11 February 2012 — Stop NATO
- Russia Urges Arab League To Investigate Foreign Troops In Syria
- Russian Parliament: War In Syria Disaster For Whole Region
- Big Plans For Turkey In NATO’s Drive East
- NATO Caucasus, Central Asia Envoy Visits South Caucasus Ahead Of Summit
- NATO Representative: Azerbaijan Reliable Ally
- Global Reach: First NATO Military Delegation Visit To China
- Pakistani MP: Protect Us From U.S. Drones Or Free Us
- NATO Evaluates Israel’s Warship Offer
- NATO Ships Drop Anchor In Tunisia
Russia Urges Arab League To Investigate Foreign Troops In Syria
Xinhua News Agency
February 11, 2012
Russia urges AL to verify reports about foreign troops in Syria
MOSCOW: Russia on Friday called on the Arab League (AL)’s monitoring mission in Syria to check on reports alleging that foreign troops were deployed in the Middle East country.
In an interview with Interfax news agency, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said it was the ‘observers’ task’ with regard to the reported deployment of foreign troops in Syria.
‘Let them monitor what is going on there,’ Bogdanov was quoted as saying.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the presence and work of the Arab League’s monitoring mission in Syria was necessary not only to monitor the ongoing situation in an unbiased and impartial way, but also to control the tensions and prevent them from growing into a large-scale civil war.
Earlier, some reports said that British and Qatari special units have arrived in the Syrian town of Homs, where the government and opposition forces have been locked in fierce fighting for several days. The reports also said that Iran has dispatched some 15,000 soldiers to the country.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexandr Lukashevich on Friday called these reports ‘disturbing.’
British and Iranian embassies in Moscow, however, have denied respectively that there were British troops or Iranian soldiers in Syria.
Also on Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that a repeat of the Libyan scenario in Syria would undermine the international stability and shake the foundation of the UN.
Russia and China last week vetoed an Arab-European draft resolution that backs an Arab League plan to promote a ‘regime change’ in Syria.
Russian Parliament: War In Syria Disaster For Whole Region
Voice of Russia
February 10, 2012
Russian lawmakers against interference in Syria’s affairs
Syria must solve its problems independently without any pressure from outside. On no account should the UN Security Council be turned ‘into an ally for one side of a civil conflict’, according to a statement issued by the State Duma, the lower chamber of Russia’s parliament, on Friday. The State Duma issued the statement as a warning about a disastrous repeat of the military intervention in Libya.
Amid the aggravation of the situation in Syria Russia is making a new attempt to contribute to a peaceful settlement of the conflict in that country. Syria’s future should be determined by its people by means of a dialogue between the opposition and the government, the State Duma’s statement read. The document has already been submitted to the Russian president, to the UN and other international organizations. Chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee Alexei Pushkov elaborated on the reasons for making such a statement.
‘The UN should not be turned into an ally of any side of the conflict. We all know what happened to Libya after resolution 1973 had been adopted. It led to NATO’s air military campaign and in fact to a direct intervention into Libyan domestic affairs. Russia, China and other countries, which share our position, do not want the Libyan scenario to be repeated in Syria.’
For the second time in the last two months Russia and China as permanent members of the Security Council have vetoed resolutions on Syria for containing unacceptable provisions. The deputies of the State Duma consider that such resolutions should not contain appeals for the change of the political regime or lay the foundation for military intervention.
A war in Syria would turn into a disaster for the whole region, Mikhail Yemelyanov, deputy head of A Just Russia’s faction of the State Duma, says:
‘Behind the external pressure on Syria there are ambitions to get the resources of that country and to change the geopolitical situation in the Middle East. In the statement approved by the State Duma we mention such attempts and we will try to contribute to a peaceful settlement of the conflict. Therefore we have suggested that a team of objective monitors, mediators, who could organize a real dialogue between the opposition and the ruling party, should be sent to Syria.’
The Russian lawmakers have voiced their full support of the Kremlin’s position on Syria.
We hear from a representative of the Liberal Democratic party’s faction Maxim Rokhmistrov.
‘We find it extremely important to maintain Russia’s influence in the Middle East and in the Arab world in general. Syria is our last outpost. If it falls Iran will be the next.’
Not only the Syrian government but also the opposition is ready to listen to Russia’s position. The Arab League plans to coordinate its efforts on the settlement of the Syrian crisis with Russia and China. On Sunday, the Arab League’s foreign ministers are to gather in Cairo to decide what to do next. In any case, deputy Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed bin Helly has made it clear that the Arab world pays attention to the Russian-Chinese veto in the UN Security Council and the League plans to cooperate with Moscow and Beijing.
Big Plans For Turkey In NATO’s Drive East
Febraury 10, 2012
Rasmussen: Turkey wanted to have missile defense shield
?STANBUL: NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said it was Ankara that demanded a NATO missile defense shield be deployed in Turkey.
