MonitorsPublished on Sep 03, 2013
Alleging the Assad regime's involvement in the last week's chemical attack in the Damascus suburbs, President Barrack Obama said that he has decided to take military action against Syria by launching limited military strike.
Obama decides to launch limited military strike on Syria

Alleging the Assad regime's involvement in the last week's chemical attack in the Damascus suburbs, President Barrack Obama said that he has decided to take military action against Syria by launching limited military strike. "It is a danger to our national security that risks making a mockery of the global prohibition on the use of chemical weapons," Obama said.

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin ruled out any possibility of Syrian Regime's alleged use of chemical weapons and demanded the US to provide evidence. UN weapon inspectors have said that they might take up to three weeks to finish the inspections concerning the attacks.

< class="text11verdana">Source: Al Jazeera, September 1, 2013

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Arab League proposes UN backed intervention in Syria

Arab League has urged UN backed intervention in Syria and to take deterrent measures against Syrian Regime in a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo. "The United Nations and the international community are called upon to assume their responsibilities in line with the UN Charter and international law by taking the necessary deterrent measures", said League foreign ministers. Earlier Arab League recognised umbrella Coalition of opposition groups as Syrian representative to the league in 2011, barring Assad regime.

< class="text11verdana">Source: Al Jazeera, September 2, 2013

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Morsi to face criminal court

Egypt's deposed President Mohamed Morsi will have to face criminal court along with other 14 defendants concerning their alleged (mis) responsibility in the last December clashes between the supporters and opponents of Morsi which left at least 14 people dead. The clashes occurred after he issued a controversial constitutional decree that gave overwhelming powers to him as the President, which was considered undemocratic. A top Egyptian court on July 26 ordered his detention to investigate his suspected collaboration with the Hamas. Meanwhile, there has been regular crackdown on Brotherhood leaders and members since August 14.

< class="text11verdana">Source: Al Ahram, September 1, 2013

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Egypt announces committee to amend constitution

A 50-member committee was announced by Presidential spokesperson Ihab Badwai on 1st September to amend the suspended 2012 constitution. The committee will commence discussions on September 8 to evaluate the constitution. The Nour Party has complained of marginalization of Islamic block in the committee, in which only Brotherhood leader Kamal El-Helbawy and Nour Party deputy leader Bassam El-Zarqa are represented. Sherif Taha, spokesperson for the Egypt's Nour party said, "The formation of the committee is really bad and reflects the domination of the leftist-Nasserist faction." Nour party feels that they will be "underrepresented" in parliament which will hinder the constitution writing process. Elections will be held once the constitution is amended and approved through a referendum.

< class="text11verdana">Source: Al Ahram, 2 September, 2013; Al Jazeera, 1 September 2013

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Turkey's response to Syrian refuges

Since the beginning of the Syrian Civil war, approximately 1.9 million refugees have sought shelter in neighbouring countries. Turkish authorities have claimed that it is sheltering half a million Syrian refugees and the number is likely to increase in the wake of Western intervention in Syria. Reports published by Prime Ministers disaster and emergency Directorate estimate that TL 1,143,797,000 have already been spend on refugees and it is believed that $736 million more will be spent in future.

< class="text11verdana">Source: Today's Zaman, August 29, 2013

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Turkey to discuss Syrian situation in G-20

Turkish position on Syria would be discussed in the G-20 summit in the week beginning 2nd September. Turkish PM is expected to meet Obama and Putin to discuss the issues regarding possible intervention in Syria. Diplomatic officials in Turkey believe that there is consensus between Turkey and US on the Syrian issue.

< class="text11verdana">Source: Today's Zaman, September 1, 2013

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Reconciliation among Gulf countries over nuclear emergency plan

Close monitoring of the nuclear issue in Iran has brought Gulf countries together in order to develop a nuclear emergency plan which will deal with any nuclear leaks in the future. This 'pact' is a result of a 6.1 magnitude earthquake that struck Iran's nuclear base in April. A plan will be drawn up and implemented in partnership with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Muhammad Diana, a representative of the Supreme Council for Environment in Bahrain said in a statement, "the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will this week hold a meeting in Vienna and will discuss the emergency plan that will deal with nuclear leaks in the Gulf or elsewhere."

