Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Space Travel News .

A Syria solution must have Assad's blessing: minister
by Staff Writers
Damascus (AFP) Dec 01, 2013

Syria on agenda as Iraq's PM to visit Iran: media
Tehran (AFP) Dec 01, 2013 - Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki will visit neighbouring Iran on Wednesday to discuss bilateral relations between the two Shiite-majority countries as well as the Syria conflict, Iranian media reported.

The visit will be Maliki's first to Tehran since Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate who champions engagement with the West, became Iran's president in August after defeating a pool of conservative candidates in June's election.

The official IRNA news agency said Maliki would hold talks with Iranian officials in Tehran on Wednesday, while the Fars news agency said he would also visit Mashhad, a holy city for Shiites, during his two day trip.

According to other media reports, the Iraqi delegation will also discuss ongoing work to clear ordnance from the strategic Shatt al-Arab waterway -- known in Iran as the Arvand river -- which became a front during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.

The reports said discussions would centre on the conflict in Syria. Iran is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime, while Iraq has suffered from a surge in attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an Al-Qaeda affiliate that has exploited Syria's chaos and carried out attacks on both sides of its border with Iraq.

Iraq and Iran are at odds over the next secretary general of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), with both countries fiercely backing their respective candidates in a vote due in Vienna later this month.

Another issue likely to be discussed is the hosting by Iraq of Iranian dissidents, the People's Mujahedeen Organisation of Iran, in a camp near Baghdad.

The PMOI was founded in the 1960s to oppose the shah of Iran and later the country's clerical rulers, and set up camp in Iraq during Saddam Hussein's war with Iran.

It was disarmed after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, and today's Shia-majority and Tehran-friendly government in Baghdad is eager to see it move elsewhere.

No solution proposed at Syria peace talks next month will be implemented without President Bashar al-Assad's approval, the deputy foreign minister said in remarks published Sunday.

"The Syrian (government) delegation at Geneva will be working under Assad's directives, and any solutions proposed will have no impact unless Assad approves of them," Faisal Muqdad said in remarks in the Syrian press.

He lashed out at Western calls for Assad to step down, saying the president "represents Syria's sovereignty and unity".

The US-Russian peace initiative dubbed Geneva 2, which should bring government and rebel representatives to the negotiating table in a bid to end the bloody 32-month war, is being planned for January 22.

The opposition has agreed to attend the talks on condition that they lead to a transitional phase that excludes Assad and his regime.

But government officials and their backers in Iran and Russia insist there should be no preconditions, and Assad has also said he would be willing to stand for re-election in 2014.

The proposed talks come amid rising international fears of an Islamist takeover in Syria.

According to Muqdad, "in their closed meetings, Western leaders say there is no replacement for Assad".

He also said that at Geneva 2, "we will gather around the table and we will discuss, without foreign interference... and there will be an enlarged government".

Muqdad reiterated his government's "reservations about participation (in Geneva 2) by representatives of the armed terrorist groups," the government term for rebels.

He also said opposition backer Turkey "has started to change its policy" on Syria.

Once an Assad ally, Ankara became the lead voice calling for regime change after Damascus cracked down on peaceful protests that later morphed into a bloody insurgency.

More recently, the rise of jihadism in Syria has made Turkey more cautious on the conflict raging across its southern border.

Muqdad criticised "the stupid Turkish policy which has compromised the Turkish people... by attracting Al-Qaeda" to its territory.

According to Ankara, 500 Turks have joined jihadist ranks in Syria.

Last week, a Turkish delegation led by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu visited Assad's main regional backer Iran. The Turkish and Iranian diplomatic chiefs both said they would press for a ceasefire ahead of Geneva 2.


Related Links

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Protest against Iraq PM blocks highway to Syria, Jorda
Ramadi, Iraq (AFP) Dec 23, 2012
About 2,000 Iraqi protesters, demanding the ouster of premier Nuri al-Maliki, blocked on Sunday a highway in western Iraq leading to Syria and Jordan, an AFP correspondent reported. The protesters, including local officials, religious and tribal leaders, turned out in Ramadi, the capital of Sunni province of Anbar, to demonstrate against the arrest of nine guards of Finance Minister Rafa al- ... read more

SpaceX postpones first satellite launch

Second rocket launch site depends on satellite size, cost-benefit

Private US launch of satellite delayed

Stepping up Vega launcher production

Deep Space Perils For Indian Spacecraft

Curiosity Resumes Science After Analysis of Voltage Issue

Winter Means Less Power for Solar Panels

Unusual greenhouse gases may have raised ancient Martian temperature

Japanese firm describes proposed 'power belt' for the moon

Helping China To The Moon

Spotlight on China's Moon Rover

We're Going to the Moon!

The Sounds of New Horizons

On the Path to Pluto, 5 AU and Closing

SwRI study finds that Pluto satellites' orbital ballet may hint of long-ago collisions

Archival Hubble Images Reveal Neptune's "Lost" Inner Moon

Search for habitable planets should be more conservative

NASA Kepler Results Usher in a New Era of Astronomy

Astronomers answer key question: How common are habitable planets?

One in five Sun-like stars may have Earth-like planets

South Korea to launch homegrown rocket by 2020

XCOR and ULA Achieve Major Milestone With Liquid Hydrogen Engine

Wind Tunnel Testing Used to Understand the Unsteady Side of Aerodynamics

NASA and Sweden to test High Performance Green Propulsion technology

China's "triple jump" progress in lunar probes

China pursues "zero window" launch for lunar probe

China launches first moon rover mission

China names moon rover "Yutu"

Rock Comet Sprouts a Tail

Comet ISON probably did not survive Sun skirmish

Comet ISON vs. the Solar Storm

Comet ISON vanishes as it circles the sun

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement