PM postpones trip to Turkey, status of Lebanese pilgrims unclear
Prime Minister Najib Mikati postponed Saturday a scheduled visit to Turkey, amid growing uncertainty over the status of the 11 Lebanese who were kidnapped in Syria last week.
“As a result of the available data [Friday] on the release of the Lebanese hostages in Syria, tireless efforts by Turkey and after intensive contacts with the Turkish leadership, I had planned [Saturday] to leave on a visit to thank Turkey, given that the hostages were thought to have been released,” Mikati said in a statement.
“However, … after talks with President Michel Sleiman and Speaker Nabih Berri and contacts with Turkish officials I took the decision to delay my visit for a short period of time as all the information indicates that the negotiations and contacts are still ongoing to free the Lebanese and to [check] on their safety,” he added.
Ministerial sources told The Daily Star Saturday that Turkish officials were still negotiating for the release of the hostages, who are in good health and located in Syria near the border with Turkey.
Regime forces are surrounding Arba'in neighbourhood of Hama since a few minutes and people are fearing a raid and a massacre.
happy i managed to get most of my family out of the country, safe from the massacres
attack still ongoing and getting louder and stronger on arbain and surrounding neighbourhoods. BMP-1 shelling. machinegun attack continues on arbain neighbourhood of hama . can still hear gunfire from heavy machinegun.
Regime has been attacking us for days, but they never shut down the internet and mobile, what are they planning tonight?
regime is attacking a really big part of the city at 5:45 AM!! wtf
Except neither Assad nor the opposition will accept such a plan and it's not clear that Russia would really support it.U.S. Hopes Assad Can Be Eased Out With Russia’s Aid
In a new effort to halt more than a year of bloodshed in Syria, President Obama will push for the departure of President Bashar al-Assad under a proposal modeled on the transition in another strife-torn Arab country, Yemen.
The plan calls for a negotiated political settlement that would satisfy Syrian opposition groups but that could leave remnants of Mr. Assad’s government in place. Its goal is the kind of transition under way in Yemen, where after months of violent unrest, President Ali Abdullah Saleh agreed to step down and hand control to his vice president, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, in a deal arranged by Yemen’s Arab neighbors. Mr. Hadi, though later elected in an uncontested vote, is viewed as a transitional leader.
The success of the plan hinges on Russia, one of Mr. Assad’s staunchest allies, which has strongly opposed his removal.
In the past year, Russia has blocked any tough United Nations Security Council action against Mr. Assad, arguing that it could lead to his forced ouster and the kind of fates suffered by Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya, who was killed, or Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, who was imprisoned and put on trial. But Russia is facing intense international pressure to use its influence to bring about the removal of Mr. Assad as the killings in Syria continue unabated, including the massacre of more than 90 people in a village near Homs that was reported by United Nations officials on Saturday.
The Yemen example has been widely discussed in Moscow, so much so that the option has become known by its Russian term, “the Yemenskii Variant,” even in the United States. In part, that reflects Russia’s desperation for a solution to the crisis in Syria, where, the United Nations says, thousands of civilians have been killed since protests began there in March of last year.
Mr. Obama, administration officials said, will press the proposal with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia next month at their first meeting since Mr. Putin returned to his old post on May 7. Thomas E. Donilon, Mr. Obama’s national security adviser, raised the plan with Mr. Putin in Moscow three weeks ago.
Interesting Analysis.The NATO is out of the Window!
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?p...17848338242310Damascus: Eastern Ghouta: Multiple explosions and sounds of heavy gunfire were reported in a number of areas in Eastern Ghouta, from Masraba to Harasta, Saqba, Hammourieh, and Irbeen
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?p...17848338242310Hama: Regime forces are shelling Masha'a Arba'een, Arba'een Neighborhood, and Masha'a Wadi Jouz
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?p...17848338242310Homs: Houla: Renewed shelling on the town by regime forces
https://twitter.com/#!/freesyria74Hama: Violent shelling on Wadi Jouz
The US response is so weak and shameful. Is this all u can say?! Clinton condemns Syria 'atrocity' in Houla - http://news.yahoo.com/clinton-condem...222337999.html
Arab League to hold emergency meeting on Syria massacre
Kuwait City: Arab League foreign ministers are to hold an emergency meeting on a massacre in Syria in which UN observers say government forces killed 92 people, the bloc’s current president Kuwait said on Sunday.
"Kuwait will contact members of the Arab League to hold an emergency ministerial meeting to study the situation and take measures to put an end to the oppressive practices against the Syrian people," said a foreign ministry statement cited by the official Kuna news agency.
Kuwait has also made contacts at regional and international levels "to urge the international community to assume its responsibility to stop the bloodshed," the ministry said.
UAE Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan called on Saturday for an urgent Arab League meeting, saying the "massacre shows the failure of Arab and international efforts to stop the violence against civilians in Syria."
BREAKING: The FSA has carried out an operation in retaliation to the HoulaMassacre. They have stormed a police station in Aleppo.
They clashed with the security inside and locked many of them up, after seizing all the weapons in the building.
Hama, Arbaeen: Khaled Zaino, a young man, was killed during the shelling of the city.
main danger for syrian revolt: regimen's sectarian trap,statement from Homs Revolutionary Council already full of sectarian stuff
Hama: Violent clashes between the Free Syrian Army and the regime's army were reported in Mkaneh Zeraeye on Salamyeh road