CONNECTED ARTICLES

U.N. chief invites Iran to Geneva 2, Syria opposition threatens to withdraw

U.N. chief invites Iran to Geneva 2, Syria opposition threatens to withdraw

20 January 2014 | 12:43 | FOCUS News Agency
New York. Syria's political opposition said on Monday it will withdraw from international peace talks scheduled this week unless United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon retracts an invitation to Iran, President Bashar al-Assad's main backer, Reuters announced.
Washington, however, suggested it could support Iran's participation if it explicitly declares its support for a June 2012 plan for a political transition that the United States says means Assad would have to step down.
"This is something Iran has never done publicly and something we have long made clear is required," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement. ""If Iran does not fully and publicly accept the Geneva communique, the invitation must be rescinded.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

Chinese Foreign Minister takes part in Geneva-2 conference

Chinese Foreign Minister takes part in Geneva-2 conference

20 January 2014 | 07:22 | FOCUS News Agency
Beijing. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will take part in Geneva-2 Middle East peace conference, ITAR-TASS reported.
“On January 22 Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China Wang Yi will take part in Geneva-2 conference,” spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hong Lei announced.
The Minister will also participate the 44th session of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which will take place from January 22 until January 25.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

Invitation to Iran for participation in Geneva-2 not yet sent out

Invitation to Iran for participation in Geneva-2 not yet sent out

20 January 2014 | 02:08 | FOCUS News Agency
Geneva. An invitation to Iran to participate in the Geneva-2 peace conference on Syria has not been sent out so far, Corinne Momal-Vanian, head of the news service of the European Office of the UN at Geneva, told Itar-Tass.
"At this moment, there is no invitation for Iran," she said.
It has become known to an Itar-Tass correspondent that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will leave for Genva by air on Monday night and is expected to arrive in Switzerland in the morning of January 21. Diplomatic sources who are familiar with the state of affairs told Itar-Tass that they do not rule it out that a decision regarding Iran "will be made on Monday in the course of the day".
A Geneva-2 international peace conference on Syris is to begin in the Swiss city of Montreux on January 22. It will be attended by the Foreign ministers of about 30 countries, the UN Secretary-General, the Heads of the League of Arab States and the Islamic Cooperation Organization, and by delegations from the Syrian government and the opposition.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

US hails 'courageous' Syria opposition vote to attend peace conference

US hails 'courageous' Syria opposition vote to attend peace conference

18 January 2014 | 23:52 | FOCUS News Agency
Washington. US Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday praised a decision by Syria's opposition leaders to attend an international conference that aims to bring an end to the war there, AFP reports.
"This is a courageous vote in the interests of all the Syrian people who have suffered so horribly under the brutality of the (Bashar-al-) Assad regime and a civil war without end," Kerry said in a statement, calling the opposition decision to attend the Geneva II meeting "a path that will ultimately lead to a better future for all Syrians."
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

Syria opposition votes to attend Geneva II peace talks

Syria opposition votes to attend Geneva II peace talks

18 January 2014 | 19:53 | FOCUS News Agency
Istanbul. Syria's main political opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), has agreed to attend next week's so-called Geneva II peace talks, to be held in the Swiss city, BBC reported.
Its representatives took the decision at a meeting in the Turkish city, Istanbul.
The aim of the talks is to start the process of setting up a transitional government to end the war in Syria.
The three-year conflict has claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people.
An estimated two million people have fled the country and some 6.5 million have been internally displaced.
'Essential process'
Of the delegates who voted, 58 were in favour, 14 were against, while one abstained. Two did not vote.
Syrian opposition figures had earlier expressed reluctance to go to Switzerland unless Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was excluded from any future transitional government.
Syria says there cannot be any pre-conditions.
Last week, Syria's National Reconciliation Minister Ali Haidar said no-one should expect a breakthrough at the talks, adding: "The solution has begun and will continue through the military triumph of the state."
US Secretary of State John Kerry had urged the opposition to join the 21 January talks.



