Tracking foreign interference in Hong Kong

Tracking foreign interference in Hong Kong

October 08, 2019

By Pepe Escobar : Hong Kong – Posted with permission

Lawyer Lawrence Ma claims the US has been supporting the protests via groups such as the NED

More than a million Hong Kongers joined marches in June to oppose a China extradition law. But some say the US is quickly backing the protests. Photo: Don Ng/ EyePress

Lawrence YK Ma is the executive council chairman of the Hong Kong Legal Exchange Foundation and director of the China Law Society, the Chinese Judicial Studies Association and the Hong Kong Legal Exchange Foundation. He also finds time to teach law at Nankai University in Tianjin.

Ma is the go-to expert in what is arguably the most sensitive subject in Hong Kong: He meticulously tracks perceived foreign interference in the Special Administrative Region (SAR).

In the West, in similar circumstances, he would be a media star. With a smirk, he told me that local journalists, whether working in English or Chinese, rarely visit him – not to mention foreigners.

Ma received me at his office in Wanchai this past Saturday morning after a “dark day” of rampage, as described by the SAR government. He wasted no time before calling my attention to a petition requesting a “United Nations investigation into the United States’ involvement in Hong Kong riots.”

He let me see a copy of the document, which lists the People’s Republic of China as petitioner, the United States of America as respondent nation and the Hong Kong Legal Exchange Foundation as ex parte petitioner. This was submitted on Aug. 16 to the UN Security Council in Geneva, directed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

In the document, Issue II deals with “funded, sponsored and provided supplies to any organizations, groups, companies, political parties or individuals” and “trained and frontline protesters, students and dissidents.”

Predictably, the US National Endowment for Democracy is listed in the documentation: its largest 2018 grants were directed to China, slightly ahead of Russia.

The NED was founded in 1983 after serial covert CIA ops across the Global South had been exposed.

In 1986, NED President Carl Gershman told the New York Times: “It would be terrible for democratic groups around the world to be seen as subsidized by the CIA. We saw that in the ‘60s, and that’s why it has been discontinued.” As the Times article explained about the NED:

In some respects, the program resembles the aid given by the Central Intelligence Agency in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s to bolster pro-American political groups. But that aid was clandestine and, subsequent Congressional investigations found, often used planted newspaper articles and other forms of intentionally misleading information. The current financing is largely public – despite some recipients’ wish to keep some activities secret – and appears to be given with the objective of shoring up political pluralism, broader than the CIA’s goals of fostering pro-Americanism.

Soft power at work

So it’s no secret, all across the Global South, that under the cover of a benign umbrella promoting democracy and human rights, the NED works as a soft-power mechanism actively interfering in politics and society. Recent examples include Ukraine, Venezuela and Nicaragua. In many cases, that is conducive to regime change.

The NED’s board of directors includes Elliott Abrams, who was instrumental in financing and weaponizing the Contras in Nicaragua, and Victoria Nuland, who supervised the financing and weaponizing of militias in Ukraine that some but not all experts have described as neo-fascist.

The NED offers grants via various branches. One of them is the National Democratic Institute, which has been active in Hong Kong since the 1997 handover. These are some of the grants offered by the NED in Hong Kong in 2018.

At least one Hong Kong-based publication took the trouble of studying the NED’s local connections, even publishing a chart of the anti-extradition protest organizational structure. But none of the evidence is conclusive. The most the publication could say was, “If we analyze the historical involvement of NED in Occupy Central and the sequence of events that took place from March in 2019, it is highly possible that the Americans may be potentially involved in the current civil unrest via NED – albeit not conclusive.”

Issue III of the petition sent to the UN deals with “coordinated, directed and covertly commanded on-ground operations; connived with favorable and compatible local and American media so as to present biased new coverage.”

On “coordination,” the main political operative is identified as Julie Eadeh, based at the US Consulate after a previous Middle East stint. Eadeh became a viral sensation in China when she was caught on camera, on the same day, meeting with Anson Chan and Martin Lee, close allies of Jimmy  Lai, founder of pro-protest Apple Daily, and protest leaders Joshua Wong and Nathan Law in the lobby of the Marriott.

The US State Department responded by calling the Chinese government “thuggish” for releasing photographs and personal information about Eadeh.

The NED and Eadeh are also the subjects of further accusations in the petition’s Issue IV (“Investigation of various institutions”).

All in the Basic Law

Ma is the author of an exhaustive, extensively annotated book, Hong Kong Basic Law: Principles and Controversies, published by the Hong Kong Legal Exchange Foundation.

Maria Tam, a member both of the Hong Kong SAR Basic Law Committee and of China’s National People’s Congress, praises the book’s analysis of the ultra-sensitive interpretation of the Basic Law, saying “the common law system has remained unaffected, its judicial independence remaining the best in Asia”, with Hong Kong firmly placed – so far at least – as “the third most preferred avenue for international arbitration.”

In the book, Ma extensively analyzes the finer points of the China containment policy. But he also adds culture to the mix, for instance examining the work of Liang Shuming (1893-1988) on the philosophical compatibility of traditional Chinese Confucianism with the technology of the West. Liang argued that China’s choice, in stark terms, was between wholesale Westernization or complete rejection of the West.

But Ma really hits a nerve when he examines Hong Kong’s unique role – and positioning – as a vector of the China containment policy, facilitated by a prevailing anti-communist sentiment and the absence of a national security law.

This is something that cannot be understood without examining the successive waves of emigration to Hong Kong. The first took place during the Communist-Nationalist civil war (1927-1950) and the Sino-Japanese war (1937-1945); the second, during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1977).

Ma significantly quotes a 1982 poll claiming that 95% of respondents were in favor of maintaining British rule. Everyone who followed the 1997 Hong Kong handover remembers the widespread fear of Chinese tanks rolling into Kowloon at midnight.

In sum, Ma argues that, for Washington, what matters is to “make China’s island of Hong Kong as difficult to govern for Beijing as possible.”

Integrate or perish

Anyone who takes time to carefully study the complexities of the Basic Law can see how Hong Kong is an indivisible part of China. Hundreds of millions of Mainland Chinese now have seen what the black bloc brand of “democracy” – vandalizing public and private property – has done to ruin Hong Kong.

Arguably, in the long run, and after an inevitable cleanup operation, the whole drama may only strengthen Hong Kong’s integration with China. Add to it that China, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia and Japan have separately asked Hong Kong authorities for a detailed list of black bloc rioters.

In my conversations these past few days with informed Hong Kongers – mature businessmen and businesswomen who understand the Basic Law and relations with China – two themes have been recurrent.

One is the weakness of Carrie Lam’s government, with suggestions that the outside non-well-wishers knew her understaffed and overstretched police force would not be up to the task of maintaining security across town. At the same time, many remarked how the response from Washington and London to the Emergency Regulations approval of the anti-mask law was – surprisingly – restrained.

The other theme is decolonization. My interlocutors argued that China did not “control” Hong Kong; if it did, riots would never have happened. Add to it that Lam may have been instructed to do nothing, lest she would mess up an incandescent situation even more.

Now it’s a completely new ball game. Beijing, even discreetly, will insist on a purge of anyone in the civil service who would be identified as anti-China. If Lam just continues to insist on her beloved “dialogue,” she may be replaced by a hands-on CEO such as CY Leung or Regina Ip.

Amid so much gloom, there may be a silver lining. And that concerns the Greater Bay Area project. My interlocutors tend to believe that after the storm ends and after carefully studying the situation for some months, Beijing will soon come up with a new plan to tighten Hong Kong’s integration to the mainland’s economy even more.

The first step was to tell Hong Kong’s tycoons to get their act together and be more socially responsible. The second will be to convince Hong Kong’s businesses to reinvent themselves for good and profit as part of the Greater Bay Area and the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative.

Hong Kong will thrive only if plugged, not unplugged. That may be the ultimate – profitable – argument against any form of foreign sabotage.

 

Russian Federation – Minister for Foreign Affairs Addresses General Debate, 74th Session

Source

September 27, 2019

Sergey Lavrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, addresses the general debate of the 74th Session of the General Assembly of the UN (New York, 24 – 30 September 2019).

Transcript : http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/3822351

28 September 201900:13
Statement by H.E. Mr. Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, New York, September 27, 2019

Unofficial translation

Distinguished Mr. President,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The 75th anniversary of the United Nations which was established as a result of the Victory in World War II and the realization of the need for a collective mechanism to maintain international peace and security, is getting closer. Regrettably, the events of the Cold War, which started soon after, prevented this tremendous creative potential from being unleashed.

