Divide and Conquer: How the “Arab Spring” was Manipulated. – L’étau se ressère autour d’Assad.


Council strengthens restrictive measures against Syrian regime

In light of the continued repression in Syria, the Council today reinforced the EU’s restrictive measures against the Syrian regime, targeting its ability to conduct the brutal repression.

Trade in Syrian public bonds and the provision of insurance and re-insurance to the Syrian government will be prohibited in the EU. Syrian banks will no more be allowed to open new branches in the Union nor establish joint ventures or correspondent banking relations with European financial institutions. The Council also stopped new commitments for grants and concessional loans by member states to the Syrian government, except for humanitarian purposes.

In addition, the Council banned exports of key equipment and technology to the Syrian oil and gas sectors, i.e. refining, liquefaction of gas, exploration and production. Moreover, participation in the construction of new power plants in Syria will be prohibited. This includes  technical assistance, project finance and investments in companies engaged in such construction activities.

Exports of equipment and software intended for use in the monitoring of internet and telephone communications by the Syrian regime will also be banned.

Member states will exercise restraint when committing financial support for trade with Syria, such as export credits, guarantees or insurance. Long term commitments will be prohibited.

Finally, the Council added 12 persons responsible for human rights violations and 11 entities supporting the regime to the list of those targeted by an asset freeze and a visa ban.

A consolidated version of all EU restrictive measures against the Syrian regime, including today’s decisions and the complete list of all designated individuals and entities, will be published in the EU Official Journal on 2 December 2011.

See also Council conclusions.

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Council conclusions on Syria

 

3130th FOREIGN AFFAIRS Council meeting

Brussels, 1 December 2011

 

The Council adopted the following conclusions:

 

1.             The European Union strongly supports the efforts of the League of Arab States (LAS) to bring about an end to the repression in Syria and provide protection to the civilians by deploying an observer mission on the ground. The EU welcomes the significant decision of the Arab League to impose sanctions against the Syrian regime due to its repeated failure to deliver on its promises and to its refusal to implement the Arab Plan of Action. The EU will continue to support the Arab League’s efforts to restore peace and welcomes the commitment by the Arab League to engage with the UNSG to solve this crisis which represents a threat to regional stability.

 

2.             The EU reiterates its condemnation in the strongest terms of the brutal crackdown by the Syrian government which risks taking Syria down a very dangerous path of violence, sectarian clashes and militarization. The EU salutes once more the unwavering courage of those in Syria who are protesting and their willingness to remain committed to non-violence. The EU reaffirms its support for the Syrian people, in their quest for dignity and freedom, to decide the future of their country through peaceful, democratic as well as non sectarian means. President Assad must step aside immediately to allow for a peaceful and democratic transition.

 

3.             The EU is extremely worried about the deteriorating living conditions of the Syrian people in certain localities affected by the unrest, especially in the region of Homs. The Syrian authorities must immediately alleviate the suffering of the population living in these areas and must allow unhindered and sustained access to humanitarian agencies and workers and ensure the functioning of basic and health services.

4.             The EU welcomes the resolution on human rights in Syria approved on 22 November in the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee and welcomes in particular the Arab support for its adoption. The resolution sends a strong signal of wide and united condemnation of the Syrian regime’s systematic abuses and underlines international support for the Arab League. The EU welcomes the publication of the report of the independent international commission of enquiry on the violations of international human rights law in Syria since March 2011.The upcoming Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council on Syria, for which the EU has called, could also contribute to the international efforts to push the Syrian government to end the appalling violence against its population. The EU will continue to press for strong UN action to increase international pressure and urges all members of the UN Security Council to uphold their responsibilities to end the violence in Syria and support the Syrian people in their desire for greater freedoms and political rights.

 

5.             The EU reiterates its strong support to the Syrian people and encourages the Syrian opposition to establish a united platform and to continue to engage with the Arab League towards a successful transition. The EU will continue to actively engage with representative members of the Syrian opposition which adhere to non violence, inclusiveness and democratic values. It welcomes the Syrian National Council’s commitments in this regard.

