UPDATE: Follow-up diary – Russia’s Medvedev Warns for New World War Sparked In Syria.
UPDATE2 – BREAKING NEWS ǁ Syria crisis plan: Cessation of hostilities, humanitarian airdrops, peace talks laid out in Munich
As NATO held war talks today in Brussels, US Secretary Kerry met his Russian counterpart Lavrov in Munich to seek a diplomatic solurion to war in Syria. Mars and Venus on planet Earth … speaking of gravitational waves and time warp according to Einstein, diplomacy is sometimes just as incomprehensible.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, US Secretary of State John Kerry, and the UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura are holding a news conference in Munich. The officials are taking part in the meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) ahead of the Munich Security Conference.
Meeting in Munich on February 11 & 12, 2016, as the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), the Arab League, China, Egypt, the EU, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United Nations, and the United States decided that humanitarian access will commence this week to besieged areas, and an ISSG task force will within one week elaborate modalities for a nationwide cessation of hostilities.
The ISSG members unanimously committed to immediately facilitate the full implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 2254, adopted unanimously December 18, 2015. The ISSG reaffirmed their readiness to carry out all commitments set forth in the resolution, including to: ensure a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political transition based on the Geneva Communiqué in its entirety; press for the end of any indiscriminate use of weapons; support and accelerate the agreement and implementation of a nationwide ceasefire; facilitate immediate humanitarian access to besieged and hard-to-reach areas and the release of any arbitrarily detained persons; and fight terrorism.
Ensuring Humanitarian Access
In order to accelerate the urgent delivery of humanitarian aid, sustained delivery of assistance shall begin this week by air to Deir Ez Zour and simultaneously to Fouah, Kafrayah, the besieged areas of Rural Damascus, Madaya, Mouadhimiyeh, and Kafr Batna by land, and continue as long as humanitarian needs persist. Humanitarian access to these most urgent areas will be a first step toward full, sustained, and unimpeded access throughout the country.
[Read on …]
NATO and it’s dubordinate states were upping the stakes on the Ukraine, provoking the Russian Bear and investing in a multi-year PR campaign of lies and ugly propaganda. The European states in NATO talked the talk nut were not eager to invest the 2% of GDP in new weapons stamped “Made In USA”. After pulling troops out of Europe to cut costs of the military, the institutions of war mongering and agggression NATO, Atlantic Council “think-tank” and the White House are about to return with military might on the East Front.
Europe has been split in two, roughly across the partition of New and Old Europe. The Syrian refugee crisis added fuel to the fire started by the ill-conceived Neocon doctrine of regime change in Assad’s Syria.
Putin’s Russia took a very long time to decide there was no partner in Geneva for peace talks.
The tide turned for the Sunni foreign division armed and funded by Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait, Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Hezbollah soldiers joined by Iranian advisers has stopped the advance of Al Qaeda linked groups led by Jabhat al-Nusra and Jaish al-Islam. Western nations including the US sat back, satisfied the proxy groups fighting the Syrian Army was a battle of Muslims killing one another.
The advance of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria caused a major headache in Washington and much later in Great Britain and Paris, France after the troubling terror strikes on Charlie Hebdo in January and the multi=proned theater attack on Friday November 13th last year.
Europe already received larhe numbers of nigrants avross it’s open borders in Italy and Greece, slowly destroying that little fabric of solidarity betweeb mations based on its founding principles of human rights. Building fences, aborting direct transportation across borders and even changing constitutions to get rid of any human attitude towards these migrants fleeing onslaught in their home countries.
These are just symptons of a very sick European Union desintegrating before our eyes. BS’ter Cameron had vied for an opportunity to loosen itself from the lawmakers in Brussels and promised the Brits a referendum to pull out of the EU if the 27 odd states won’t comply to his wishes. Cameron most likely chewed off a too large a chunk of the founding primciples of the EU and will be left standing with an Brexit YES vote. Thank goodness … the British elites are much closer to the “morals and values” of it’s former colony across the Atlantic as we have witnessed in the 21st century with the Iraq War of George Bush and Tony Blair and Cameron’s foregn policy on the Middle East with Libya and Syria. Cameron and Hollande of France were the two sole military pillars left standing to join the US in it’s proposed destruction of Assad’s Syria.
Quid pro quo for the stance of the White House and its NATO partners versus the Ukraine coup d’etat and Russia’s interference. The provisions of the Minsk Accords have yet to be ratified by Kiev’s parliament and implemented.
As Russia’s military support appears to be game changing in Syria to the chagrine of Erdogan, Saudi King Salman and his Gulf deputy states.
FRANCE – TURKEY – UNITED KINGDOM
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said today he was going to leave office, as had been widely expected, in a move that is set to trigger a wider reshuffle of the unpopular government.
