Saturday, December 28, 2013

Tunisians to begin discussing constitution's final draft next Friday

The Tunisian constitutional assembly will begin discussing articles in the new constitution next Friday, a member of the assembly bureau said.
After a meeting yesterday [Friday,] a member of the constitutional bureau Sameera Mer'e said that a discussion "article by article" would start next Friday.
Mer'e also said that articles which members of the assembly reconciliation committee came to a compromise on by are expected to be published today [Saturday.]
She added that on Saturday the reconciliation committee would receive suggested modifications by some members of the constitutional assembly, to be added to articles of the draft constitution published last June.
Constitution rapporteur Al-Habib Khader previously said that the reconciliation committee had discussed various aspects of the constitution, including its approval before the 14th of January, which coincides with the third anniversary of the Tunisian revolution.

Kuwait is the first country to reject Egypt's call to blacklist Muslim Brotherhood

The Kuwaiti government has refused to consider the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation, saying that this is considered an internal Egyptian issue.
Observers considered Kuwait's decision a huge rebuff to the coup authorities in Egypt. Their decision was supported by other countries.
Head of the media and information committee in the Kuwaiti interior ministry Colonel Adel al-Hashash said: "Kuwait has nothing to do with considering the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation."
AFP reported on Saturday morning that the Egyptian foreign minister Nabeel Fahmi had called for the international community to support Egypt in its war against "terrorism." It said that by the word "terrorism" Fahmi meant the Muslim Brotherhood.
The French news agency reported Fahmi saying in New York: "I am convinced that the international community, which has rejected terrorism for a long time, will support Egyptian people in their fight against terrorism and its supporters."
He added: "It [the international community] will not accept any attempt to justify terrorism or keep silent towards it."

Three Egyptians killed, 100s wounded and 265 arrested during protests

Just two days after declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation, Egyptian security forces killed three anti-coup protesters, wounded hundreds and detained 265 others over the course of two days.
Egyptian security deals with all anti-coup protesters in Egypt as if they are members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Therefore, in wake of declaring the group a terrorist organisation it considered all anti-coup protesters terrorists.
A statement from the Egyptian interior ministry claimed that the causalities happened during clashes between terrorists [Muslim Brotherhood] protesters and security staff. The statement also said that a number of the security staff were wounded.
According to the statement, the three people were killed in Cairo, Damietta and Al-Menya.
Despite severe punishments announced for protesters, thousands of Egyptians took to the streets in many of Egypt's governorates.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Final Stage of N-Talks Leads to Removal of All Sanctions

The Iranian Foreign Ministry says Tehran regards the removal of all sanctions imposed against the Islamic Republic as the final stage of the nuclear negotiations with world powers.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said that according to a plan proposed by Iran, the final stage of the negotiations would lead to the removal of all unilateral, multilateral and UN Security Council sanctions imposed against Tehran.
Photo courtesy of ISNA
Photo courtesy of ISNA
Afkham dismissed reports about the US Congress’ efforts to impose new sanctions against Iran in six months as an attempt to create hype against the negotiations.
Afkham also said Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai sealed a “comprehensive friendship pact” during their meeting on Sunday in Tehran.
The Iranian official added that according to the agreement, the foreign ministers of the two countries will begin the process of preparing the text of the pact, which will include political, security, economic, social and cultural aspects.
Afkham expressed hope that the cooperation pact would strengthen the expansive relations between Iran and Afghanistan.
The Foreign Ministry spokeswoman rejected US President Barack Obama’s recent claim about secret talks between Tehran and Washington.
Afkham added that all talks between Iran and the US were within the framework of the negotiations with the six world powers and over the country’s nuclear energy program.
Commenting on an upcoming visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Iran, Afkham said the Russian diplomat will hold talks with senior Iranian officials, including Zarif and Rouhani.
“The two countries regularly discuss bilateral, regional and international issues,” Afkham said, adding that Lavrov’s visit is aimed at holding talks over the latest bilateral developments.

