Financial Crisis?

The international body tasked with ensuring Syria’s chemical weapons are eliminated has enough money to fund its mission only until the end of this month, and needs more funds soon for the destruction of poison gas stocks next year.

An official at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which won the Nobel Peace Prize last month, expressed confidence that governments would find more money to ensure the process does not lose momentum.

Discussions are underway with countries willing to host facilities for incinerating or chemically neutralizing the poisons, including Albania, Belgium and an unspecified Scandinavian country, two sources familiar with the discussions said.

Companies in the United States, Germany and France are competing for the contract to provide destruction facilities, the sources said.

Since being established under the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW has overseen the destruction of more than 50,000 tonnes of toxic munitions, or more than 80 percent of the world’s declared stockpile. The United States and Russia, the largest possessors of chemical weapons, are years behind schedule in destroying their arsenals.

source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/06/us-syria-crisis-chemical-idUSBRE9A40YN20131106?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews&rpc=69

Syria opposition accepts peace talks, says Assad must go

Syria’s Western-backed opposition agreed on Monday to attend planned peace talks in Geneva but said President Bashar al-Assad could play no part in a transitional government aimed at ending the 2-1/2-year-old civil war.

The Syrian National Coalition also demanded the release of women and children from Syrian jails and an easing of military sieges of rebel-held areas as a precondition for going to Geneva.

The coalition statement said the Geneva talks should be based an international accord agreed in the Swiss city on June 30, 2012, which endorsed the idea of a transitional government.

Assad himself, after months of steady gains on the battlefield, has given no suggestion that he is ready to step down and his ministers have repeatedly said that the government would not show up in Geneva simply to surrender power.

He has also refused to talk to rebels viewed by Damascus as terrorists and said no one who backs foreign political or military intervention in Syria can sit at the negotiating table.

source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/11/us-syria-crisis-opposition-idUSBRE9A905720131111

Some Links

So here I am posting some of the link i came across recently, so that i can open them later on. All these relates to aspects of humanitarian intervention in syria and libya and authorization by american congress. i am actually trying to write a project on humanitarian intervention and comparative analysis of two situations i.e. Libya and Syria. If you come across any useful link, do post it.

1. http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2011/05/president-obamas-illegal-war/

2. http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/319251-congress-sharpens-legal-argument-that-syria-attack-violates-war-powers-resolution

3. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/05/white-house-on-war-powers-deadline-limited-us-role-in-libya-means-no-need-to-get-congressional-autho/

4. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jun/3/bipartisan-congress-rebuffs-obama-libya-mission/

5. http://www.lawfareblog.com/2013/08/the-war-powers-resolution-and-using-force-in-syria/

U.S., Russia fail to agree on Syria peace talks date

The United States and Russia failed on Tuesday to agree on a date for a Syrian peace conference, remaining divided over what role Iran might play in talks to end the civil war and over who would represent Syria’s opposition.

The proposed peace conference is meant to build on a June 2012 agreement among world powers in Geneva that called for a transitional authority with full executive powers, but did not explicitly say Assad should step down.

Damascus reiterated on Monday that Assad would stay in power come what may, casting doubt on the political transition that is the main focus of the proposed “Geneva 2” conference.

“Syria – the state, the nation and the people – will remain and … Assad will be president of this country all the time they are dreaming that he isn’t,” the Syrian state news agency quoted Information Minister Omran Zoabi as saying on Monday.

Russia said Iran, Assad’s main sponsor, must be invited to any peace talks, after the main Syrian political opposition leader said his coalition would not attend if Tehran took part.

The U.S. official said Washington recognized Iran was going to play a role in the region and wanted to ensure it was not a negative one. “But … the United States believes everybody who comes to the Geneva conference should subscribe to the Geneva communique, have made that commitment before they come. Iran has not chosen to do that.”

Saudi Arabia and the United States oppose any invitation for Iran.

Mohammad Javad Zarif told France 24. “We are prepared for everybody with influence to push for (the) withdrawal of all non-Syrians from the Syrian soil.

source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/05/us-syria-crisis-talks-idUSBRE9A40G920131105

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/05/iran-syria-withdrawal_n_4219977.html

Syria and the Demise of the Responsibility to Protect

The first lesson is that states still react very differently to violations of humanitarian norms than they do to violations of security-related norms: they are much more likely to assume an aggressive and possibly interventionist posture when it comes to security norms.

