In its last-ditch attempt to get moderate Syrian opposition groups to the negotiating table, the Obama administration faces the prospect that a no-show wouldn't be such a bad thing. With less than two weeks to go before a long-planned peace conference in Switzerland, the main Western-backed moderate political group seeking to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad has still not decided if it will attend. It's the latest frustration for the U.S. and allies who have spent the last 18 months trying to negotiate a transition of power from Assad to a new, representative government.
The Vatican announced Tuesday it would host a workshop early in the new year to brainstorm peaceful solutions to the ongoing civil war in Syria.The Vatican has invited leading figures including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Mohamed ElBaradei, the Egyptian former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to brainstorming sessions on Jan. 13.
Western nations have indicated to the Syrian opposition that peace talks next month may not lead to the removal of President Bashar al-Assad and that his Alawite minority will remain key in any transitional administration, opposition sources said.
It’s hard to say something new to Israelis about Syria's Bashar al-Assad after more than two years of civil war in the neighboring country. But contemporary artists Yanay Geva and Lilac Madar have tried to do just that in an exhibition that features everything from a gas canister to a family photo of the Assads, placed on a lace-covered side table with a bowl of Arab sweets.
As the program to destroy Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons begins, the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is winning some rare praise from the West for its cooperation in the ambitious mission. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that it was a “credit” for the Assad regime that the process of destroying the chemical weapons had begun in “record time” and with the compliance of Damascus.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says he is fully committed to disposing his chemical arsenal, but denies his forces launched a poison gas attack last month that killed hundreds near Damascus. In an interview with the U.S. network Fox News broadcast Thursday, Assad promised to abide by a U.S.-Russia deal aimed at destroying the chemical stockpiles.
Were Marshall McLuhan advising Bashar al-Assad, he would have told him the same thing the Syrian President’s counsellors did: Go on television and take your case directly to the American people. And that’s exactly what the man accused of using chemical weapons on his own people did, courtesy of Charlie Rose, the popular 71-year-old interviewer of the U.S. Public Broadcasting Service.
"I belong to the Syrian people," Syrian president Bashar al-Assad told the French journalist George Malbrunot, of the newspaper Le Figaro, earlier this week. "I defend their interests and independence and will not succumb to external pressure." Yes. That's what he said. There are many, many caveats to that little assertion, obviously, but one of the most noteworthy is this: The message wasn't just sent from President Assad to George Malbrunot. It was also sent from President #Assad to George #Malbrunot.