Moscow pushes for Syria talks as Gulf observers leave

Moscow pushes for Syria talks as Gulf observers leave

Around 30 observers from the Arabian Gulf countries left Damascus Wednesday, pulled out by their governments to protest the Syrian government's failure to stop 11 months of violence, dpa reported.

The move came was an Arab League delegation was expected to arrive in New York before the weekend to seek contact with the UN Security Council, which has been blocked for months by Russia and China from condemning the violence in Syria.

Russia, a key ally of Damascus, said it would resist any UN sanctions on Syria and reiterated opposition to a military intervention. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called on the world to support reconciliation talks between Bashar al-Assad's government and the Syrian opposition, and offered to host them.

On Wednesday alone, at least 26 people were killed, among them a Christian clergyman, Bassilius Nassar, and the head of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, Abd-al-Razzaq Jbeiro.

The Arabian Gulf team - part of an Arab League observer mission - left the Sheraton Hotel in Damascus for the airport amid heavy security, a source close to the delegation told dpa.

"The number of observers stands now at 120. But more are set to arrive (in Syria) to replace those who left," the source said.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem stressed his government's commitment to "complete cooperation" with the observer mission to Syria.

"Syria is committed to facilitating the accomplishment of the mission, as it was commissioned, in spite of the obstacles being put in the way by sides which do not want to show the reality of the situation in Syria," al-Moallem was quoted by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), after meeting with the head of the Arab League Observer Mission, Mohammed al-Dabi.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) announced on Tuesday it would withdraw its observers and urged the United Nations Security Council to press Damascus to implement an Arab plan to end bloodshed in the country. The GCC comprises Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

Syria is under intense international scrutiny for its ruthless clampdown on pro-democracy protests.

According to UN estimates, more than 5,400 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising began against the al-Assad regime. Syrian opposition groups have accused the observer mission, which began on December 26, of giving al-Assad's regime time to kill more people.

Arab League chief Nabil Al-Arabi and Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani - who heads the pan-Arab body's committee on Syria - have written jointly to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, requesting a meeting to propose a new plan for a political solution in Syria.

The Syrian opposition quickly lashed out at Lavrov, accusing the Russian government of being biased towards al-Assad's regime, allegedly to serve its own interests in the region.

"Russia should know that this regime will not keep its place forever. It (Russia) has to deal with what the free people of Syria are aspiring to," said Radwman Zaideh, a member of the Syrian opposition.

Meanwhile, activists told dpa that 26 people were killed in violence that gripped the provinces of Hama, Homs and Idlib.

The Syrian regime and opposition traded blame for the killing of Christian clergyman, Bassilius Nassar, and the regional Syrian Red Crescent secretary general Abd-al-Razzaq Jbeiro.

An "armed terrorist group" killed a priest in Hama in central Syria on Wednesday, SANA said.

"An armed terrorist group killed the priest as he was helping a man who was wounded in the neighborhood of al-Jarajmah," SANA added.

But activists said the priest was killed by Syrian security. They added that the regime also killed Razzaq Jbeiro in the province of Idlib, in the Khan Sheikhoun area.

The Syrian Arab Red Crescent said Jbeiro was travelling in a vehicle with clear markings of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent near Khan Sheikhoun on the Halab-Damascus Highway.

"The shooting occurred as he was returning to Idlib in a vehicle clearly marked with the red crescent emblem after attending meetings at Syrian Arab Red Crescent headquarters in Damascus," the group said in a statement. The organization, along with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, expressed shock at the killing.

"The 'shabiha' (pro-regime militiamen) and security forces backed up by tanks are attacking all parts of the Baba Qibli neighbourhood (of Hama)," said Local Coordination Committees, an opposition group that organizes anti-government protests.

All telephone and communications have been cut in Hama since Tuesday, opposition activists said.

They added that about 4,000 soldiers supported by tanks were surrounding Hama.

In Homs, another dissident province, at least 16 people were killed on Wednesday in shelling by government forces, activists said.

Six of the bodies were found under the rubble of a building destroyed by the shelling, they added.