The reactions to Syria show this explicitly: there was little talk of outside intervention into the conflict even after tens of thousands of civilians were killed in Mr. Assad’s ruthless response to the uprisings that began in spring 2011. Sincere intervention talk only emerged with the advent of the regime’s use of poison gas in 2013, which violated longstanding norms prohibiting the use of chemical weapons. Though chemical weapons use contains a humanitarian component, it is mostly a security concern: unpunished use of chemical weapons may set a dangerous precedent for further spread and use of such “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD)

another lesson is simply putting a new humanitarian or moral doctrine like R2P in place cannot solve the problem of parochial world politics.

source: http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/syria-the-demise-the-responsibility-protect-9360

SAUDI ARABIA REJECTS SEAT ON UN SECURITY COUNCIL

Saudi Arabia on Friday rejected its freshly-acquired seat on the U.N. Security Council, saying the 15-member body is incapable of resolving world conflicts such as the Syrian civil war.The Saudi discontent stems from its frustration with longtime ally United States. The two are at odds over a number of Mideast issues, including how Washington has handled some of the region’s crises, particularly in Egypt and Syria. It also comes as ties between the U.S. and Iran, the Saudi’s regional foe, appear to be improving following a recent telephone conversation between President Barack Obama and Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani.

what it wants to achieve by rejecting the seat?

Source: hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_SAUDI_UN?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-10-18-05-24-25

Regime Change can worsen Refugee crisis

Of the two million Syrians who have fled the conflict in their country, 200,000 to 300,000 have ended up in Egypt. They were welcome at first, but lately they have become scapegoats in Egypt’s latest political crisis, accused of being allies of the ousted Muslim Brotherhood. People say: ‘Why should we help the Syrians, when they stabbed us in the back?’ ” The notion that the refugees are ungrateful and dangerous allies of the Muslim Brotherhood is now widespread. While it was in power, the Muslim Brotherhood espoused the Syrian uprising against Bashar al-Assad, opening Egypt to Syrian refugees. President Mohamed Morsi announced Egypt’s support for the insurgents at a rally during which preachers called for jihad in Syria. In Sixth of October, Syrian families were housed for free in cheap apartments run by a Brotherhood-connected preacher. Egypt has now closed its borders to Syrians. some media reporters have asked viewers directly to attack Palestinians and Syrians in Egypt — have frequently attacked the Syrians on their TV shows, portraying them not only as supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, but as trying to destabilise the country and transfer the Syrian experience to Egypt. this has gave rise of xenophobia and syrian were attacked by local people. so, some attempted to leave Egypt altogether for Lebanon, Turkey or Jordan, aggravating the regional refugee crisis. There are even those who take their chances with smugglers to flee by boat to Italy. Like almost all other Syrians or Palestinians who lived in Syria caught trying to illegally leave Egypt, they face just two options: indefinite imprisonment or a one-way ticket out of Egypt.

Amnesty International has accused Egypt of unlawfully detaining and deporting hundreds of Syrian refugees, many of them women and children fleeing civil war at home.  It said the Egyptian navy had intercepted around 13 boats carrying refugees from Syria in their attempt to reach Europe. Quoting the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, it said 946 people had been arrested by Egypt while attempting the crossing, and that 724 remained in detention. Last week, Amnesty said 12 people drowned when a boat carrying refugees from Syria sank off the coast of Alexandria. On October 3, more than 300 people, including several Syrians, died when their vessel capsized trying to reach the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Egyptian Govt is accused of a)unlawfully detaining; b) deporting i.e. violating the principle of non-refoulement; c) using ‘security clearance’ as excuse to deny entry; d) splitting families

Source: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/10/egypt-accused-unlawfully-detaining-syrians-20131017131249360846.html

http://latitude.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/16/to-be-a-syrian-refugee-in-egypt/?_r=0

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/79892/Egypt/Politics-/Between-deportation-and-public-rejection,-Syrian-r.aspx

http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=117345

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11139645&ref=rss