The hope arose again almost 30 years ago when the Berlin Wall symbolizing confrontation of the two irreconcilable systems fell. It was the hope for the possibility to finally turn the grievous pages of wars – not only hot but also cold – and to join efforts for the benefit of all mankind.

However, we have to admit – although World War III was prevented thanks to the UN, the number of conflicts on the planet has not declined and enmity has not weakened. New most acute challenges emerged – international terrorism, drug trafficking, climate change, illegal migration, the growing gap between the rich and the poor. It is getting harder to address these and many other challenges from year to year. The fragmentation of international community is only increasing.

In our view, the reason for the current state of affairs lies, first and foremost, in the unwillingness of the countries which declared themselves winners in the Cold War to reckon with the legitimate interests of all other states, to accept the realities of the objective course of history.

It is hard for the West to put up with its weakening centuries-long dominance in world affairs. New centers of economic growth and political influence have emerged and are developing. Without them it is impossible to find sustainable solution to the global challenges which can be addressed only on the firm basis of the UN Charter through the balance of interests of all states.

Leading Western countries are trying to impede the development of the polycentric world, to recover their privileged positions, to impose standards of conduct based on the narrow Western interpretation of liberalism on others. In a nutshell, “we are liberals, and we can do anything”. Pursuing these aspirations, the West is less frequently recalling international law and more often and importunately dwelling upon the “rules-based order”.

The aim of such a concept is obvious – to revise the norms of international law which no longer suit the West, to substitute it for the “rules” adjusted to its self-serving schemes which are elaborated depending on the political expediency, and to proclaim the West and only the West as an indisputable source of legitimacy. For instance, when it is advantageous, the right of the peoples to self-determination has significance and when it is not – it is declared “illegal”.

In order to justify revisionist “rules” the West resorts to manipulation of public consciousness, dissemination of false information, double standards on human rights, suppression of undesirable media, bans on practicing journalism. Moreover, the West got “apt students” among its wards on the post-Soviet territory.

Instead of equal collective work, closed formats beyond legitimate multilateral framework are being created, and approaches agreed upon behind closed doors by a narrow group of the “select few” are then declared “multilateral agreements”. This is accompanied by the attempts to “privatize” the secretariats of international organizations, to use them in order to advance non-consensual ideas in circumvention of universal mechanisms.

Attacks on international law are looming large. The US withdrawal from the JCPOA endorsed by UNSC Resolution 2231 is broadly discussed. Washington not just repudiated its obligations enshrined in this Resolution but started demanding from others to play by American “rules” and sabotage its implementation.

The United States set a tough course for abolishing the UN resolutions on international legal framework of the Middle East settlement. It suggests waiting for some “deal of the century”, meanwhile it has taken unilateral decisions on Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. A two-state solution to the Palestinian issue – which is essential for satisfying the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people and providing security for Israel and the whole region – is under threat.

Apparently, when NATO members were bombing Libya blatantly violating the UNSC resolution, they were also guided by the logic of their “rules-based order”. It resulted in the destruction of Libyan statehood, and international community is still disentangling the disastrous repercussions of NATO’s adventure with African countries affected the most.

“Hidden agendas” in countering terrorism remain – despite the universally binding Security Council decisions on listing terrorist organizations, some countries made it a “rule” to cover terrorists and even to engage in cooperation with them on the ground as it is happening, for instance, in Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria. The United States has already been saying it loud that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham is a rather moderate structure which “can be dealt with”. As recent discussions on the situation in the Syrian Idlib showed, the United States wants to induce members of the UNSC to such unacceptable logic.

The West also has its own “rules” regarding the Balkans where it is pursuing an open course for undermining the UNSC decisions on Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina settlement.

Universal conventions together with the SC resolutions are an integral part of international law. The West would like to substitute even them for its “rules” as it happened in the OPCW whose Technical Secretariat was illegally granted “attributive” functions through unlawful manipulations and unscrupulous pressure in direct violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and exclusive prerogatives of the Security Council.

Playing with Conventions obliging all countries to provide linguistic, educational, religious and other rights of national minorities continue. Even here our Western colleagues are guided by their “rules” – they turn a blind eye to the open denial of national minorities’ relevant rights and indulge the retaining of an ignominious phenomenon of statelessness in Europe.

The course for the revision of international law is more frequently observed in the persistent policy of rewriting the history of World War II, justifying an increasing number of manifestations of neo-Nazism, vandalism against the monuments to the liberators of Europe and Holocaust victims.

The key principles of the UN Charter – non-interference in internal affairs, non-use of force or the threat of force – are also undergoing durability tests.

We are now facing the attempts to add Venezuela to the list of countries whose statehood was destroyed before our eyes through aggression or coups inspired from abroad. Like the overwhelming majority of the UN members, Russia is rejecting the attempts to return the “rules” dating back to the times of Monroe Doctrine to Latin America, to change from outside regimes in sovereign states descending to the methods of military blackmail, unlawful coercion and blockade as it happens in relation to Cuba in defiance of the UN resolutions.

Next year marks the 60th anniversary of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples adopted at the initiative of our country. However, a number of Western states are still clinging to the old “rules”, ignoring this Declaration and other decisions of the General Assembly on decolonization addressed directly to them, while keeping former overseas territories under their control.

This November marks another anniversary – 20 years since the adoption of the Charter for European Security and the Platform for Co-operative Security. These documents set out principles of cooperation for all countries and organizations in the Euro-Atlantic region. Heads of states and governments solemnly declared that no one should provide his own security at the expense of other’s security. Regrettably, the consensus reached back then today is substituted for taken as a “rule” NATO practice, the organization which continues thinking in terms of searching for enemies, while moving its military infrastructure to the East to the Russian borders and increasing its military budgets, although they already exceed the Russian one more than 20 times. We call on NATO to return to the agreements on shaping equal and indivisible security in the OSCE area. Recently, responsible European politicians have been speaking in favor of it, which, in particular, was demonstrated during the meeting of the Presidents of the Russian Federation and France in August.

The Asia-Pacific region needs a reliable and open architecture. It is dangerous to yield to the temptation and divide it into conflicting blocs. Such attempts will contradict the task to join efforts of all countries in the region in order to effectively address the continuing threats and challenges there, including the task to resolve a whole range of issues on the Korean Peninsula exclusively by peaceful means.

Actions taken by the United States, which, following its withdrawal from the ABM Treaty, destroyed the INF Treaty with the overwhelming support of all NATO members, caused a huge damage to the global system of strategic stability which had been established for decades. Now the United States is questioning the future of the New START Treaty, refusing to ratify the CTBT. Moreover, it has lowered the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons in its doctrinal documents. The United States is setting course for transforming cyberspace and outer space into the arena for military confrontation.

In order to prevent further escalation of tensions, Russia proposed several initiatives. President Vladimir Putin announced the decision not to deploy land-based intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles in Europe or other regions if and as long as the Americans refrain from doing it. We called on the United States and NATO to join such a moratorium. We have also repeatedly suggested Washington that we start negotiations on prolonging the New START Treaty. Together with China we support the harmonization of a legally binding document on the prevention of an arms race in outer space. So far, the reaction of the United States and its allies has not been encouraging.

We are alarmed by the protracted lack of answer to our proposal made to American colleagues already a year ago – to adopt a high-level Russian-American statement on unacceptability and inadmissibility of the nuclear war which by definition cannot have a winner. We call on all countries to support this initiative.

Today I would like to make an announcement – at the current session of the General Assembly we are introducing a draft resolution on Strengthening and Developing the System of Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Agreements. We invite everyone to conduct substantial talks. The adoption of the resolution would greatly contribute to the creation of conditions for a successful hosting of another NPT Review Conference next year.

Russia will continue to work persistently in order to strengthen universal security. In this sphere, we are acting with utmost responsibility, exercising restraint in enhancing defence capacity – obviously, without any damage to the effective delivery of national security and in full compliance with international law.

We support the consolidation of efforts to combat international terrorism under the auspices of the UN. In the interests of mobilizing the potential of regional organizations to suppress the terrorist threat Russia initiated a Ministerial meeting of the Security Council with the participation of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Among the most critical tasks of the world community is elaboration of generally acceptable approaches to the digital sphere management and understanding of the processes related to the creation of artificial intelligence. Last year, the General Assembly endorsed the beginning of the substantive work on discussing the rules of the responsible conduct of states in information space. Resolution on Combating Cybercrime was adopted at Russia’s initiative. It is important to work for achieving legally binding agreements on all aspects of international information security.

