Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Time for Assad to Check His Swiss Bank Accounts?

It looks like the death knell may be sounding for the Syrian "torturocracy" of Bashir Assad and his monstrous Ba'athists henchmen. Consider the following, all excerpted from today's papers:

U.S. Withdraws Ambassador From Syria
By Barry Scweid, AP Diplomatic Writer

WASHINGTON - The United States has recalled its ambassador to Syria amid rising tensions over the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri of Lebanon.
Before departing, U.S. Ambassador Margaret Scobey delivered a stern note, called a demarche in diplomatic parlance, to the Syrian government, said an official who discussed the situation only on grounds of anonymity. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher, announcing the move, said it reflected the Bush administration's "profound outrage" over Hariri's assassination.

Boucher did not accuse Syria of being involved in the bombing Monday in Beirut. "I have been careful to say we do not know who committed the murder at this time," he said.

But he said the deadly attack illustrated that Syria's strong military and political presence in Lebanon was a problem and had not provided security in the neighboring country.

"It reminds us even more starkly that the Syrian presence in Lebanon is not good," Boucher said. "It has not brought anything to the Lebanese people."

Mob Blames Syria for Hariri Assassination

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) -- An angry mob attacked Syrian workers in southern Lebanon Tuesday, blaming Damascus for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, and the interior minister suggested the killing may have been carried out by a suicide bomber.
Syria has denied any involvement in Hariri's assassination, which raised fears that Lebanon might revert to the political violence of the 1970s and '80s, and the U.S. Embassy in Beirut warned Americans in the Lebanese capital to exercise extreme caution.
Condemnation and expressions of shock came from around the Arab world and beyond. The United States recalled its ambassador to Syria, a decision that reflected the Bush administration's "profound outrage," according to State Department spokesman Richard Boucher.


Solana: No Need to Change EU-Syria Ties

Asked if Hariri's killing Monday in Beirut would change EU relations with Syria, (European Union foreign policy chief Javier) Solana said: "At the moment we have not any reason why it should."
He said that could change, depending on the results of investigations into the bombing.


Annan urges Syria to start withdrawing troops from Lebanon by April

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 15 (Xinhuanet) -- UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Tuesday called on Syria to start withdrawing its troops from Lebanon by April, when he is due to report to the Security Council on the implementation of a UN resolution urging all foreign troops to leave Lebanon. 
Annan told reporters it had been made clear to both Syria and Lebanon that "we needed to see more progress" toward implementing Security Council resolution 1559.
"The resolution does call for withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon and the discussions we had with them was that we needed to see more progress," he said. "I hope that there will be actual action and actual signs, clear signs of withdrawal, by the time I submit my next report to the Security Council, which is due in April."



At 6:52 PM, Blogger firediva said...

Maybe he and Arafat's lovely widow can check out their Swiss accounts - this could be a match made in heaven!



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