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Public Policy & Politics, Syria


The so-called Syrian opposition was created by the neighbouring countries of Turkey and Saudi Arabia, adviser to the Syrian president Buseyn Shaaban said in an interview on the Russia Today TV channel on Wednesday.

According to Shaaban, there are groups and gangs created by third forces in Syria, rather than the opposition.


Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem confirmed Tuesday to UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi that the Syrian government will attend talks in Geneva aimed at ending the country's 31-month conflict, dpa reporterd.

Al-Moallem told Brahimi that Syria would take part in the talks "on the basis of the Syrian people's exclusive right to decide upon their political future and choosing their leadership, rejecting any form of foreign interference," state television reported.

No date has been set for the conference, but the Arab League has said it might take place on November 23-24.


Western and Arab powers agreed with Syrian opposition leaders Tuesday that President Bashar al-Assad should be excluded from any future government, but urged the rebels to take part in a peace conference in Geneva, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said after a meeting in London that the rebels had to overcome their differences and commit themselves to the talks in the Swiss city that are due to take place in late November.


Secretary of State John Kerry called on Monday for a peace conference on Syria "very soon" but said peace would not be possible without a transition government to replace President Bashar al-Assad, Reuters reported.

"We believe it is urgent to set a day, to convene the conference and work toward a new Syria," Kerry told reporters after meeting United Nations special envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi in London.


UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday he will ask world leaders to act to stop the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict, dpa reported.

"I will make a strong appeal to world leaders in next week's UN General Assembly for action" in Syria, Ban told a news conference. He said also that a UN Security Council resolution on Syria should have teeth.

Based on findings that hundreds of people were killed by chemical weapons last month in the suburbs of Damascus, Ban called for the perpetrators of the attacks to be brought to justice.


The Syrian authorities handed over to Russia evidence proving that opposition forces were allegedly involved in the use of chemical weapons last month, a senior Russian diplomat said.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Tuesday night after the meeting with his Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem in Damascus that "this evidence must be analyzed", RIA Novosti reported.


Syria is ready to sign the Chemical Weapons Convention, open its storage sites and declare its arsenal, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Tuesday, dpa reported.

"We are ready to fulfill our obligations in compliance with this treaty, including through the provision of information about our chemical weapons," al-Moallem said.

"We will open our storage sites and cease production. We are ready to open these facilities to Russia, other countries and the United Nations."


Guards ejected several protestors Tuesday as US senators deliberated the White House request for authorization of US military action against Syria over its use of chemical weapons, dpa reported.

A number of people in the hearing room of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held up pink signs announcing their opposition to US military action.

One protestor charged that the US had used chemical weapons in Iraq, and was among those ejected by congressional guards in the course of the hours-long hearing.


Palestinians are against an attack on Syria, President Mahmoud Abbas said, while condemning the use of chemical weapons, dpa reported.

"What is going on in Syria is very dangerous," the official WAFA news agency Monday quoted Abbas as saying. "But our position is that we are against an attack because we do not want any Arab country to come under attack from outside; we do not accept that."

He warned that a military solution would divide Syria as it did in the 1920s during French colonization, or prolong the civil war.


Baku's position on the Syrian issue is not yet concrete, Deputy Head of the Administration of the Azerbaijani President, Head of the Foreign Relations Department, Novruz Mammadov said during his speech on Monday.

He was addressing the second forum 'South Caucasus in a changing world', organized by the Association of Scientists for International Relations of the Center of Strategic Studies under the Azerbaijani President.