We need to step up efforts to facilitate the settlement of numerous crises and conflicts in all regions of the world. The main point is to seek compliance with already existing agreements from parties without allowing them to invent pretexts to refuse from implementing obligations already taken during negotiations. This also concerns conflicts on the post-Soviet territory, including the need to strictly follow the provisions of the Minsk Package of Measures to settle the crisis in the East of Ukraine.

In Syria, where major success in combating terrorism has been achieved, further advancement of the political process lead by the Syrians with the assistance of the UN is at the forefront. With the decisive contribution of Russia, Turkey, and Iran as guarantors of the Astana format, the establishment of the Constitutional Committee has been finished, which was announced by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres a few days ago. Post-conflict reconstruction and creation of conditions for the return of the refugees are the items on the agenda. Here the UN system is to play an important role.

Yet, on the whole, the Middle East and North Africa still face many challenges. We witness what is happening in Libya and Yemen. Prospects for the Palestinian settlement are on the verge of collapse. Efforts to play the “Kurdish card” – which is combustible for many countries – are alarming.

The Persian Gulf region is facing artificial escalation of tensions. We call on overcoming the existing disagreements through dialogue without baseless accusations. On our part, we made a contribution having presented this summer the renewed Russian concept of the collective security in this region.

Supporting the efforts of the African states to put an end to conflicts on their continent, yesterday Russia organized the meeting of the Security Council on strengthening peace and security in Africa. At the end of October, Sochi will host the first ever Russia-Africa Summit. We hope its outcomes will help increase the effectiveness of addressing modern challenges and threats and of work to overcome the problems of development African countries are facing.

The reform of the SC is aimed at improving the UN anti-crisis and peacekeeping activities. Given the realities of the multipolar world, the main task is to find a formula which would correct an obvious geopolitical imbalance in its current composition and would ensure increased representation of African, Asian, and Latin American countries in the Council with the broadest possible agreement of the UN Member States.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dividing lines are harmful not only to the world politics but also to the economy. Its inclusive growth is curbed as a result of the WTO norms being substituted for other “rules” – methods of unfair competition, protectionism, trade wars, unilateral sanctions, and open abuse of the American dollar status. All this leads to the fragmentation of the global economic space, negatively affects people’s standards of living. We believe it necessary to get back to the substantial work both in the UN system organizations and in the G-20. To this end, we will contribute to the creation of favorable conditions, including through the opportunities offered by BRICS, where Russia will assume the chairmanship in 2020.

Together with other like-minded countries we support the harmonization of integration processes. This philosophy lies at the core of President Vladimir Putin’s initiative of the Greater Eurasian Partnership involving the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), SCO, ASEAN, and which is open to all other Eurasian states, including the EU countries. We have already started moving in this direction by interconnecting development plans of the EAEU and the Chinese Belt And Road Initiative. Consistent implementation of these endeavors will contribute not only to increasing economic growth but also to laying a solid foundation in order to form the territory of peace, stability, and cooperation from Lisbon to Jakarta.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In the run-up to the next anniversary of the United Nations, I would like to underline – the UN-centered system of the world order, despite all trials, is stable and has a great margin of safety. It is a kind of a safety net which guarantees – if the UN Charter is respected – a peaceful development of mankind through finding a balance of sometimes rather contradictory interests of various countries.

At the outcome of these 75 years the main conclusion is probably that the experience of de-ideologized cooperation of states at the face of common threat, gained in the years of that most severe war, is still relevant.

Today’s challenges and threats are no less dangerous.

Only working together we will be able to effectively address them. Half a century ago a prominent scientist and public figure, the Nobel Prize Laureate Andrei Sakharov wrote the following – The division of mankind threatens it with destruction. If mankind is to get away from the brink, it must overcome its divisions It was the unity which was considered the key task of the UN by its Founding Fathers. Let us be worthy of their legacy and memory.

Lavrov’s speech at the UN Security Council on September 25, 2019

September 26, 2019

Source

Lavrov’s speech at the UN Security Council on September 25, 2019Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the UN Security Council meeting on Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organisations in maintaining international peace and security: the contribution by the CSTO, CIS, and SCO in countering terrorist threats, New York, September 25, 2019

 

Mr Secretary General,

Members of the Security Council,

Colleagues,

Today, we are all faced with the problem of terrorism, which has grown more acute than ever. International terrorists, led by ISIS and al Qaeda, continue to sow terror and destruction around the world. As a result of their actions, the situation in the Middle East, including in Syria and Iraq, remains extremely alarming. The terrorist threat emanating from that region is spreading rapidly across the African continent, including through Libya. Central, South, and Southeast Asia are also becoming the scene of inhuman acts of terrorism. The problem of foreign terrorist fighters (as discussed by the Secretary General and our colleagues earlier today) who return to their homeland or their countries of residence, or move to third countries, is coming to the fore. An ever-smaller number of countries remain untouched by terrorism. In this regard, I would like to highlight the fact that several years ago, the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation created an international database of terrorism, with about 50 states and several international organisations, including Interpol, involved in the project now. This database really helps track the movement of foreign terrorist fighters around the world. We invite everyone to join this important effort.

This state of affairs dictates the need to consolidate the efforts of the international community to counteract international terrorist networks. In 2015, President of Russia Vladimir Putin proposed an initiative here to form a broad international anti-terrorist front which would rely on the UN Charter, the norms and principles of international law, without political motivation or preconditions. This initiative is gaining an even greater relevance today. The double standards applied by some states are complicating the response to modern threats, including terrorism. Deviating from the principles of a consistent collective action against international terrorism is fraught with dire consequences.

It is unacceptable, I must emphasize this specifically, to use terrorist associations for selfish political goals. There can be no excuse for this.

The increasing cooperation with regional and sub-regional organisations as prescribed by Chapter VIII of the UN Charter is becoming more relevant today.

Our meeting today is devoted to the role of the CSTO, the CIS and the SCO in fighting terrorism in cooperation with the United Nations. These regional associations have a lot of experience in combating terrorist threats and are making serious contributions to strengthening stability on the vast expanse of the Eurasian continent. Their vigorous practical efforts are the key to ensuring the security of their member states. Their effective anti-terrorist efforts have contributed to a marked stabilisation in the Central Asian countries. The importance of these efforts has been confirmed this year in the unanimously adopted General Assembly resolutions on UN cooperation with the CSTO, the SCO and the CIS.

At the same time, we are concerned about the recurring attacks by foreign terrorists in the Central Asian countries, as well as by various terrorist groups’ recruitment campaigns in the region, including those associated with ISIS.

One CSTO priority is countering efforts to draw people into terrorist activities at all stages – from ideological indoctrination to returning from regions with higher terrorist activity after having received so called combat experience. Specific measures are taken to block the channels of recruitment by terrorist groups and to counter illegal migration. Much attention is paid to identifying threats on the internet, which has become a tool for disseminating extremist ideas.

Cooperation between the CSTO and the UN on the antiterrorist track is becoming more substantive. The memorandum of understanding between the CSTO and the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism is being successfully carried out. A regular plan of collective actions by the CSTO member states on implementing the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy for 2019-2020 will be discussed at the CSTO summit in November this year. The CSTO regularly makes a contribution to carrying out this strategy.

The SCO is a major factor in ensuring stability in Eurasia. Its indisputable priority is to enhance security in the region, in part, by countering extremism, terrorism and separatism. The defence departments of CSTO member countries regularly hold antiterrorist exercises on a scheduled basis.

In the years of its existence the SCO has formed a solid package of legal documents regulating the various aspects of national counter-terrorist activities of its members. The SCO Secretary-General spoke about this in detail today. I would like to point out the convention on combating extremism that was adopted at the highest level in 2017. It provides fixed fundamental principles of international cooperation in this area. Under the convention the participants play a decisive role and bear the main responsibility for its implementation. The convention is open to all interested parties. We invite them to join. I would also like to mention the effective operation of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), whose experience is much in demand in Eurasia. Last March the RATS signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Executive Directorate of the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee.

The CSTO and the SCO focus on threats emanating from Afghanistan, including threats to Central Asia. The north of Afghanistan could become a new bridgehead of ISIS-led international terrorist organisations. Afghanistan certainly requires external assistance in overcoming these threats and challenges.