It is hard to independently verify news from Syria as authorities have barred most foreign media from having access to flashpoint areas.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Turkmenistan, Tajikistan to attract small, medium businesses to joint projects
Turkmenistan, Tajikistan to attract small, medium businesses to joint projects
Turkmen company exports paper products to Uzbekistan, Turkey
Turkmen company exports paper products to Uzbekistan, Turkey
Turkmen ministry prolongs tender for supply of metal blanks
Turkmen ministry prolongs tender for supply of metal blanks
Loading Bars
EU supports measures to establish long-term peace in South Caucasus - EU High Representative
Energy efficiency needs to be tackled by all stakeholders – Azerbaijan’s deputy energy minister
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for December 2
Bakcell subscribers now have the opportunity to renew "Asan Imza" via SMS
Unprecedented opportunities for peace available in South Caucasus - Turkish FM
Iran increases import of wheat
Azerbaijani Air Force Bayraktar drones make training flights (VIDEO)
US, UK’s ambassadors visit Azerbaijan’s Aghdam district (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan, CAREC to create Green Energy Alliance concept
Crucial to correctly and fully inform public about major investigation processes – aide to Azerbaijani President
Volume of loaded/unloaded cargo in Iran’s Shahid Rajaee port declines
OSCE fully supports possible development of ties among South Caucasus countries - Chairperson-in-Office
Azerbaijan's monetary base increases for 11M2021
Azerbaijan raised mine threat issue before int'l community – president’s assistant
It is necessary to minimize references to Armenian media – assistant to Azerbaijani President
Situation on Azerbaijani-Armenian border is stable - Azerbaijani president's aide
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price dips
Turkey discloses number of docking ships at Aliaga port for 10M2021
Sustainable peace is required to build culture – Azerbaijani minister
Azerbaijani people always call for peace - assistant to President
Azerbaijan Banks Association, VISA talk strategic plans
Azerbaijan shares data on mine accidents for Nov. 2021
British Council and the ADA University are bringing together entrepreneurs and students for a #mycreativespark forum (PHOTO)
Number of rules prevent Iran from exporting minerals, mining products - TPOI
Number of industrial enterprises launched in Iran grows
Azerbaijan’s 10M2021 electricity export increases
Azerbaijan's Express-C auctions its bonds through Baku Stock Exchange
Azerbaijani Customs Committee exceeds forecast for transfers to state budget in 11M2021
Uzbek and Russian companies to use new technologies for production of high-octane gasoline
Israeli startups raised $2.8b in November
President Ilham Aliyev sends congratulations to head of UAE
OPEC+ weighs output policy as Omicron fears hammer prices
We see opportunity for young generation of Azerbaijan, Armenia to find common language – president’s assistant
Azerbaijan known for its cultural diversity - head of International Fund for Turkic Culture and Heritage
SOCAR reveals volume of oil supply via Baku-Novorossiysk
Sustainable peace needed to restore Azerbaijan's destroyed cultural heritage – minister
Peace can only be achieved through dialogue - International Dialogue Center (PHOTO)
Sustainable peace requires continuous effort - UN High Representative
Azerbaijan becomes center for different religions, cultures, thanks to President Ilham Aliyev - FFEU (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan waited 30 years for UNESCO to talk about country's destroyed cultural heritage - president's assistant (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan to be praised for its efforts towards greater appreciation of peace building - ICESCO Director General
Azerbaijan hosts Peace4Culture Partners Forum 2021
Turkmenistan, Tajikistan to attract small, medium businesses to joint projects
Azerbaijan discloses oil exports to India over 10M2021
Azerbaijan’s 10M2021 oil exports to Portugal revealed
S.Korea hits new COVID-19 record, halts quarantine exemptions to block Omicron
Azerbaijan reveals oil exports to Germany in 10M2021
Number of passenger planes received by Iran’s Persian Gulf International Airport soars
Iran unveils data on projects to be launched, based on pre-agreed foreign investments
Baku Book Center hosts book presentation of writer Charlie MacKesy, translated into Azerbaijani (PHOTO)
Canadian Condor Petroleum to convert Kazakhstan’s freight locomotive fleet to run on LNG
Uzbekhydroenergo JSC’s program to support decarbonisation in Uzbekistan – Fitch Ratings
Iran records increase in cargo movements at Khorramshahr port
Azerbaijan reveals number of streets in Baku named after martyrs of second Karabakh war (Exclusive)
Preventive maintenance of substation conducted at SOCAR’s Kulevi terminal
President Ilham Aliyev receives president of Turkish Council of Higher Education (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Azerbaijan's Central Bank increases its foreign exchange reserves since early 2021
Heydar Aliyev Foundation completes restoration of Catholic Church of Blessed Virgin Mary in Baku (PHOTO)
First known UAE case of Omicron variant detected in fully vaccinated traveller
Uzbekistan shares domestic COVID-19 data for December 1
Azerbaijani currency rates for December 2
Azerbaijani oil prices increase
Azerbaijan elected member of UNESCO Committee for Protection of Cultural Property in Event of Armed Conflict
Iranian currency rates for Dec. 2
Oil rises as investors focus on OPEC+ decision amid growing Omicron fears
Azerbaijan announces new auctions on state property facilities
US to strengthen travel restrictions
IAEA says Iran begun using advanced centrifuge at Fordow
Iran, Russia to speed up construction of International North-South Corridor
Uzbekistan tightens quarantine measures for people coming from Germany, UK and 9 other countries
Georgian PM invited to Eastern Partnership Summit
Ireland reports first case of Omicron variant
Amazon invests in 274 renewable energy projects globally
World Bank backs using $280 mln in frozen aid funds for Afghanistan
Cavushoglu, Blinken discuss situation in Azerbaijan and Armenia
Alec Baldwin on fatal movie set shooting; ‘I didn't pull the trigger’
Afghanistan's GDP likely to drop 20 pct in one year: UN
UAE reports its first case of COVID-19 variant Omicron
Moderna exec says company could have Omicron booster ready in March
UN says international migration rose last year despite Covid-19 impact
Kyrgyz border service reports shots from Tajikistan
Bennett declares ‘Yamam’ Israel’s national counterterrorism force
Transport infrastructure in Karabakh to turn Azerbaijan into logistics hub between Central Asia and Europe – CAERC
Four injured after old WWII aircraft bomb explodes in Munich - police
1st US case of COVID-19 omicron variant identified - Fauci
OPEC can elect new secretary general in January 2022 — source
President Erdogan talks bilateral relations with Crown Prince of UAE
Georgia to receive special PCR tests to detect new Omicron variant of coronavirus
Qatar Airways to launch flights to Uzbekistan from Jan 17, 2022
Iran military clashes with armed men on Afghan border
Armenia found itself in complete military-political isolation even within CSTO - Russian military expert
Net foreign assets in Azerbaijan grow for 10M2021
New geopolitical situation in region opens way for Azerbaijan’s further development - ambassador
Ambassador of Kazakhstan expresses condolences to Azerbaijan due to helicopter crash
Azerbaijan working on reconstruction railway line which is part of Zangazur corridor (PHOTO)
SOCAR’s STAR refinery tests numerous types of crude oil
Azerbaijan considering sending medical workers of Baku clinics to district hospitals
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 1,795 more COVID-19 cases, 1,967 recoveries
Azerbaijani National Depository Center opens tender to buy new generation security system
All news