Syria Committed To Annan Peace Plan, While America’s Pseudo-Islamist Gangs Reject United Nations’s Effort

Syrian FM says Damascus committed to Annan peace plan

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem says Damascus will continue to respect and implement the peace plan brokered by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.

According to a statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Muallem told his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi in Beijing on Wednesday that Damascus is committed to implementing the ceasefire, withdrawing troops from crisis-hit cities and cooperating with UN observers in Syria to monitor the implementation of the Annan plan.

Muallem also told reporters that Damascus wants to see sufficient numbers of UN observers in the hot-spots and that Syria is ready to give the monitoring mission access to its Air Force.

Muallem’s remarks came as Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is preparing plans to increase the UN observer force from 30 to 250 members.

An initial group of six monitors arrived in Syria on Sunday and the observers have so far visitedthe southern city of Dara’a.

Calm has returned to most parts of Syria since the ceasefire was announced almost a week ago, though there have been reports of sporadic clashes in some parts of the country with Damascus accusing armed groups of violating the truce by continuing attacks on government forces.

Opposition activists have been claiming that the army has killed a number of civilians since the ceasefire took effect last Thursday.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011 and many people, including security forces, have been killed in the unrest.

Free Syrian Army says not committed to Annan peace plan



Damascus: Free Syrian Army (FSA), a country’s rebel group, has abandoned the peace plan brokered by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan and started attacks on soldiers.

Major Sami al-Kurdi, a Free Syrian Army spokesman, said the rebels were no longer bound by the truce after their Friday deadline passed. The rebels had earlier threatened to abandon the ceasefire unless the army stops its operations against armed groups by Friday.

At least 80 Syrian soldiers were killed by rebels over the weekend, an activist group said. FSA had earlier urged Annan to issue a statement declaring his peace plan to have failed.

The announcement of rebels’ abandoning the ceasefire and resuming their attacks comes as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that Free Syrian Army has killed over 100 soldiers across the country over the weekend, Press TV reported.

Syrian government has repeatedly accused the armed groups fighting against the regime of violating the ceasefire since it was declared on 12 April as part of Annan’s six-point peace plan to end months of unrest in Syria.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. Many people, including hundreds of security forces, have been killed in the country over the past 15 months—Houla massacre being the worst of all.

While the West and the Syrian opposition say the government is responsible for the killings, Damascus blames “outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups” for the unrest, insisting that it is being orchestrated from abroad to pave the way for foreign intervention.


SCO Security Alliance Opposes Syria Intervention

SCO Security Alliance Opposes Syria Intervention

China’s President Hu Jintao, left, is followed by Kyrgyzstan’s President Almaz Atambayev, second left, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, second right, and Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmonov as they walk to attend a signing ceremony at the Shanghai C
Shannon Van Sant

June 07, 2012

BEIJING – A regional security alliance led by China and Russia announced its opposition to outside intervention in the Syrian crisis in a joint statement released Thursday.  The joint statement coincided with reports of another mass killing of civilians in Syria.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Facts

  • Includes China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan
  • India, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan have observer status
  • SCO has observer status at United Nations and Association of Southeastern Asian Nations
  • While the organization’s major focus is security issues, members also coordinate on politics, trade, science, and the environment
  • Member states occupy more than 30 million square kilometers
  • Member states are home to around 1.5 billion people – a quarter of the planet’s population

Source: SCO website, UN, ASEAN

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), consisting of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, says it favors a “peaceful resolution of the Syrian problem through political dialogue.”

During a briefing with reporters in Beijing, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said the Chinese government firmly opposes military intervention in Syria, arguing that option would not solve the crisis.

The SCO’s statement follows accusations of another brutal massacre Syria. Opposition activists say forces allied with the government killed at least 78 people Wednesday, including women and children, in Hama province.  The Assad government denies the charge and blames a terrorist group for the killings.

Syria’s allies Moscow and Beijing have opposed international intervention and vetoed two Security Council resolutions on Syria.  In public statements, China has also blamed opposition groups for civilian deaths in the country.

Spokesman Liu Weimin expressed hopes that all parties in Syria will implement a cease-fire deal and end the violence. The Syrian government and opposition groups should accept responsibility and avoid putting civilians in danger, he said.

China and Russia have backed United Nations-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s efforts at mediation in Syria.  The Annan plan began with a cease-fire on April 12, but despite the deployment of 300 U.N. observers, violence has continued.

The Chinese spokesman said Beijing supports Annan’s mediation efforts and urged all parties concerned to suport the U.N. mission’s work in Syria.

China and Russia have come under increasing pressure from Western nations to back sanctions or outside interventions since Annan’s peace effort failed to stop the violence.

The United Nations estimated more than 9,000 Syrians have died since the conflict began last year.

Clinton Meets the Georgian Pseudo-Opposition


[What is important to notice during Clinton’s stirring of the Georgian boiling pot, is who she did NOT meet, out of the field of Georgian opposition members–Nino Burjanadze and Bidzina Ivanishvili.  These two stand-out as the Georgian representatives who are NOT beholden to the United States political establishment.]

