Maduro: EU Demand to Delay Election in Venezuela ‘Impossible

Source

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has dismissed as “impossible” the EU’s suggestion to postpone the country’s December 6 election to meet the bloc’s conditions to dispatch an observer mission, blaming the idea on US pressure.

“It is impossible because there is a very clear constitutional mandate,” Maduro said Thursday in a nationally televised address. “We want to have a good relationship with the European Union, but Washington does not let them.”

Maduro has repeatedly maintained that the administration of hawkish US President Donald Trump is persistently plotting to topple his government in a coup to seize control of the oil-rich nation’s huge crude oil reserves.

Relations between Caracas and Washington have drastically deteriorated in recent years amid multiple efforts by the US government to impose sanctions on Venezuela’s state oil company and other industries in its bid to destabilize the country.

Venezuela’s constitution requires a new poll every five years while US-backed opposition parties have vowed to boycott the election.

European and Latin American ministers in the International Contact Group (ICG) declared after their video conference on Thursday that conditions were not ripe to send observers to Venezuela’s parliamentary elections next December.

“ICG members concluded that conditions are not met, at the moment, for a transparent, inclusive, free and fair electoral process,” the group announced in a statement following the conference chaired by EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell.

The ICG groups European countries including Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Italy as well as a number of Latin American countries. Argentina is back in the group while Bolivia has left it.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza invited observers from the United Nations and the European Union, in letters addressed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Borrell early this month, to monitor the upcoming parliamentary elections in the country.

In the letters, Arreaza outlined “the broad electoral guarantees agreed for the upcoming parliamentary elections.”

Maduro pardoned over 100 legislators and associates of US-sponsored opposition figure Juan Guaido to promote national reconciliation ahead of the congressional elections in December.

Guaido pushed Venezuela into political turmoil by dismissing the results of the 2018 presidential election after Maduro won nearly 70 percent of the votes. The opposition figure declared himself “interim president” of Venezuela in January last year and later launched a US-backed abortive coup to oust Maduro’s elected government.

Source: Agecnies

UN Extends UNIFIL Mission by One Year But Reduces Troops

UN Extends UNIFIL Mission by One Year But Reduces Troops

By Staff, Agencies

The UN on Friday renewed its peace mission in Lebanon for a year but reduced its troop capacity and requested that Beirut grant access to tunnels under the border with Israel.

The France-drafted resolution to renew the UNIFIL peacekeeping force was adopted unanimously by the Security Council’s 15 members, according to diplomats.

The council will reduce the troop limit from 15,000 to 13,000, the resolution said, recognizing that the mission has “successfully implemented its mandate since 2006 and has allowed for maintaining peace and security.”

In practice, the decision does not change much because UNIFIL’s current strength is around 10,500 peacekeepers, a diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity. During negotiations, Washington had asked for a limit of 11,000 peacekeepers.

The resolution urges Lebanon to give UNIFIL investigators access to areas north of the so-called Blue Line – the UN-demarcated border between occupied Palestine and Lebanon.

Backing the “Israeli” entity, which has accused UNIFIL of bias and ineffectiveness, the US has called since early summer for a troop reduction.

In the midst of an economic and political crisis, the Lebanese authorities demanded that the UN mission be extended without any change.

The resolution calls on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres coordinate with Lebanon and troop-contributing countries within 60 days on a plan for implementing recommendations he made to improve UNIFIL’s performance.

In June, Guterres said the peacekeeping force needed to be “more agile and mobile,” and called for an improved surveillance capacity of the force, including thermal-imaging cameras, hi-tech binoculars and drones.

Set up in 1978, UNIFIL was beefed up after the 2006 war.

The force, in coordination with the Lebanese army, is tasked guaranteeing a ceasefire and “Israeli” withdrawal from a demilitarized zone on the border.

Al-Jaafari Calls on Guterres to Intervene and Stop Turkish Crimes Depriving Hasaka of Drinking Water

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on 

21 August، 2020
New York, SANA

Syria’s Permanent Representative at the UN, Ambassador Bashar al-Jaafari, called on the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to intervene immediately and to exert all his efforts to stop the Turkish regime’s crime of cutting off drinking water for nearly one million Syrian citizens in Hasaka and its suburbs.

Al-Jaafari’s request came during a phone call with the UN Secretary- General on Friday to inform him about the catastrophic conditions in Hasaka city and its suburbs due to drinking water being cut off, stressing that the Turkish aggressive practice constitutes a war crime and a crime against the humanity.

Al-Jaafari pointed out to the Turkish occupation forces’ use of water as a weapon against civilians by depriving more than a million civilians in Hasaka city and its suburbs of potable water, as the Turkish occupation deliberately and repeatedly cut off water from Allouk station and the wells that feed them more than 15 times for several days, using this tactic to punish the people of Hasaka for their support of the Syrian government and their rejection of Turkish occupation.

He said that the situation caused by this crime is unbearable, particularly due to the hot weather and the threat of the Coronavirus pandemic, reminding Guterres of the official letters directed to him and to the Security Council in this regard, including the complaint dated 31/05/2020, as well as Syria’s statements at the Security Council on this matter, the most recent being made on August 19th, with al-Jaafari saying that Syria is hoping that the General Secretariat will react to these letters urgently.

For his part, Guterres said that he is aware of the situation in Hasaka and that he has tasked the UN team in Syria and his Special Envoy Geir Pedersen with taking the necessary steps to address this matter, resolve it urgently, and deliver humanitarian aid to affected people until Allouk station is operational again.

He said that he could imagine the situation in light of the intense heat and absence of potable water, adding that this situation must be resolved urgently, and that he will exert his best efforts by contacting the Turkish government and other sides to put pressure and resolve this matter as soon as possible.

Guterres also said he will task Pedersen with addressing this matter by meeting the representatives of the US, Russia, and Turkey in Geneva on Monday on the sideline of the meetings of the committee for discussing the constitution.

Baraa Ali / Hazem Sabbagh

Time is Not on Our Side in Libya

Photograph Source: Abdul-Jawad Elhusuni – CC BY-SA 3.0

by VIJAY PRASHAD

JULY 22, 2020

Ahmed, who lives in Tripoli, Libya, texts me that the city is quieter than before. The army of General Khalifa Haftar—who controls large parts of eastern Libya—has withdrawn from the southern part of the capital and is now holding fast in the city of Sirte and at the airbase of Jufra. Most of Libya’s population lives along the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea, which is where the cities of Tripoli, Sirte, Benghazi, and Tobruk are located.

Haftar, who was once an intimate of the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), is now prosecuting a seemingly endless and brutal war against the United Nation’s recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli and led by President Fayez al-Sarraj. To make matters more confusing, Haftar takes his legitimacy from another government, which is based in Tobruk, and is formed out of the House of Representatives (HOR).

Ahmed says that the quiet is deceitful. Militias continue to patrol the streets along the Salah al-Din Road near where he lives; the rattle of gunfire is anticipated.

On July 8, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres made a statement that could have been delivered at any point over the last decade. “Time is not on our side in Libya,” he announced. He laid out a range of problems facing the country, including the military conflict, the political stalemate between the GNA and the HOR, the numbers of internally-displaced people (400,000 out of 7 million), the continued attempts of migrants to cross the Mediterranean Sea, the threat from COVID-19, and the “unprecedented levels” of “foreign interference.”

The UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution to send a Fact-Finding Mission to Libya to investigate human rights violations in this war, including the mass graves found in Tarhouna. The credibility of the Council is in doubt. An earlier Commission of Inquiry on Libya set up in 2012 to study war crimes in 2011-2012 was shut down largely because the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) refused to cooperate with the investigation. A second inquiry, set up in March 2015, closed its work in January 2016 with the political deal that created the Government of National Accord.