Fabius, 69, told reporters Wednesday was his last participation in the government’s weekly cabinet meetings and that he expected the full reshuffle to be announced later this week. “I will be leaving office,” he said.
The reshuffle is an opportunity for Hollande to re-shape his team ahead of the 2017 presidential elections, as he seeks to improve his very low approval ratings.
Hollande is fighting strong discontent in his Socialist party and amid allies over plans to strip French citizenship from people convicted of terrorism.
That plan passed a first hurdle in the lower house of parliament late on Tuesday, but the endless debates and government flip-flops have hurt Hollande’s already faltering chances of winning re-election next year.
Outgoing French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius criticized the U.S. role in Syria, saying he did not see “a very strong commitment” from Washington.
“There are ambiguities … You don’t get the feeling that there is a very strong commitment,” Fabius told reporters shortly before announcing that he was stepping down after nearly four years as foreign minister.
His remarks came as Syrian forces, backed by Russia and Iran, were besieging the divided northern city of Aleppo [ISW map of front lines].
“There are words, but actions are something else,” said Fabius, whose country is a member of the U.S.-led coalition bombarding the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“Obviously, the Russians and the Iranians sense that. They have understood … and [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad is regaining strength,” Fabius said.
The outgoing foreign minister also took aim at Moscow, stating that Russian air strikes are targeting “moderate” opposition groups more than ISIL.
Saudi-backed rebels, the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) said they would go to Munich and attend U.N. peace talks set to start on Feb. 25 in Geneva, but called on U.S. President Barack Obama to be more forceful with Russia over its bombing.
“I believe he [Obama] can really stop these attacks by the Russians on Syrians. If he is willing to save our children it is really the time now to say `no’ to these strikes in Syria,” HNC Spokesman Salim al-Muslat told Reuters.
“I believe he can do it but it is really strange for us that we don’t hear this from him,” Muslat said.
Hours later, HNC chief coordinator Riad Hijab said sieges on towns and cities across Syria must be lifted and air strikes on civilian areas must stop if the opposition is to resume talks in Geneva.
“Before we go on Feb. 25 those measures should be implemented in reality on the land,” Hijab was quoted as saying in London on Feb. 10 by AFP.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has publicly raised questions over the nature of bilateral relations with the United States, as Washington has not categorized Syria’s Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) as a terrorist organization.
“Are you on our side or the side of the terrorist organizations?” Erdoğan asked the U.S. on Feb. 10, as tensions between the two NATO allies have flared over the PYD, which Washington supports in its struggle against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria.
Turkey regards the PYD and its military wing, the People’s Defense Units (YPG), as an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is designated as a terror organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.
“Hey America, you cannot make us recognize neither the PKK nor the PYD and the YPG,” Erdoğan said.
“We know these [organizations] very well. We know Daesh very well too,” he said, using an Arabic acronym for ISIL. “But since you haven’t been able to recognize them up to this day, the region is drenched in blood,” he said.
“What kind of partnership is this? They are keeping silent in front of us but in our absence they say `We don’t look it that way,'” said the Turkish president.
British Prime Minister David Cameron will threaten to back the campaign to take the UK out of the EU in a future referendum if his calls for reform are not met, according to Conservative party sources.
Cameron is actively considering toughening his stance towards Europe. He has previously said he wants the UK to remain in a reformed EU but warned other EU leaders in June that the appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker as Commission President could hasten “Brexit“.
A source told the Times, “The shift was almost made public at the time Juncker was appointed, but that timing might have looked like petulance.”
While the timing of the public threat has not yet been agreed, it could come at next month’s Tory Party conference. Cameron has said he wants to stop more powers being transferred to Brussels and cut red tape for businesses.
He has pledged to hold an in/out referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU in 2017 if he is returned as PM in next year’s general election.
Ahead of the May 2015 poll, Cameron finds himself under pressure from the popularity of the UK Independence Party. The Eurosceptic party could poach Tory seats as it builds on its spectacular success in May’s European elections.
The story broke after London mayor Boris Johnson called on Cameron to declare if he was prepared to walk away from the EU.
Sarah Wollaston says she is a Europhile but feels the PM’s talks `will have no significant impact on our ability to limit inward migration from the EU.’
David Cameron’s hopes of limiting the number of Conservative MPs who support a British exit from the European Union were dealt a blow on Tuesday after the influential backbencher Dr Sarah Wollaston stated that her clear preference was for a withdrawal from the union.
Wollaston said she had always been a Europhile and would not have imagined voting to leave the EU before becoming an MP.
“So why am I heading towards the door? I am in love with the possibilities of the EU but can no longer ignore the grinding reality of the institution,” she wrote in a blog post.