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The 193-member world body voted on Wednesday to pass the Qatari-drafted resolution condemning Syrian government forces and the “gross violation” of human rights in the country.The final vote tally: 107 in favor, 12 against and 59 abstentions. Russia, China, Syria, Iran and North Korea were among 12 countries to oppose the resolution, while South Africa, India and Brazil were among the dozens who abstained.The draft resolution further welcomes the establishment of the Syrian National Coalition “as effective representative interlocutors needed for a political transition.”The document noted “the wide international acknowledgment” that the main opposition group is the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding and therefore cannot be enforced. The last Arab-sponsored General Assembly resolution regarding Syria was approved by an vote of 133-12 with 31 abstentions last August. UN diplomats said the decline in support for Wednesday’s resolution showed growing concern about the nature of Syria’s fractured opposition fighting against the president of Bashar Assad.Speaking before the vote, Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja’Afari said it was contradictory for the resolution to be tabled under the Assembly’s agenda item on “prevention of armed conflict.” Ja’Afari argued that the resolution would in fact escalate violence by legitimizing the provision of weapons to “terrorists” in Syria and “by recognizing one faction of the opposition as the Syrian people’s legitimate representative.” He further said Al-Qaida-linked terrorists who had committed “unprecedented savage crimes and human rights violations” were operating in Syria thanks to the “involvement of intelligence agencies of well-known States.” He concluded that Syria was in favor of “Syrian-led national dialogue” which would adhere to the will of “the great majority of the Syrian people.”Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin had sent letters in the run-up to the vote urging all member states to vote “no” on the new resolution. He called it “one-sided and biased” as well as “counterproductive” in light of the agreement reached between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry in Moscow last week to convene a follow-up international peace conference on a political transition in Syria.The Arab group decided to seek approval of a wide-ranging resolution on Syria in the General Assembly, where there are no vetoes, to express “international outrage” at the more than 2-year conflict which has claimed the lives of more than 70,000 people.The draft strongly condemns what it characterized as the continued escalation in the Syrian regime’s use of heavy weapons, including indiscriminate shelling from tanks and aircraft, as well as the use of ballistic missiles, cluster munitions and other weapons against populated areas.It further expressed “grave concern at the threat by the Syrian authorities to use chemical or biological weapons, as well as at allegations of reported use of such weapons,” demanding that Syria “strictly observe” international laws prohibiting the use of such weapons.While the draft resolution put the onus of chemical weapon’s use on Damascus, the United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Syria said earlier this month that no evidence had been uncovered implicating the Syrian government in a chemical weapon attack.In an interview to Swiss-Italian television, the lead commission member Carla Del Ponte revealed that the “investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated.”However, rather than government forces, Del Ponte concluded: “This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities.” …
Dubreuil is also a spokesperson for Survie, an organization that battles against colonialism.RT: Given the security situation in Mali, is this summit aimed at funding reconstruction good timing?Danyel Dubreuil: It’s only the next stage in the operation… At the beginning, the French government said that it was meant to be only a military operation, and a short military operation. However, after a few days they said they would have to stay for a long time to rebuild the country, so now their goal is to rebuild the country. So they have to find money anyway to do that. RT: Mali is seeking 2 billion euro in compensation. Do you think that pouring money into Mali help bring stability and democracy as promised, or will we see another Afghanistan where lots of money has little result?DD: I don’t know about the comparison with Afghanistan, but bringing so much money into a country never led to any results in terms of development. If you look 50 years back, we did these kinds of policies in countries like Mali. So it’s all the conception of development policies that they have to change. And pouring money into the system that is greatly corrupted [means that] the money never goes to the people who really need them…You have to have strong political institutions, strong policies that aim to improve the conditions, the worst conditions of the people.RT: Let’s turn to the French operation in Mali – why exactly is Paris planning to keep a thousand troops in the country even after UN peacekeepers take over later this year? Are we looking at an occupation here?DD: It depends on the side you’re looking at. If you’re at the side of the French people, at the traditions we have since 1960, at the colonization time, we kept thousands of soldiers on the African soil. We still have four permanent bases and 5,000 soldiers there. So now the question is whether they will permanently stay in Mali. They spoke about 1,000 soldiers for an indefinite period of time. The French government didn’t say they would settle a new base in Mali, but they say they will stay there as long as they need.RT: What are the true intentions of Paris in this ongoing conflict? Are we talking about sowing the seeds of democracy, or are we talking, more simply, about protecting the natural resources in the best economic interest of France?DD: It’s to restore the French position in Africa, as this part of the world has been directly targeted by a lot of powerful countries who were looking for natural resources. And France has a traditional strong position in this continent. They are looking not to lose this position, they are showing [their] muscles, if you want. …
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PKK fighters begin to withdraw from Turkey 09/05/2013 00:55 CET
Kurdish fighters leaving Turkey 08/05/2013 18:02 CET
Kurdish militants to begin withdrawal from Turkey in… 25/04/2013 15:37 CET
Turkey reveals secret PKK talks 07/01/2013 19:04 CET
PKK attack in Turkey kills 8 soldiers 19/06/2012 09:33 CET
The first Kurdish PKK members have arrived in Iraq, under a peace plan organised by the Turkish Government.
It’s hoped the initiative will put an end to the thirty year conflict.
Fifteen men and women crossed the frontier to be met by Iraqi Kurd colleagues.
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