Guterres did not mention the NATO war in 2011. I am told that he wants to appoint a joint Special Representative with the African Union and he would like a full review of the UN mission. All that is well and good; but it is short of what is necessary: an honest look at the NATO war that broke the country, fomenting a conflict that seems without end.

Foreign Interference

Statements about Libya drip with evasion. These terms—“foreign interference” and “foreign-backed efforts”—are dropped into conversations and official statements without any clarification. But everyone knows what is going on.

I ask Rida, who lives in Benghazi (now under the control of General Haftar), what she makes of these phrases. “We all know what is going on,” she tells me via text. “The government in Tripoli is backed by Turkey and others; while Haftar is backed by Egypt and others,” she writes.

At the core, she says, this is a dispute between two regional powers (Turkey and Egypt) as well as a contest between the Muslim Brotherhood (Turkey) and its adversaries (Egypt and the United Arab Emirates). Wrapped up in all this are contracts for offshore drilling in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, which additionally involved Cyprus and Greece.

It is not enough that this is a regional conflict. There is accumulating evidence that General Haftar is being supported by armed mercenaries (from Russia and Sudan) and by arms shipments from France, while the United States seems to have hedged its bets with support to both sides in the conflict.

Last year, General Haftar’s forces moved swiftly toward Tripoli, but were eventually rebuffed by the intervention of Turkey (which provided the Tripoli government with military aid as well as Syrian and Turkish mercenaries).

In late December, Turkey formally signed a military and security agreement with the Tripoli-based GNA, which enabled Turkey to transfer military hardware. This agreement broke the terms of the UN resolution 2292 (2016), recently reaffirmed in UN resolution 2526 (2020). Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have openly been supplying Haftar.

Now, the forces of the Tripoli government have moved to the central coastline city of Sirte, which has emerged as the key hotspot in this contest.

The Tobruk government, which backs General Haftar, and a pro-Haftar tribes council urged Egypt’s General Abdul Fatah El Sisi to intervene with the full force of the Egyptian armed forces if Sirte falls to the Turkish-backed government. Egypt’s military drill—called Hasm 2020—came alongside the Turkish navy’s announcement of maneuvers off the Libyan coast—called Navtex.

This is a most dangerous situation, a war of words escalating between Turkey and Egypt; Egypt has now moved military hardware to its border with Libya.

Oil

Of course, oil is a major part of the equation. Libya has at least 46 billion barrels of sweet crude oil; this oil is highly valued for Europe because of the low costs to extract and transport it. Countries like the UAE, which are pushing the embargo of Libyan oil, benefit from the withdrawal of Libya, Iranian, and Venezuelan oil from already suppressed world oil markets. Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) has stopped oil exports since January; from about 1.10 million barrels per day, Libyan oil production fell to nearly 70,000 barrels per day.

Neither Haftar nor the Government of National Accord in Tripoli can agree on the export of oil from the country. Oil has not left the country for the better part of the past six months, with a loss—according to the NOC—of about US$6.74 billion. General Haftar controls major oil ports in the east, including Es Sider, and several key oil fields, including Sharara.

Neither side wants the other to profit from oil sales. The United Nations has intervened to try and resolve the differences, but so far there has been limited progress. The entire conflict rests on the belief that either side has that it could win a military victory and therefore take the entire spoils; no one is willing to compromise, since any such agreement would mean a de jure partition of the country into its eastern and western halves with the oil crescent divided between the two.

Demilitarized Zone

UN Secretary-General Guterres has surrendered to reality. In his recent statement on Libya, he listed a series of “de-escalation efforts, including the creation of a possible demilitarized zone”; this “demilitarization zone” would likely be drawn somewhere near Sirte. It would effectively divide Libya into two parts.

Neither Ahmed nor Rida would like their country to be partitioned, its oil then siphoned off to Europe, and its wealth stolen by oligarchs on either side. They had misgivings about Muammar Qaddafi’s government in early 2011; but now both regret the war that has ripped their country to shreds.Join the debate on FacebookMore articles by:VIJAY PRASHAD

Vijay Prashad’s most recent book is No Free Left: The Futures of Indian Communism (New Delhi: LeftWord Books, 2015).

China and Russia Reject UN Secretary General Proposal on Open Borders for Al-Qaeda

Source

June 26, 2020 Arabi Souri

United Nations UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

China and Russia are reported to have rejected a proposal presented in a communique by the UN Secretary-General presented to the current penholders, Belgium and Germany. The SG has on several occasions expressed his desire to extend the free border crossing from Turkey into Idlib for 12 months. The current mandate established in 2014 (UNSCR 2165) expires on 10 July.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for the opening of Syria’s borders for the free flow of ‘humanitarian aid’ for one year; Syria, China, and Russia object it and consider it a breach of Syria’s sovereignty offering a secure passage for terrorists to sneak into Syria with their weapons as proven in the past.

Per reports, Russia proposed to deliver the intended humanitarian aid through Damascus, the Syrian capital, a proposal the UN’s top diplomat considered ‘not a viable applicable solution’, he might be worried that the Syrian state will confiscate any weapons, gears, and advanced satellite communication devices ‘gifted by the generous western donors’ to al-Qaeda terrorists operating in Idlib.

Resolutions — passed by the P5 Security Council members — require aye votes or a combination of ”ayes” and abstentions. UNSCR 2165 was extended with UNSCR 2393 (2017), UNSCR 2449 (2018)Its likely final extension, UNSCR 2504 (2020) passed with the French “aye,” and abstensions by US, UK, Russia, & China.

There are up to three million Syrians living in the region under the control of a number of assorted al-Qaeda and other Muslim Brotherhood terrorist groups loyal to the Turkish madman Erdogan; the real humanitarian aid delivered to Idlib falls in the hands of those terrorists who then sell it at high prices to the needy Syrian families, whereas if the Russian proposal is accepted, convoys of the aid would be delivered under the supervision of the United Nations itself and not al-Qaeda commanders.

Furthermore, what about the 18 million Syrians not living in al-Qaeda’s safe haven in Idlib and suffering from the increased sanctions imposed on them by the same ‘generous donors’ sending the aid to al-Qaeda terrorist groups in Idlib? Don’t they deserve some help instead of renewing the sanctions against them by the European Union earlier this month and the Trump regime imposing its unprecedented regime of sanctions dubbed the Caesar Act on the 17th of the month? Can the United Nations Secretary-General explain this hypocrisy under the supervision of his organization?

We know there’s no comfortable answer to this question since the UN organization was essentially built under the control of the victors of the WWII to serve their interests not to actually implement its own Charter, otherwise, there are dozens of un-implemented United Nations Security Council resolutions and other resolutions by the United Nations General Assembly to solve the Palestinian problem, the core issue destabilizing most of the world for the past 7 decades.

There is also the UNSC Resolution 2253 issued to dry up the sources of terrorism funding and facilitating, it was issued a few hours before the infamous UNSC Resolution 2254 calling for a ‘political solution for the Syrian crisis’, to enable implementing 2254, the UNSC needs to implement 2253. The United States of America and its cronies never mention Resolution 2253 while never stop calling for the implementation of Resolution 2254, they want to include elements from terrorist groups in the political solution in Syria, ie ministers in a future Syrian government from al-Qaeda… Just naming another example of the ways the UN functions.

