Turkey seizes huge chemical haul at Syria border

Turkish border guards seized three vehicles loaded with over 1,000 kg of chemicals as they tried to illegally cross the border into Syria.

One of the smugglers was arrested, while others managed to escape.
The Turkish General Staff reported that the chemicals were seized after a convoy of three vehicles refused to stop and attempted to illegally cross the border near the southeastern Turkish town of Reyhanli on Saturday.
Paramilitary police were ordered to shoot out the tires of the vehicles to stop them. As the tires caught on fire, the three drivers jumped out and fled in the direction of Syria. One of them was arrested.
The vehicles contained 20 bags of sulphur, weighing about 50 kg each, and eight sealed barrels. Their contents were not immediately known.

In September, Syria agreed to comply with Moscow’s offer to put its chemical weapons under international control for subsequent destruction, in order to avert a possible military strike. Damascus declared the possession of 1,300 tons of chemicals and precursors needed for chemical weapons production, as well as over 1,200 empty chemical munitions.
On Thursday, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said that Syria’s entire declared stock of chemical weapons has been placed under seal.
The organization acknowledged that Damascus has complied with the watchdog’s requirement, adopted on September 27, for the complete elimination of chemical weapons and production units in Syria before November 1.
The process of eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons stocks has a target finish date of mid-2014.

Source: gulfnews.com



Iranian, French FMs to Meet on Syria

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is due to hold a meeting with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius in Paris to confer on the latest developments in Syria, according to FNA.

“Our foreign minister is scheduled to meet and hold talks with Laurent Fabius on the sidelines of his visit to Paris (where he is due to take part in the 37th session of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization),” Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham told reporters in her weekly press conference in Tehran on Tuesday.

Noting that the two top diplomats will discuss regional and international issues as well as the relations between Tehran and Paris in their talks, Afkham said, “Iran’s nuclear issue and the Syrian issue will be the main topics of these consultations.”

The French foreign minister had earlier underlined the need for holding talks between Iran and France on different issues, including Syria and Tehran's nuclear program.

 “Iran is a great and important country and our assessment from the recent presidential election (in Iran) is that a great change has taken place in the country based on the Iranian nation's will, and this decision has been taken by the nation,” the French foreign minister said in a meeting with Iranian Ambassador to Paris Ali Ahani in August.

Fabius pointed to abundance of potentials for Iran-France mutual cooperation, and said his country welcomes direct talks with Iran on different issues, including the crisis in Syria.


Ousted Morsi goes on trial

Egypt's ousted leader Mohammed Morsi has gone on trial in Cairo.

He and 14 other" Muslim Brotherhood" figures face charges of inciting the killing of protesters outside the presidential palace in 2012.

After Morsi's remarks and his refusal to wear a uniform, the judge adjourned the trial until 8 January,according to BBC.

He was then flown to Burj al-Arab prison in Alexandria, state TV said.

Earlier reports had suggested that he would be taken to Tora prison on the outskirts of Cairo. Until now he had been held at a secret military location.

There was so much noise and disruption during what was at times almost a circus-like hearing that the judge had to adjourn proceedings twice.

Morsi interrupted the first session at least three times before the judge adjourned.

He sat quietly during the first break in the trial and was surrounded by some of his fellow defendants, members of the "Brotherhood "he has not seen since he was removed by the military.

Morsi was ousted by the military in July after protests against his rule.

Early on Monday Morsi was brought into the sprawling Police Academy compound by helicopter. Other defendants, including Essam el-Erian, Mohammed al-Beltagi and Ahmed Abdel Aatie, were said to have arrived in armoured personnel carriers.

No television pictures were broadcast from the court although journalists were allowed in for the former president's first public appearance since he was deposed on 3 July.

The judge twice temporarily halted proceedings before adjourning the case until January.

The trial had been due to take place at Tora prison on the other side of Cairo but had been switched late on Sunday, apparently to deter protesters.


Saudi Arabia 'arrests Kuwaiti woman for driving diabetic father to hospital'

Kuwait Times reports that woman had been driving just over the border in Saudi Arabia when she was stopped by police.

The arrest comes a week after Saudi women got behind the wheel to protests against the kingdom's ban on female drivers.

A Kuwaiti woman was arrested in Saudi Arabia for trying to drive her father to hospital, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported, a week after Saudi women protested against a ban on female drivers.

Kuwaiti women are free to drive in their country and enjoy far more rights than those in Saudi Arabia, who are not allowed to travel abroad, open a bank account or work without permission from a male relative.

The English-language Kuwait Times said that the woman had been driving in an area just over the border, with her father in the passenger seat, when she was stopped by police. The woman, who said that her diabetic father could not drive and needed to be taken to hospital for treatment, was being held in custody pending an investigation, the paper said, citing police,the Guardian reported.


Boroujerdi: West’s Meddling in Syria Exacerbating Regional Terrorism

TEHRAN (FNA)- Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi said the western countries' meddling in Syria has caused a spread of terrorism and deteriorated the security conditions in the region.

“The spread of terrorism and security threats to the countries of the region and the world has been the dire outcome of the meddling of the western powers and their regional allies in Syria,” Boroujerdi said in a meeting with Head of Kazakh Parliament’s International, Defense and Security Affairs Committee Suolen Ashymbayev.

Boroujerdi pointed to the dispatch of weapons, military training of terrorists and sending extremist forces to Syria as among the cases of foreign meddling in Syria, and said, “Miscalculations of some regional countries, meddling of foreign countries and insistence on a military solution to the crisis in Syria has resulted in severe human tragedies in Syria.”

Ashymbayev, for his part, pointed to the crisis in Syria, and said that the crisis in Syria does not have a military solution and the bloodshed in Syria can only be resolved through diplomatic and political methods, including continuation of national dialogue.

Last month, Iranian Parliament Speaker’s top advisor for international affairs Hossein Sheikholeslam said the western states’ meddling in Syria is exacerbating the situation, stressing that the only way to stop bloodshed in the country is the start of national dialogue among all Syrian groups through cooperation and contribution of the regional actors.

 “If foreign countries had not meddled in Syria, the country’s future would been very different. We seek the resolution of the Syrian issue within the region, since outsiders are pursuing their own interests,” Sheikholeslam pointed out.