Tag Archives: Middle East

Current Event Cat of the Day: John Kerry

Current Event Cat - John Kerry

Current Event Cat of the Day: John Kerry

John Kerry has taken on the impossible: reviving the stalled peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders. The US Secretary of State started his Middle East trip in Israel, meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who refuses to negotiate until Israel stops settlement construction in the West Bank. No surprise there.

Kerry will also meet with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Israeli President Shimon Peres today and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday to discuss reviving the Middle East peace process.

And a trip to the Middle East wouldn’t be complete without a stern warning to Iran. Kerry warned Iran that time is running out for negotiations on its suspected covert nuclear weapons program.

“We would repeat to Iran it is our desire to have a diplomatic solution, but this choice really lies in the hands of the Iranians,” Kerry said. “If you have a peaceful program for nuclear power, as a number of nations do, it is not hard to prove to the world that it is peaceful.”

Looks like he will have his hands full on the 9-day trip.

Via: Current Event Cats

Conflict in Syria Deteriorating

conflict in syria

The conflict in Syria is deteriorating and Bashar al-Assad doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, despite numerous calls for him to step down. Even Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi supports calls by people in Syria for President Bashar al-Assad to be tried for war crimes.

Let’s break it down:

Bashar al-Assad came to power after the death of his father in 2000, and originally sought to represent himself as a reformer. In his inaugural address, Mr Assad promised wide-ranging reforms, including modernizing the economy, fighting corruption and launching “our own democratic experience”. He also pointed to the “dire need for constructive criticism”. This lasted about a year…. and for the rest of the decade, emergency rule remained in effect under which security forces detained and tortured people with impunity. Sounds super.

The conflict in Syria began in March 2011 as a peaceful protest inspired by the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt but has since spiraled out of control. Al-Assad’s effort to crush anti-government protests has turned into a bloody civil war in which the United Nations estimates that more than 60,000 people have been killed. The UN reports an increase in Syrian refugees, increasing the total in neighbouring countries to more than 700,000 from 500,000 in December.

The president denied ordering the military to kill or be brutal in its crackdown on anti-government protesters, saying only a “crazy person” would kill his own people. Touché Mr. President, touché.

In more recent news, activists report another massacre this week in which dozens of bodies were found near the banks of a river in a city north of Aleppo. Video footage shows some corpses stuffed into a metal container, other on the street next to a pickup truck, and civilians in surgical gloves examining the bodies.

As the bloody internal battle between forces loyal to al-Assad and those opposed to his rule continue, many believe it is only a matter of time before the president is overthrown. But who knows where the death toll will be at when that happens. Throw in a few jihadist militant groups whose hobbies include planting bombs in major cities, and it sounds like a lovely place.

Oh and if Syria didn’t have enough problems, Israel is now dropping some missiles on them.

Via: BBC News

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