Postscript:

It is noteworthy that Antonio Guterres’ humanitarian concerns for the suffering of the Syrian people — by all evidence — is limited to support for NATO countries to impose a new Sykes-Picot in Syria (maps showing that increased, non-sovereign border openings are around areas illegally occupied by Madman Erdogan and Trump regime troops, here.)

SG Guterres did not dispatch communique in condemnation of Erdogan’s bombing the electrical grid of the Alouk Water & Power plant — twice — in October; surely Syrian people need water and electricity.

There has been no communique over Turkey’s occupation of the water plant in Alouk, either, an occupation which has seen Syrians deprived of essential water for days at a time. Surely, humanitarian concerns involve Syrians not having access to their own clean water supplies.

Erdogan War Crimes, SDF Atrocities, No Reconciliation

https://www.syrianews.cc/erdogan-war-crimes-sdf-atrocities-no-reconciliation/embed/#?secret=qdeIMcckxO

The Secretariat has been silent over Trump’s illegals in Syria firebombing wheat fields in Hasaka, last month, followed by ongoing arsonof surrounding Syrian farmlands, by NATO-supported terrorists.

Surely humanitarian concerns of the truly righteous would include concern for the rights of Syrians to have access to their water and their food.

NATO Allies Hold Emergency UNSC Meeting to Save al-Qaeda in Idlib

Solidarity in the Age of Coronavirus: What the Arabs Must Do

April 8, 2020

Using humble means, a refugee worker sterilizes the streets in Al-Shati refugee camp. (Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Ramzy Baroud

While the Coronavirus continues to ravage almost every nation on earth, Arab countries remain unable, or unwilling, to formulate a collective strategy to help the poorest and most vulnerable Arabs survive the deadly virus and its economic fallout.

Worse, amid growing international solidarity, we are yet to see a pan-Arab initiative that aims to provide material support to countries and regions that have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 disease.

The lack of collective Arab responsiveness is not unique as it mirrors Europe’s own systematic failure, exhibiting ‘solidarity’ when it is financially convenient, and turning its back, sometimes at its own brethren, when there are no economic incentives.

For example, when Greece defaulted on its debt to international donors in 2015, Germany, and other European Union countries, pounced on the opportunity to dismantle the country’s major financial institutions and to profit from Athens’ mounting miseries.

All the talk of European solidarity, fraternity and community floundered at the altar of greed and unhindered profits.

That was not the first – nor will it be the last – occasion when the opportunistic EU showed its true colors. In truth, Europe is united, not by common history or unbreakable social bonds, but rather by the shared belief that a united Europe is a stronger economic unit.

The same sordid scenario was recently repeated. As Italy began buckling down under the unbearable burdens of the deadly Coronavirus, it immediately, and naturally, sought the help of its European sister states. To no avail.

Despite its sizable debt, Italy is a major player in the economic arena of Europe and, in fact, the world. Indeed, Italy is the world’s 8th largest economy. But the country’s economy is now experiencing a rare freefall, especially in the poorer regions of the South, where people are literally going hungry.

The first country to come to Italy’s aid was neither France, nor, unsurprisingly, Germany, but China, followed by Russia, then Cuba, and others.

This palpable lack of solidarity among European countries has further empowered the ethnocentric view already prevailing in Europe, and championed by far-right movements like Italy’s League Party of Matteo Salvini. For years, the latter has advocated against European integration.

It will take months, if not years, for the political fallout of the Coronavirus to be fully assessed. But what is already clear is that international and regional economic hubs are actively hedging their bets to consolidate their geopolitical positions in the post-Coronavirus world.

Despite bashful American attempts to join the politically-motivated international solidarity, US President Donald Trump’s humble moves arrived too little, too late. In fact, a sign of the times is that Chinese and Russian aid is pouring in to help the United States, which now has the world’s largest number of COVID-19 cases.

A compelling question, however, is where are the Arabs in all of this?

Italy and Spain, in particular, share historical and cultural bonds, and broad political interests, with many Arab countries, interests that will remain long after the Coronavirus is eradicated. Failing to register on the radar of international solidarity with Italy and Spain will prove a strategic miscalculation.

Israel, on the other hand, is activating its aid agency, IsraAID, which has previously worked in Italy between 2016 and 2019, after a major earthquake killed nearly 300 people and left behind massive infrastructural damage.

Israel uses ‘humanitarian aid’ as a political and propaganda tool. Israeli missions are often under-funded and short-lasting, but their impact is greatly amplified by a powerful, official media machine that tries to project Israel as a ‘peace-maker’, not a war-monger.

The truth is, some Arab governments do, in fact, provide badly needed funds and aid to countries that are devastated by wars or natural disasters; alas, these efforts are often disorganized and self-centered – and frankly, not at all motivated by true solidarity.

That said, the absence of Arab initiatives in the field of international humanitarian solidarity dwarf in comparison to the lack of Arab solidarity within the Arab world itself.

According to United Nation estimates, there are “101.4 million (people) in the region who already live in poverty, according to official criteria, and around 52 million undernourished.”

A new policy brief issued on April 1 by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), projects that an additional 8.3 million people are set to join the poor and undernourished masses throughout the Arab world.

Aside from empty rhetoric and useless press releases, we are yet to witness a major collective Arab initiative, championed by, for example, the Arab League, to provide an Arab equivalent to the many economic stimulus plans that have been set into motion in many other countries and regions around the world.

Late March, United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, issued a ‘global ceasefire appeal’, pleading to the world, especially to warring Middle Eastern nations, to cease fire and to unite all efforts in one single war against the Coronavirus.

Sadly, that call has so far gone unheeded. The war in Libya is escalating, not subsiding; Israeli killing of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank continues unabated; the flood of refugees out of Syria, Turkey, and other Middle Eastern countries is yet to slow down.

Times of crisis, especially the kind that targets all of us regardless of race, religion, or geography, often constitute a wake-up call, present an opportunity for a new beginning, a new social contract so that we may resurrect from the ashes of our collective pain to build a better world.

Let COVID-19 be that opportunity that will allow all nations, especially in the Middle East, to take a stance against war, hunger and disease, to share their wealth and to extend the hand of solidarity to Africa and our historic allies throughout the world.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press, Atlanta). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), Istanbul Zaim University (IZU). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

Iran’s Medical Sciences Academy Letter to UN: History Will Judge Int’l Organizations’ Silence towards US Crimes

Iran’s Medical Sciences Academy Letter to UN: History Will Judge Int’l Organizations’ Silence towards US Crimes

By Staff

President of Iran’s Academy of Medical Sciences, Seyed Alireza Marandi, sent the United Nations Chief, Antonio Guterres a letter slamming the international organizations’ silence and ineffectiveness towards the United States’ crimes against Iran.

As the US continues to impose sanctions and humanitarian and health terrorism amid the global Coronavirus outbreak, Seyed Marandi told the UN chief that history will judge their inaction.

He also noted that the toothless institutions are complicit in the crimes, stressing that “we will undoubtedly see the unraveling of our world order because of this refusal to take action against crass violations of international and humanitarian law by the US regime.”

Below is the letter’s full text:

United Nations Secretary General

His Excellency, Antonio Guterres,

Excellency,

Following correspondence about the US government’s illegal sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran and its direct impact on the health of the Iranian people, unfortunately, so far, the United Nations and other relevant organizations including the World Health Organization, which claim to defend the rights of humanity, have taken no effective measures to lift the cruel sanctions against our dear children, women, men and patients.

Instead, despite the urging of scientists, physicians and even some elected US officials to lift sanctions amid a worldwide Covid-19 disease pandemic, this irrational, ruthless American government has further tightened sanctions against the Iranian people.