Clinton Meets Opposition

Civil Georgia, Tbilisi 

After opening the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission meeting in Batumi, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with representatives from three opposition groups in Batumi on June 5.

Davit Gamkrelidze, leader of New Rights Party; MP Giorgi Targamadze, leader of Christian-Democratic Movement (CDM) and three representatives from Bidzina Ivanishvili-led opposition coalition, Georgian Dream: Davit Usupashvili, leader Republican Party, Tea Tsulukiani, deputy chairperson of Our Georgia-Free Democrats and Manana Kobakhidze, chairperson of Ivanishvili’s party, participated in the meeting.

Ivanishvili indicated last week that he wanted to meet with the U.S. Secretary of State one-on-one, not jointly with representatives from two other parties – CDM and New Rights, which Ivanishvili describes as “pseudo opposition.”

After the meeting opposition representatives noted that discussions lasted more than it was scheduled; they said that issues ranging from internal politics and upcoming elections to Georgia’s NATO integration and security aspects in the context of relations with Russia were discussed.

Davit Usupashvili of the Georgian Dream said after the meeting that the Secretary of State “said that she was aware of all the problems, which we are concerned about in respect of democratic institutions.”

“She said that she knows that media environment is monopolized by the authorities, that there are serious problems in the judiciary; she is aware of the cases of pressure on opposition activists and she said that the U.S. administration was paying serious attention to it and would continue working over these issues,” Usupashvili said. “We talked about what should be done from today up to the elections so that a key player – Georgian people – has a possibility to elect and to determine who will come into power. She also spoke about Bidzina Ivanishvili. She showed interest in what is happening around his citizenship issue. We submitted all necessary information and documents. Once again it was made clear that the United States supports free choice of the Georgian people. It clearly means that the authorities will not and cannot have the United States’ support; neither will the opposition have this support and we have never requested it. The U.S. support will be towards the Georgian people.”

“We have also talked about Georgia’s NATO membership issues,” Usupashvili continued. “We thanked the United States for their policy and position in the issue of Georgia’s security and territorial integrity. But we also said that it was possible to do more during these years in terms of building democratic institutions that would have brought us closer to NATO. The meeting lasted by 20-25 minutes more than planned because all these issues needed detailed discussion. Mrs. Clinton was very well-informed and informed objectively about the current situation in Georgia, thanks to the U.S. embassy.”

MP Giorgi Targamadze, the leader of Christian-Democratic Movement, said: It was a very interesting meeting and it lasted for over an hour instead of planned 45 minutes. We managed to discuss all the issues and listen to Mrs. Clinton’s opinions.”

“It was very important for everyone, both for us and for our American partners, to talk about those issues, which should settle the problems related to the life of our population, including the guarantees of security of our country. Elections are coming up; moreover, there are certain expectations about threats coming from Russia and from this point of view, we need the active [efforts] from the United States, one of the major guarantors of Georgia’s security, so that the Georgian society feel itself more safe and stable,” MP Targamadze said.

“Of course, we discuss elections as a part of the country’s security and we have discussed electoral environment in details,” he said, adding that the Secretary of State stressed on importance of having “a level playing field for political entities and for everyone in order to participate in political competition, elections.”

“We are very satisfied with this meeting and we hope that Mrs. Clinton’s visit will positively influence the election process, which is gaining momentum in Georgia,” MP Targamadze said.

Davit Gamkrelidze, leader of the New Rights Party, said the fact that the meeting lasted more than it was scheduled demonstrated “the Secretary of State’s huge interest towards developments within the opposition and pre-election situation in the country.”

“I spoke about the importance of holding these elections fairly, freely and peacefully and to have multi-party [parliament] instead of one-party regime as a result of the upcoming elections; it applies equally to the ruling party and to the Georgian Dream, whose leader [Bidzina Ivanishvili] states that he wants to win constitutional majority,” Gamkrelidze said.

“We also spoke about what should be done in order to make media equally accessible for the opposition, as well as about measure to prevent misuse of administrative resources by the authorities and to foster efficient work of the inter-agency task force [on elections],” Gamkrelidze said.

“I have also raised Chicago summit results and thanked Madam Secretary for her support, but it is also important to know what Georgia should do to make realistic Georgia’s membership by the next NATO summit – one is of course democratic reforms, but what are other areas which should be addressed in this regard,” Gamkrelidze said, adding that in this context he also raised “the threat coming from Russia.”

“I also raised the issue of possible free trade agreement [with the U.S.] and what might be a timeframe for achieving that,” Gamkrelidze said. “We talked about our complaints regarding the current electoral environment. However, it should be noted that Mrs. Clinton was quite well-informed about the problems with media, use of administrative resources and a factor of fear existing in the country. She said that the U.S. administration was ready to give concrete recommendations to the Georgian government and the Georgian President to ensure holding of free and fair elections in Georgia. At the same time, she stressed that it is up to the Georgian people to make a choice and everybody should obey this choice and act in a way as Georgian people decides it – that is the U.S. position and it will not be changed. It was a very important meeting and in coming months we expect more support from the United States in order to hold free and fair elections.”