It was established that the meeting in Vienna will lay guidelines and procedures that will be implemented when, "increased radiation levels were found." Muhammad Diana emphasised on joint action which will contribute to safety in the region. He added that, "Once the plan is approved it will be adopted and implemented. The essential part of it is linking Gulf countries with joint monitoring stations to measure radiation levels, and to exchange data so each country can warn the others if high radiations levels are detected."

< class="text11verdana">Source: Gulf News, August 26, 2013; Arab News, August 26, 2013

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Kuwait plan in light of military strikes against Syria

Syria has been Kuwait's main food supplier in recent years. However, the Kuwaiti government said in a statement that they have minimised imports from Syria. Al-Anba reported that the government is formulating a "comprehensive emergency plan" which outlines measures if Kuwait is affected by a military strike in Syria. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry issued a statement in which it guaranteed Kuwaiti citizens of food supplies even if Syrian military tensions diffuse into Kuwait. An anonymous source from the Ministry said, "The plan calls for changing the import route from the Strait of Hormuz to the Arabian Sea, and then moving the stocks to Fujairah, the United Arab Emirates before they are taken to Jebel Ali to be stored in locations agreed upon through official agreements."

< class="text11verdana">Source: Kuwait Times, September 2, 2013

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Syrians in Jordan support military strike against Syria

Syrians in Jordan came out to voice their views in support of any military strike in Syria. Initially Syrians were reluctant of western intervention but have expressed support after the scale of violence against Syrian citizens become evident.

Jordan like others in the region is expecting an influx of refuges if a military strike is authorised on Syria. Jordanian authorities are preparing for this eventuality by increasing staff and equipment in their hospitals. Ali Hiasat, the Health minister said in a statement, "As we were able to cope with the high number of Syrians seeking healthcare over the past two years, we are ready to deal with an increase in numbers." He also requested international organisations to support Jordan in its humanitarian efforts.

< class="text11verdana">Source: Jordan Times, September 1, 2013

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Iran in support of Lebanon's national unity

Alaeddin Boroujerdi met with the Lebanese Prime Minister Thammam Salam on September 1, in Beirut to discuss Lebanon's regional role. He said, "We believe that this country (Lebanon) can permanently play an important role in regional security via unity and solidarity". Boroujerdi is the chairman of the Marjlis national Security and Foreign Policy Committee. Thammam, emphasized that the current geopolitical situation in the region is 'sensitive.'

Boroujerdi is leading the Iranian delegation to Syria to hold talks with the Syrian regime. Spokesperson for the committee suggested that the Iranian mission to Syria will discuss the present situation in Syria and offer support to Syria against Western intervention led by the US. The delegation will also hold meetings with the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad and Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi. Boroujerdi emphasized that, "We, on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran, once again announce to Syrian authorities and the international community our opposition to any attack and war against Syria."

< class="text11verdana">Source: Press TV, September 1 & 2; August 31, 2013

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Iran's nuclear conundrum

According to popular belief, a joint initiative by Western economies has hindered economic growth in Iran. However, Iran's Ambassador to Berlin Alireza Sheikh-Attar, stressed that unilateral sanctions imposed by the West have led Iran to self-sufficiency. He said, " Sanctions imposed on Iran have not only failed to stop our technical progress as well as our oil and gas production, but, to the contrary, they have led to the country's self-sufficiency in these sectors in such a way that heralds a very bright future for the development and growth of these industries in Iran." He also suggested that Iran can play an important geopolitical role as it connects "the two key energy hubs in the world."

Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran said in a statement that negotiations will take place between Iran and the IAEA in Vienna on September 27. These negotiations will be the 11th round of discussions held since last year. Director General of IAEA, Yukiya Amano said in an IAEA conference in June that, "We'll continue the dialogue with the country and it will be aimed at achieving concrete results."

< class="text11verdana">Source: Press TV, August 31 & September 2, 2013

(This monitor is prepared by Ekta Manhas and Prabhat, Research Interns, Observer Research Foundation, Delhi)

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