Open in new tab
прочети затвори

Syrian opposition talks pushed back to Saturday

Syrian opposition talks pushed back to Saturday

18 January 2014 | 02:37 | FOCUS News Agency
Istanbul. Syria's fractured opposition pushed back the opening of talks in Istanbul to Saturday amid continuing differences over whether to attend peace talks with the government next week, sources said, as cited by AFP.
The talks of the opposition National Coalition had originally been due to get underway on Friday but were postponed due to problems posed by some 40 delegates, Coalition spokesman Khaled Saleh said.
These delegates had threatened to resign at the last meeting of the Coalition 10 days earlier, concerned at the "lack of transparency" in the re-election this month of Ahmad Jarba, seen as close to key rebel backer Saudi Arabia, as National Coalition leader.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

Syrian opposition meets to decide on peace talks

Syrian opposition meets to decide on peace talks

17 January 2014 | 04:21 | FOCUS News Agency
Istanbul. The divided Syrian opposition will meet Friday in Istanbul to decide whether to join next week's landmark peace talks, as its Arab and Western allies ratchet up the pressure for it to attend, AFP reports.
On the eve of the National Coalition's meeting, US Secretary of State John Kerry made a powerful plea to the exiled group to decide in favour of the talks to be held in Switzerland on January 22.
"The United States ... urges a positive vote," Kerry said in a surprise statement to reporters.
"The Syrian people need to be able to determine the future of their country, their voice must be heard," he said.
The peace conference dubbed Geneva II is aimed at finding a way to install a transitional government to help chart an end to the war, in which 130,000 people have died since March 2011.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

Kerry urges Syria opposition to join peace talks

Kerry urges Syria opposition to join peace talks

17 January 2014 | 00:12 | FOCUS News Agency
Washington. On the eve of a key meeting, US Secretary of State John Kerry Thursday made a powerful plea to the divided Syrian opposition to join landmark peace talks aimed at installing a new government, AFP reports.
Next week's peace conference in Switzerland was "the best opportunity for the opposition to achieve the goals of the Syrian people and the revolution," Kerry said in a surprise statement to reporters.
Despite months of cajoling and negotiations, the Syrian opposition has yet to agree to sit down at the table with members of the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad to chart a path to end the war.
The UN-led peace conference, to be attended by some 35 countries, will open on January 22 in the Swiss city of Montreux, and then move to Geneva.
It will be the first time that the two sides have come together since the conflict erupted in March 2011, unleashing a brutal war which has claimed over 130,000 lives, and created millions of refugees.
Complicating the situation is the presence of extremist groups which flooded into Syria, leaving the more moderate US-backed opposition fighting both Assad's forces and Islamic militants.
Kerry, who only returned early Thursday from an overseas trip during which he attended a Syria donor's conference in Kuwait, stressed the US was "deeply concerned about the rise of extremism."
"The world needs no reminder that Syria has become the magnet for jihadists and extremists. It is the strongest magnet for terror of any place today," he warned.
The Syrian Opposition Coalition is due to vote Friday in Istanbul, and Kerry sought to ally their fears that the Geneva talks will somehow legitimize Assad's regime and leave him clinging to power.
A key bloc in the Coalition, the Syrian National Council, has however threatened to pull out, if the General Assembly votes in favor of attending.
The aim of the talks is to find a way to install a transitional government -- as agreed to in a June 2012 deal known as Geneva I.
The opposition can veto any names put forward for the transitional governing body, as does the regime, the top US diplomat stressed.
"Any names put forward for leadership of Syria's transition must, according to the terms of Geneva I ... those names must be agreed to by both the opposition and the regime," he said.
"This means that any figure that is deemed unacceptable by either side, whether President Assad or a member of the opposition cannot be a part of the future," Kerry added.
Thursday's statement was just the latest bid by the US administration to pressure the Syrian opposition to attend the conference, which has been in the planning since May, with US ambassador to Damascus Robert Ford having spent months huddled in talks to bring them together.
At the weekend Kerry also met with opposition National Coalition leader Ahmad Jarba in Paris.
Although he did not make a firm commitment to attend the talks dubbed Geneva II, Jarba did indicate he had been reassured by the tone of Sunday's discussions.
"We all agreed that there is no future for Bashar al-Assad and his family in Syria," he said. "His departure is inevitable."
Kerry insisted Thursday: "The Syrian people need to be able to determine the future of their country, their voice must be heard."
"It defies logic to imagine that those whose brutality" had allowed extremists to flood into the country "could ever lead Syria away from extremism and towards a better future," he insisted, reiterating the US position that Assad cannot play any role in a future Syrian government.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

Kerry urges Syria opposition to join peace talks

Kerry urges Syria opposition to join peace talks

16 January 2014 | 21:48 | FOCUS News Agency
Washington. US Secretary of State John Kerry made a powerful plea Thursday to the divided Syrian opposition to join next week's peace talks aimed at finding a new transitional government, AFP reported.
"On the eve of the Syrian opposition coalition general assembly meeting tomorrow to decide whether to participate in Geneva in the peace conference, the United States ... urges a positive vote," Kerry said in a surprise statement.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