The experience of the past few years has made it clear that not a single plan on developing economic cooperation between Central Asia and Afghanistan can be carried out without an adequate response to threats coming from Afghanistan. I would like to note in this context that the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group proceeds from this reality in following the roadmap on developing cooperation between the SCO member countries and Afghanistan. The roadmap was approved this year.

The Counter-Terrorism Centre has been operating in the CIS since 2000. It ensures coordination between national security agencies, special services and law enforcement bodies in fighting international terrorism. The centre closely cooperates with counter-terrorism sanctions committees and the Executive Directorate of the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the UN Security Council as well as the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism. I hope these agencies will continue operating.

In conclusion, I would like to say that I was pleased to hear that the CSTO, the CIS and the SCO are willing to further promote antiterrorism cooperation with the UN to maintain regional and international peace and security. This was confirmed today in statements by the directors of their secretariats.

China and Jammu and Kashmir’s new status

August 10, 2019

China and Jammu and Kashmir’s new status

Beijing has a lot of influence over Pakistan and indirectly is in a position to leverage the next moves by Islamabad

M.K. BHADRAKUMAR

In the aftermath of the Indian government’s decision to remove “special status” for Jammu and Kashmir and split the state into two union territories, the most keenly awaited regional and international reaction – and a hugely consequential one – would be that of China, not the US or even any of the other three permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

This is for three reasons. First, China is the only P5 member that is party to the Kashmir dispute by virtue of its Faustian deal with Pakistan in 1963 – the Sino-Pakistan Frontier Agreement and Sino-Pakistani Boundary Agreement – as well as because of Aksai Chin being a disputed territory.

Second, it is well known that China has a larger-than-life influence over Pakistan, and therefore, indirectly, is in a position to leverage the next moves by Islamabad on the J&K situation in practical or political terms.

Third, of course, China is a veto-holding P5 member. Although not involved in the making of the UN resolutions on Kashmir in 1948-1949 – which was an Anglo-American enterprise at a juncture when Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru somehow deliberately refrained from seeking Soviet help to counter India’s isolation in the UNSC – nonetheless, China is a powerful protagonist today if the Kashmir file were to reopen in New York at Pakistan’s behest.

Chinese reaction

On Tuesday, the Chinese reaction to the announcement in Delhi on Monday relating to J&K has come in two parts in the nature of remarks by the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman in Beijing – a relatively low-key reaction in diplomatic terms in comparison with a full-fledged statement, as Turkey, for instance, has done. One part exclusively relates to Ladakh’s new status as union territory, while the other one relates to the “current situation” in J&K.

Both remarks are devoid of any stridency, and on the whole India can live with them, although Western media, unsurprisingly, has hyped them. In fact, neither voices any overt backing to Pakistan. And, importantly, there are no new overtones as such in the well-known Chinese stance.

The remark on the change in Ladakh’s status begins by underscoring explicitly that China is voicing its “firm and consistent position,” which “remains unchanged.” That is to say, it regards part of Ladakh to be Chinese territory and India should not unilaterally create facts on the ground through domestic laws. If India does, China will consider that unacceptable and it “will not come into force.”

The remark rounds off stating the Chinese stance that India should speak and act with prudence on the boundary question, strictly abide by relevant agreements on peace and tranquility and avoid precipitate steps.

This is exactly what China has maintained and can be expected to state. No doubt, this is also what India would expect China to observe in regard of the unresolved border dispute. The Indian stance on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a fine example.

The gray area here is whether the administration of Ladakh as a union territory will entail administrative arrangements on the ground that tread on Chinese sensitivity. Prima facie, that is unlikely to happen, since the two militaries present in the vacant spaces observe ground rules.

On the other hand, the interesting aspect of the Chinese spokeswoman’s remark on the J&K situation is that there is no direct reference to the specific situation involving the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian constitution. The remark is of a generic nature. It repeats that the J&K situation is a matter of serious concern, but underscores categorically that “China’s position on the Kashmir issue is clear and consistent.”

‘International consensus’

Most important, it flags that China is in sync with the “international consensus” that the Kashmir issue is a historical conundrum that India and Pakistan have to grapple with by exercising restraint and prudence. This means, however, that the two countries “should refrain from taking actions that will unilaterally change the status quo and escalate tensions.” China calls on the two countries to “peacefully resolve … [their] relevant disputes through dialogue and consultation” in the interest of regional “peace and stability.”

Indeed, the “known unknown” here is to what extent, if any, the current upheaval in Hong Kong influenced Beijing to sidestep the Indian government’s specific move to abolish Article 370 and abandon J&K’s “special status.” To be sure, a grave situation has arisen in Hong Kong, which has assumed anti-China overtones.

No analogy holds 100% in politics, but there are similarities in the public alienation in J&K and in Hong Kong that foreign powers are exploiting. In fact, China also has to contend with its equivalent of India’s Article 370 – the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which is as sacrosanct as an international bilateral treaty, signed between China and Britain on December 19, 1984, in Beijing.

Legally binding

Curiously, the Joint Declaration is also legally binding, and like Article 370, it commits China to allow Hong Kong to “enjoy a high degree of autonomy, except for foreign and defense affairs” even as the territory will be “directly under the authority” of Beijing.

Most important, the Joint Declaration affirms that the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is responsible for the “maintenance of public order … Military forces sent by the Central People’s Government to be stationed in … [the HKSAR] for the purpose of defense shall not interfere in the internal affairs” in the HKSAR.

The treaty is valid for 50 years, but a crisis is looming large on the horizon, and there is much speculation that patience is wearing thin in Beijing. A top Chinese official said on Wednesday: “Hong Kong is facing the most serious situation since its return to China.”

A Beijing-datelined commentary by Xinhua on Monday titled “Bottom Line on Hong Kong brooks no challenge” was furious that “black-clad, masked protesters removed the Chinese national flag from a flagpole in Tsim Sha Tsui of Hong Kong and later flung the flag into the water Saturday, an unforgivable, lawless act that has blatantly offended the national dignity, is an insult to all Chinese people, including Hong Kong compatriots, and must be severely punished in accordance with law.”

All factors taken into account, as the saying goes, the pot cannot call the kettle black. The MEA’s response to the Chinese remarks on J&K has gently drawn attention to the reciprocity that governs inter-state relationships by underscoring that the legislation known as the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill 2019, introduced by the government in Parliament on August 5, is “an internal matter concerning the territory of India. India does not comment on the internal affairs of other countries and similarly expects other countries to do likewise.” India has scrupulously maintained silence on Hong Kong developments.

asiatimes.com

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

Amb. Jaafari’s Interview Sums Up Latest Developments after Astana Talks

 

Astana (Nur-Sultan) – Kazakhstan: The Turkish regime under instructions from the US has increased its level of supporting armed groups designated as terrorist entities by the United Nations Security Council, such as Nusra Front aka Al-Qaeda Levant, instead of abiding by its own obligations to disarm and remove these terrorists from the battlefield with the Syrian Arab Army.

Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations Dr. Bashar Jaafari led the Syrian delegation to the talks held in Astana between the Syrian state and US-sponsored Al-Qaeda terrorists about the Idlib Agreement, which Turkey is supposed to be the guarantor of the terrorists to disarm and move back, and Russia and Iran are guarantors of the Syrian state’s obligations based on the agreement that was reached last year and was supposed to deal with the last NATO’s stronghold of terrorists in Syria.

In the following interview over the phone with Lebanese Al-Mayadeen news channel, Dr. Jaafari sums up the latest developments and the Syrian government’s position in regards with the Turkish regime’s intentional failure to meet its obligations it committed itself to. The video is followed with the transcript of the phone interview in both English and Arabic.
https://videopress.com/v/YoAY771S

Video also available on BitChute: https://www.bitchute.com/video/RA10PdGYN91Q/

The transcript of the English translation of the interview with Syrian Ambassador Dr. Jaafari:

Good evening Mr. Imad and thanks to your esteemed channel to host me in this important program.

We are in Astana for the thirteenth time, imagine that in all of these times there are final statements at the end of each round (of talks). Therefore, in terms of comparison (with previous rounds), I said in my press conferences that the statement issued today is the best, the best in terms of the political content, as I mentioned, of course, the statement is not on behalf of all present, is a statement adopted by the attendees, but it is a statement issued by the three guarantor states: the Russian Federation, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Turkey.The statement includes an acknowledgment by the Turkish government of an important set of axioms:

  • The first is the recognition of the commitment of the three guarantor states to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria.
  • It includes the issue of combating terrorism and the need to combat terrorism in Syria, in the sense that the three countries acknowledge the existence of terrorism in Syria which should be combated.
  • The third point is the continuation of the path of Astana in achieving and implementing the objectives for which it was established, namely, to help the Syrians themselves move forward in a political settlement and that the political process is a Syrian process led by the Syrians themselves and with Syrian ownership.

