MonitorsPublished on Oct 01, 2013
Head of the Syrian delegation to the 68th United Nations General Assembly and Foreign and Expatriates Minister, Walid al-Moallem, said that aggressive policies towards Syria must stop for any effective solution to the Syrian crisis to develop.
Stop aggressive policies towards Syria: Al-Moallem

Head of the Syrian delegation to the 68th United Nations General Assembly and Foreign and Expatriates Minister, Walid al-Moallem, said that aggressive policies towards Syria must stop for any effective solution to the Syrian crisis to develop. He said that intervention in the domestic affairs of the country under the pretext of Humanitarian Intervention or the Responsibility to Protect is unwelcome.

He accused "well-known" countries of supporting terrorism in Syria and said that international terrorist organisations like Al-Qaeda, Jabhat Al-Nusrah, the Brigade of Islam and many others are fighting in Syria. He insisted that there is no civil war in Syria but an ongoing war against terror and extremist militants. He dismissed the demarcation of terrorists as moderate and extremist and said that terrorism is only terrorism.

He also accused the United States of America and "its allies, France and United Kingdom" of preventing an Investigation Mission aimed at determining who used chemical weapons and limiting it only to determine whether chemical weapons were used or not. He stated that Syria has proven its commitment against chemical weapons by acceding to the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

He called for the cessation of foreign aid to the anti-government forces in the country and claimed that foreign terrorists from 83 countries are active in Syria presently.

He also reconfirmed Syria's support for the "legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people".

< class="text11verdana">Source: Syrian Arab News Agency, 1 October, 2013

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Syria disarmament team begins work

Disarmament of the chemical arsenal in Syria is due to start a day after UN inspectors completed their investigation of the alleged gas attacks in the country.

The team of inspectors is scheduled to arrive on 1 October, 2013 to implement a UN resolution that ordered the elimination of Syria's chemical arms.

Bashar al-Assad said that Syria "will comply" with the UN resolution that was passed on Friday, 27 September, 2013.

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

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Obama reassures Netanyahu about Iran

U.S. President Barack Obama assured Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the United States of America will "take no options off the table" with regard to Iran.

Israel aired its fears about the USA succumbing to Rouhani's "charm offensive" but Obama has clearly stated that talks with Tehran will have to be backed by action. Iran must prove its seriousness and "willingness to abide by international norms and international law and international requirements and resolutions."

Israel has made it clear that the bottom line is that Iran must not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons.

Obama also urged Netanyahu to speed up talks with the Palestinians on core issues such as borders, security arrangements, Palestinian refugees and Jerusalem.

< class="text11verdana">Source: Haaretz, 30 September - 1 October, 2013

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Court upholds ruling against ex-PM Hesham Qandil

Cairo Misdemeanour Court has upheld a ruling against former Prime Minister Hesham Qandil. He has been sentenced to one year in prison for failure to implement the Administrative Court order to re-nationalise the Tanta Flax and Oil Company.

The lawsuit against Qandil was filed by a number of workers of the company and on 17 April, he was convicted and received the one year sentence. But he appealed the ruling and can now file another appeal with the court of cassation if he chooses.

Qandil was Egypt's PM under deposed President Mohammed Morsi and remained in office till his ouster. Several officials under Morsi's presidency are being investigated while numerous Muslim Brotherhood members have been arrested for inciting violence.

< class="text11verdana">Source: Ahram Online, 30 September 2013

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Canada PM urges Egypt to free Canadian detainees

On 30 September, 2013, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper called for the immediate release of two Canadians currently on hunger strike after being held in Egypt for six weeks without charges.

One of the men is a filmmaker and university professor from Toronto and the other is an emergency room doctor from London, Ontario. They were detained in August in Cairo as they were transiting Egypt on their way to the Gaza Strip.

< class="text11verdana">Source: Ahram Online, 1 October 2013

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Army Chief pushed to run in presidential elections

The media in Egypt has been actively advocating the idea of armed forces chief General Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi running for president.

El-Sisi, who is also defence minister has said that he has no desire to govern and, thus, to run, but those behind the campaign plan to gather signatures to pressure him into participating in the presidential race.

< class="text11verdana">Source: Ahram Online, 30 September 2013

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">50 activists imprisoned in Bahrain

A court in Bahrain has sentenced 50 activists to between 5 and 15 years of jail for setting up a group that organises anti-government protests. Authorities say that this group is working to topple the government by force. Bahrain's head of public prosecution has described the group as a terrorist organisation.

Since February 2011, when a Shia-led uprising demanding that the Sunni Al-Khalifa dynast give up power was crushed, Bahrain has seen regular protests by members of the Shia majority.

Members of the group state that there are human rights campaigners amongst those convicted and that some of the suspects were convicted in abstentia.

< class="text11verdana">Source: Al Jazeera, 29 September 2013

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Government agrees to resign

The Tunisian government has agreed to resign after direct talks with the opposition parties.

Several leaders including party head Rached Ghannouchi has affirmed that the talks will begin in the coming week and that Ennahdha has accepted the plan without conditions to get the country out of the political crisis.

The government will formally announce its commitment to resign when talks begin.

< class="text11verdana">Source: Tunisia-Live, 28 September 2013

(This Monitor is prepared byTaruni Kumar, Research Intern, Observer Research Foundation, Delhi)

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