Amos Complains Shortage in Funding Aids to Syrians

NEWYORK,(ST)_ The UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Relief Coordinator  Valerie Amos  said that pledges  to help  the Syrians arrived  at 1.5  billion dollars  adding,  " We received $ 200 million and wait to receive the amount of 1.3  billion dollars and members of the UN Security Council vowed to send these funds as soon as possible

"We are cooperating with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and with the Syrian government and continue to do so and also with what she called the coalition of Syrian opposition on the ground ", Amos added in a press conference on Thursday.

"We are keen to work not only in Damascus and we have been stationed in the city of Homs since January." She added . "If some countries that give "Syrian coalition" money and consider these funds as part of the commitments they launched in Kuwait conference they have to tell us about the way funds can be distributed," Ramos noted.


Kerry Stresses Political Solution to Crisis in Syria

ROME, (ST) _ U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the US will provide $ 60 million in as aids for the Syrian opposition and "the Free Army" to secure their daily needs, and foodstuffs.

However, media reports confirm that most of these funds are used for buying weapons to terrorist groups in Syria.

"The US will provide more $ 60 million for the Syrian opposition to secure their daily needs, besides medical and food aids to the opposition and the free army and the necessary assistance to the Syrian refugees in Turkey." Kerry said in a news conference, in Rome, Thursday.

The Free Army is a Takfiri terrorist groups which commit acts of murder, terror bombings and sabotage against public and private property in Syria.

"Our choice is a political solution reflected in Geneva statement, endorsed by Russia too, that should include a transitional government with full authority," adding that the Syrian coalition can lead the transition, but not alone, "it needs our support."

Worthy mentioning that Geneva statement leaves the choice to the Syrians to decide their own future without external dictates.

The U.S. Secretary of State justified providing assistance to the Syrian opposition that mainly go for terrorist groups by saying... "In all cases, we are working closely with the Syrian opposition coalition to make sure that aid reaches those in need and to areas that are difficult to access."

Few days earlier, Kerry said  that his country would provide weapons and non-lethal equipment including "  human and armored vehicles" in a lined  letter to  terrorist groups to continue violence against the Syrian people , in contrary to what he had alleged  that  "the US option  to resolve the crisis in Syria is the political solution."


‘US gives a wink and a nod to those sending military aid to terrorists in Syria’ - Churkin




As Russia takes over its month-long presidency of the UN Security Council, the country’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin tells RT, that Washington’s resolve not to provide terrorists in Syria rebels with lethal arms still leaves room for concern.

Russia’s term starts on March 1 and will last for one month. The role of the president of the Security Council involves setting the agenda, presiding over meetings, and overseeing any crisis.

On the eve of occupying the presiding chair at the Council, Russia's envoy to the UN spoke with RT about what will be on the agenda and other acute international issues.

RT: What to do with Syria next? How is Russia going to try to bring people together there over the next month?

VC: There is nothing specific at this point in our program of work on Syria. But of course Syria comes our way every now and then under different circumstances. For instance, yesterday there was a stirring briefing to the consultation of the Security Council of humanitarian agencies describing the awful situation in that country. So, of course, there is a lot of worry and frequent discussions in the Security Council on the situation in Syria.

Our position is very simple: we believe that violence must stop and for that dialogue must be established without precondition. And the government is saying that they have outlined their negotiating team and they outlined their proposals for dialogue. There is a Geneva document of June 2012, which, we believe, should serve as the consensus basis for dialogue.

We can help them. Russia is trying to do exactly that by talking at the same time with the government and various opposition groups urging them to enter dialogue.

But unless they themselves make their determination I am afraid the violence will continue and the crisis will continue to spiral.

RT: The Syrian opposition has been promised more 'non-lethal' help from the US today. Where is the 'lethal' support coming from? What’s Russia’s view on that?

VC: There is a general understanding that maybe Qatar is supplying weapons to Syria, but here I am basing myself mostly on newspaper accounts and on previous experience, because it’s well-known now, that in the course of the crisis in Libya, for instance, Qatar happened to be a major supplier of weapons into that country.

You know there is all this talk about non-lethal assistance from the US. There is a certain clear division of labor. The US for a number or reasons chooses not to sully its hands with direct supply of weapons to the armed groups, because among them are terrorists and others, with whom the US would prefer not to be associated.

But at the same time they give a wink and a nod to those who provide direct military aid to rebel armed groups. All this is very unfortunate, because it takes attention away from the need to enter a political dialogue.






Putin warns against "international terrorists" exploiting the crisis in Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned against "international terrorists" exploiting the crisis in Syrian for their own ends.

It is unacceptable for radical groups and international terrorists to exploit the Syrian tragedy for their own ends," Putin told a news conference after talks with French President Francois Hollande on Thursday,according to Voice of Russia, Interfax, TASS

A "barbaric terrorist attack" was carried out near the Russian Embassy in Damascus just a week ago, and "numerous people, including children, were killed and injured," Putin said. "Obviously, acts of this kind must be resolutely condemned by the entire international community."

While meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, French President Francois Hollande made several new proposals on the settlement of the situation in Syria, Putin told a joint press conference with Hollande. Putin admitted that the discussion of the Syrian issue at the meeting in the Kremlin drew heated debate, the Voice of Russia correspondent reports.

"Mr. President made some new proposals during the meeting, which I think we could discuss with all partners and implement,"Putin said.

"Despite current nuances in the positions of Russia and France, we stand for the preservation of Syria as a single democratic state, and we have a lot in common in our principles, in assessing this situation," Putin said.

The two countries have maintained fruitful political dialogue and strengthened humanitarian ties. Economic cooperation has been enriched with joint ventures and cooperation with emphasis on innovation and high technology, the Russian President said.


Lavrov,Kerry Discuss Syria In First Meeting

Russia and the United States will do “everything possible” to facilitate a dialogue between the Syrian government and the armed opposition, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday in Berlin following his first bilateral meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry,accoerding to RIA NOVOSTI.

“No one will solve the Syrians’ problems for them, but in order for this solution to be discussed, it’s necessary to sit down at the negotiating table,” Lavrov said following the nearly two-hour meeting with Kerry in the German capital.

Waleed al-Moallem,the Syrian Foreign Minister, was in Moscow on Monday and expressed willingness to meet with opposition leaders.

US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland speaking in Berlin, said Kerry and Lavrov spent more than half of their meeting discussing Syria in what she called a "really serious and hardworking session,” The Associated Press reported.

 “Regarding Syria, the most important thing is that we confirmed our mutual understanding that the continuation of violence is unacceptable,” Lavrov said.

Lavrov called Tuesday’s bilateral talks “constructive” and said he felt Kerry is open to a partnership between the two countries despite disagreements.


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

Syrian Government Ready to Talk with ALL Opposition Parties

MOSCOW (ST)_ Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign and Expatriates Minister, Walid al-Moallem, announced here Monday that he was mandated by H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad to convey thanks to the Russian People, President Vladimir Putin, Minister Sergei Lavrov, for their principled stance in respect to the UN Charter and international Law rules, which forebode foreign intervention, especially the military one in the Syrian affairs.

al-Moallem cited President Bashar Al-Assad's January 6th political program for the solving of the crisis in Syria, pointing out that an ad hoc  ministerial committee chaired by the Prime Minister was consequently created and started consultations with most of opposition forces in Syria opening the way for opposition outside Syria, and with guarantees for them if they attended.

"We will be happy when others get closer to the Russian stance , because this stance is the one which would lead to the halting of violence in Syria,'' said al-Moallem.

The Syrian government is ready to talk with all opposition parties, including armed rebels, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem stated during talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, a Voice of Russia reporter said.

"We still believe that reforms in Syria can be reached through dialogue alone," said Minister al-Moallem.

The Minister added that militants from al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat-al Nusra are mainly responsible for the bloodshed. The militants comprise mercenaries from 28 countries, including Russia’s Chechnya.

al-Moallem added that representatives of illegal armed groups from 28 countries are fighting on the side of the Syrian opposition.

"Jabhad an-Nusra, a branch of al-Qaeda, is the main force fighting in Syria. They have invited to Syria militants from 28 countries, including Chechnya," al-Moallem said before meeting with his Russian counterpart Lavrov.

Ahead of talks with his Russian counterpart in Moscow, al-Moallem said: "We are ready for dialogue with everyone who wants it ... even those who have weapons in their hands".

"Even with those who carry arms. We are confident that reforms will come about not with the help of bloodshed but through dialogue," added al-Moallem.

"What's happening in Syria is a war against terrorism. We will strongly adhere to a peaceful course and continue to fight against terrorism."

On his part, Russia's Foreign Minister Lavrov pledged every support to ensure dialogue between the warring parties.

 Lavrov said the conflict could only be resolved through political talks, asserting that further fighting "risks the collapse of the state and society".

"We are following the development of events ... with alarm," Lavrov said. "In our evaluation the situation is at a kind of crossroads. There are those who have set a course for further bloodshed and an escalation of conflict. This is fraught with the risk of the collapse of the Syrian state and society'' Minister Lavrov underlined.

"But there are also reasonable forces that increasingly acutely understand the need for the swiftest possible start of talks ... In these conditions the need for the Syrian leadership to continue to consistently advocate the start of dialogue, and not allow provocations to prevail, is strongly increasing" added Lavrov.

Lavrov said that "those who would like to see this war last till the bitter end" are sabotaging the Syrian government's efforts to establish contact with the Syrian opposition, which "is increasing the need for Syrian authorities to keep supporting their intentions to start a dialogue."

Lavrov also insisted that Russia's stance in the Syrian conflict "is not determined by the support of certain people" but by Russia's "care for the future of the Syrian people."