powerful deputy Khairat el-Shater. Officials said security forces had surrounded Badie inside a tourist compound where he had been staying in the Mediterranean coastal city of Marsa Matrouh, near the Libyan border.

A security official said Saad el-Katatni, the head of the Freedom and Justice Party, and Rashad Bayoumi, one of two deputies of the Brotherhood's top leader, were arrested early Thursday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the press.

El-Haddad, the Brotherhood party's spokesman, said a list has been drawn up of hundreds of Brotherhood

Nearly 50 people have been killed in clashes between Morsi supporters and opponents since Sunday.


T. Fateh

Aoun, Abadi Renewed Support for Syria

BEIRUT,(ST)_ Lebanese head  of the Change and Reform Bloc and MP Michel Aoun  discussed with the Iranian ambassador in Lebanon Ghazanfar Abadi local and regional  developments and bilateral relations between the two countries.

"Views were identical on the need to support resistance against  the Zionist project , the people and government of Syria and the popular will provides for introducing  reforms under the leadership of President Bashar al-Assad." Abadi said in a statement after yesterday's meeting.

He noted that  during the meeting stress was made on the need to maintain stability and security in general, particularly in Lebanon, solidarity with  resistance and to be aware of the Israeli project aims to spread discord in the region.


T. Fateh

Egyptian army removes Morsi

The head of the Egyptian army has appeared live on television, announcing the suspension of the constitution.

General Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi, flanked by religious and military leaders, said the chief justice of constitutional court would take the powers of the presidency,according to the BBC.

His announcement means President Mohammed Morsi is no longer in power.

Anti-Morsi protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square gave out a huge cheer in response to the speech.

The move follows four days of mass street protests against Mr Morsi, and an ultimatum issued by the military which expired on Wednesday afternoon.

After General Sisi's address, both Pope Tawadros II, the head of the Coptic Church, and leading opposition figure Mohammed ElBaradei made short statements.

Mr Elbaradei said the new roadmap aimed for national reconciliation and represented a fresh start to the January 2011 revolution.

TV stations belonging to Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood went off air at the end of the speech.