 

6.             In light of the continued repression in Syria, the EU has decided today to place further restrictive measures targeting the regime’s ability to conduct its brutal repression. These new measures are related to the energy, financial, banking and trade sectors and include the listing of additional individuals and entities that are involved in the violence or directly supporting the regime. In line with the European Council Conclusions of 23 October, the EU will continue to impose additional and more comprehensive measures against the regime, not the civilian population, as long as the repression continues. The EU will continue to consult closely with the Arab League on this matter and calls on the international community to join its efforts and those of the Arab League to target those responsible for or associated with the violent repression and those who support or benefit from the regime.

 

7.             As soon as President Assad steps aside and a genuine democratic transition begins, the EU is ready to develop a new and ambitious partnership with Syria across all areas of mutual interest, including by mobilizing assistance, and strengthening trade and economic links.”

 

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The Council discussed the situation in Syria.

In light of the continued repression, the Council reinforced the EU’s restrictive measures against the Syrian regime, targeting its ability to conduct the brutal repression. For more information, see press release 17895/11.

The Council adopted the following conclusions:

1.                      “The European Union strongly supports the efforts of the League of Arab States (LAS) to bring about an end to the repression in Syria and provide protection to the civilians by deploying an observer mission on the ground. The EU welcomes the significant decision of the Arab League to impose sanctions against the Syrian regime due to its repeated failure to deliver on its promises and to its refusal to implement the Arab Plan of Action. The EU will continue to support the Arab League’s efforts to restore peace and welcomes the commitment by the Arab League to engage with the UNSG to solve this crisis which represents a threat to regional stability.

2.                      The EU reiterates its condemnation in the strongest terms of the brutal crackdown by the Syrian government which risks taking Syria down a very dangerous path of violence, sectarian clashes and militarization. The EU salutes once more the unwavering courage of those in Syria who are protesting and their willingness to remain committed to non-violence. The EU reaffirms its support for the Syrian people, in their quest for dignity and freedom, to decide the future of their country through peaceful, democratic as well as non sectarian means. President Assad must step aside immediately to allow for a peaceful and democratic transition.

3.                      The EU is extremely worried about the deteriorating living conditions of the Syrian people in certain localities affected by the unrest, especially in the region of Homs. The Syrian authorities must immediately alleviate the suffering of the population living in these areas and must allow unhindered and sustained access to humanitarian agencies and workers and ensure the functioning of basic and health services.

4.                      The EU welcomes the resolution on human rights in Syria approved on 22 November in the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee and welcomes in particular the Arab support for its adoption. The resolution sends a strong signal of wide and united condemnation of the Syrian regime’s systematic abuses and underlines international support for the Arab League. The EU welcomes the publication of the report of the independent international commission of enquiry on the violations of international human rights law in Syria since March 2011.The upcoming Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council on Syria, for which the EU has called, could also contribute to the international efforts to push the Syrian government to end the appalling violence against its population. The EU will continue to press for strong UN action to increase international pressure and urges all members of the UN Security Council to uphold their responsibilities to end the violence in Syria and support the Syrian people in their desire for greater freedoms and political rights.

5.                      The EU reiterates its strong support to the Syrian people and encourages the Syrian opposition to establish a united platform and to continue to engage with the Arab League towards a successful transition. The EU will continue to actively engage with representative members of the Syrian opposition which adhere to non violence, inclusiveness and democratic values. It welcomes the Syrian National Council’s commitments in this regard.

6.                      In light of the continued repression in Syria, the EU has decided today to place further restrictive measures targeting the regime’s ability to conduct its brutal repression. These new measures are related to the energy, financial, banking and trade sectors and include the listing of additional individuals and entities that are involved in the violence or directly supporting the regime. In line with the European Council Conclusions of 23 October, the EU will continue to impose additional and more comprehensive measures against the regime, not the civilian population, as long as the repression continues. The EU will continue to consult closely with the Arab League on this matter and calls on the international community to join its efforts and those of the Arab League to target those responsible for or associated with the violent repression and those who support or benefit from the regime.