Karzai: USA Acting Like Colonialist Power

Speaking to the French newspaper Le Monde, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said ‘‘There is no difference between the behavior of the United States, which is brandishing threats against us for us to carry out their wishes, and that of the colonialists of history.’’
US-Trrops_AfghanistanAfghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai accused the USA of acting like a “colonialist power”, stressed that the USA has made threats to both the peace and to the economy of his country.
Karzai spoke to the French newspaper Le Monde, stating that the USA had applied pressure on his government to force them to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA).
Karzai stated that while he was not opposed to the pact, before it was signed certain assurances had to be made to the Afghans.
According to the Afghan President, if these assurances are not made, he would not sign the pact, and would leave the responsibility for the decision whether to sign it or not to the President who succeeds him after the coming elections.
Karzai accused the USA of holding a stance no different to the colonialist powers of history, and said, “Even if they are serious, they have no right to pressure us.”
Both the USA and NATO have previously claimed that if international forces are to remain in Afghanistan and to train Afghan military forces after 2014, the BSA must be signed.
The pact comprises an economic aid of USD 15 billion per year, including the wages of the army and the police forces.
The most controversial issues with regards to the BSA are the USA insistence on the authorization of US troops to unilaterally carry out anti-terrorism operations, including the raiding of private homes, and the USA’s insisting on immunity for US forces.

For Syrian refugees in Lebanon, winter storm brings snow, rain and new misery

MINIEH, Lebanon — The United Nations said Wednesday that it is “extremely concerned” for Syria’s refugees as snow and freezing temperatures descended on the region.
Syria and the countries that border it have been bracing for what is expected to be the worst winter storm in years. Snow hit some areas of Lebanon, Turkey and northern Syria overnight Tuesday as sharp winds and cold, heavy rains battered others, causing misery for hundreds of thousands in camps and shanties.
epa03987545 An aerial photo made available 12 December 2013 by the Metropolitan Police shows the skyscrapers looming out of the foggy mist over London 11 December 2013.  They were taken from a police helicopter.  EPA/MPS IN THE SKY  HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

In Lebanon, despite the wintry conditions, the flow of Syrians fleeing the war is unrelenting. Local officials in the border town of Arsal, where some of the heaviest snow fell overnight, on Wednesday reported the arrival of 200 men, women and children who had risked the treacherous journey across the mountains on foot. Many were from the town of Yabroud in the Qalamoun region, where a Syrian army offensive is underway.
Aid agencies, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Lebanese army rushed to distribute kits containing plastic sheeting and blankets to the newcomers, but poorly funded humanitarian groups are struggling to meet the overwhelming needs. Authorities remainreluctant to establish permanent refu­gee camps in Lebanon and have opened only one official, 100-tent “transit camp.”
In the Lebanese town of Minieh, just outside the port city of Tripoli, a muddy, makeshift collection of tents and shacks spills down from the side of the highway to the coast. Despite biting sea winds and flooding, the 400 Syrians who have sought refuge here do not qualify for the UNHCR’s winter fuel assistance, because their camp is too close to sea level.
On Wednesday, children dug rocks out of the ground with their hands to weigh down plastic sheeting that covered their tents. The tarpaulins nailed to wooden frames provide poor shelter in driving rain and wind.
A man, 47, who arrived from Syria’s Hama province a year ago pointed out the place where water had flooded his tent overnight. He said it was impossible for his family to sleep and expressed fear that the storm — which was expected to continue toward the weekend — would get worse.
“I don’t know where to go,” said the man, who for security reasons declined to give his name. “I don’t know where to take my children. It’s much worse than last year, and it’s only the beginning.”
There was no heating inside the damp tent, which costs the family $77 a month. The man’s wife huddled with their seven children, holding out her daughter’s hand to a visitor. “It’s ice,” she said.
In a tent a little higher up in the camp, a 51-year-old man, his wife and their 13 children gathered around a small barbecue. The cheap, cut-price charcoal, virtually dust, is difficult to light. When the rains started a few days ago, the tent flooded, said the man, who also declined to give his name. “The place was a swamp,” he said. “We propped up wood above the water and slept on that.”
In the corner, 9-year-old Ibrahim was curled under a blanket. “He’s already almost dead,” his mother said, pulling one scrawny arm out from under a blanket. “He barely eats. We can do nothing but use our bodies to keep them warm.”
Roberta Russo, a UNHCR spokeswoman, said the agency’s top priority was refugees at higher altitudes, where snow was falling, but she said assistance would be expanded where possible.
“We are extremely concerned about the onset of winter,” Russo said. “We are giving out blankets and materials. But as long as people remain in tents, there’s only so much you can do.”

