New York: The overuse of veto rights — such as blocking three United Nations Security Council resolutions on Syria — has reduced Russia’s international standing and contributed to its growing isolation. Unless the Kremlin becomes more pragmatic and softens its dealings with other nations and institutions, the country will see its influence further erode.
London: This is a summary of discussions that took place in a closed-door study group bringing together experts from Chatham House's Middle East and North Africa, International Law and International Security programmes. With little or no prospect for a negotiated end to the civil conflict in Syria, the discussion focused on the prospects for foreign intervention across a range of options, taking into account the current diplomatic stalemate, existing lines of support to conflicting parties, and alternative international approaches that may emerge as the situation deteriorates.
Jerusalem: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to visit Istanbul on Saturday for talks with Turkish leaders that will focus on the situation in Syria, but are also expected to touch on Israeli-Turkish relations. The US has long been pressing its two regional allies – Israel and Turkey – to find a formula for rapprochement at a time of upheaval in the region. Clinton raised the issue in Jerusalem during her visit here three weeks ago.
Johannesburg: In the midst of escalating violence in Syria, the UN Security Council (UNSC) on 19 July 2012 failed to reach consensus on an appropriate international response to contain the crisis. A draft resolution tabled by the United Kingdom (UK), with the support of other western countries in the Council, failed to gain the endorsement of the UNSC after Russia and China predictably vetoed it.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today paid his respects to the victims of Srebrenica and called on the world to learn the lessons from the 1995 massacre and stop the ongoing bloodshed in Syria. "We must learn from the lessons of Srebrenica," Mr. Ban said as he visited the memorial site for the 8,000 Muslim men and boys who were killed by Bosnian Serb forces who overran Srebrenica – the largest such massacre on European soil since the founding of the United Nations.
UN human rights chief Navi Pillay appealed to both Syrian government forces and rebels on Friday to spare civilians in Aleppo, voicing deep concern at the "likelihood of an imminent major confrontation" in the city. "Civilians and civilian objects - including homes and other property, businesses, schools and places of worship - must be protected at all times. All parties, including the government and opposition forces, must ensure that they distinguish between civilian and military targets," Pillay said in a statement.
Johannesburg: In a week when South Africa was jubilant over the election of Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as the first chairwoman of the African Union Commission, Pretoria was back in the spotlight — this time regarding its stance on the proposed United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution on the situation in Syria.
Washington: The assassination of three Syrian military leaders loyal to President Bashar al-Assad may hasten the end of his family’s four-decade rule, an upheaval that would affect the security and influence of Israel, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon and other neighboring states. Nabil el-Arabi, secretary-general of the Arab League, expressed anxiety among Syria’s neighbors over the regional fallout from the crisis when he warned July 18 of “a collapse in the situation not only in Syria, but for the whole region.”
Pretoria: Asked about South Africa’s position ahead of the vote at the UN Security Council on the extension ofthe United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria’s (UNSMIS) mandate expected to take place in New York later today, 19 July 2012, the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Ebrahim Ebrahim, said: "South Africa deplores the continuing violence in Syria, which is spinning out of control. Our highest priority is to stop the killing and end the suffering of innocent civilians. We have been calling for an immediate end to the violence and for talks to begin to reach a Syrian-led political transition reflecting the will of the Syrian people.
New York: The Secretary-General welcomes the agreement reached by the Action Group and the determination expressed by the participants to work jointly to resolve the Syrian crisis. This includes the proposed establishment of a transitional governing body, with full executive powers, as part of important agreed principles and guidelines for a Syrian-led political transition that would meet the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.