7.                      As soon as President Assad steps aside and a genuine democratic transition begins, the EU is ready to develop a new and ambitious partnership with Syria across all areas of mutual interest, including by mobilizing assistance, and strengthening trade and economic links.”

 

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Iran

The Council discussed the situation concerning Iran, following the publication of the new report by the International Atomic Energy Agency concerning Iran’s nuclear programme.

The Council adopted the following conclusions:

8.                      “The Council reiterates its serious and deepening concerns over the nature of Iran’s nuclear programme, and in particular over the findings on Iranian activities relating to the development of military nuclear technology, as reflected in the latest IAEA report. In this regard, the Council strongly supports  the resolution adopted by the IAEA Board of Governors, which expresses deep and increasing concerns about unresolved issues and stresses the grave concern posed by Iran’s continued refusal to comply with its international obligations and to fully co-operate with the IAEA.

9.                      In the light of these concerns, the Council has today designated a further 180 entities and individuals to be subject to restrictive measures. These designations include entities and individuals directly involved in Iran’s nuclear activities, which are in violation of UNSC resolutions; entities and individuals owned, controlled or acting on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line (IRISL); and members of, as well as entities controlled by, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

10.                  In accordance with the European Council Declaration of 23 October, the Council further agreed that, given the seriousness of the situation, including the acceleration of the near 20% uranium enrichment activities by Iran, in violation of six UNSC resolutions and eleven IAEA Board resolutions, and the installation of centrifuges at a previously undeclared and deeply buried site near Qom, as detailed in the IAEA report, the EU should extend the scope of its restrictive measures against Iran.

11.                  In particular, the Council agreed to broaden existing sanctions by examining, in close coordination with international partners, additional measures including measures  aimed at severely affecting the Iranian financial system, in the transport sector, in the energy sector, measures against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, as well as in other areas. The Council tasked preparatory Council bodies to further elaborate these measures for adoption, no later than by the next Foreign Affairs Council.

12.                  The Council again reaffirmed the longstanding commitment of the European Union to work for a diplomatic solution of the Iranian nuclear issue in accordance with the dual track approach. The Council welcomes and fully supports the continuing efforts of the EU High Representative on behalf of the E3+3 aimed at convincing Iran to enter into meaningful talks on concrete confidence building measures. The Council calls upon Iran to respond positively to the offer of negotiations in the EU High Representative’s latest letter by demonstrating its readiness to seriously address existing concerns on the nuclear issue.

13.                  The Council reaffirms that the objective of the EU remains to achieve a comprehensive and long-term settlement which would build international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear programme, while respecting Iran’s legitimate rights to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy under the NPT.”

The Council also adopted the following statement on the attack on the British embassy in Teheran:

“The Council is outraged by the attack on the British Embassy in Tehran and utterly condemns it. It is a violation of the Vienna Convention. It also deplores the decision to expel the British Ambassador from Tehran. The Council considers these actions against the UK as actions against the European Union as a whole. The EU is taking appropriate measures in response.”

In the light of the EU’s concerns, the Council reinforced EU restrictive measures. For more information, see press release 17877/11.

Full text : FOREIGN AFFAIRS Council meeting – Brussels, 30 November and 1 December 2011

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Remarks by High Representative Catherine Ashton at the press conference following the Foreign Affairs Council

 

Yesterday we had a meeting of defence ministers to discuss security and defence policy and you’ll see conclusions on this adopted today. Today we began by looking at the Western Balkans and our relationship especially with Bosnia and Herzegovina and the desire to see progress in that country. We paid tribute to the work of our Special Representative Peter Sorensen, who is also head of delegation in Sarajevo, and the collaboration with the office of the High Representative on the ground. 

Not surprisingly there was a great deal of interest in the Serbia-Kosovo dialogue which continues in Brussels today, into its second day. It finished at 10pm last night and began again at 11am this morning and they’re still meeting. The purpose of the dialogue is to look at very practical issues that affect the capacity of those who live in the North of Kosovo to be able to get on with their lives. Colleagues in the Foreign Affairs Council were very keen to ensure that the message of the need to see the barriers removed and violence stop was understood and received by everyone.  We also had a discussion about the potential for Serbia to come closer to the European Union and for the relationship in the context of the European perspective to develop with Kosovo as well.  

