by our Arab Affairs correspondent
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon has called for support for renewed United Nations efforts to end the fighting in Syria at the UN General Assembly this week. The UN chief urged member states to back the new joint UN and Arab League envoy on the Syrian crisis, Lakhdar Brahimi, as he takes up the mission following Kofi Annan’s resignation.
Brahimi, a veteran Algerian diplomat who has served the UN in Iraq and Afghanistan and helped broker an end to the Lebanese civil war in 1989, says his new job is “nearly impossible” and there is “not much” he could do to end the conflict. That’s not surprising given that the imperialist powers and their feudal Arab lackeys are continuing to pump money and arms to the reactionary Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda gangs to fuel sectarian violence and bring down the anti-imperialist Assad government.
This week Nato-backed Syrian rebels launched attacks on a number of air-force bases across the country as Syrian troops fight to flush out the last remaining armed gangs in Aleppo. Other rebels have continued the terror campaign of abductions, bombings and murder against the civilian population. But over 140 rebels, including a number of Arabs and Asian Muslims recruited by the fanatics to join the sectarian militias, were killed in clashes with the Syrian armed forces.
In Damascus President Bashar al Assad met Peter Maurer, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), on Tuesday. The Syrian leader said he welcomed humanitarian operations carried out by the ICRC in Syria “as long as it works independently and neutral”.
The ICRC works with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to meet the basic needs of people affected by the fighting and it focuses especially on providing emergency health-care and first-aid services to the wounded and sick. Meanwhile Russia and China are continuing their mediation efforts.
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi stressed the people’s republic’s commitment to the UN Charter and the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries during talks with American foreign minister Hillary Clinton in Beijing. “We believe, like many countries, in the need of a period of political transition in Syria and that any solution should come from the Syrian people and not imposed by foreign powers,” he declared, adding that China believes that solving the crisis in Syria should come from the Syrian people and reflect their will and not to be imposed from abroad.
Yang Jiechi said that the UN Security Council’s resolutions on Syria should be fully implemented and he repeated China’s call for a ceasefire by all the sides and the start of political dialogue.
Meanwhile a leading member of Syria’s Coalition for Peaceful Change, an opposition bloc in the Syrian parliament, arrived in Moscow for talks in the Kremlin.Fateh Jamus, a Syrian MP and human rights activist, held talks with Mikhail Bogdanov, the depury foreign minister and the Russian President’s special envoy to the Middle East. Jamus praised Russia’s support for Syrian people’s right to self-determination and their drive to resolve their country’s crisis on their own. He thanked Russia for blocking outright foreign intervention in Syria that said that unlike the West, Moscow has taken the right position ,both from a moral and a legal point of view.
Jamus said that there should be no preconditions for the beginning of a dialogue with the Syrian government — a view rejected by the rebels and their imperialist masters — and he dismissed talk about the Assad government using chemical weapons. “I don’t think that the regime will take such a step. The West needs pretexts that have nothing to do with reality,” Jamus declared.