This, of course, is in line with the Security Council resolutions, and this is not new, but it is a declaration by the three countries that the issue is exclusively Syrian.

  • The fourth point is the rejection of the attempts, calls, movements and secessionist activities in Syria, this is very important.

This is also an acknowledgment by the three countries of the rightness of the Syrian view, which is supported by the allies, of course, that Syrian sovereignty or manipulation of Syria’s future is not allowed by any external forces or even by internal factions acting in favor of external forces.

This is politically important, that’s why we said that today’s statement is the best.

Q: With regard to these positive points, which you referred to Dr. Bashar, to what will establish all this if we consider that a cease-fire in Idlib did not last more than hours and that one of the guarantors states, Turkey, sponsors some factions, or perhaps give them a margin to move to bomb areas within Syrian territory?

This is important, and frankly, and now millions of viewers of your channel hear us, we knew that this agreement will not stand, I might surprise you with this, we in Syria knew that this agreement would not last long and we knew that Turkey would not be committed to its implementation.

But the announcement of the decision in Damascus on the start of the Astana process was a message to the Russian and Iranian friendly guarantors and a test of the intentions of the Turkish regime, and put the Turkish regime in front of its responsibilities in the implementation of the understandings of Astana and the understandings of Sochi between President Putin and Erdogan, therefore, when the armed groups revoked this agreement, this statement confirmed what we were saying to everyone that the Turkish regime is behind these armed groups.

You may ask why Turkey did this and broke the agreement? It violated the agreement because Turkey did not end its project of sponsoring terrorism by the armed groups, meaning that the Turkish regime did not achieve any of its political objectives towards Syria, therefore, the Turkish regime uses terrorism as a weapon of political pressure on the Syrian government.

The Syrian government rejects this political pressure, in the sense that we will not allow terrorist extortion by the Turkish regime to achieve political gains at the expense of the Syrian people and Syrian sovereignty.

Q: The Kazakh Foreign Ministry announced that the majority of Syrian opposition delegations participating in the talks agreed to a ceasefire in Idlib, then, who is firing in Idlib? Who is shaking the situation and seeking to strain it?

There is a wide array of armed terrorist groups in Idlib, some of which the Turkish regime claims it can influence, and another section the Turkish regime claims that it has no influence on, but in the end, it is the Turkish regime that controls the Idlib region and the armed groups there,

Today, military intelligence, intelligence, political science, public opinion, and the media have proved that Nusra Front, which is Al-Qaeda, If Turkey and the United States arm Nusra Front, it means that Turkey and the United States arm and sponsor terrorism that is listed on the Security Council as such, Nusra Front is listed as a terrorist entity on the Security Council’s lists of terrorist institutions, individuals and entities, if the Turkish regime takes care of Nusra Front and arms it and gives shells with a range of more than 40 kilometers, the northern Lattakia countryside and the northern Aleppo countryside and Western Aleppo are shelled by these Turkish-made missiles, This means that the Turkish regime sponsors this terrorist organization in Idlib. Secondly, there are five foreign armed factions, foreign fighters: Hurras al-Din, Jaysh Al-Izzat, whatever, of these names you keep hearing… etc. These are all foreign terrorists from Turkistan, Uighurs, Chechens, Arabs, unfortunately, Saudis, Libyans, Egyptians, Qataris… and, of course, there is a large number of Turkish citizens among these foreign terrorists.

If all these factions are armed, trained and protected by the Turkish regime, how can Turkey claim that it has no control over these terrorist groups? Let’s assume that it has no control, the understandings of Astana and the understanding between President Putin and Erdogan require that Turkey, they swore by their mustaches that they’ll secure the withdrawal of the armed groups 20 kilometers west of Abu Dahour line towards the international line. Where is the implementation of this? It’s been a year now. If the Turkish regime were incapable of carrying out this talk, it would not have made a commitment to President Putin a year ago, and would not have pledged to it in the understandings of Astana more than a year ago, is this true or not?

Q: Is it possible to understand that Turkey wants to maintain this tension in order to obtain some political concessions with regard to the ongoing talks? There is a tripartite summit announced next month between the heads of state guarantors?

Absolutely, this is the proper conclusion. Of course, Turkey is investing in terrorism, as is the United States, like Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The equation that public opinion has known for years has not changed: these countries continue to sponsor terrorism in my country, Syria.

However, diplomacy, as you know, is the art of rotating corners, so we are trying to rotate corners at these international meetings, whether in Geneva or in Astana, We are trying to make the international community or the so-called international community witness our good intentions, we are trying to make the international community or the so-called international community witness our good intentions. we are trying to accomplish a lot in the fight against terrorism and in the formation of the constitutional committee and in the launch of the political process… Etc.

Everyone is seeing that there are good intentions from the Syrian side. There are presidential decrees issued to settle the situation of Syrian refugees and displaced persons who return from abroad, there is a series of measures that show that the Syrian government is serious about ending this crisis. But we need honest sincere honorable partners who deal with the file as we deal with it, unfortunately, this does not exist in everyone, the Turkish regime so far has no sound and honest intentions.

When they label with Turkish names the Syrian schools in Afrin, Manbaj, Jarabulus, Azaz, Ain Arab and others, when they impose their Turkish lira for dealings when they impose Turkish flag instead of the Syrian flag, when they replace Syrian car plates with Turkish plates, etc. There are Turkish practices that violate international law, violate Syrian sovereignty, and this is not consistent with the misleading Turkish claims that Turkey is keen on the unity, sovereignty, and independence of Syria, that’s why I said at the press conference we want to associate the beautiful words with deeds on the ground, this has not happened so far unfortunately.

Q: You spoke about a global terrorist project that was being prepared to hit Syria and divide it? Has this project ended? Has it been terminated?

Not finished, but it shrank, dwarfed and crushed. We have won the fight against terrorism because we have been able to successfully transfer the so-called International Community from the stage of denial to the stage of recognition, from denial of the existence of terrorism in Syria to the stage of acknowledging the existence of terrorism in Syria. Even more, the United States brags today that it has eliminated the terrorist threat in Syria and Iraq, imagine that they moved from a stage where they say that there is no terrorism in Syria to the stage of the day they say that they were able to successfully win over ISIS in Syria and Iraq, this is a victory. We have been able to impose our political agenda on everyone, including in the Security Council and outside the Security Council.

Today no one can deny that there is foreign terrorism in Syria and that there is Syrian terrorism in Syria sponsored by foreign countries, therefore, when Resolution 2254 was adopted, it mentioned in its articles a Syrian-Syrian solution without external interference and without preconditions.

There has been awareness among everyone that there is an external interference in the Syrian issue and that there are those who put sticks in the wheels so as not to get the Syrian – Syrian solution.

Q: Since you have mentioned the external interference, the American presence in the current dealing in an attempt to reshape the situation in some areas of Syria, training the so-called Maghawir Thawra, you mentioned an attempt to change the names of some organizations such as Nusra Front, Izzat Army, and others, Does this, in your opinion, constitute a project or hide a new US project on Syria?

In all honesty, what we notice from the performance of the American delegation in the Security Council and what we note from the statements of US officials indicates that there is no improvement in the position of the US administration, there is a kind of escalation rather than improvement in the US position, but the US investment in terrorism is still unchanged, the proof for this is their refusal to solve the problem of the Al-Tanf area and the Rukban Camp and their care and training of three thousand of Maghawir Thawra as stated in the statement of the Russian Chief of Staff, they filmed them in audio and video.

Three thousand terrorists are being trained at Rukban Camp, why and for whom? If this region is Syrian and civilians, and about the civilians there we will, in God’s will, get them out soon, there are 16 thousand civilians remaining inside (Rukban Camp) we will be able to get them out, God willing, soon, and therefore there will be no civilians in the area of Rukban except for five thousand thugs trained by the United States of America and five thousand are the families of these militants, so why keep these militants in the Al-Tanf area? Certainly for investing in them and recycling them over Syrian territory from time to time in this or that place.