Azerbaijan and Armenia Trade Accusations

[As usual, both Azeri and Armenian govts. deny responsibility in this latest cross-border attack, while the Azerbaijanis add that it would take only “10 days to liberate the occupied lands.”  The global power centers which are continually pushing for war in the South Caucasus region will keep on agitating  until they generate a proper spark to light the fuse.]

Russian Foreign Ministry: “We are concerned about the incident in contact line of Armenian and Azerbaijani troops resulting death of many soldiers” 

[ 07 Jun 2012 17:39 ] 
Moscow. Farid Akbarov – APA. “We are concerned about the violation of ceasefire in the contact line of Armenian and Azerbaijani troops, the incident resulting death of many soldiers from both sides on June 4 and 5”, said spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Lukashevich, APA’s Moscow correspondent reports.

He said that Russia, as a co-chair country in the settlement of Nagorno Karabakh conflict, called the parties to settle the conflict peacefully and refrain from use of force.

“I remind once again that the joint statements of Russian, Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents at Sochi meeting on January 23, 2012. That statement said that the peace negotiations should be continued. I want to note that Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers will meet with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs on June 18 in Paris. We want to believe that the latest incidents, ceasefire violation will be clarified at that meeting. Russia, as a co-chair country, believes that the parties would remain loyal to the results of Sochi meeting of the presidents”.

In his response to question on ineffectiveness of the OSCE Minsk Group, Lukashevich said that Russia didn’t agree with this approach: “Russia as the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair will continue its efforts toward the peaceful settlement of the conflict”.

Russia is concerned about the aggravation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Russia is concerned about the aggravation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

MOSCOW, June 7 – RIA Novosti. Russia concerned by the worsening situation in the area of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and urges the parties to the peaceful settlement of the controversy, said Thursday Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich.

“We consider unacceptable further escalation of tensions and encourage both sides to continue efforts aimed at resolving the conflict peacefully, using political and diplomatic means on the basis of no force or threat of force, territorial integrity, equality and the rights of nations to self-determination” – said Lukaszewicz at a briefing in Moscow.

He noted that as a result of ceasefire violation since the beginning of this month in the conflict zone has sharply increased the number of casualties among soldiers, and there are victims among the civilian population.

“We are alarming reports of worsening situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict” – said the representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

“We believe that the parties must strictly adhere to the ceasefire agreement in 1994,” – he added.

Lukashevich also refuted some media allegations of ineffectiveness of the OSCE Minsk Group, noting that the format of this act in concert.

The representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry said that the recently spoke on this topic U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton noted that this format is “not endangered and is a basic element of negotiation efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”

“We fully agree with this,” – said Lukaszewicz, adding that Russia, along with other co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group intends to continue to assist the parties in conflict with all necessary assistance in finding a mutually acceptable solution.

The beginning of the Karabakh conflict began in February 1988 when the predominantly Armenian populated Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region (Nagorny Karabakh) centered in Stepanakert, announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan SSR. In September, 1991 in Stepanakert, announced the establishment of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) in the borders of the former Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent regions of Azerbaijan by Armenians. Official Baku has declared the act illegal and abolished existed in Soviet times, the autonomy of Karabakh.

Started after this armed conflict lasted until May 12, 1994, when the agreement came into force a truce. As a result, Azerbaijan lost control over Nagorno-Karabakh and – in whole or in part – seven surrounding areas. Since 1992, negotiations for a peaceful settlement of the conflict within the OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by the United States, Russia and France. Azerbaijan insists on maintaining its territorial integrity of Armenia protects the interests of the unrecognized republic, as the NKR is not a party to the negotiations.

SANA: Syria Thwarts Infiltration Attempt by ‘Terrorists’ from Lebanon

SANA: Syria Thwarts Infiltration Attempt by ‘Terrorists’ from Lebanon

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية

by Naharnet

Syrian authorities thwarted an attempt by an “armed terrorist group” to infiltrate Syria from northern Lebanon, Syrian Arab News Agency, SANA, reported Thursday.

It quoted a source in Reef Tall Kalakh as saying that one member of the group was injured while the rest escaped back to Lebanon during a clash with “concerned authorities.”

SANA said that the authorities had foiled another infiltration attempt from Turkey in Idlib governorate on Wednesday night.

“Three terrorists were killed and arms were seized” in clashes with the infiltrators. But several members of the group went back to Turkish territories, the state-run agency added.

Last month, SANA also reported that Syrian authorities thwarted two separate infiltration attempts by “terrorist groups” from Lebanon and Turkey.

SCO’s “Peace Mission 2012” war games start in North Tajikistan

SCO’s “Peace Mission 2012” war games start in North Tajikistan

Avaz Yuldoshev

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“Peace Mission 2012” anti-terrorism war games of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states will start today on Chorhudairon training field in North Tajikistan.

Major General Emomali Sobirov, commander-in-chief of the Tajik land forces, will take command of the war games in which air forces, artillery and armoured units will take part.

Military units from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Russia and Tajikistan will take part in the maneuvers. Uzbekistan refused to take part in the maneuvers. More than 2000 soldiers and officers from SCO member states will take part in the maneuvers which will last till June 14

Tajik Defense Minister Sherali Hairulloev and top military officials from SCO member states will observe the war games.