245,000 Syrians besieged, face food shortages: UN official

245,000 Syrians besieged, face food shortages: UN official

15 January 2014 | 15:21 | FOCUS News Agency
Kuwait City. Around 245,000 Syrians are living in towns and cities under siege and facing extreme hardships, including food shortages, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said in Kuwait on Wednesday, AFP reported.
She was speaking at a donor conference aimed at raising $6.5 billion (4.8 billion euros) for Syrians affected by the country's conflict, which has killed more than 130,000 people since March 2011.
"I am deeply troubled by the persistent reports of people running out of food in those besieged communities, where some 245,000 people live," Amos said.
"Children, women, men, are trapped, hungry, ill... (and) losing hope in the international community's ability to help them," she told the conference.
"Siege has become a weapon of war with thousands of people blockaded in their communities running out of supplies and unable to get basic services," Amos said.
The conference's $6.5 billion goal is the largest ever UN appeal and is aimed at helping the 13 million Syrians hit by three years of civil war.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

Iran foreign minister arrives in Damascus: diplomatic source

Iran foreign minister arrives in Damascus: diplomatic source

15 January 2014 | 10:13 | FOCUS News Agency
Damascus. The foreign minister of Iran, a key ally of the Syrian regime, arrived in Damascus on Wednesday to meet President Bashar al-Assad, a diplomatic source said, AFP reported.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived from Jordan, where he had been as part of a regional tour ahead of a peace conference aimed at ending the the Syrian conflict slated to take place in Switzerland on January 22.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

Western spies contact Damascus to discuss security, Syria says

Western spies contact Damascus to discuss security, Syria says

15 January 2014 | 08:13 | FOCUS News Agency
Damascus. The intelligence services of some Western countries opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have visited Damascus to discuss security cooperation with his government, Syria's deputy foreign minister said in remarks broadcast on Wednesday, Reuters reported.
"I will not specify (which countries) but many of them have visited Damascus, yes," the deputy minister, Faisal Mekdad, said in an interview with the BBC.
Mekdad said that the contacts appeared to show a rift between the political and security authorities in some countries opposed to Assad.
Western powers have supported the opposition with rhetoric but have backed away from material aid as al Qaeda-linked groups take advantage of a power vacuum in rebel-held regions.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

EU to urge international community for additional pledges at Kuwait donors conf on Syria

EU to urge international community for additional pledges at Kuwait donors conf on Syria

14 January 2014 | 21:23 | FOCUS News Agency
Brussels. EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva, Tuesday said that she will use the opportunity at the International Pledging Conference for Syria in Kuwait Wednesday "to encourage additional pledges from the international community." "Unfortunately this is for the second year in a row that I will be attending a vital pledging conference for Syria. The Syrian people continue to endure a tragic ordeal," she said in press statements before departing for Kuwait, KUNA reported.
She noted that the European Union as a whole has been the largest donor to this crisis, providing more than 2 billion euro to date.
"I hope that other donors will demonstrate their solidarity with the innocent victims of this war. This is the only way to avoid an even greater deterioration in this massive humanitarian crisis," she said.
"I will also once again repeat the absolute need to respect International Humanitarian Law and to apply humanitarian principles at all times when delivering assistance. Access within Syria is still the major hurdle to reaching the vulnerable and I appeal to all parties to the conflict to facilitate the delivery of aid to wherever it is needed," said Georgeiva.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

Turkey president urges shift in Syria policy

Turkey president urges shift in Syria policy

14 January 2014 | 20:58 | FOCUS News Agency
Ankara. Turkish President Abdullah Gul called on Tuesday for a shift in government policy towards Syria after years of vocal opposition to the Damascus regime, AFP reported.
His comments came just a week ahead of peace talks aimed at ending the civil war in Syria that are due to open in Switzerland on January 22.
"I am of the opinion that we should recalibrate our diplomacy and security policies given the facts in the south of our country (in Syria)," Gul told Turkish ambassadors gathered in Ankara.
Turkey has long called for the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad but he remains in power in the face of an increasingly fragmented rebel movement almost three years since the uprising against his regime erupted in 2011.
Ankara has been accused by its Western allies of backing some of the more radical rebels in Syria and of shipping weapons to Al-Qaeda linked groups, allegations it has strongly denied.
But it does host the exiled Syrian opposition on its soil as well as hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the increasingly deadly conflict.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

