“Syria’s policy, post-Annapolis,” by H. Cobban

Syria's policy, post-Annapolis: Cobban interviews Director of the Syrian Foreign Ministry's Foreign Press Department Kanafani
Posted by Helena Cobban at JWN at January 16, 2008

The director of the Syrian Foreign Ministry's Foreign Press Department yesterday expressed disappointment with the outcome of the Arab-Israeli peace conference held in Annapolis, Maryland, in late November. Syria had sent its deputy foreign minister, Faisal Mikdad, to participate in the conference.  But the Foreign Press department head, Ms. Bushra Kanafani, told me in an exclusive interview yesterday that she was not sure where the process launched at Annapolis was now headed. 

Ms. Kanafani expressed pessimism that the Palestinian-Israeli negotiating track that was re-launched there was headed for success. "As we see it" she said, "the priority for Palestinians is not in these peace talks but to make a reconciliation among the Palestinians themselves."

At the time of Annapolis, Syria had scrapped plans to host a "summit conference" involving Hamas and many other anti-Fateh Palestinian movements.  That conference has now been rescheduled for January 23-25.  Ms. Kanafani was at pains to point out, though, that "its aim is to rebuild Palestinian national unity…  Mr. Abbas has been invited."

Regarding the Syrian-Israeli track, she expressed no expectation that anything would be happening in it any time soon.  A follow-up session that the Russians– who are members of the US-led "Quartet", along with the UN and the EU– had considered holding in Moscow in mid-January has not eventualized, and there are no other current prospects for any activity on the Syrian-Israeli track. ….

Syria astonished over Bush's statements on Palestinian right of return "According to the international law, the American president doesn't have a right to annul an international resolution that guarantees and preserves the right of return of the Palestinian refugees," SANA quoted a Foreign Ministry official as saying. The Palestinian right of return was stipulated in UN Resolution194, which was adopted in 1948 and calls for the return of the Palestinian refugees and compensation paid to those who choose not to go back.
2007 Year In Review: Oxford Business Group
Syria's economy had a good year and seemed to show that being the subject of US sanctions was not a major impediment to growth and investment.

Comments (4)

t_desco said:

LEBANON: Al-Qaeda now unleashed and targeting internationals, warn analysts

The attack on a US embassy vehicle on 15 January that killed three Lebanese represents a dangerous expansion of political violence in the country to include international targets, and shows that al-Qaeda-inspired extremists are attempting to push the politically deadlocked country towards civil war, said analysts.

“Al-Qaeda is now unleashed in Lebanon and they are here to stay,” Ahmad Moussali, a professor of political science and Islamic studies at the American University of Beirut, told IRIN. “Al-Qaeda thrives in civil war and chaos. International players should be very careful in Lebanon. It is a very tense situation and we are reaching a decisive time.”

Saad Ghorayeb compared the 15 January attack with the latest attack on UNIFIL.

“Both were very clumsily planned and were not high value targets. It was an assassination attempt, but not along the lines of previous assassinations,” she said, referring to a string of assassinations of anti-Syrian figures in Lebanon since the 2005 assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri.

“It could well be an al-Qaeda-inspired attack. There has been a resurgence of sorts. Fatah al-Islam were always clumsy.” …

January 16th, 2008, 3:46 pm


ausamaa said:

اللغز السوري … الكل يهاجم سوريا ويتهكم على اقتصادها ويهدد بمحاصرتها … والكل يطلب منها المعونة

عرب تايمز – خاص

من يقرأ الصحف الاردنية مثلا وخاصة المقالات والاخبار والموضوعات التي تتناول سوريا سيعتقد لاول وهلة ان الشعب السوري يتضور جوعا … ولكن من يدقق في الاخبار الصغيرة المتناثرة هنا وهناك تصيبه الدهشة … فسوريا هي الدولة العربية الوحيدة ليس فقط المكتفية ذاتيا وانما ايضا التي تهب لدعم جاراتها بالمياه والوقود واللحوم ورغيف الخبز وحتى الكهرباء