In terms of Serbia, as you know I am in regular contact with President Tadic whom I met last week here for dinner. I know that he feels very strongly that it is important to stop the violence in the north and I am very pleased with the statement that he has made. What I have asked him to do is to make sure that from Belgrade they are putting the maximum pressure on those who are perpetrating this violence to make sure that the barriers are removed. I am sure that Member States when they will have their discussion in the General Affairs Council will examine what is being done and what is being said in what is their debate about the future.

We had a discussion on Iran, which was in two parts. First of all the continuation from the last Foreign Affairs Council to consider further sanctions on Iran. This is part of our ongoing concern as a result of the report from the IAEA, and the desire for us to see Iran taking seriously the international community’s call to respect its obligation and move away from the pursuit of nuclear weapon technology. 

We agreed to look at a range of issues including the energy sector, but the details of exactly what should be done now goes to the technical experts who decide what will work, what works for EU Member States and what effect this will have on Iran.

We’d also like Dr Jalili to respond to my letter which set out that the issues we put forward in Istanbul remain on the table and that we wanted them to come forward with their proposals or to respond to ours. We seek dialogue, but in the meantime we also will continue with the pressure to ensure that that’s the path that they’ll take. 

Separately, but obviously within the same debate there was a discussion about what has happened in the British Embassy in Tehran and – as one of my colleagues put it – the consideration that an attack on one Member State is an attack on all. And I’ll read you the statement that we’ve issued specifically on that: “The Council is outraged by the attack on the British Embassy in Tehran and utterly condemns it. It is a violation of the Vienna convention. It also deplores the decision to expel the British Ambassador from Tehran. The Council considers these actions against the UK actions against the European Union as a whole. The EU is taking appropriate measures in response.” 

And what William Hague was asking colleagues to consider is whether they could do things in solidarity with the UK. He was extremely grateful for the statements that I have made on behalf of all and for individual statements that ministers have made. In addition, some Member States have taken the decision to recall their ambassadors for consultations, others don’t have embassies on the ground, and others are in dialogue with their teams on the ground to see what the appropriate thing to do would be. There was no requirement or a request for one single approach, rather each country should show in one way or another, its solidarity with the UK and I think the foreign secretary was very happy with what was said. So a two-part discussion, but very clear signals to Iran. 

We also talked about the situation in Camp Ashraf in Iraq. I’ve appointed a personal envoy to discuss with the United Nations, with Member States, with the United States and with the Iraqi government and others the position of the 3,400 people who are in Camp Ashraf. There is an ongoing UN effort to try and deal with this issue and find ways to settle these people appropriately. There is a great concern in the European Parliament, in Member States’ parliaments, with me and with others, about ensuring the safety of the people there. And we’re in discussion and dialogue with all the parties I’ve identified to make sure that we play our part in supporting the UN as they take this forward.

And then my final remark on an informal discussion we had over lunch with Secretary General of the Arab League, Nabil Al-Araby. Our purpose was to meet institution with institution, to discuss with him the situation in the Arab Spring, and we particularly focused on the elections in Egypt.

We heard his analysis of the current situation in the Middle East Peace Process and the work of the Arab League on Syria and their proposals to Syria, their proposals on what we call sanctions but they describe as a boycott. That was a very fruitful discussion with a lot of support from the EU for the work of the Arab League and for Secretary General Al-Araby.

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Ce chemin de Damas semé d’embûches

La question à un demi-billion de dollars dans l’ « Hiver arabe » : qui va ciller le premier dans le scénario de l’Occident pour aller traîner jusqu’à Téhéran, via Damas ?

Alors qu’ils font le point devant l’échiquier régional et le formidable déploiement des forces alignées contre eux, le chef suprême, l’ayatollah Ali Khamenei, et la dictature militaire du mullahtariat à Téhéran voient à quoi ils doivent simultanément faire face : à la superpuissance de Washington, aux va-t-en-guerre de l’Organisation du Traité de l’Atlantique Nord (OTAN), à la puissance nucléaire d’Israël, et à toutes les monarchies absolues arabes sunnites, et même à la Turquie laïque à majorité sunnite.