Q: There are some areas where Americans and Turks meet in Syria, how can we characterize this Turkish project, which sometimes contradicts with regard to the SDF and sometimes converges and interferes with the American project?

The Turks can not be submitted to any action on Syrian territory without American approval, this first. Second, the Turkish and American are negotiating as bandits on the livelihood of others, meaning that the US and Turkey are negotiating on Syrian soil at the expense of the Syrian people and steal Syrian riches, whether oil or gas or artifacts or other, both are in the same level really, therefore, we described the Turkish aggression as an occupation and we also say that the American military presence is an occupation and that the Syrian government is dealing with both parties that their presence is illegal and that the Syrian government has the right to end this occupation and this abnormal situation.

Q: With regard to the safe zone Washington seeks to establish?

Let us ask this question: What is the opinion of the Turkish regime if today Syria would seek to create a safe zone in southern Turkey, for example? What is the view of the United States of America if Mexico wants to create a safe zone within the United States to protect its borders?

This is contrary to the law and contrary to the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, this talk is not upright with good neighborliness, this talk is not consistent with the content of the statements of Astana, which is the result of our meetings from time to time. Who is entitled to establish a safe area in another country? A safe area of what? Between us, there is the Adana Accord, which guarantees security for both parties, and we have not abandoned this agreement and did not give it up and did not say that it is no longer valid.

The Adana Accord is a security agreement that regulates the security relationship between the two countries with the consent of both parties, the two governments signed it that time, and therefore President Putin adopted it as you remember and considered it a good reference to regulate the security relationship between the two countries.

The invention of new mechanisms, new terminology, and new concepts is to get around completely like Israel. Israel establishes settlements and establishes bypass roads to access them at the expense of the Palestinian people, this is the same with what’s happening between us, who authorized you (Turkey) to establish a safe zone?

If the Turkish intentions have a certain sensitivity to the so-called Kurds, the most important ally it must be in stopping this problem is the Syrian government, isn’t it true?

If there are sound intentions, Turkey is supposed to stand by the Syrian government and establish coordination between the two governments to maintain the security of the two countries.

As long as this is not done, as what we are saying, it means that Turkey’s intentions are not fair and that its claims that it wants to justify the establishment of the security zone are false and untruthful.

End of the interview’s transcript in English

نص المحادثة الهاتفية مع السفير السوري للأمم المتحدة د. بشار الجعفري رئيس الوفد السوري المفاوض لمحادثات أستانا حول آخر المستجدات بخصوص مكافحة الإرهاب في سورية والدور التركي الخبيث والهدّام في الأزمة السورية

مساء الخير أستاذ عماد وشكراً لقناتكم الغرّاء لاستضافتي في هذا البرنامج الهام

نحن في أستانا للمرة الثالثة عشرة، تصور أنه في هذه الجولات كلها هناك بيانات ختامية في نهاية كل جولة، ولذلك من باب المقارنة بالشيء، قلت في مؤتمري الصحفي بأن البيان الذي صدر اليوم هو الأفضل، الأفضل من ناحية المضمون السياسي كما أشرت، طبعاً البيان ليس باسم كل الحاضرين، هو بيان يعتمد من قبل الحاضرين، ولكن هو بيان يصدر عن الدول الضامنة الثلاث: روسيا الاتحادية وجمهورية إيران الإسلامية وتركيا

البيان يتضمن إقرار من الحكومة التركية بمجموعة هامة من المسلمات، أولها الإقرار بالتزام الدول الضامنة الثلاث بسيادة سورية واستقلالها ووحدة ترابها، يتضمن في مكان آخر مسألة مكافحة الإرهاب وضرورة مكافحة الإرهاب في سورية، بمعنى أن الثلاث دول تقر بوجود إرهاب في سورية ينبغي مكافحته. النقطة الثالثة هي استمرار مسار أستانا في تحقيق وتنفيذ الأهداف التي أنشئ من أجلها، ألا وهو مساعدة السوريين أنفسهم على المضي قدماً في التسوية السياسية وعلى أن العملية السياسية هي عملية سورية يقودها السوريون أنفسهم وبملكية سورية. طبعاً هذا الكلام يحاكي قرارات مجلس الأمن أيضاً وهذا ليس بجديد ولكنه إقرار من الدول الثلاث بأن الشأن هو شأن السوري حصراً. النقطة الرابعة رفض للنزعات والدعوات والحركات والأنشطة الانفصالية في سورية، هذا الكلام مهم، وهذا إقرار أيضاً من الدول الثلاث بوجاهة وجهة النظر السورية التي يدعمها الحلفاء طبعاً من أنه غير مسموح المساس بالسيادة السورية أو التلاعب بمستقبل سورية من قبل أي قوى خارجية أو حتى من قبل فصائل داخلية تعمل لصالح قوى خارجية

هذا الكلام مهم سياسياً، لذلك قلنا بأن البيان الذي صدر اليوم هو الأفضل

سؤال: بالنسبة لهذه النقاط الإيجابية التي أشرتم إليها د. بشار، إلى ماذا سيؤسس كل ذلك، إذا ما أخذنا بعين الاعتبار أن وقفاً لإطلاق النار في إدلب لم يصمد أكثر من ساعات، وأن إحدى الدول الضامنة وهي تركيا ترعى بعض الفصائل، أو ربما تمنحهم هامشاً للتحرك لقصف مناطق داخل الأراضي السورية؟

هذا الكلام مهم، وبمنتهى الصراحة، والآن يسمعنا الملايين من مشاهدي قناتكم، نحن كنا نعرف أن هذا الاتفاق لن يصمد، قد أفاجأك بهذا الكلام، نحن في سورية كنا نعرف أن هذا الاتفاق لن يصمد طويلاً وكنا نعرف أن تركيا لن تكون ملتزمة بتنفيذه، لكن صدور القرار في دمشق يوم بدء مسار أستانا كان رسالة للضامنين الصديقين الروسي والإيراني وامتحان واختبار لنوايا النظام التركي، ووضع النظام التركي أمام مسؤولياته في تنفيذ تفاهمات أستانا وتفاهمات سوتشي بين الرئيس بوتين واردوغان، ولذلك عندما قامت المجموعات المسلحة بنقض هذا الاتفاق، فهذا الكلام أكد ما كنا نقوله للجميع بأن النظام التركي هو وراء هذه المجموعات المسلحة

قد تسأل لماذا قامت تركيا بهذا الفعل وخرقت الاتفاق؟ خرقت الاتفاق لأن تركيا أولاً لم ينتهي مشروع رعاية الإرهاب من طرفها للمجموعات المسلحة، بمعنى أن النظام التركي لم يحقق أي شيء من أهدافه السياسية تجاه سورية، ولذلك النظام التركي يستخدم الإرهاب كسلاح للضغط السياسي على الحكومة السورية. الحكومة السورية رافضة لهذا الضغط السياسي بمعنى أننا لن نسمح بالابتزاز الإرهابي من قبل النظام التركي لتحقيق مكتسبات سياسية على حساب الشعب السوري والسيادة السورية

سؤال: الخارجية الكازاخستانية أعلنت أن غالبية وفود المعارضة السورية المشاركة في المحادثات وافقت على وقف إطلاق النار في إدلب، من الذي يطلق النار إذاً في إدلب؟ من الذي يحرك الوضع ويسعى إلى توتيره؟

– هناك شرذمة واسعة من المجموعات الإرهابية المسلحة في إدلب، قسم منها يدعي النظام التركي أنه يستطيع أن يؤثر عليه، وقسم آخر يدعي النظام التركي أنه لا يستطيع التأثير عليه، لكن في محصلة الأمور، النظام التركي هو الذي يسيطر على منطقة إدلب وعلى المجموعات المسلحة هناك، اليوم ثبت بالاستطلاع العسكري والمعلومات الاستخباراتية والعلوم السياسية والرأي العام والإعلام أن جبهة النصرة والتي هي القاعدة، فإذا كانت تركيا والولايات المتحدة تسلحان جبهة النصرة، معناها أن تركيا والولايات المتحدة يسلحان ويرعيان إرهاب مدرج على قوائم مجلس الأمن، جبهة النصرة مدرجة ككيان إرهابي على قوائم مجلس الأمن للمؤسسات والأفراد والكيانات الإرهابية، إذا كان النظام التركي يرعى جبهة النصرة ويسلحها ويعطيها قذائف مداها أكثر من 40 كيلومتراً يتم قصف ريف شمال اللاذقية بها وريف شمال حلب وحلب الغربية بهذه القذائف تركية المنشأ، معنى ذلك أن النظام التركي يرعى هذا التنظيم الإرهابي في إدلب، ثانياً، هناك خمسة فصائل مسلحة أجنبية، إرهابيين أجانب: حراس الدين وجيش العزة… الخ، هذه كلها إرهابيين أجانب من تركستان، من الإيغور، من الشيشان، من العرب للأسف سعوديين وليبيين ومصريين وقطريين وغيرهم، وأتراك طبعاً، هناك عدد كبير من المواطنين الأتراك في عداد هؤلاء الإرهابيين الأجانب