Nevertheless, the efforts of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s health authorities and officials in the face of inhumane US sanctions have been successful in managing the recent pandemic. Even if a small part of these sanctions were imposed on European countries and the United States, those nations would surely collapse under the strain. As you know, we have been one of the worse-hit nations in this pandemic and would not have reached this difficult state had it not been for the repressive US sanctions imposed on all the world in order to punish Iran.

It is certain that history will judge the ineffectiveness and silence of international organizations claiming protection of international law and human rights against such crimes. These institutions have become toothless, if not complicit, and we will undoubtedly see the unraveling of our world order because of this refusal to take action against crass violations of international and humanitarian law by the US regime.

Yours sincerely,

Seyed Alireza Marandi, M.D.

President of Academy of Medical Sciences

Islamic Republic of Iran

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.

 

Failure in Yemen to be ‘death sentence’ of Saudi monarchy: Prof. Cavell

August 5, 2019

TEHRAN – Professor of political science Colin S. Cavell believes that failure of Saudi Arabia “to reassert its hegemonic control over Yemen will be a death sentence on the continuation of the Saudi monarchy.”

In an interview with Mehr News Agency, Colin S. Cavell, full professor of political science at Bluefield State College in Bluefield, West Virginia, pointed to different aspects of Saudi-waged war against the Yemeni people and Western’s countries’ continued support for the aggression despite human rights concerns.

He noted that “Saudi Arabia is bogged down in a quagmire which it will be difficult to extricate itself from but instead will eventually call into question the continued existence of the Kingdom itself.”

“Failure on the part of Saudi Arabia to reassert its hegemonic control over Yemen will be a death sentence on the continuation of the Saudi monarchy.  A Yemeni victory in their war of independence from Saudi Arabia will provide hope and inspiration for the captive population of Saudi Arabia to rise up an install a legitimate peoples’ government.”

He also noted that “disparate economic interests” of various countries, including U.S., UK, and France, are why the UN Security Council “cannot agree to stop this devastating war on the people of Yemen.” He added that “morality for Trump consists in whether US industries are profitable despite resulting in unparalleled death and destruction.”

Here is the full text of the interview:

UN Secretary-General António Guterres issued a report on Friday, July 26, 2019, noting that the Saudi-led coalition has killed 729 children in 2018 in the Yemen war, deciding to blacklist the coalition for the third year for child-killing crimes. Despite all these human rights reports, we see that western countries are still providing the coalition with weaponry. Why all these reports have failed to stop arms sales of the western countries, especially the Trump administration, to the Saudi-led coalition?

Currently, there are 193-member states of the United Nations, an International Governmental Organization (IGO) set up in 1945 to prevent another world war from killing millions of people as WWII did.  While these 193 members are technically sovereign states, in truth, save for a handful of nations, most members are subservient to other, larger, more powerful states.  The UN is a three-tiered organization with the 15-member Security Council able to set policy for the entire organization with the five permanent members of this Council—the United States, China, Russian Federation, France, and the United Kingdom—having a veto on all procedural issues, with ten non-permanent members who serve on the Council for two-year terms (five elected each year), with these ten non-permanent members elected by the third-tiered General Assembly of nations that comprise the majority of the UN.  Given this organizational structure, and given the current differences between the five permanent members and their veto power, it has been near impossible for this international body to agree on stopping the reckless and deadly Saudi-UAE war on the people of Yemen.

The truth-seeking citizen will thus inquire why these five permanent members cannot agree to stop this devastating war on the people of Yemen, and the answer lies in the disparate economic interests of the various states.  Specifically, the western states, led by the United States, perceive that their national security interests, require that they have secure and reliable access to energy resources to fuel their industries, and they believe that by politically controlling the energy resources of Iraq and Iran (the two nations of the Middle East with the largest stores of such reserves) will satisfy their national security objectives.  Lacking such political control, then the US and its allies wish to deny the viability of these and other large-energy reserve countries—like Venezuela—from being able to function properly.

Given this perspective, it matters not to current US President Donald J. Trump, a quintessential representative of the capitalist economic system and default leader of the western coalition of states, whether the countries leading this assault on the Yemeni people, namely Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are engaged in a systematic genocide against the Yemeni people, whether their attacks exhibit any sort of proportionality or strategic logic, whether supporting such odious unelected and undemocratic regimes serves long-term US interests, or even whether U.S. aiding and abetting this calamitous war is in violation of international law, given that the US, the UK, and France—all US allies on the UN Security Council–can prevent the UN from stopping this war.  However, what does matter to the US president is whether and how this conflict being waged by its two close allies in the Middle East, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and which is urged on and assisted by Israel,  the US’s closest ally in the Middle East, can benefit the United States economy.  President Trump has concluded that the US will benefit if it is able to sell as many weapons and military equipment as possible to these warring parties and thus profit US military industries, which, in turn, will fatten the campaign coffers of President Trump and his Republican Party members of Congress.

In March of 2018, Trump effusively welcomed the heir-apparent to the Saudi throne and the architect of the Saudi-UAE-led war on Yemen, Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), on his first visit to the White House and promised to push through Congress arms deals worth billions of dollars in investment and additional jobs to the United States.  As Trump said at the time, “Saudi Arabia has been a very great friend and a big purchaser of equipment and lots of other things.”

Thus, morality for Trump consists in whether US industries are profitable despite resulting in unparalleled death and destruction.  Such a moral compass reflects a pole shift in direct contradiction to the morality espoused by either the Koran, the Bible, the Torah, or any other religious text or philosophical code.  It is the morality of capitalism, an economic system which currently dominates much of the world and is centrally directed from the United States.

On July 28, 2019, a gunman killed three non-white people attending an annual festival in Gilroy, California.  Earlier in the day, he posted on his Instagram account references to a fascist white supremacist manifesto from the nineteenth century which challenges the basis of all Abrahamic religions that call on us all to serve each other, to lift up the weak, the impoverished, the neglected and instead argues for the rights of the strong, the mighty, the wealthy, the powerful.  Spurred on by the cultural degeneration of President Trump, what now reigns as morality for US leaders is bullying, arrogance, bragging, excessive pride, and denigration of all those who are not white, wealthy, male, and powerful.

Given this diametrically opposed system of values, it is impossible to for the interested states to mutually recognize what the problem is, much less how to resolve the problem.

What were the main aims of Saudi Arabia in the Yemen war? And are these aims achieved up to now?

The Yemeni people rose up in January of 2015 after decades of existing under foreign rulers installed by their neighbor Saudi Arabia and forced then-President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi to resign.  When Saudi Crown Prince MbS decided to intervene into Yemen in March of 2015 in an attempt to restore their puppet, Hadi fled the country to the Saudi city of Riyadh, as the Saudi bombs rained down upon the Yemeni revolutionaries forcing them to organize against the imperial intervention that has killed over 70,000 people in the last four years.  Seeking to reassert their hegemony over the Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia denies the Yemeni people have any legitimate grievances and instead wants the outside world to believe that the Yemeni people are activated and instigated by the country of Iran from across the Persian Gulf.  The United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, and other western powers have traditionally relied upon Saudi Arabia as a guarantor of reliable oil and natural gas for western industries and have utilized the Saudi monarchy as a cash machine to bail out their economies from time to time, to launder their ill-gotten gains, and to police the Middle East to serve western hegemonic interests.  With thousands dead, Yemen’s infrastructure destroyed, financial costs to the Saudis now well over $100 billion, with its international reputation in tatters even amongst its allies, with MbS’s leadership credibility a running joke, with the Yemeni people stronger and more united than ever, Saudi Arabia is bogged down in a quagmire which it will be difficult to extricate itself from but instead will eventually call into question the continued existence of the Kingdom itself.