Alors que de son côté, la République islamique ne peut compter que sur Moscou. Une carte moins mauvaise qu’il n’y paraît.

La Syrie est l’allié majeur incontesté de l’Iran dans le monde arabe, pendant que la Russie, avec la Chine, en sont les principaux alliés géopolitiques. La Chine, pour l’instant, a laissé clairement entendre que quelle que soit la solution pour la Syrie, elle doit être négociée.

La seule et unique base navale de la Russie en Méditerranée est le port syrien de Tartous. Ce n’est certes pas par hasard que la Russie y a installé son système de défense anti-aérienne S-300 – l’un des meilleurs systèmes de missiles sol-air (toute altitude) au monde, comparable à l’American Patriot. Son perfectionnement vers un système S-400 bien plus sophistiqué est imminent.

Du point de vue de Moscou – aussi bien que de Téhéran -, un changement de régime à Damas est hors de question. Cela signifierait quasiment l’éviction des navires russes et iraniens de la Méditerranée. (*)

Pourtant des mouvements latéraux importants sont déjà engagés par l’Occident. Des diplomates à Bruxelles ont confirmé à Asia Times Online que les anciens « rebelles » libyens – qui tentent en ce moment de se trouver un gouvernement crédible – ont déjà donné le feu vert à l’OTAN pour la construction d’une base militaire tentaculaire en Cyrénaïque (province au nord-est de la Libye).

Ce n’est pas l’OTAN qui a le dernier mot pour de telles questions. C’est décidé par le grand patron – le Pentagone -, intéressé à stimuler l’Africom (commandement militaire US pour le contrôle de l’Afrique – ndt) en coordination avec l’OTAN. Au point qu’on s’attend à ce que 20 000 hommes de troupes soient déployés sur le terrain en Libye – dont au moins 12 000 Européens. Ils seront responsables de la « sécurité intérieure » en Libye, mais aussi sur le pied de guerre pour toutes campagnes militaires ultérieures éventuelles sur – qui d’autres ? – la Syrie et l’Iran.

Écraser ces chiites

Autant la dernière « coalition de la volonté » (Coalition of the willing est le nom que G. W. Bush a donné aux États qui ont accepté de participer à la guerre américaine en Irak en 2003 – ndt) – qui, soit dit en passant, répète le modèle libyen – autant cette coalition est dirigée contre le régime de Bashar al-Assad en Syrie, autant elle représente aussi une guerre chrétiens-sunnites contre chiites, que ce soit la minorité alaouite de Syrie ou les majorités chiites d’Iran, d’Irak ou du Liban.

(Lire plus) 

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A Deadly U.S. Attack on Pakistani Soil

In the early hours of Nov. 26 on the Afghan-Pakistani border, what was almost certainly a flight of U.S. Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopters and an AC-130 gunship killed some two dozen Pakistani servicemen at two border outposts inside Pakistan. Details remain scarce, conflicting and disputed, but the incident was known to have taken place near the border of the Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nangarhar and the Mohmand agency of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The death toll inflicted by the United States against Pakistani servicemen is unprecedented, and while U.S. commanders and NATO leaders have expressed regret over the incident, the reaction from Pakistan has been severe.

Claims and Interests

The initial Pakistani narrative of the incident describes an unprovoked and aggressive attack on well-established outposts more than a mile inside Pakistani territory — outposts known to the Americans and ones that representatives of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) had visited in the past. The attack supposedly lasted for some two hours despite distressed communications from the outpost to the Pakistani military’s general headquarters in Rawalpindi. Read more »

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Pakistan, Russia and the Threat to the Afghan War

 

Days after the Pakistanis closed their borders to the passage of fuel and supplies for the NATO-led war effort in Afghanistan, for very different reasons the Russians threatened to close the alternative Russia-controlled Northern Distribution Network (NDN). The dual threats are significant even if they don’t materialize. If both routes are cut, supplying Western forces operating in Afghanistan becomes impossible. Simply raising the possibility of cutting supply lines forces NATO and the United States to recalculate their position in Afghanistan.

