Pope Benedict calls for political solution in Syria

Pope Benedict XVI has repeated his call for an end to violence in Syria during his traditional Christmas message in Vatican city.

In front of thousands of pilgrims in St Peter's Square, he called for dialogue and a political solution in Syria.

"I appeal for an end to the bloodshed, easier access for the relief of refugees and the displaced," he said.

The Pope said: "May peace spring up for the people of Syria,".

M.D

 

Deployment of NATO Patriot Part of U.S., Atlantic, Israel Scheme: Canadian Professor

 

 

 

Prague, Beirut, (ST)- Canadian Professor, Michel Chossudovsky has assured that the deployment of NATO Patriot missiles on the Turkish border with Syria is part of a U.S., Atlantic, Israel scheme and also includes training, arming the terrorist groups in Syria and to provide them with logistic support.

NATO countries not only to train and support the terrorist groups in Syria but they coordinate their military operations directly, revealing that recruiting the Nusrah Front affiliated to al Qaeda was by Qatar, Saudi Arabia and NATO and their training came under the supervision of experts of NATO, Professor Chossudovsky stressed .

The Canadian Professor warned that the deployment of Patriot also aims at involving Russia in a confrontation, stressing that the deployment of these missiles is part of the process of militarization of the region. to which it belongs the establishment of U.S. command centers and deployment of U.S. troops in Jordan and Israel within its plan to strike and threaten Iran.

“The military preparations for such plans took place two years ago when the United States sent Patriot missiles to Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in 2010,” the Canadian Professor pointed out.

Sh.Kh

 

 

 

Putin in India With Eyes on Arms, Trade Deals

Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks in New Delhi on Monday to tighten defence ties and boost trade with India, according to AFP.

Accompanied by several senior ministers and military officials, Putin was due to meet with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the day-long visit.

"We had to change the venue due to security concerns. President Putin will be meeting the prime minister at his residence and not in Hyderabad House," a foreign ministry official told AFP.

Putin pledged to tighten defence ties with India and double levels of bilateral trade within three years as he headed to New Delhi for a summit on Monday.

"I would like to stress that deepening of friendship and cooperation with India is among the top priorities of our foreign policy," Putin wrote in an article for The Hindu, an Indian daily, ahead of his visit.

"The strategic nature of partnership between India and Russia is witnessed by the unprecedented level of our military and technical cooperation," Putin wrote, saying "the joint development of advanced armaments rather than just purchasing military products" would be key to future relations.

His comments echoed those of Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid who said Friday that "India is committed to strengthening and enhancing this relationship, both on economic and strategic ties".

R.S

West is losing influence on Syria opposition,says Lavrov

Russia says the West has failed to achieve enough control on Syria’s newly formed "opposition coalition", warning against the repetition of the military intervention in Libya.
"I think that the Western sponsors of this coalition are already losing their influence on it," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Moscow on Saturday.
Lavrov said he believed the West did not really desire to intervene in the Syrian conflict and that they were even “praying for Russia and China to continue blocking permission for external intervention” in Syria.“Because if there is such a decision, they will have to act, and no one is ready to act," he stated,according to Press TV.

Lavrov reiterated Moscow’s opposition against any foreign intervention in Syria, recalling UN Security Council resolutions that NATO used as a pretext to launch a military action on Libya in 2011.

"We are convinced that the UN Security Council must not take any more ambiguous decisions, after our partners behaved so abominably over the resolution on Libya," he urged.

On Friday, Lavrov denounced Western countries for supporting the armed groups  fighting government forces in Syria. "Our Western colleagues have started dividing terrorists into 'bad' and 'acceptable.' That is very dangerous," he said.

M.D

Iran to Thwart Western Economic Pressure – Ahmadinejad

TEHRAN, (ST) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stressed that Iran has controlled the repercussions of the embargo imposed by the West on it and will pass the current crisis.

  "Iran can overcome this stage and prevent the West from using economic development plans as a pressure against our nation,” Ahmadinejad said.

Iran is engaged in a "smart economic war" with Western powers whose sanctions against Iran's nuclear program are hurting some Iranians, President Ahmadinejad was quoted on Saturday in an interview with the Iranian State TV. 

"They (Western powers) thought Iran's economy would break down, but it did not," Ahmadinejad said in reference to the sanctions.

He indicated that Iran had grown stronger and prepared counter-measures to offset the effect of Western economic pressure.

