Syria must answer Mehlis Tomorrow about sending the 6 to Vienna
Ibrahim Hamidi writes that "Mehlis is expecting Syria`s answer to question 6 people in Vienna before 25th, which means tomorrow is the deadline. That is why many Arab leaders have been contacting Damascus in the last few days. Please see the link."
Cham Press translates an article from al-Khaleej which quotes Syrian sources as saying that:
According to sources, the Syrian self-reliance regarding food, power and a large number of transformed industries will enable Syria to curb the American schemes."It is clear that the Syrian policy which depends on steadfastness and flexibility did not reach a dead lock, on the contrary it is a fruitful policy as Mehlis accepted to interrogate the Syrian officials in a place the Syrian governments approved.Contrasting Hamidi's story about how Asad has received calls or visits from Egypt, Jordan, Sudan and others to respond positively to Mehlis by tomorrow, with that of al-Khaleej, which suggests Syrian officials believe they are undermining UN resolve and are ready to endure sanctions, it is clear we have a classic stand-off. Will Syria take Vienna? I am not putting money on it, but it has backed down before. Asad's message about resistance was clear. We will see.
Furthermore, President Al-Assad's speech was absolutely defined Syria's choices and put the Lebanese forces (of Arab trend) to meet its duties and also Arab countries and the world", Sources added. Sources believed that Damascus's openness to the most influential capitals in the world has resulted in changing the attitudes of Mehlis who fears any confrontation with the UN General Secretariat. Sources said that Mehlis's retreat to interrogate Syrian witnesses in Beirut as a big blow Washington received.
Nibras Kazimi has a new blog in which he suggests that Syria may not be responsible for killing Hariri. He does this by dissecting the testimony of the second witness against Syria, who has been named ‘the masked witness’; now allegedly identified by New TV as ‘Hosam Taher Hosam.’ This is not Saddiqi. "Mr. Hosam is a Syrian Kurd, born in 1975 in Tel Al-Hefzeiz in the Hasaka Province, Syria. His mother’s name is Zainab Hassan, and his employer is supposedly ‘Syrian Intelligence.’ He claims to have worked directly under people like Assef Shawkat and Rustum Ghazaleh."
Syria Seeks to Limit U.N. Inquiry in Killing
By Irwin Arieff
UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 23 (Reuters) - Syria wants the United Nations investigators looking into the killing of Lebanon's former prime minister to agree to question witnesses and suspects only inside Syria, and with their lawyers present, according to a draft agreement put forward by Syria.Israel: Syria will 'likely' give up "terror"
According to the draft, which was obtained by Reuters on Wednesday, the chief United Nations investigator, Detlev Mehlis, would be required to share his findings with Syrian investigators.
Syria denies any role in the killing.
Mr. Mehlis and members of the United Nations Security Council, which authorized him to investigate the assassination of the former prime minister, Rafik al-Hariri, in Beirut, have made it clear that such restrictions would be unacceptable.
In a letter the Syrian foreign minister, Farouk al-Sharaa, asked Secretary General Kofi Annan to intervene with Mr. Mehlis and help negotiate a "cooperation protocol." A United Nations spokesman said Mr. Annan would not get involved.
In an interim report last month, Mr. Mehlis said he had evidence of the involvement of Syrian and Lebanese officials in Mr. Hariri's killing.
Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told cabinet colleagues Sunday that Syria would "likely" soon be forced to abandon its support for terrorism. Mofaz told the weekly meeting of the Israeli cabinet that the broad international pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad, following allegations that officials of his government were implicated in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, was beginning to bear fruit."Al-Baath to give up 500,000 members
Mofaz said that it is likely that the pressure being applied on Assad will lead him to abandon terror and evict terror headquarters from Damascus," reported the Ha'aretz newspaper from Jerusalem. "He regarded this as a positive development for Israel," the paper concluded. The Syrian government denies it is a supporter of terrorism, and says the offices that Palestinian and Lebanese militant groups have in Damascus have purely propaganda and fundraising functions, not terrorist ones.
The U.S. government has a patchy relationship with Syria on terrorism issues. On the one hand, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has repeatedly said that Syria is -- at the least -- not doing enough to prevent the infiltration of foreign fighters across its borders into Iraq. Some defense officials privately accuse Assad's security apparatus of harboring senior regime figures and facilitating their insurgency in Iraq. But some intelligence officials say that, behind the scenes, Syrian security has been cooperative against Islamic terror networks. UPI
Reliable sources said that the Regional Leadership of the Baath Party has taken decisions to re-format the party which suffers from being flabby. The measures aim to adopt a genuine political party formula. One of the decisions provided for reducing members of party branches leadership in governorates and universities from ten to five. Sources expected that the issues of elderly members who do not attend party meetings, who are estimated at half a million, will be tackled.New American law against Syria
On Tuesday, November 22, 2005, the President signed into law:
S. 1713, the "Iran Nonproliferation Amendments Act of 2005," which amends the Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000 to apply its provisions to Syria; broadens the Act to cover acquisitions from as well as transfers to Iran and Syria.
US pressures Syria to act over Iraq border
James Jeffrey, senior coordinator for Iraq, also warned Iran against its "illegitimate interference" in its war-torn neighbour. "Syria is a police state. We don't like that, we don't approve of that but it is a fact," James Jeffrey told reporters in Jordan in a videoconference from Washington. "They have the means of controlling the transfer of particularly foreigners into their country and the vast majority of foreign fighters are not Syrians but come from elsewhere."
"We don't know why they are not stopping it but we expect results," he said, adding that a "large majority" of suicide bombers who launch attacks in Iraq come from Syria. "One can argue to what degree Syria is encouraging such moves, assisting it, simply tolerating it by not doing enough to stop it," he added.
Asked what practical steps Syria should take, Jeffrey suggested imposing strict visa controls on young males entering the country. "That would be a first step." Jeffrey dismissed suggestions that direct dialogue with the Syrian authorities would resolve the problem, saying: "They don't need dialogue, they need to produce action."