The possibility of insufficient lines of supply puts NATO’s current course in Afghanistan in even more jeopardy. It also could make Western troops more vulnerable by possibly requiring significant alterations to operations in a supply-constrained scenario. While the supply lines in Pakistan most likely will reopen eventually and the NDN likely will remain open, the gap between likely and certain is vast. Read more »

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Libya and “The Arab Spring”: Neoliberalism, “Regime Change” and NATO’s “Humanitarian Wars”

First in Global Research’s Interactive Reader Series, we bring to the attention of our readers a collection of Global Research articles on the “Arab Spring”, covering recent developments in several countries across the Middle East and North Africa region.

The Interactive Reader is a collection of previously published articles on Global Research. Its objective is to provide an overview as well as a comparative understanding of country-level experiences of the upheavals.

This selection of articles is intended to dispel the notion that the “Arab Spring” is just a pro-democracy movement spreading spontaneously from country to country, opening the way to a meaningful change in the political and economic landscape. The term “Arab Spring” is itself a Western-imposed term conjured up by people who appear to have little understanding of the complexities and realities of the region.

The double-standards of the U.S. and the European Union have become visible during the course of these tumultuous events. Both the US and the EU have kept silent about the brutal repression of unarmed civilian protesters in the Persian Gulf sheikhdoms, such as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, while, by contrast, the Western powers have vehemently pushed for conflict with Libya and Syria.

America is no “role model” of democratization for the Arab World, comprising some 22 countries with a combined population of 300 million. US military presence imposed on Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and other Arab countries over decades, coupled with Washington-inspired “free market” reforms, are the root cause of state violence.

Washington’s agenda for Egypt and Tunisia was to hijack the protest movement; what prevails in Egypt is the maintenance of a de facto military regime. In Tunisia, following the October 2011 parliamentary elections, the neoliberal policy framework remains unscathed.

From Washington’s standpoint, regime replacement no longer requires the installation of authoritarian military rulers, as in the heyday of US imperialism. Regime change can be implemented by co-opting political parties, financing civil society groups, infiltrating the protest movement, and by manipulating national elections.

The ultimate objective is to sustain the interests of foreign powers and to uphold the “Washington consensus” of the IMF/World Bank economic agenda that has served to impoverish millions throughout the Arab World and beyond.

Moreover, Western powers have used “Political Islam” –including the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda-affiliated groups– to pursue their hegemonic objectives. Covert operations are launched to weaken the secular state, foment sectarian violence and create social divisions throughout the Arab World.

(Full text) 

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“NAFTA of the Pacific” and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): Washington’s Hidden Agenda is to Isolate and Subordinate China

At the recent APEC meetings, Canada and Mexico announced their interest in joining the U.S., along with other countries already engaged in negotiations to establish what has been referred to as the NAFTA of the Pacific.

The leaders of the nine countries that are part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) met at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Hawaii and agreed on the broad outlines of a free trade agreement. The current members include the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Peru and Chile. The TPP has been hailed as a, “landmark, 21st-century trade agreement, setting a new standard for global trade and incorporating next-generation issues.” Key features of the TPP are that it would provide comprehensive market access and be a fully regional agreement designed to facilitate the development of production and supply chains. Various working groups have been discussing issues such as financial services, government procurement, intellectual property, investment, rules of origin, telecommunications and trade remedies. The next round of talks will take place in December and there are hopes of concluding negotiations before the end of 2012. Apart from Canada and Mexico, Japan has also expressed interest in being part of the TPP. The door is also open for other countries to join which is why many consider it to be a building block for an Asia-Pacific free trade zone.