Al-Qaeda-Linked ISIS Declares War on Kurdish PYD in Syria

Turkey’s governing AKP party of Prime Minister R. Tayyip Erdogan has pushed al-Qaeda-linked ISIS against the PYD after the latter declared autonomy. The PYD and PKK want to lift the border between northern Syria and southern Turkey and create an independent Kurdistan.
PYD_ISISThe Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), a terrorist organization and an associate of al-Qaeda, has stated that it has declared war on the Kurdish nationalist group and PKK’s wing in Syria, the Democratic Union Party (PYD).
The PYD has recently announced autonomy in the north of the war-torn Syria. Al-Alam television reports that ISIS had begun an operation near the town of Manbij, northeast of Aleppo and 35 km from the Turkish border, to ‘clear’ the area of Kurdish groups.
In a declaration made in Aleppo, ISIS announced that “Operations in the region of Manbij are a reply to the founding of a secular state in the north of Syria by armed Kurdish groups.”
ISIS, which asserted that its attacks would be directed solely at armed Kurdish groups, said in their declaration that they saw other Kurds as brothers, and that they did not distinguish between Kurds and Arabs.
ISIS had previously disclosed that they had blocked roads around Aleppo in Syria and Kirkuk in northern Iraq, and had kidnapped 25 Kurdish civilians who had given them Kurdish administration passports.

Egypt bans Turkish Diplomats for Interference into Egypt’s Internal Affairs

The Egyptian Government of interim P.M. El-Biblawi, has banned Turkish Diplomats from Egypt for interference into the country’s internal affairs. The announcement followed last week’s revelation, that Turkey’s intelligence service MIT is behind the establishment of the Istanbul based TV channel Rada as a propaganda instrument for Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. El-Biblawi warns that Egypt is facing a psychological war.
El-BeblawiEgypt’s interim Prime Minister, Dr. Hazem el-Biblawi, has announced that the government is prepared to confront schemes by the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), adding that the government will use its force and full wisdom in confronting these schemes, reports Egypt’s State Information Service.
El-Biblawi added, that Egypt is facing a psychological war. El-Biblawi’s announcement was made during a press conference, following a Cabinet meeting.
The Egyptian interim Prime Minister announced the commencement of a diplomatic embargo against the AKP – led government of Turkey’s Prime Minister R. Tayyip Erdogan and added, that the embargo will be maintained until the AKP stops interfering into Egypt’s internal affairs.
Hakan Fidan, MIT behind Rabia TV
Hakan Fidan, MIT behind Rabia TV
On Monday, nsnbc international reported, that Rabia has been founded by Turkey’s National Security Service (MIT) and under the leadership of the undersecretary of the intelligence service, Hakan Fidan.
The establishment of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s TV channel by Turkey’s intelligence service MIT comes against the backdrop of a political and military reorganization of the Qatar-based international Muslim Brotherhood as well as Muslim Brotherhood organizations in Northern Africa and the Middle East, after the Libyan, Tunisian and Turkish MB increasingly began to lose political influence.
The ousting of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, who planned to deploy the Egyptian military to fight against the Syrian Arab Army, has added to the decline of the Muslim Brotherhoods power in the region, and has been a severe blow to Core NATO member state’s attempt to oust the government of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.
The Egyptian ban on Turkish diplomat comes also against the backdrop of an increasing amount of evidence that suggests, that the Turkish government of P.M. Erdogan, the international and national MB organizations as well as the intelligence services of the USA and other core NATO members attempted to subvert Egypt, to throw it into a crisis and civil war, and to seize control over the Sinai peninsula and the Suez Canal.