US, Russia call for 'local ceasefires' ahead of Syria talks

US, Russia call for 'local ceasefires' ahead of Syria talks

13 January 2014 | 16:14 | FOCUS News Agency
Paris. US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Monday called for "localised ceasefires" in Syria ahead of peace talks later this month in Switzerland, AFP reported.
Lavrov and UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi also said Damascus ally Iran should take part in the so-called Geneva II talks due to start in Montreux on January 22, after a meeting in Paris.
"We talked today about the possibility of trying to encourage a ceasefire, maybe a localised ceasefire beginning with Aleppo (north of Syria)," Kerry said.
Both said they hoped ceasefires could be in place before the talks, along with plans for prisoner exchanges and the opening of humanitarian corridors.
"What can be done before the beginning of the conference should be done," Lavrov said. "We are going to try to send signals to all the Syrian sides on the need for the establishment of a localised ceasefire."
Lavrov added, however, that these issues would not be a precondition to the talks.
He also reiterated Russia's support for Iran taking part in the peace talks, which has been repeatedly rejected by the United States.
Kerry said Tehran could take part in the talks only if it agrees to the principles set out at the first Syria peace talks in Geneva, including the goal of creating a transitional government.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

Iran to participate in Geneva II peace conference if invited without preliminary conditions

Iran to participate in Geneva II peace conference if invited without preliminary conditions

12 January 2014 | 21:58 | FOCUS News Agency
Tehran. Iran will participate in the Geneva II peace conference if invited without preliminary conditions concerning the presence of the country’s representatives. Foreign Affairs Minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif announced the news, ITAR-TASS reported.
”We support every initiative aimed at finding a political solution to the Syrian crisis,” he said.

Open in new tab
прочети затвори

Voice of Russia: Lavrov to discuss preparation for Geneva-2 conference in Paris

Voice of Russia: Lavrov to discuss preparation for Geneva-2 conference in Paris

12 January 2014 | 00:16 | FOCUS News Agency
Moscow. In Paris on 12-13 January he is to meet with the US secretary of state, foreign ministers of France and Jordan, the United Nations and Arab League special envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, leader of the Syrian National Coalition Ahmad Jarba and leader of the Mustaqbal faction in the Lebanese parliament Saad Hariri, The Voice of Russia reported.
Geneva-2 is to open in Swiss Montreux on 22 January. The participants are the Russian foreign minister, the US secretary of state, delegations from China, France, the UK and 30 other countries, as well as representatives of the UN, the Arab League, the European Union and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

Reuters: Iran will not attend Syria peace talks

Reuters: Iran will not attend Syria peace talks

11 January 2014 | 02:55 | FOCUS News Agency
Washington. Iran will not attend peace talks on the Syrian civil war due to take place in Switzerland this month, senior State Department officials said on Friday, cited by Reuters.
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that barring a dramatic change in Tehran's position, Iran would neither participate formally in the Jan. 22 talks nor join informally on the sidelines.
"That's right, they're not coming," said one of the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

Voice of Russia: Issue to Iran's participation in Geneva-2 postponed until meeting of Lavrov, Kerry

Voice of Russia: Issue to Iran's participation in Geneva-2 postponed until meeting of Lavrov, Kerry

11 January 2014 | 00:22 | FOCUS News Agency
Moscow. As of now, Russia and the United States have not agreed on the participation of Iran in the Geneva II international conference on Syria scheduled for January 22 in Switzerland, The Voice of Russia reports.
"This issue has been postponed until the meeting of [Russian] Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Paris," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told Interfax on Friday following his meeting in Moscow with US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.
Open in new tab
прочети затвори

PICTURE OF THE DAY

VIDEO OF THE DAY
Clashes in Ukrainian city of Slavyansk.
Clashes in Ukrainian city of Slavyansk.
Home | Services | Archive | Partners | Banners | Radio Adds | About Us | Disclaimer | Contacts |
© 2014 FOCUS Information Agency The content published by Focus Information Agency and the technologies, used on its website, are protected by the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act. All the text, audio and video materials, photos, and graphics, published in the database, are property of Focus Information Agency, unless otherwise provided. The USERS and SUBSCRIBERS are under the obligation to use the materials from the database according to Focus Information Agency’s General Terms and Conditions as well as the applicable law of the Republic of Bulgaria.