Saturday, January 18, 2014

Geneva II - A Syrian Perspective

Syrianews: Geneva II

1) Syrian Opposition in Istanbul to Discuss Participation in Peace Talks 

183300781 300x170 Geneva 2
The divided Syrian opposition factions are meeting in Istanbul to decide whether to join landmark peace talks due in Geneva on January 22.
On the eve of the National Coalition’s meeting, US Secretary of State John Kerry made a plea to the exiled group to decide in favor of the talks.
“The Syrian people need to be able to determine the future of their country, their voice must be heard,” AFP quoted him as saying.
The Geneva-II peace conference is aimed at finding a way to end war in Syria.
Syria was hit by a violent unrest since mid-March 2011, where the Syrian government accuses foreign actors, mainly the Saudi Arabia and Turkey, of orchestrating the conflict by supporting the militant opposition groups with arms and money.
2) Moallem Says Syria to Exert Efforts to Ensure Geneva II - Lavrov Slams Opposition
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem expressed his country’s readiness to make ecery effort in order to ensure a planned international peace conference.
Meanwhile,  his Russian counterpart slammed the foreign-backed opposition for failing to take decision on whether it will participate in Geneva II or not.
During a joint press conference, Moalle Lavrov and Moallemm confirmed his government’s plans to send a senior delegation to the Swiss lakeside city of Montreux where the long-delayed peace conference — the first since June 2012 — is due to begin.
Syria “will take part in Geneva II and make every effort to ensure this event is a success and meets the aspirations of the Syrian people and the direct orders of President Bashar al-Assad,” said Moallem.
He added that Assad will send his representatives to Switzerland “irrespective of the situation around the participation or the non-participation of the National Coalition at this conference.”
The Syrian FM also expressed his country’s readiness to swap prisoners with the insurgents.
“I informed Lavrov of our principled position in favor of an agreement to exchange those held in Syrian prisons for those taken by the other side.”
However, he did not how many prisoners such a swap would involve or when it might begin. But it would represent a concession to one of the opposition’s key demands before it agreed to peace talks.
“We are ready to exchange lists and develop the necessary mechanism for accomplishing these goals,” Moallem said in remarks translated from Arabic into Russian.
Meanwhile Moallem did not address the ceasefire call directly but said he had handed Lavrov “a plan concerning measures for ensuring security in Aleppo.”
For his part, FM Lavrov said Moallem had informed him of Assad’s readiness “to take a series of humanitarian steps” that would lead to the speedy delivery of assistance to those suffering from the 34-month civil war.
The Russian diplomat further criticized the so-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC) for delaying their decision for participation in the forthcoming Geneva II talks, saying the delay is “going beyond the limits of what is reasonable.”
Lavrov stressed that “the main reason [for the delay] is internal conflicts between various coalition groups , which are supported by various external sponsors, not a desire to be better prepared for the conference.”
“This concerns specific proposals that are already being implemented concerning the delivery of humanitarian supplies to settlements in the Eastern Ghuta region and other areas, including the suburbs of Damascus and Aleppo,” Lavrov added.

Zähneknirschend nach Genf II - Harrers Analysen auf der Standard ...

  1. Zähneknirschend nach Genf II - Harrers Analysen auf der Standard ... › ... › Nahost › Harrers Analysen auf
    vor 2 Tagen - Die Erwartungen an die Syrien-Konferenz sind sehr bescheiden - Auch weil die Interessen der USA und Saudi-Arabiens mittlerweile ...

President al-Assad: "Syrian Society Will not Accept Wahabi and Takfiri Mentality"

Jan 18, 2014
Damascus, (SANA) –
President Bashar al-Assad said that the Syrian society, that has been known for its amity and tolerance
 for centuries, will never accept the wahabi and takfiri mentality, adding that this dangerous mentality does not only threaten 
Syria but also all of the region’s countries.
The remarks came during President al-Assad’s meeting with a delegation of the Anglican Church comprising clergymen
USA, Sweden, Switzerland, Lebanon and Syria, headed by Amgad Beblawi, Mission Coordinator for the Middle East
 Presbyterian Church in the USA.
President al-Assad said that one of the main problems regarding the western, and particularly the US, approach in dealing
the region’s issues is that most of their leaders are far from comprehending the reality and nature of the region and the 
 of its peoples.
President al-Assad stressed that the majority of the western leaders are working to achieve their narrow interests which
 are far 
from the interests of their peoples and countries.
For their part, members of the delegation expressed their solidarity with Syria and rejection of any foreign intervention
 in the
 Syrian affairs, hoping that peace and security will prevail again in this country, which represents a model for cultural and 
religious variety.

M. Nassr/ F. Allafi

"Women Lead to Peace "Summit to Pressure Geneva II Talks

 "There are over 50 Syrian women in Geneva this week demanding a ceasefire in Syria" 

 On the 21st WILPF, CODEPINK andMADRE have a round table of women from Syria and from other war zones and peace processes, discussing their experiences and how to get women to the table. Two Nobel laureates will be there, Shirin Ebadi and Mairead Maguire. We will all be demanding the same thing.

From: marina litvinsky []