Following the APEC forum, President Barack Obama held a bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Originally, it was scheduled to be a North American Leaders Summit, but Mexican President Felipe Calderon could not attend due to the death of Interior Minister Francisco Blake Mora. According to a Readout by the Press Secretary, the leaders look forward to a rescheduled trilateral summit. During his meeting with Prime Minister Harper, President Obama, “noted the important progress being made on the Beyond the Border and Regulatory Cooperation initiatives.” He invited Harper to Washington in early December where an action plan that would work towards a North American security perimeter could finally be released. Both leaders also discussed the announcement by the State Department to seek additional information regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline project. A final ruling on the pipeline which would carry oil from western Canada to the gulf coast of Texas will not be made until after the November 2012 presidential election. The move has prompted Canada to further diversify its trade ties and shift its focus on the Asia-Pacific region.

(Full text) 

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Welcoming address

on behalf of H.E. Mr. Yerzhan Kazykhanov,

Chairman of the Council of Foreign Ministers

of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan

New York, 29 November 2011

 

In my capacity of the Chairman of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation I would like to heartily welcome you and express my sincere gratitude to the participants of the meeting for supporting the noble endeavors of the people of Palestine.

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is another good opportunity to reiterate the existing overwhelming international support for an end to the occupation, to address the fundamental security concerns of the region, to find a just solution to the refugee issue and to stop the suffering and hardship of the Palestinians.

Palestine is at the heart of the OIC. The cause of Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif has been central to the Organisation since its very establishment.

The OIC Member States condemn Israel’s continuing illegal and intensified settlement construction campaign and human rights violations against the Occupied Palestinian territory. There is no doubt that the Palestinians have full right and justification to resort to the United Nations to exercise their inalienable right of self-determination and to establish their independent State on the Palestinian territory, within the lines of 4th June, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The OIC pledged to make all efforts possible to end the Israeli occupation and to extend effective support for the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and the establishment of their independent State. For this purpose according to the OIC Charter a post of an Assistant Secretary General should be

devoted to the cause of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and Palestine and designated to a candidate from the State of Palestine.

This year has been especially critical to reaffirm the OIC’s solidarity with the people of Palestine. At the 38th session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Astana and the Annual OIC Coordination Meeting in New York we sent a clear message of support to the bid to recognize the independent, sovereign State of Palestine based on the borders of June 1967. And we were consistent in our policy backing the recent decision of the UNESCO to admit Palestine as its full member.

Being deeply interested in achieving lasting peace and stability in the Middle East we pledge to remain seized of the matter and to exert all necessary efforts until a peaceful, just, comprehensive and lasting solution to the Question of Palestine is achieved in all its aspects and until the Palestinian people can finally realize their legitimate aspirations and inalienable rights in their independent State of Palestine, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

I avail myself of this opportunity to wish to the people of Palestine every success in their noble aspirations for a safer and prosperous future. 

 

Yerzhan KAZYKHANOV

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Preparing the Chessboard for the “Clash of Civilizations”: Divide, Conquer and Rule the “New Middle East”

The name “Arab Spring” is a catch phrase concocted in distant offices in Washington, London, Paris, and Brussels by individuals and groups who, other than having some superficial knowledge of the region, know very little about the Arabs. What is unfolding amongst the Arab peoples is naturally a mixed package. Insurgency is part of this package as is opportunism. Where there is revolution, there is always counter-revolution.

The upheavals in the Arab World are not an Arab “awakening” either; such a term implies that the Arabs have always been sleeping while dictatorship and injustice has been surrounding them. In reality the Arab World, which is part of the broader Turko-Arabo-Iranic World, has been filled with frequent revolts that have been put down by the Arab dictators in coordination with countries like the United States, Britain, and France. It has been the interference of these powers that has always acted as a counter-balance to democracy and it will continue to do so.

Divide and Conquer: How the First “Arab Spring” was Manipulated

The plans for reconfiguring the Middle East started several years before the First World War. It was during the First World War, however, that the manifestation of these colonial designs could visibly be seen with the “Great Arab Revolt” against the Ottoman Empire.

Despite the fact that the British, French, and Italians were colonial powers which had prevented the Arabs from enjoying any freedom in countries like Algeria, Libya, Egypt, and Sudan, these colonial powers managed to portray themselves as the friends and allies of Arab liberation.

