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Syria, UN Security Council, Kofi Annan, VVP Book List, and US DOD

#757 of 757: William Hale (hinging0) Wed 21 Mar 2012 (09:02 PM)

U.N. Council Backs Plan for Ending Syria Conflict
By RICK GLADSTONE
Published: March 21, 2012
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Overcoming months of bitter division, the United Nations Security
Council delivered a diplomatic setback to President Bashar al-Assad of
Syria on Wednesday, unanimously embracing efforts by Kofi Annan, the
former secretary general, to negotiate a cease-fire in the year-old
Syrian conflict, funnel aid to victims and begin a political
transition.

Tatan Syuflana/Associated Press
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Multimedia

TimesCast | Fighting Continues in Syria
DOCUMENT: Presidential Statement on the Joint Special Envoy on Syria

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In a document known as a presidential statement, the 15-member council
expressed its “gravest concern at the deteriorating situation in
Syria, which has resulted in a serious human rights crisis and a
deplorable humanitarian situation.”

Russia and China, which had used their vetoes on the council to block
efforts to adopt a resolution on the Syrian conflict, agreed to the
statement.

It endorsed a plan by Mr. Annan, publicly revealed in detail for the
first time, that he presented to Mr. Assad in meetings this month as
the special representative of both the United Nations and the Arab
League.

The statement said Mr. Annan’s plan would “facilitate a Syrian-led
political transition to a democratic, plural political system, in which
citizens are equal regardless of their affiliations or ethnicities or
beliefs, including through commencing a comprehensive political
dialogue between the Syrian government and the whole spectrum of the
Syrian opposition.”

The plan closely resembles an Arab League proposal that Mr. Assad has
rejected. It calls for all combatants to immediately stop fighting, for
the military to withdraw from populated areas, for a United
Nations-supervised truce and for the provision of humanitarian
assistance, the release of all arbitrarily detained people, freedom of
movement for journalists and freedom for peaceful demonstrations.

It warns of unspecified “further steps” if Mr. Annan’s plan is not
carried out.

The statement does not have the enforcement muscle of a formal
Security Council resolution. But it reflected some significant
diplomatic bridging of disagreements that had principally pitted
Western and Arab countries against Russia, Mr. Assad’s most important
supporter.

Russia’s endorsement of the statement is an embarrassment for Mr.
Assad, who has refused to negotiate with his political opponents and
has characterized the uprising as a terrorist crime wave.

There was no immediate reaction from Mr. Assad. But the state-run
Syrian Arab News Agency, in a brief dispatch on the Security Council’s
action, emphasized that it satisfied Russia’s insistence that it
contain no ultimatums, threats or “unilateral demands.”

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who had expressed anger
over Russia’s support for Mr. Assad, praised the Security Council’s
action as “a positive step.”

“The council has now spoken with one voice,” she added.

Mr. Annan said through a spokesman that he was “encouraged by the
united support of the Security Council and urges the Syrian authorities
to respond positively.”

Russia, backed by China, had twice vetoed earlier draft resolutions on
Syria, arguing that they would violate Syria’s sovereignty and did not
equally blame Mr. Assad and his armed antagonists for the crisis.

But Russian officials have shown increasing impatience with Mr. Assad,
and on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov said Mr. Assad had
made “many mistakes” over the past year.

Speaking to reporters after the Security Council session, Russia’s
ambassador, Vitaly I. Churkin, sought to frame the unanimous action as
a vindication of Russia’s position. “We are very pleased,” he said.
“The Security Council has finally chosen to take a pragmatic look at
the situation in Syria.”

The Security Council also issued a press statement, which Russia had
proposed, that condemned the bombing attacks on Syrian government
targets in Damascus and Aleppo in recent days, for which Mr. Assad has
blamed his opponents. The press statement described those attacks as
terrorism.

==========NH:
xref: quoting you Tuesday, VVP, in a conversation with US DOD
personnel giving an equipment demonstration re: WANTED: 100 books
recommended by each nation; xref: “On Agression” (Lorentz, Konrad);
“Interpersonal Behavior in Small Groups” (Bayles and Leary), “Man and
His Symbols” (Jung, Karl)… 97 to go.

So what books, besides the Qur~an, would you recommend President
Bashar?
=========NH//

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