إذا كانت كل هذه الفصائل مسلحة ومدربة ومحمية من النظام التركي، فكيف تدعي تركيا أن ليس لها سيطرة على هذه المجموعات الإرهابية؟

لنفرض جدلاً أن ليس لديها سيطرة، فإن تفاهمات أستانا والتفاهم بين الرئيس بوتين واردوغان يقضي بأن تضمن تركيا، هم حلفوا بشواربهم وصدورهم وقالوا نحن نؤمن انسحاب المجموعات المسلحة 20 كيلومتراً إلى الغرب من خط أبو الضهور باتجاه الخط الدولي، أين تنفيذ هذا الكلام؟ صار له سنة؟ لو كان النظام التركي عاجزاً عن تنفيذ هذا الكلام لم يكن ليتعهد به مع الرئيس بوتين قبل سنة، ولا كان تعهد به في تفاهمات أستانا قبل أكثر من سنة، هل هذا صحيح أم لا؟

سؤال: يعني ممكن أن نفهم أن تركيا تريد الإبقاء على هذا التوتر من أجل الحصول على بعض التنازلات السياسية فيما يتعلق بالمحادثات الجارية؟ هناك قمة ثلاثية أعلن عنها الشهر المقبل بين رؤساء الدول الضامنة؟

حتماً، هذا هو الاستنتاج السليم. طبعاً، تركيا تستثمر بالإرهاب، كما هي الولايات المتحدة، كما قطر كما السعودية. المعادلة التي يعرفها الرأي العام منذ سنوات لم تتغير: ما زالت هذه الدول ترعى الإرهاب في بلادي سورية. على كل حال، الدبلوماسية كما تعلم هي فن تدوير الزوايا، لذلك نحن نحاول تدوير الزوايا في هذه الاجتماعات الدولية، إن كان في جنيف أو في أستانا، نحن نحاول أن نجعل المجتمع الدولي أو ما يسمى بالمجتمع الدولي يشهد على حسن نوايانا، نحن نحاول إنجاز الكثير في مجال مكافحة الإرهاب وفي مجال تشكيل اللجنة الدستورية وفي مجال إطلاق العملية السياسية.. الخ، والجميع يرى أن هناك نوايا حسنة من الجانب السوري

هناك مراسيم رئاسية تصدر بتسوية أوضاع اللاجئين السوريين والمهجرين الذين يعودون من الخارج، هناك مجموعة من الإجراءات التي تدل أن الحكومة السورية جادة في مسألة إنهاء هذه الأزمة لكن نحن بحاجة إلى شركاء نزيهين صادقين شرفاء يتعاملون بالملف كما نتعامل نحن معه، للأسف هذا ليس موجوداً لدى الجميع، النظام التركي حتى الآن ليست لديه نوايا سليمة وصادقة. عندما يقومون بإطلاق أسماء تركية على مدارس سورية في عفرين ومنبج وجرابلس وإعزاز وعين العرب وغيرها، عندما يفرضون التعامل بالليرة التركية، عندما يفرضون العلم التركي بدلاً عن العلم السوري، عندما يستبدلون لوحات السيارات السورية بلوحات تركية.. الخ

هناك ممارسات تركية تنتهك القانون الدولي، تنتهك السيادة السورية وهذا لا يستقيم مع الادعاءات التركية التضليلية بأن تركيا حريصة على وحدة وسيادة واستقلال سورية، لذلك أنا قلت في المؤتمر الصحفي نريد أن تقرن الأقوال الجميلة بالأفعال على الأرض، هذا لم يحدث حتى الآن للأسف.

سؤال: تحدثتم عن مشروع إرهابي عالمي كان يتم تحضيره من أجل ضرب سورية وتقسيمها، هل انتهى هذا المشروع؟ هل قضي عليه؟

لا لم ينته، ولكن تقلص وتقزّم وتهشّم، لقد انتصرنا في معركة مكافحة الإرهاب لأننا استطعنا بنجاح أن ننقل ما يسمى بالمجتمع الدولي من مرحلة الإنكار إلى مرحلة الإقرار، من مرحلة إنكار بوجود الإرهاب في سورية إلى مرحلة الإقرار بوجود الإرهاب في سورية، لا بل أكثر من ذلك، الولايات المتحدة الأميركية تتبجح اليوم بانها قضت على داعش الإرهابية في سورية والعراق، تخيل أنهم انتقلوا من مرحلة كانوا يقولون بها أنه ليس هناك إرهاب في سورية إلى مرحلة اليوم يقولون بها أنهم استطاعوا بنجاح أن ينتصروا على داعش في سورية والعراق، هذا انتصار، فقد تمكنا من فرض أجندتنا السياسية على الجميع بما في ذلك في مجلس الأمن وخارج مجلس الأمن. اليوم لا يوجد أحد يستطيع أن ينكر أن هناك إرهاباً أجنبياً في سورية وأن هناك إرهاباً سورياً في سورية ترعاه دول خارجية، ولذلك القرار 2254 عندما اعتمد قال في بنوده حل سوري – سوري دون تدخل خارجي ودون شروط مسبقة

صار هناك وعي لدى الجميع أن هناك تدخل خارجي في الشأن السوري وأن هناك من يضع العصي في العجلات لكيلا يحصل الحل السوري – السوري

سؤال: طالما تحدثت عن التدخل الخارجي، الوجود الأميركي التعامل الحالي من أجل إعادة تشكيل المشهد في بعض المناطق في سورية، تدريب ما يعرف بجيش المغاوير، أشرت إلى محاولة إلى تغيير أسماء بعض التنظيمات مثل النصرة وجيش العزة وغيرها، هل يشكل ذلك برأيكم مشروعاً أو يخفي مشروعاً أمريكياً جديداً حول سورية؟

بكل صدق، ما نلاحظه من أداء الوفد الأميركي في مجلس الأمن وما نلاحظه من تصريحات المسؤولين الأمريكيان يدل على عدم وجود تحسن في موقف الإدارة الأمريكية، هناك نوع من التصعيد بدلاً من التحسن في الموقف الأمريكي، لكن استثمار الولايات المتحدة في الإرهاب ما زال على حاله لم يتغير، والدليل على ذلك هو رفضهم حل مشكلة منطقة التنف ومخيم الركبان ورعايتهم وتدريبهم لثلاثة آلاف من مغاوير الثورة، كما ورد في بيان رئاسة الأركان الروسية، فقد قاموا بتصويرهم بالصوت والصورة، ثلاثة آلاف إرهابي يتم تدريبهم في معسكر الركبان، لماذا ولمن؟ إذا كانت هذه المنطقة سورية والمدنيين سنخرجهم جميعاً، باقي 16 ألف مدني بالداخل (داخل مخيم الركبان) سنستطيع أن نخرجهم إن شاء الله قريباً وبالتالي لن يبقى هناك مدنيين في منطقة الركبان باستثناء خمسة آلاف أزعر تدربهم الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية وخمسة آلاف هم عائلات هؤلاء المسلحين، فلماذا الحفاظ على هؤلاء المسلحين في منطقة التنف؟ أكيد لاستثمارهم وإعادة تدويرهم فوق الأرض السورية من حين لآخر في هذا المكان أو ذاك

سؤال: هناك بعض المناطق التي يتلاقى فيها الأميركيون والأتراك في سورية، كيف يمكن أن نشخّص هذا المشروع التركي الذي يتناقض أحياناً فيما يتعلق بقسد وأحياناً يتلاقى ويتداخل مع المشروع الأمريكي؟

