MIDDLE-EAST CRISIS

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Laaska news  Dec. 21, 2011
Iran suspends trade transactions with UAE
U.S. insists on Syrian president’s ouster

Arab monarchs demand Damascus stop “killing machine”

Heads of the Arab countries – members of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council – have urged Syrian authorities to immediately stop the “killing machine”, put an end to bloodshed and release prisoners.

  A two-day summit of the organization was held in Riyadh, where participants insisted the Syrian problem be resolved by the Arabs, without intervention of international organizations.

  On Monday, Syria signed a protocol on admission of observers from the Arab League. It will be up to them to ensure the authorities are really trying to resolve the crisis in the country through peaceful means.
(RIAN),VOR.

.

U.S. insists on Syrian president’s ouster
 

WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) — The United States remains steadfast in its call for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down, even as the Arab nation has agreed to allow in Arab monitors, the State Department said on Tuesday.

“No, our view has not changed that Assad needs to step down, that he is not the man to lead his country into the future,” department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said at a regular news briefing..

“This Arab League proposal, we believe, offers the best opportunity to end the violence immediately so that Syria can move on to the next stage, which is a period that we hope will lead to real dialogue about a democratic future, which, frankly, we don’t think Assad is capable of being part of,” she said.

Syria signed on Monday a peace plan brokered by the Arab League aiming to end the violence in the Arab nation, under which the regional bloc will send monitors to conduct a field study of the situation in Syria.

Syria was plunged into turmoil in mid-March when anti- government protests broke out, and clashes between protesters and security forces have resulted in more than 5,000 deaths, as the United Nations figure shows.

The Arab League and Turkey have joined the U.S. and European countries in imposing targeted sanctions on Syria, in the hope of pressing it to end violence on protesters.

The Syrian government blamed “armed groups and foreign conspiracy” for the turmoil in the country.

“We are concerned that there are delaying tactics here. We’ve always been concerned about that, which is why we want to see these monitors start deploying by the end of the week and the deployment be complete by the middle of January as the Arab League has hoped will happen,” Nuland said.

She said that the U.S. and the European Union have been in close touch with the Arab League and both “want to test the Syrian government’s willingness to implement all aspects of the Arab League’s proposal and particularly its commitment to unfettered access for human rights monitors into Syria now.”

She also called for the Syrian government to implement three other aspects of the Arab League plan — stopping all acts of violence, withdrawing armed elements from populated areas and releasing all political prisoners.

 (Xinhua).

.

Iran suspends trade transactions with UAE

.

TEHRAN, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) — Iran’s Minister of Industry, Mines and Commerce Mehdi Ghzanfari ordered to stop trade transactions with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) late Monday, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported Tuesday.

Ghzanfari ordered the suspension of any kinds of trade transactions with the UAE on Monday evening, according to the report.

The report did not detail on the Iranians’ move but said the decision was supposedly made due to the UAE’s anti-Iran stances.

The UAE’s disputes with Iran over three islands located near shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf have rumbled on for three decades. Although there is little sign of escalating into armed conflicts, both sides remain sensitive on the issue.

The islands, Abu Musa, the Greater and Lesser Tunbs, are controlled by Iran but claimed by the UAE with broad Arab backing. The UAE ties with Iran have been strained since Iran installed maritime offices on one of the islands in 2008.

In May, the Iranian top military commander Vice Admiral Ali Shamkhani slammed efforts by the UAE to get close to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The UAE is attempting to become the first Arab country to send an ambassador to NATO.

Talks on cooperation with NATO, both on military and diplomatic level, began in Istanbul in 2004. The UAE joined NATO’s Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, which was launched at an alliance summit that year to bolster bilateral security cooperation with countries in the Middle East.

Currently, the U.S. Obama administration and its European allies are seeking assurances from major oil producers, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE, to increase exports to the European Union and Asian nations if tighter sanctions on Tehran’s energy exports and central bank are enforced in the coming months.

 (Xinhua).
.

Laaska News.
www.laaska.wordpress.com