Newscast Media TEHRAN—Hezbollah’s Chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah Monday accused Saudi Arabia of seeking to derail the expected Geneva II Syria peace conference, saying the kingdom had become enraged over developments in the Arab state that only strengthened the Damascus government’s position.
He made his remarks during a speech marking the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Great Prophet Hospital.
“The recent developments in Syria have helped us realize that there can only be a political solution, not a military one, to the unrest,” Nasrallah said.
“All concerned sides should approach dialogue in Syria without preconditions,” he demanded, while accusing Saudi Arabia of resorting to “all means” to topple the Syrian government.
“Obstructing the political solution in Syria will lead to more death and destruction and negative repercussions on Lebanon and all other countries neighboring Syria,” he warned.
Addressing the clashes in the northern city of Tripoli, the Hezbollah chief urged the cabinet to take a “firm decision” to put an end to the instability in the city.
“The army and security forces should take over control in Tripoli and the people should provide them with the necessary support while they perform their duties,” he continued.
Commenting on the political deadlock in Lebanon and failure to form a new government, Nasrallah accused the March 14 camp of only prolonging the impasse by imposing various conditions on forming a cabinet. He noted that the camp was and is still banking on the developments in Syria in order to take any political decision in this matter, saying that such actions will only maintain the deadlock.
He suggested that the March 14 camp “exercise some humility” and accept the formation of a cabinet that grants nine ministers to itself and the March 8 camp, while the remaining six be granted to centrists.
Since his appointment in April, Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam has faced conditions and counter-conditions from the rival March 8 and 14 camps over the formation of a new government. Furthermore, Nasrallah stressed the need for the caretaker government to convene in order to tackle the oil file and in order to order the army and security forces to take control of Tripoli.
He stated however that caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati is being pressured by Saudi Arabia and the March 14 camp against calling cabinet to session.
On the recent release of the Lebanese pilgrims who were held in Syria’s Aazaz region, he congratulated them on their safe return to Beirut, hoping that this development would pave the way for resolving the case of Lebanese held in Israel and Syria and who have gone missing over the past two years or since the Lebanese civil war.
Source: Tehran Times
Newscast Media MOSCOW—There cannot be peace talks on Syria without the participation of key players like Iran and Saudi Arabia, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said.
Presenting his book, “Interventions: A Life in War and Peace” in Moscow on Monday, Annan said ”It had been difficult to put all parties to the crisis in Syria in one boat and make them head in one direction,” indicating that Geneva conference was intended to do just that.
”We wanted to bring all countries with influence on the Syrian situation to one table, but we could not reach an agreement with Iran. Besides, Saudi Arabia was not represented after all.”
Annan added that the key players, namely Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia were not represented in Geneva conference, but ”their being at the dialogue table is inevitable,” affirming that he believes the international community has to exert strenuous efforts to reach that end.
”We also need that the opposition unites which is still divided politically and militarily,” Annan pointed out, considering that the UN Security Council cannot be effective unless ”it speaks with one voice.”
Annan was appointed UN special envoy to Syria on February 23, 2012 and served in the post until August 2, 2012.
Source: Syria Arab News Agency
Newscast Media PARIS, France— French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Russia’s refusal to attend an international ministerial meeting on Syria in Paris on Thursday isolated the country from the Arab world and the international community.
“I’ve personally invited [Russian Foreign Minister Sergei] Mr. Lavrov, and I regret that Russia sticks to a policy that isolates it from both the Arab world and the international community,” Juppe told journalists in Paris.
Foreign ministers from 15 countries, including the United States, Germany, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, are expected to attend the Paris meeting, which was initiated by the French Foreign Ministry. Moscow declined to the invitation, describing the meeting as “one-sided,” just as recent meetings of the so-called Friends of Syria group of countries in Tunisia and Turkey, because no representatives of the Syrian government have been invited.
“Russia’s approach to this kind of meeting is well-known,” he said. “This meeting is apparently aimed not at looking for the basis to launch inter-Syrian dialogue, but just the opposite, at deepening the divisions between the opposition and Damascus by encouraging the international isolation of the latter,” he said.
Juppe said on Wednesday the Paris talks were designed to “convey a message of firmness to Damascus,” as well to demonstrate support for the UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan for Syria. But Lukashevich said the initiative looked more like “destructive political amateurism.”
His comments echoed Wednesday’s statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who criticized attempts by some countries to “privatize” internationally-backed efforts to end the more-than-year-long crisis in the Arab country. The statement came after Tuesday’s meeting on Syria held by a group of Arab League states in Qatar, some of whose participants raised doubts over the Syrian government’s commitment to the Annan peace plan. Annan himself attended the meeting.
Thursday’s meeting in Paris will come just two days after the first meeting of the international working group on sanctions against the Syrian regime held in the French capital. Lukashevich said calls for new sanctions were “against consolidated decisions by the UN Security Council” regarding Annan’s mission.
More than 9,000 people have been killed in Syria since the outbreak of a popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad last March, according to UN estimates. A fragile ceasefire has been in place in Syria for a week, although there have been reports of numerous violations of the truce by both government and opposition forces. A group of six UN observers have been deployed to Syria to monitor the ceasefire in line with a resolution approved by the Security Council last week, which provides for a 30-strong monitoring mission to be sent to the violence-hit Arab country.
On Wednesday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recommended the Security Council approve a mission of 300 observers – 50 more than originally planned.