Reports indicate that the UAE is planning to withdraw forces from Yemen in several stages. Do you think this withdrawal is a real one or just a tactical strategy? Why has the UAE made this decision, and what are the consequences of such a move on the future of Yemen?

The United Arab Emirates is very worried that its participation in the Saudi invasion of Yemen will open itself up as a target of Yemeni attacks, just as Saudi Arabia is now being regularly attacked by Yemeni fighters, Yemeni missiles, and Yemeni drones.  But, as a junior partner in the Saudi-led axis war against the Yemeni people, it is, in reducing its direct troop involvement in the war, following orders from the imperial directors of this organized carnage situated in Washington and London who are orchestrating the unfolding of this imperial drama.  Thus, it appears, at present, to be solely a tactical disengagement from direct fighting in Yemen.

There are also other reports outlining that Saudi Arabia may have plans to wrap up the Yemen war by the end of 2019. Since Mohammad bin Salman strongly supported aggressive policies of Saudi Arabia, such as in Yemen, do you think that a Saudi defeat in Yemen will change the political fate of bin Salman and Saudi Arabia?

Failure on the part of Saudi Arabia to reassert its hegemonic control over Yemen will be a death sentence on the continuation of the Saudi monarchy.  A Yemeni victory in their war of independence from Saudi Arabia will provide hope and inspiration for the captive population of Saudi Arabia to rise up an install a legitimate peoples’ government.  Losing its reliable source of energy and financial launderer in the Middle East is why the western hegemons are so intent on excusing the Kingdom of its crimes from the death and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi to the financing of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, DC.

Born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Colin S. Cavell earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Louisiana State University in 1982, his Masters of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of New Orleans in 1987, and his Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Massachusetts in February 2001. Dr. Cavell is a tenured Full Professor of Political Science at Bluefield State College in Bluefield, West Virginia, having previously served as Chair of the Department of Social Sciences.  Dr. Cavell is also an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, Massachusetts and has taught at the University of Bahrain in the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Junior Statesman Foundation Summer Program at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts, as well as at the University of New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Saudi Arabia on UN’s list of child-killing regimes for 3rd year

Source
A child suffering from malnutrition caused by the Saudi aggression lies on a bed at a treatment center in al-Sabeen Maternal Hospital in the Yemeni capital Sana'a on June 22, 2019. (Photo by AFP)
A child suffering from malnutrition caused by the Saudi aggression lies on a bed at a treatment center in al-Sabeen Maternal Hospital in the Yemeni capital Sana’a on June 22, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

The United Nations has for the third year put Saudi Arabia and its allies in their military campaign against Yemen on the world body’s blacklist of child killers,  

According to a report by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in 2018, the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen killed or injured 729 children, nearly half the total child casualties of the year.

The UN chief’s report, which was presented to the Security Council on Friday, also states that Palestinian casualties caused by the Israeli regime, mainly its military, hit a four-year high in 2018.

The report shows that 59 Palestinian children were killed – 56 by Israeli forces – and another 2,756 were injured last year.

Guterres urged “Israel to immediately put in place preventive and protective measures to end the excessive use of force”.

“I condemn the increasing number of child casualties, which are often a result of attacks in densely populated areas and against civilian objects, including schools and hospitals,” Guterres said in the report, produced by UN Children and Armed Conflict envoy Virginia Gamba and issued in Guterres’ name.

The report does not subject those listed to action; however, it shames parties to conflicts in the hope of pushing them to stop killing children.

Diplomats say Saudi Arabia and Israel both have exerted pressure in recent years in a bid to stay off the list, but no to avail.

In reaction to the Friday report, Saudi Ambassador to the UN Abdadllah Al-Mouallimi claimed that “every child’s life is precious” to Riyadh, and questioned the sourcing and accuracy of the report, describing the numbers as “exaggerated.”

His claims come as over 80,000 Yemeni children under five years have died as a result of severe malnutrition caused by the Saudi-led coalition’s aggression against the people of Yemen, Guterres cited a report as saying earlier this year.

The war that  began in March 2015 has so far killed thousands of Yemeni women and children and destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure.

The Yemeni Health Ministry announced in a report on Friday that one Yemeni child is dying of malnutrition every 10 minutes. The report, cited by al-Mayadeen TV, said malnutrition has affected 2.3 million children in Yemen during the past five years.

It also pointed to the outbreak of cholera as a result of the Saudi-led coalition’s aggression, saying that children account for 40 percent of the 3,700 people diagnosed with the disease in the war-torn country.

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Zarif Slams EU over Not Fulfilling Nuclear Deal Commitments

Source

April 14, 2019

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohamamd Javad Zsrif slammed EU on Sunday over delay in the implementation of the new mechanism for non-dollar trade with the Islamic Republic.

In comments on Sunday, the top Iranian diplomat deplored the European signatories to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal for failing to fulfill their commitments under the agreement, saying it is long overdue.

The Europeans are far behind on fulfilling their commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Zarif said, adding: “They (EU) should not assume that the Islamic Republic of Iran will be waiting for them.”

Describing INSTEX -a payment channel that the three EU signatories to the JCPOA have set up to maintain trade with Iran- as a preliminary measure, Zarif said the Europeans need to work hard for a long time to honor their commitments.

The Iranian minister further noted that Iran has maintained close ties with its neighbors and has launched mechanisms similar to the INSTEX with many other countries.

“While the European countries have proposed INSTEX to maintain business ties with Iran in defiance of the US sanctions, the payment channel has not been put into practice yet,” he added.

On the other hand, Zarif said Iran will ask the international community to take a position on the US designation of its Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization.

“Today … we will send messages to foreign ministers of all countries to tell them it is necessary for them to express their stances, and to warn them that this unprecedented and dangerous U.S. measure has had and will have consequences,” Zarif was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.

The Iranian diplomat said he had also sent letters to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the United Nations Security Council to protest against “this illegal U.S. measure”.

Source: Iranian media

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UN at the Arab League: Any Resolution on Syria Must Guarantee Its Territorial Sovereignty, Integrity

By Staff, Agencies

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres stressed the importance of guaranteeing the sovereignty and territorial integrity in any resolution on the conflict in Syria.

“Any resolution of the Syrian conflict must guarantee the unity, [and] the territorial integrity of Syria, including the occupied Golan,” he said in an address to an Arab League summit in the Tunisian capital of Tunis on Sunday.

As “millions of Syrians remain displaced and in need, and tens of thousands are arbitrarily detained…we must keep working to forge a political path to a sustainable peace in which all Syrians are heard, grievances are addressed, and needs are met,” he added.

Guterres’ remarks came days after US President Donald Trump broke decades of international consensus and formally recognized the Zionist entity’s “sovereignty” over the occupied Golan Heights, a border area the Zionist regime seized from Syria in 1967.

“This was a long time in the making. Should have taken place decades ago,” Trump said while signing the proclamation in the presence of Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the White House in Washington, DC.

However, a Wednesday meeting of the UN Security Council turned into another stage for the isolation of the US, as other countries on the council opposed Trump’s move on Golan.

At the meeting, Syria’s Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar al-Jaafari lashed out at Trump’s recognition, describing the move as part of a “criminal project” aimed at prolonging chaos and destruction in the region.

Syria has long reaffirmed its sovereignty over Golan, emphasizing that the territory must be completely restored to its control.

Also during the Arab League summit, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned Arab leaders that the Trump administration was going to “destroy” the so-called ‘Arab Peace Initiative’ by letting ‘Israel’ annex portions of the West Bank.