ففي رمضان الماضي نشرنا في عرب تايمز خبر استجارة الاردن بسوريا لعدم وجود قمح ولحوم في الاسواق الاردنية وطار ملك الاردن نفسه الى دمشق طالبا النجدة رغم انه قبض خمسة مليارات دولار من امريكا لينفقها على شعبه الذي لا يزيد عدده عن خمسة ملايين … فذابت المليارت في جيوب الملك وحاشيته … ولجأ الملك الى بشار الاسد يبكي .. فأجاره … ودخلت الاف الشاحنات السورية الى المدن الاردنية محملة بالقمح واللحوم .. وضخ السوريون – ببلاش – كميات هائلة من المياه العذبة لشمال الاردن الذي يموت عطشا

في لبنان … استنجد قادتها بالسوريين في هذا البرد القارص … فأمر بشار باضاءة لبنان بالكهرباء السورية .. مجانا … ويوم امس قال مصدر إعلامي في مكتب نائب رئيس الوزراء العراقي برهم صالح ان اللجنة الوزارية المكلفة باعمار محافظة الانبار قررت امس (الثلاثاء) تشكيل لجنة للتفاوض مع سوريا لغرض استيراد الطاقة لتغذية المحافظة وأضاف أنه “تم تكليف وزارة النفط بتجهيز محطات توليد الطاقة الكهربائية بالوقود عبر خط السكك الحديدية لنقل 17000 برميل خلال اسبوع وسيتم تنسيق هذا الامر بين وزارتي المالية والنفط والنقل والمحافظة

ولا ننسى ان رغيف الخبز المصري مستورد ايضا من سوريا … فهل من تفسير لهذا اللغز السوري … دولة محاصرة واراضيها محتلة ومهددة يوميا من قبل اسرائيل والمؤامرات ضدها شغالة عربيا ودوليا ولا تقبض من امريكا دولارا واحدا … وعدد سكانها ليس قليلا مثل الاردن السوريون عشرون مليونا – ومع ذلك شعبها مكتفي ذاتيا … ويوزع خيراته على الدول المجاورة له … والمتامرة عليه

January 16th, 2008, 6:50 pm


Observer said:

The Guardian analysis shows that not much can be said about the recent visit to the ME
Maureen Dowd Column in the NYT is very funny and entertaining
The atimes piece below also deflates the latest US navy Iranin Speedboat incident.
Here they are

If you cannot access the Guardian go to amin.org and click on Newspapers and then click on Guardian and find comment section

Yesterday I watched Frontline on PBS as it showed the strategy and the methods used by the VP in enhancing the power of the executive branch to an unprecedented level and shows how the Justice Department chief Gonzales was all set to allow for the President to sign an order in lieu of John Aschcroft to allow continued NSA monitoring of US citizens without court oversight. It showed that if that were to happen at least 30 top Justice Department officials of the highest level were ready to resign on the spot creating a major scandal. Nevertheless, the office of the VP managed to sneak back the provisions one by one into day to day operations until the Congress passed into Democratic hands in 2006.

This story is illustrative of the relentless and incredible Machiavellic machinations of the VP to get his agenda implemented and therefore, I believe that with regard to the ME, we may very well see an Israeli provocation or attack followed by an Iranian response and then US intervention. In an election year, looking like you are about to abandon poor helpless little Israel to the Iranina monster will ensure full support of the Congress and the candidates.

I do not recall who wrote on this blog about how dumb some in this country are with regard to foreign policy. However, it worked as up to 40% of people in the US in 2006 still believed that Saddam was directly responsible for 9/11

January 16th, 2008, 7:51 pm


commodity tips mcx said:

what would force the regime to reform in the next 5-10 years, as ehsani2 said :
“our current system of governance suffers from a lack of accountability and a near-total absence of measurability”.

sureshot commodity tips

October 19th, 2010, 12:39 am


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