Press TV – France says frustrated as efforts fail to topple Assad
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Thursday, “Things are not moving. The solution that we had hoped for, and by that I mean the fall of Bashar and the arrival of the (opposition) coalition to power, has not happened.”
english.al-akhbar.com – Saudi prince calls for further arming of Syrian insurgency
A senior member of Saudi Arabia’s monarchy called on Friday for Syrian rebels to be given anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons to ”level the playing field” in their battle against President Bashar al-Assad.
”What is needed are sophisticated, high-level weapons that can bring down planes, can take out tanks at a distance. This is not getting through,” said Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former intelligence chief and brother of the Saudi foreign minister.
Insurgents in Syria have seized territory in the north of the country and control suburbs to the east and south of the capital, but Assad’s air power and continued army strength have limited their advances 22 months into the conflict.
”I’m not in government so I don’t have to be diplomatic. I assume we’re sending weapons and if we were not sending weapons it would be terrible mistake on our part,” the Saudi prince said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Kerry ‘Confident’ US-Russia Ties Can Be Improved
US President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the next US Secretary of State, Sen. John Kerry, told a Senate panel on Thursday that the United States must find a way to work with Russia.
“I would like to see if we can find some way to cooperate,” Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at his confirmation hearing.
Kerry also said he would like to find a way to cooperate with Russia on ending the civil war in Syria.
sana-syria.com – UN Secretary General: Political Solution to Crisis in Syria Still Possible
The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, stressed that a political solution to the crisis in Syria is still possible, adding that ”However difficult this situation is, we must push for a political solution.”
The Agence France-Presse (AFP) quoted Ki-moon on the sidelines of the 34th World Economic Forum in Davos as saying that dialogue in Syria still possible, reiterating his support to the mission of the UN envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi.
sana-syria.com – EU-Brazil Summit Calls for Political Solution to Crisis in Syria by Syrians
6th EU- Brazil Summit called for putting an immediate end to all acts of violence in Syria in a way that allows starting the political process by the Syrians themselves with the international community’s support.
In a statement issued at the conclusion of its activities in the Brazilian capital Brasilia on Thursday, the Summit stressed that the leaders in Brazil and the European Union agreed on that the current situation in Syria could have unpredictable negative consequences on the stability in the Middle East and the international peace and security.
The statement called for providing necessary and active support to the mission of the UN envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, in order to find a political solution to the crisis that is based on Geneva statement issued last June.
President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, the European Council President, Herman Van Rompuy, and the European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, attended the concluding meeting.
breakingnews.sy – Qatar leaks: Hamad offers the protection of the Russian bases in Syria
Today’s episode features 5 Qatari foreign ministry diplomatic telegrams. Two of which contain proceedings of a meeting between Qatari Prime Minister Hamad Bin Jassim Al-Thani and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi held in September 2012, in which they addressed the situation in Syria. Hamad spoke of a contact made with the Russians in an attempt to persuade them to abandon President Assad, along with granting assurances by the “Free Army” militia to protect the Russian military naval base on the Syrian coast.
Referat på engelska av en längre intervju med Syriens utrikesminister – Syria’s foreign minister,Al-Moallem: Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, Led by the United States, Support, Fund and Arm Terrorists in Syria
“It becomes clear to most of the Syrians that what they are going through is a huge international conspiracy that the country has never encountered before, as it targets Syria’s entity, infrastructure, community and ethics that have characterized the Syrians for decades,” the Minister added.
Al-Moallem said that Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, led by the United States, are supporting, funding and arming terrorists in Syria, and that they work in the framework of an international plan against Syria with political, economic and military aspects.
“We have no delusions that these countries will cease supporting terrorism, but if the violence doesn’t stop, this doesn’t mean that comprehensive national dialogue will not be held,” al-Moallem added.