“The US will tell ‘Israel’, annex part of the Palestinian lands and grant self-rule to what’s left of the land, and give the Gaza Strip a state so that Hamas can play there,” he said.

Jaafari on Golan: Trump Tweet Flagrant Violation, Contempt for International Law

Bashar Jaafari Syria UN Representative Ambassador - UNSC بشار الجعفري مندوب سوريا الدائم لدى الأمم المتحدة - سفير

His Excellency Bashar al Jaafari issued an urgent statement on Syria’s Golan, via a UN stake out, 22 March 2019. While maintaining his immaculate standard of professional diplomat, the Syrian ambassador crushed US President Donald J. Trump’s “irresponsible tweeting.” He laid waste to the escalation of “American arrogance,” and explained the many UN Security Council Resolutions which support Syria’s sovereignty over its Golan, resolutions which call for the end of illegal Israeli occupation.

Golan
Though there were a substantial number of reporters present, at this writing, AFP is the lone MSM service to write an anemic short, ignoring all key points on Trump’s criminal plot to authorize the theft of Syria’s Golan.

Dr. Jaafari explained to his audience there is no “Golan heights,” there is only the Syrian Golan. The word “heights” was affixed by Israeli propagandists as part of its psychological warfare campaign to make its illegal occupation appear more powerful.

Syria’s ambassador read a five-minute statement in Arabic, followed by its English translation, after which he took questions from the reporters.

One reporter said that Syria’s official request for the UNSG to publicly condemn Trump’s aggression was met by a generic response that the SG stands by all resolutions, but is not ready to condemn the US president’s tweet.

Golan
Syria officially called on the UN to put an end to “American arrogance” of Trump’s mafioso-type plan to give that which is not his, but Syria’s, Golan, to its illegal Israeli occupiers.

Here, the author interjects to again remind our readers of the corruption and bias of Antonio Guterres — Guterres, the friend of war criminal Tony Blair, Guterres whose own imperialist arrogance contains putting lies in writing. Consider his claim that the OPCW “fact-finding mission” was “in the Syrian Arab Republic,” despite OPCW’s admission it was too afraid of terrorists to actually send in investigators.

Diplomat Jaafari meticulously explained that Trump’s imperious tweet — “diplomacy now about tweeting, apparently” — was contemptuous of the international community, showed “flagrant violation of international law, the charter of the UN and the simplest…values and ethics,” and demonstrated escalation against member states of the United Nations: It’s “my way or the highway.”

Golan
You can’t declare war with everybody [though that is basically what Trump did when he spoke at UNGA in September]. The 100th year anniversary of the League of Nations is approaching, & Trump is trying to move international law to pre-1918.

Before taking questions, the Syrian diplomat asked everyone to focus exclusively on the Golan. He told them that there would be another “humanitarian meeting” on the 27th, at which time they could ask all questions. His request to “Please let us focus on this important issue” of course fell on deaf western ears, as someone immediately asked about Trump’s statistics on the remaining “Islamic State.”

Excellency Jaafari did respond, however, to educate the reporter that there is no such thing, there is “a bunch of terrorists gathered from all over the world…all kinds of hyenas.”

Golan
“Allies performed records in demolishing infrastructure.” H.E. Jaafari was speaking of the Fascist Coalition of war criminals against Syria.

One English-speaking colonialist whined from a State Department-type script, about these being “different times.” Nu, is it not always different times? Since when does the movement of the planet legitimize theft, authorize a third party to declare theft to be lawful?

Golan
UNSCR 242 (1967). Israel must return the Golan to its legal country, Syria.

Not surprisingly, one of the most fetid collections of questions came from an incel-sounding voice claiming to be of the Middle East Eye. “MEE is the offspring of the inbred relationship of UK’s The Guardian and Qatar’s al-Jazeera, consistently supportive of NATO Spring takfiri in Syria.

“MEE”‘s first question was sheer idiocy, suggesting that a tweet has the power to legalize a crime. The second question was an attempt to propagandize against Syria’s Golan, and to propagandize for future hypothetical victimhood of Israeli occupiers on the Golan which belongs to the SAR.

Syrians on Syria’s Golan fly the Syrian flag.

Dr. Jaafari carefully explained that Syria will regain that which it owns, and that there are no Israeli civilians on Syrian land: “They are settlers, not civilians. They must leave.”

Golan
“What is the alternative to diplomacy? You know the answer.” “When you have no other choice to get back your rights, it’s your duty.”

Multiple attempts were made to provoke Dr. Jaafari into a response to create another wave of anti-Syria hysteria in western media. His character state of professional diplomat is likely the reason his urgent statement on Trump’s criminal tweet in support of Israel’s criminal occupation of the Golan has been ignored by “mainstream media.”

ADDENDA:

Ambassador Jaafari’s statement focused on UNSC Resolutions supporting Syria’s ownership of its Golan.

We remind our readers that both the US and Israel are signatories to the Geneva treaties, which have strict principles governing occupation, which is supposed to be temporary:

golan
Principles governing occupation.

We also remind our readers that Israel has bragged about providing terrorists with state of the art medical care on the Syrian Golan, which it occupies; that Israeli medium reported that Israel is the number one purchaser of oil stolen by terrorists; that Israel breaches all of the principles governing what is supposed to be temporary occupation.

‘Israel’ Burying Nuclear Waste in Syria’s Golan

‘Israel’ Burying Nuclear Waste in Syria’s Golan

By Staff, Agencies

UN chief Antonio Guterres will unveil a report which accuses the Zionist ‘Israeli’ entity of burying radioactive nuclear waste in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

Guterres will submit the report – which is based on Syria’s charges against ‘Israel’ – to the UN Human Rights Council [UNHRC] at the panel’s 40th session, set to open in Geneva Monday and run through March 22.

“The Syrian Arab Republic noted that ‘Israel’ continued to bury nuclear waste with radioactive content in 20 different areas populated by Syrian citizens of the occupied Syrian Golan, particularly in the vicinity of al-Sheikh Mountain,” the report says.

“The practice has put the lives and health of Syrians in the occupied Syrian Golan in jeopardy, and constituted a serious violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention,” it added.

The Zionist regime is the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, but its policy is to neither confirm nor deny having atomic bombs. The regime is estimated to have 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal.

However, it is not a member of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT], whose aim is to prevent the spread of nuclear arms and weapons technology.

The UN report further accuses ‘Israel’ of “providing logistical support to terrorist groups,” such as the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front.

It is providing terrorist groups with weapons, ammunition, money and medical care to frighten the local population and to maintain a no-go zone along the Syrian border.

The report also censures ‘Israel’s’ decision “to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan” as “null and void and without international legal effect,” calling on the occupation’s regime to “rescind forthwith its decision”.

The report drew an angry reaction from the Zionist entity, with its foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon claiming it is an “another false report from the UNHRC which specializes in attacking ‘Israel’.”

israel (apartheid state) burying nuclear waste in Syria’s Golan: UN

Israel burying nuclear waste in Syria’s Golan: UN

UN troops stand near a watch tower at Syria's Quneitra crossing in the occupied Golan Heights on September 27, 2018. (Photo By AFP)UN troops stand near a watch tower at Syria’s Quneitra crossing in the occupied Golan Heights on September 27, 2018. (Photo By AFP)

UN chief Antonio Guterres will unveil Monday a report which accuses Israel of burying radioactive nuclear waste in the Golan Heights, a Syrian territory under occupation for over five decades.

Guterres will submit the report – which is based on Syria’s charges against Israel – to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) at the panel’s 40th session, set to open in Geneva Monday and run through March 22.