During the “Great Arab Revolt” the British and the French actually used the Arabs as foot soldiers against the Ottomans to further their own geo-political schemes. The secret Sykes–Picot Agreement between London and Paris is a case in point. France and Britain merely managed to use and manipulate the Arabs by selling them the idea of Arab liberation from the so-called “repression” of the Ottomans.

In reality, the Ottoman Empire was a multi-ethnic empire. It gave local and cultural autonomy to all its peoples, but was manipulated into the direction of becoming a Turkish entity. Even the Armenian Genocide that would ensue in Ottoman Anatolia has to be analyzed in the same context as the contemporary targeting of Christians in Iraq as part of a sectarian scheme unleashed by external actors to divide the Ottoman Empire, Anatolia, and the citizens of the Ottoman Empire.

After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, it was London and Paris which denied freedom to the Arabs, while sowing the seeds of discord amongst the Arab peoples. Local corrupt Arab leaders were also partners in the project and many of them were all too happy to become clients of Britain and France. In the same sense, the “Arab Spring” is being manipulated today. The U.S., Britain, France, and others are now working with the help of corrupt Arab leaders and figures to restructure the Arab World and Africa.

(Full analysis) 

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Does the West want to start arms race in Europe?

About a month ago, NATO tested first-strike capabilities of using mobile radar in Turkey. Why would a defensive system need to test offensive capabilities? We have the cyber warfare center. You said it also can be used as an offensive tool by the US. We have hypersonic missile tests and the Prompt Global Strike system. I think these are pretty good reasons for the Russian Federation to be worried, to put it mildly, as to the intentions of the West. Why would the West want to start an arms race in Europe? Why would this be profitable? Why not include Russia as part of the sectoral approach system? It’s probably a rhetorical question but can you touch upon it?

There is no rational answer to it, certainly not a persuasive from the point of view of the West. For example, as you mentioned, Russia is far from simply arbitrarily and firmly opposing the creation of a unilateral US interceptor missile system in Europe. The entire western flank of Russia is affected by this of course– from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. Russia went out of its way. Russian political leadership went out of its way to be accommodating to offer, for example, the Gabala radar site in Azerbaijan it maintains in conjunction with NATO. It offered this sectoral approach where Russia would cover part of affected area and NATO the other and so forth, the integration and communication. But we know that several things have occurred this week, and so far this month – the advanced hypersonic weapon test earlier this month, the statement by Sergei Serdyukov, the Defense Minister of Russia the day before Medvedev’s statement, stating that Russian Air Defense is now to be equipped to protect Russian nuclear strategic capability in the European part of the Russian Federation, but also that the US announced – and was soon followed by 14 NATO allies – that they are effectively pulling out of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, blaming Russia for it, of course, for it, because Russia suspended its activities with the CFE, as it’s known, in 2007 – but did so because the US and its NATO allies refused to ratify amendments to the treaty. The US has used the presence of a comparatively small contingent of Russian peace-keepers in Transdnester and, before Mikhail Saakashvili launched an assault against South Ossetia and began the 5-day war with Russia in August of 2008, the existence at that time of, again, a small contingent of Russian peace keepers in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, using that as an excuse for basically suspending, for not ratifying, amendments to the CFE Treaty. And we have, as you know, President Medvedev’s statement on Wednesday, the fact that Russia may be compelled to suspend its activities in or withdraw from the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).

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Etre laïque en terre d’islam

Face à l’islam, les Français vivent dans l’illusion d’une équation magique selon laquelle la République équivaut à la démocratie qui équivaut à la laïcité qui équivaut à l’égalité des sexes qui équivaut à la modernité qui équivaut à l’Occident qui équivaut au christianisme. L’équation, mal posée, est insoluble. Aucun de ses termes ne résiste à l’analyse de terrain.

Donnons un point à Brice Hortefeux, à l’époque ministre de l’intérieur. Un musulman, “quand il y en a un, ça va, c’est quand il y en a beaucoup qu’il y a des problèmes”. En effet, ils ne sont pas deux à penser la même chose ! D’un point de vue politique, l’islam n’existe pas. Il est un vocabulaire politique islamique issu de la théologie, de la philosophie, du droit musulmans. Mais chacun de ses mots est polysémique.

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