He reiterated that Iran is determined to thwart the economic pressures, indicating the necessity of the Iranian people's participation in the 11th session of the forthcoming presidential elections to be held next June.

"The broad participation of the Iranian people in the election will inevitably leave a significant impact on international equations and on the internal front,” Ahmadinejad said, stressing that the Iranian people will eliminate all impeding problems.

T. Fateh

Austrian TV website: al-Nusra Front Responsible for Scores of Terrorist Bombings in Syria

 

VIENNA, (ST)_ The  Austrian television website has confirmed that thousands of militants of al-Qaeda affiliated  al-Nusra Front  are involved in tens of bombings recently took place  in Syria.

In a news report, the website indicated that al-Nusra front seeks the creation of an Islamic state in Syria similar to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, and this is what the majority of the Syrians, with all their sects, fear of.

The report pointed out that the basic attitude of al-Nusra front is built on attacking all who don't support its ideological and intellectual orientation, noting that it receives funding and weapons from al-Qaeda terrorist organization.

The Austrian TV website warned that al Qaeda organization in Syria doesn't fight to support the Syrian people, but to topple the Syrian government, a matter which constitutes in future a major threat to the West and opens a new front of challenges against it. The website referred to the instant communications between the factions of al-Nusra Front in Iraq and Syria and to the continuous coordination between them to implement terrorist bombings in both countries.

The site also pointed out that the number of bombings carried out by al-Qaeda and al-Nusra Front in Syria and Iraq has exceeded 500 with their support starting from Iraq and other secret sources, especially after the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

The report indicated the expansion of al-Nusra front during last year and the increase of its ramifications with the ArabGulf region and Europe.

T. Fateh

Italy's PM resigns, paving way for early election

Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti  has  resigned after parliament gave final approval to the 2013 budget law.

The 69-year-old economist handed in his formal resignation to President Giorgio Napolitano, who is expected to call early national elections within 70 days of the parliament dissolution, possibly on Feb. 24,according to Xinhua.

In the lapse of time between Monti's resignation and the vote, the caretaker government remains in office only to take care of ordinary administration.

Earlier this month, he had announced early resignation after losing support of former premier Silvio Berlusconi's center-right People of Freedom (PdL) party, the biggest group in parliament.

"The President of the Republic took note of the resignation and called on the government to remain in office for the ordinary administration," a statement from the presidential office said late on Friday.

It added that Napolitano will hold consultations on Saturday with parliamentary and party leaders before he dissolves parliament, likely at the weekend, and sends Italians to the polls, probably on Feb. 24.

Speaking to a meeting of ambassadors in Rome, Monti said on Friday that his 13-month office was "difficult but fascinating" and "the situation of Europe and the eurozone has greatly improved, also thanks to Italy."

Monti said he had appreciated that "growth was seen not only in economic terms, but was also regarding the increased authority and credibility of Italy at the international level."

His unelected government has managed to steer the Mediterranean country away from the center of the eurozone crisis through introducing a range of painful austerity measures to tackle huge public debt.

European business communities and partners have increasingly pressured the resigning premier to take the field over the past weeks, but he has kept his own programs a secret.

Monti is set to hold a press conference on Sunday and announce his decision. He is supposed to endorse a coalition of centrist moderate figures or present a program that the next government should pursue to follow up with his austerity policies.

R.S

Russia blasts West's 'terrorism logic' on Syria

The West's policy of dividing terrorists in Syria  into "the bad" and "the not so bad" is dangerous, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"Our colleagues at the UN Security Council refuse to condemn terrorist attacks," he said in an interview with the RT television network.

"They say terrorism is bad but at the same time urge us to take into account the Syrian situation and the reason people are attacking government forces," Lavrov said.

"Our Western colleagues have started dividing terrorists into 'bad' and 'acceptable'. That is very dangerous."

Lavrov: Armed Groups in Syria Violate International Law and Practice Terrorism and the West Deals with Double-Standards

" if the priority is to halt the violence, then a large number of international observers should be deployed in Syria and both sides should be forced to start dialogue without any preconditions, "stressed Lavrov.

"Russia does not change regimes in the world, therefore, it will not convey the western proposals to Syria as they should be the ones to do so by themselves," underscored Lavrov.

He  warned that the west is interested in changing the regime more than saving the lives of civilians.

"it is not allowed for the Security Council, after the shameful act of our partners regarding the decision on Libya, to take decisions that have double meanings, "Concluded Lavrov.

M.D