التركي لا يمكن أن يقدم على أي عمل على الأراضي السورية من دون موافقة أمريكية، هذا أولاً، ثانياً التركي والأمريكي يتفاوضان كقاطعي الطرق على رزق الآخرين، بمعنى أن الأمريكي والتركي يتفاوضان على أرض سورية وعلى حساب الشعب السوري ويسرقان ثروة سورية، إن كان نفط أو غاز أو آثار أو غيرها، فكلاهما في نفس السوية حقيقة، لذلك وصفنا العدوان التركي علينا بأنه احتلال ونقول عن التواجد العسكري الأمريكي أيضاً بأنه احتلال وأن الحكومة السورية تتعامل مع الطرفين على أن وجودهما غير شرعي وأن من حق الحكومة السورية إنهاء هذا الاحتلال وهذا الوضع الشاذ

سؤال: فيما يتعلق بالمنطقة الآمنة التي تسعى واشنطن لإقامتها؟

دعنا نطرح هذا السؤال: ما رأي النظام التركي بأن تقوم سورية اليوم بخلق منطقة أمنية جنوب تركيا مثلاً؟ ما رأي الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية بأن تقوم المكسيك بخلق منطقة آمنة داخل الولايات المتحدة لحماية حدودها؟ هذا مخالف للقانون ومخالف لأحكام ميثاق الأمم المتحدة، هذا الكلام لا يستقيم وحسن الجوار، هذا الكلام لا يستقيم مع مضمون بيانات أستانا التي نخرج بها من حين لآخر في اجتماعاتنا، من يحق له أن ينشئ منطقة آمنة في بلد آخر؟ ومنطقة آمنة من ماذا؟ بيننا وبينهم هناك اتفاق أضنة الذي يضمن الأمن للطرفين، وهذا الاتفاق لم نتخلى نحن عنه ولم نتنازل عنه ولم نقل أنه لم يعد صالحاً، اتفاق أضنة هو أمني ينظم العلاقة الأمنية بين البلدين برضى الطرفين، الحكومتين آنذاك وقعتا عليه ولذلك تبناه الرئيس بوتين كما تتذكر واعتبره أنه المرجعية الصالحة لتنظيم العلاقة الأمنية بين البلدين

يعني اختراع آليات جديدة ومصطلحات جديدة ومفاهيم جديدة هو للالتفاف تماماً كإسرائيل، تنشئ مستوطنات وتنشئ الطرق الالتفافية للوصول إليها على حساب الشعب الفلسطيني، هذا هو الكلام نفسه لدينا. من شرّع لك (للتركي) أن تعلن منطقة أمنية؟ إذا كانت النوايا التركية لديها حساسية معينة مما يسمى الأكراد، فإن أهم حليف لها يجب أن يكون في وقف هذه الإشكالية هو الحكومة السورية، أليس كذلك؟ إذا كانت هناك نوايا سليمة فيفترض من تركيا أن تقف إلى جانب الحكومة السورية وتنشئ تنسيقاً بين الحكومتين للحفاظ على أمن البلدين، طالما أن هذا الأمر لا يتم كما نقول، فمعنى ذلك أن نوايا تركيا غير نزيهة وأن ادعاءاتها التي تريد أن تبرر بها إنشاء المنطقة الأمنية هي ادعاءات باطلة وكاذبة

فورد: علاقة واشنطن مع «قسد» ستنتهي يوماً ما

لن تتدخّل القوات الأميركية في إدلب.. وهي تحتلّ منطقة التنف 

يوليو 30, 2019

رأى السفير الأميركي السابق لدى سورية روبرت فورد، أن العلاقة الخاصة بين الولايات المتحدة و»قوات سورية الديمقراطية» قسد سوف تنتهي يوماً ما، وأكد أنه لن يكون هناك تدخل أميركي بالنسبة للوضع في إدلب.

ولفت في مقالة له، الانتباه إلى أن العلاقة الخاصة بين أميركا و»قوات سورية الديمقراطية» قسد ستنتهي يوماً ما.

وأشار السفير السابق إلى أن الولايات المتحدة لن تتدخل في مسألة الوضع في إدلب معتبراً أن سورية لم تهاجم الولايات المتحدة وبالتالي ليس من حق واشنطن التدخل في هذه الحالة، أما الطريق الثاني وهو التدخل عن طريق مجلس الأمن، أوضح أن الولايات المتحدة لم تحصل على تفويض من مجلس الأمن بسبب المواقف الروسية والصينية.

وقال فورد في هذا الصدد، «ها أنا قد تقاعدت عن العمل لدى الحكومة، وأستطيع التحدث بصراحة.

أولاً، في ما يخص الشرعية الدولية، كي يتدخل بلد ما عسكرياً ضد دولة أخرى، عادة ما يحتاج ذلك البلد إما إلى الردّ على هجوم مباشر أو إلى موافقة مجلس الأمن الدولي. لكن سورية لم تهاجم الولايات المتحدة، وستستخدم روسيا والصين حق النقض الفيتو ضد أي قرار لمجلس الأمن يمنح الأميركيين الإذن باستخدام القوة».

وحذر فورد أنه وفي حال شرعت القوات الجوية الأميركية في التحليق فوق إدلب، سيكون هناك احتمال حقيقي للاشتباك مع الطائرات الحربية الروسية. والحقيقة هي أنه لا أحد في الولايات المتحدة على استعداد للمخاطرة بحرب عالمية ثالثة.

فورد، كشف أن «الأميركيين الذين يحتلون منطقة «التنف» السورية «لا يقدمون أي مساعدة لتخفيف المعاناة الشديدة للنازحين في مخيم الركبان»، موضحاً أن الهدف من القاعدة الأميركية في التنف هو «منع إيران من إيجاد طريق هناك»، وفق تعبيره.

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وداعاً للاتفاق النووي الإيراني

يوليو 9, 2019

حميدي العبدالله

بات واضحاً أنّ الاتفاق النووي الإيراني في سبيله إلى الاندثار. الانسحاب الأميركي كان الخطوة الأولى، لكن من الواضح أنّ الدول الأوروبية سوف تتضامن مع الولايات المتحدة، لأنّ القناة أو الآلية التي وضعتها للالتفاف على العقوبات الأميركية هي مجرد حملة علاقات عامة وعملية ذرّ للرماد في العيون. فهذه الآلية لا تشمل قطاع النفط والقطاع المالي، ومحصورة في بيع المنتجات الزراعية والصناعية ذات الطبيعة الإنسانية مثل مستلزمات المستشفيات.

وحتى هذه الآلية، التي وصفتها إيران أنها تشبه برنامج الغذاء مقابل النفط الذي فرض على العراق في عقد التسعينات، سوف تتذرّع الحكومات الأوروبية الموقعة على الاتفاق النووي، بأنّ خطوات إيران تنتهك الاتفاق التي تجعلهم في حلّ من الالتزام بها، بل فرض عقوبات جديدة والتماهي مع العقوبات التي فرضتها إدارة ترامب على إيران.

إضافةً إلى ذلك وضع الرئيس الفرنسي شرطاً جديداً للالتزام بالاتفاق النووي والمضيّ فيه، وهو قبول إيران البحث في دورها في المنطقة، وبحث برنامجها الصاروخي، وهي المطالب الأميركية – الإسرائيلية التي رفضتها إيران، واعتبرتها انتحاراً لإيران واستسلاماً أمام الولايات المتحدة و»إسرائيل».

الأمر الأكثر خطورة، هو ما تمّ الكشف عنه من أنّ الاتفاق يتضمّن فقرة تقول إذا ما تمّت إعادة عرض انتهاكات الاتفاق من قبل أحد الأطراف أمام مجلس الأمن وصوّت تسعة أعضاء على أنّ طرفاً محدّداً خرق الاتفاق، فإنه لا يحق للدول، استخدام حق الفيتو ضدّ قرار يعبّر عن رأي مجلس الأمن وفرض عقوبات على الطرف المنتهك للاتفاق.

ويبدو أنّ الوضع يسير وفق هذا السيناريو إذ أنّ توجه الولايات المتحدة لتقديم شكوى إلى مجلس الأمن، أو تكليف بريطانيا بتقديم هذه الشكوى، وفي ضوء موقف الرئيس الفرنسي وموقف ألمانيا وبريطانيا، فإنه لن يكون صعباً على الولايات المتحدة وحلفائها الأوروبيين بإعادة فرض عقوبات باسم الأمم المتحدة على إيران، وبالتالي إلزام كلّ دول العالم بهذه العقوبات، أيّ العودة بشكلٍ كاملٍ إلى مرحلة ما قبل الاتفاق. بهذا المعنى، يمكن القول وداعاً للاتفاق النووي الإيراني.

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