Saudi Arabia’s permanent mission to the United Nations has requested an emergency session to be held in order to listen to reports from a number heads of UN departments and international organizations on the situation in Syria. Continue reading
The evacuation of the Old City of Homs has begun after a UN-negotiated ceasefire was agreed upon between Syrian regime and opposition forces. In addition to allowing women, children under 15 and adults over 55 to leave the besieged city, food and medical aid will be allowed to those citizens who remain in the city.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has released its latest statistics on the number of deaths in Syria since the revolution began in March 2011. Along with the shocking numbers, they renewed their call to the United Nations and the international community to work towards an end to the killing in Syria.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has donated $100 million dollars to the United Nations International Centre for Counter-Terrorism. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his thanks at a meeting with the Saudi foreign minister, just before the Geneva II Convention began.
The worst winter storm the Middle East has seen for decades has placed displaced Syrians in even greater danger as temperatures dropped drastically and over 10 cm of snow fell in parts of Lebanon. Thousands of Syrian refugees in Lebanon require assistance from the UNHCR.
Egyptian newspaper “Al-Dostor” believes that the United States is showing a double standard with regards to its concerns over the new law banning demonstrations that are not previously approved by the interior ministry. In this analysis piece, the paper cites similar laws in the US and China that have not received the same global condemnation as Egypt’s new demonstration law.
France has offered its expertise to assist the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to destroy Syria’s remaining chemical weapons arsenal. France, along with Albania and Belgium, have refused to accept the weapons themselves on their territory.
Algeria has criticized the election of Morocco to the United Nations Human Rights Council for the period 2014-2016. Morocco and Algeria have a contentious relationship, and Algeria cites the drug trade in Morocco, as well as its oppression of the Saharawi people in Western Sahara, in its criticism of Morocco’s appointment. Algeria has also been elected to the council.
The Washington Post has published a report detailing recent Syrian regime army gains in Damascus and northern Syria against the armed rebellion. These victories have raised questions about whether the opposition can be convinced to participate in Geneva II peace talks.