“The Syrian Arab Republic noted that Israel continued to bury nuclear waste with radioactive content in 20 different areas populated by Syrian citizens of the occupied Syrian Golan, particularly in the vicinity of al-Sheikh Mountain,” the report says.

“The practice has put the lives and health of Syrians in the occupied Syrian Golan in jeopardy, and constituted a serious violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention,” it added.

Israel is the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, but its policy is to neither confirm nor deny having atomic bombs. The regime is estimated to have 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal.

Israel is not a member of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which aims is to prevent the spread of nuclear arms and weapons technology.

Tel Aviv seized the Golan Heights from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and has continued to occupy two-thirds of the strategically-important territory ever since.

Over the past decades, Israel has built dozens of settlements in the Golan Heights in defiance of international calls on the regime to stop its illegal construction activities.

The UN report further accuses Israel of “providing logistical support to terrorist groups,” such as the Nusrah Front which is affiliated to al-Qaeda.

Israel, the report says, is providing terrorist groups with weapons, ammunition, money and medical care to frighten the local population and to maintain a no-go zone along the Syrian border.

The report also censures Israel’s decision “to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan” as “null and void and without international legal effect,” calling on the regime to “rescind forthwith its decision”.

The Syrian army has repeatedly seized huge quantities of Israeli-made weapons and advanced military equipment from militant groups.

Tel Aviv has frequently attacked military targets inside Syria in an attempt to prop up terrorist groups that have been suffering defeats at the hands of Syrian government forces.

Read more: 

Israel’s angry response 

The UN report drew an angry reaction from Israel, with its foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon dismissing it at “another false report from the UNHRC which specializes in attacking Israel.”

The UNHRC had initially said that at this four-week session it would publish for the first time its data base on companies doing businesses with illegal Israeli settlements. Israel has reportedly worked behind the scenes to prevent the publication of the data base.

Read more:

The UN body is also expected to debate Israeli actions against Palestinians along the fence between the besieged Gaza Strip and the occupied territories.

UN General Assembly urges israel (apartheid state) to end their illegal occupation of the Golan Heights

UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY URGES ISRAEL TO COMPLETELY WITHDRAW FROM GOLAN HEIGHTS

Source: sputniknews.com

The vote followed US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley’s announcement that Washington plans to reject a UN General Assembly resolution on the Golan Heights region given the document’s “anti-Israel bias”.

A resolution urging Israel to withdraw from the entirety of the Golan Heights has been adopted by the majority of the countries represented in the UN General Assembly (UNGA).

The Syrian Golan resolution was approved by a vote of 99 in favor, 10 against and 66 abstentions during the UNGA’s Friday session.

The document declared that Israel’s decision to extend its legislation on the Golan Heights is null and void and that the Jewish state should withdraw from the strategically-important territory.

Munzer Munzer, acting charge d’affaires of Syria’s permanent delegation to the UN, accused Israel of continuing to occupy “a precious part of our land” as Syrian people there “continue to suffer because of this occupation.”

“My country reiterates that Syria’s sovereign right over the occupied Syrian Golan up to the June 4th 1967 line is not up for negotiation or relinquishment, nor can it ever be subject to prescription, and that our occupied lands and rights will be fully restored to us and Israel and its settlers must leave our lands in the Golan sooner or later,” Munzer was cited by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) as saying.

In mid-November, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley signaled Washington’s desire to vote against the UNGA resolution, referring to the document’s “anti-Israel bias, as well as the militarization of the Syrian Golan border and a worsening humanitarian crisis.”

Earlier, the Israeli newspaper Hayom quoted US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman as saying that he believes that Washington could recognize the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights as part of the Jewish state. He added that he expects the Golan Heights to remain under Israeli control “forever”, and that he “cannot imagine a situation” in which the area is returned to Syria.

US National Security Advisor John Bolton, for his part, said that the Trump administration was not discussing any possible recognition of Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights.

The UN, which did not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the region, brokered a Syrian-Israeli armistice in 1974, urging Israel to leave parts of the Golan Heights.

In 1981, Israel adopted a law extending its jurisdiction over the territory, de-facto annexing the Golan Heights. The law has never been recognized internationally, and the dispute between Syria and Israel over the territory has yet to be resolved.

Trump’s stupidity pushes the USA into isolation

World upside down as EU and Russia unite against US

Donald Trump’s policies betrayed ‘weakness of intellect’, Iran’s Hassan Rohani said (Photo: un.org)

By

The UN general assembly in New York, the world’s largest diplomatic event, turned into a show of EU solidarity with Russia and China against the US on Tuesday (25 September).

The development, which came about over Iran, symbolised a world-turned-upside-down by US leader Donald Trump’s unilateralism.

  • EU refused to be ‘pushed around by the unilateral decisions of our US allies’, France’s Emmanuel Macron said (Photo: Consilium)

It left Mike Pompeo, Trump’s foreign policy chief, “disturbed and indeed deeply disappointed”.

“This is one of the of the most counterproductive measures imaginable for regional and global peace and security,” he told press, after seven decades in which the US and EU had stood together against common adversaries, such as Russia, in the so-called “transatlantic relationship”.

The measures Pompeo referred to were the creation of a “Special Purpose Vehicle [SPV]” to enable the EU and others to buy Iranian oil in a way that skirted Trump’s new sanctions on Iran.

“Everything that Ms Mogherini has said is extremely positive,” Vladimir Yermakov, a senior Russian diplomat, told press, referring to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

He spoke after Mogherini chaired a meeting with the foreign ministers of Russia, China, Iran, France, Germany, and the UK in New York earlier the same day.

“EU member states will set up a legal entity [the SPV] to facilitate legitimate financial transactions with Iran and this will allow European companies to continue to trade with Iran in accordance with European Union law and could be open to other partners in the world,” she told press alongside Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif in the margins of the UN assembly.

EU technical experts would shortly meet to flesh out details, she said.

“Do you have any better alternative than talks in times of conflict and crisis in the world? Is there a better alternative than diplomacy and dialogue? Is war a better alternative?”, she told US broadcaster CNN in an interview on Tuesday.

The EU, Russia, and China “deeply regret” Trump’s decision, they added in a statement.

His sanctions went against “multilateral diplomacy endorsed unanimously by the UN Security Council,” they added.

The EU-led group, called the “E3+2 and Iran”, had, together with the pre-Trump US administration in 2015, when it used to be called the “E3+3 and Iran”, agreed to lift sanctions on Tehran in return for its freeze of uranium enrichment.

But Trump, in May, tore up the accord on grounds it was not strong enough.

The threat of US sanctions has seen EU firms such as French and German car makers Daimler, Peugeot, and Renault, German engineering company Siemens, and French energy firm Total walk away from new ventures in Iran.

But “we [the EU] cannot accept that the US decided the regions with which European companies can or cannot do business,” Belgian prime minister Charles Michel said after meeting Iranian president Hassan Rohani in New York.

“We’re working hard on this [the SPV] with our European partners,” German foreign minister Heiko Maas said.

EU-US rift

The EU-US rift on Iran comes after Trump started a trade war with Europe and China, threatened to pull the US out of Nato, and pulled America out of a global deal on climate change – the Paris accord.

It comes after he also threatened to fine Austrian, Dutch, German, and French firms if they co-financed a new Russia-Germany gas pipeline called Nord Stream 2.

The French leader, Emmanuel Macron, attacked Trump for fomenting “nationalism” and “protectionism” in his UN speech on Tuesday.

“We’re being pushed around by the unilateral decisions of our US allies,” in an approach that led to “isolation and conflict … to the detriment of everyone”, Macron said.

“Even those who contest the reality” of climate change “are suffering its consequences like everyone else,” he added.

For his part, Trump, in his UN speech, threatened Iran with military force and redoubled his attack on Nord Stream 2.

“Germany will become totally dependent on Russian energy if it does not immediately change course,” he said.

He also praised Poland for “standing up for their independence, their security, and their sovereignty” one day after the European Commission, on Monday, took Poland to the EU’s highest court for political meddling in its judiciary in violation of EU values and laws.

Laughing at Trump

Trump’s speech prompted laughter in the UN chamber when he claimed he had achieved more in the past two years than any other US president in history.

“I didn’t expect that,” he said.

“Confronting multilateralism is not a sign of strength,” Iran’s Rohani told the UN in his speech.

“Rather, it’s a symptom of weakness of intellect. It betrays an inability in understanding a complex and interconnected world,” Rohani said.

Iran demands israel (apartheid state) be forced to join NPT

Iran demands Israel be forced to join NPT

ISRAEL NUKES DIMONA

SPUTNIK – Iran’s permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a biting response to his Israeli counterpart’s claim that Iran and Syria posed “significant proliferation threats” to the Middle East and the world.

Iranian IAEA Ambassador Kazem Gharibabadi urged the international community to pressure Israel to sign onto Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), saying that doing so would be the only way to bring peace to the Middle East.

Speaking at the 62nd Annual Session of the ongoing IAEA General Conference in Vienna, Gharibabadi charged Israel with threatening its neighbors, pointed to its possession of nuclear weapons, and chastised the IAEA for giving in to Israeli pressure and not following up on what he said were the country’s “dangerous” nuclear activities.

According to the ambassador, little progress has been made on nuclear disarmament, one of the NPT’s major stated objectives, in the fifty years since the treaty was signed. Gharibabadi also pointed to the Middle East Nuclear Weapon Freeze Zone idea, a UN project dating back to 1970s aimed at prohibiting nuclear weapons in the region, and how this proposal too has suffered from a “lack of political will.”

Gharibabadi’s remarks came on the heels of comments at the conference by Israel Atomic Energy Commission chairman Ze’ev Snir, who also called on the international community to take action against alleged Iranian and Syrian nuclear activities. The two countries, he said, “pose significant proliferation threats to the region and the world.”

Snir warned about an “outrageous threat” by Iran [to] attack Israeli nuclear sites, and called Tehran a threat to “regional peace and security.” The Israeli ambassador called on the IAEA to conduct a thorough verification of Iran’s activities, saying the country’s nuclear weapons ambitions were “a documented fact.”

Israel, which has a policy of neither admitting or denying the existence of a nuclear weapons program, is presently believed to be the only country in the Middle East to possess nuclear weapons, with estimates that it has anywhere between 80 and 400 warheads deliverable by a variety of air, sub and missile platforms.

Iran, an NPT signatory under observance by the IAEA over compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal, is barred from the creation of nuclear weapons. The fate of the 2015 deal, which was signed by the Iran, the United States, Russia, China, and several European countries, was put into question after Washington withdrew from the deal in May 2018 and vowed to impose unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Last month, during a visit to an Israeli nuclear facility, Israeli Prime Minister BenjaminNetanyahu made what has been widely interpreted to have been a veiled warning about Israel’s nuclear capabilities and their possible use if the country was ever attacked. Iranian Foreign Minister called the remarks hypocritical and “beyond shameless.”

Signed in 1968 and stepping into force in 1970, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is tasked with preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and furthering the goal of eventual global nuclear disarmament. Under the treaty, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, France and China are recognized as nuclear weapons states. Non-signatories include Israel, India, Pakistan and South Sudan. North Korea withdrew from the NPT in 2003.

SOURCE

A good idea, but one which israel (apartheid state) would instruct the USA to veto: Gutteres Suggests Armed UN Presence to Insure Palestinian Protection

Gutteres Suggests Armed UN Presence to Insure Palestinian Protection

 

18 Aug
8:07 PM

The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, presented four proposals, this Friday, aimed at protecting Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and in the besieged Gaza Strip, including the deployment of observers and increased humanitarian and development assistance.

Guterres presented his proposals in a 14-page report prepared at the request of the United Nations General Assembly, after 171 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip by Israeli forces since March 30th, known as the start of “The Great March of Return.”

The UN General Assembly had requested the report, in a resolution adopted in June with 120 votes in favor, eight against and 45 abstentions, which condemned Israel for excessive force against Palestinians and also denounced the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel.

According to Ma’an News Agency, the UN had requested proposals to ensure “the safety, protection, and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation, including recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism.”

Guterres wrote, in his report “the combination of prolonged military occupation, constant security threats, weak political institutions, and a deadlocked peace process provides for a protection challenge that is highly complex politically, legally and practically.”

Guterres started with the first proposal regarding strengthening the UN field presence and providing it with human rights monitors to assess the situation, in the occupied territories, with “armed UN peacekeepers or armed forces from a group of like-minded states operating under a UN mandate could be deployed to offer physical protection. This option, however, would need a Security Council mandate and the United States, a close ally of Israel, would likely wield its veto.”

Guterres continued to the second proposal about increasing humanitarian and development assistance; he wrote “a UN or non-UN civilian observer mission could be deployed into the occupied territories with a specific mandate to report on protection and well-being issues and provide local mediation. This would also need a UN mandate.”

The third proposal suggested was to form a civilian monitoring mission deployed in sensitive areas such as checkpoints, crossings, and near illegal Israeli settlements, whose task would be to report on protection issues.

Guterres wrote, “could be expanding current UN programs and development and humanitarian aid to address the needs of Palestinian civilians more effectively and strengthen Palestinian institutions.”

The fourth and final proposal was concerning the deployment of a police or military force authorized by the UN, whose mission would be to provide physical protection to Palestinian civilians.

“Could be to send additional UN human rights, coordination and political officers to boost monitoring and reporting on the situation and increase the UN’s visibility,” Guterres wrote.

Guterres concluded “the best way to ensure the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilian population is still the negotiation of a comprehensive, just, and final settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict.”

Additionally, throughout the report, Guterres stressed that for each of the proposals, cooperation by both Israel and Palestine would be necessary. However, it is unlikely that Israel would agree to any of these proposals.

The USA is a totally unsuitable place to have the UN HQ: US Refused Visa to Palestinian Officials Speaking at UN Meeting

US refused visa to Palestinian officials attending UN meeting

(MEMO— Six Palestinian officials who were scheduled to give a presentation at the UN office in New York have been denied visas by the US without any explanation. The officials were due to attend a high-level meeting on development last week to present a report on Palestinian implementation of UN goals for 2030.

In their absence, Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour had to step in and make the presentation on behalf of Palestine, which has non-member observer status at the United Nations.

Mansour broke the news to reporters and said that “the Israeli occupying power complicated the matter” by refusing to allow several of the experts to go to Jerusalem to check on their visas.

Mansour said that as the host country the US has violated the UN agreement by refusing entry to a delegation from one of the members of the world body. It’s reported that he will send a letter of protest to the General Assembly committee dealing with host country relations.

In the absence of his colleagues Mansour informed the UN that the Palestinian Authority was “trying [our] best” to meet the 17 goals to end extreme poverty in Palestine but their task was hampered by the Israeli occupation.

The US is reported to be looking into the complaint. In the meantime, this incident will be judged as another example of its hostility towards the Palestinians. Relations began to sour dramatically after President Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the US embassy there.

The Trump administration has also cut funds to the UN Palestinian refugee agency, leaving UNRWA struggling to fill a major budget gap for its education and health programs.

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