In an interview with Turkey’s NTV television station on Friday, Rasmussen said the US has contributed largely to the missile defense system of NATO and the system is the most recent example of solidarity between NATO member states. He added that the details regarding the missile defense system will be discussed in Chicago, where NATO is scheduled to meet on May 20-21.
Russia and Iran object to the deployment of the early warning radar system in Turkey. Russia earlier said a NATO missile defense system could threaten its security if it develops the capability to down Russian nuclear missiles.
Recalling that Turkey played an important role as a neighbor of Russia during the Cold War era, Rasmussen said Turkey continues to play an important role currently and that the nation contributed to NATO operations in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Libya.
The NATO secretary-general further said the ?zmir command base will host NATO’s Land Component Command, which is currently based in Spain. He added that ?zmir will be an important command base for both Turkey and NATO.
During a meeting with a group of Turkish journalists in Brussels on Thursday, Rasmussen, who is set to visit Turkey next week to mark the 60th anniversary of Turkey’s membership in NATO, praised the country’s commitment to the alliance and its ‘crucial role,’ saying NATO needs ‘the voice of Turkey.’
‘I won’t bring new initiatives to Ankara during my visit. I will repeat what I said previously, that irrespective of the Cyprus conflict, I think we can find pragmatic solutions that could improve the relationship,’ he said, noting that a past proposal he put forward for an arrangement between Turkey and the EU to pave the way for closer NATO-EU cooperation remains a ‘valid package,’ a ‘pragmatic proposal.’
‘But let’s face it. The fundamental problem here is the continued dispute in Cyprus. Realistically speaking, I don’t think we will see real progress in the cooperation between EU and NATO until there is a solution to the conflict in Cyprus,’ he stated.
NATO Caucasus, Central Asia Envoy Visits South Caucasus Ahead Of Summit
February 10, 2012
J. Apppathurai starts his regional visit
Mr. James Appathurai, NATO Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, starts his visit to the region. According to Azerbaijani media he arrived in Azerbaijan on February 9.
On February 10, James Appathurai will have some meetings with Azerbaijani officials and some issues of bilateral interest are scheduled to be discussed.
During the visit NATO official will discuss preparations for the Chicago Summit scheduled for May of this year,
On Monday, 13 February, Mr. Appathurai will visit Yerevan.
NATO Representative: Azerbaijan Reliable Ally
Azeri Press Agency
February 10, 2012
James Appathurai: I am sure that Azerbaijan will remain NATO’s reliable ally within the framework of cooperation with ISAF
Baku: ‘I am sure that Azerbaijan will remain NATO’s reliable ally within the framework of cooperation with the ISAF,’ NATO’s Special Representative for the South Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai said while meeting with the students of NISA [NATO International School of Azerbaijan] and the Diplomatic Academy, APA reports.
Answering the students’ questions, the Special Representative commented on Russia’s concern over the cooperation between NATO and Azerbaijan.
Trend News Agency
February 10, 2012
NATO special representative holds meeting with ADA students
Baku: NATO Secretary General’s special representative for South Caucasus and Central Asia, James Appathurai, held a meeting with students at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy (ADA) on Friday.
NATO’s activity, peacekeeping operations, cooperation with other countries and other issues were discussed during the meeting.
Mr Appathurai took questions from students about current events in the Arab countries and in the world and the present position of NATO.
He spoke on a number of issues concerning cooperation between Azerbaijan and NATO with the president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and officials during his on February 10.
Global Reach: First NATO Military Delegation Visit To China
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
February 10, 2012
First NATO Military Delegation visit to China
A NATO military delegation, lead by LtGen. Jürgen Bornemann, Director General of the International Military Staff, will visit the People’s Republic of China from 12-16 February 2012.
This is the first time a NATO military delegation is invited by the Chinese authorities to visit their country, and follows an earlier visit by a Chinese military delegation to NATO Headquarters in June 2010.
The team of NATO experts and military officers will exchange views with their Chinese counterparts on a variety of subjects with a view to enhancing mutual understanding and cooperation.
This visit is in keeping with NATO’s new Strategic Concept, agreed at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010, which aims to further deepen and expand partnerships with countries and organizations who share common security concerns, in the face of emerging security challenges.
Pakistani MP: Protect Us From U.S. Drones Or Free Us
February 11, 2012
Protect us from drones or ‘free’ us, FATA MP tells NA
* Bhitani says govt suspended NATO supply over attack on army post, but silent over killing of tribal people in drone attacks
ISLAMABAD: The resumption of US drone attacks in the Tribal Areas surfaced in the proceedings of the Lower House of parliament on Friday when MNA Zafar Baig Bhitani said that the government took serious notice of the NATO attack on the Salala border post, but was silent on the killings of thousands of people in drone attacks.
‘If you can’t protect us. Either give us freedom or hand over to some other country which can protect us,’ Bhitani stated…
NATO Evaluates Israel’s Warship Offer
February 10, 2012
NATO mulls Israel’s warship offer
North Atlantic Treaty Organization spokesperson says organization is considering Israeli offer to contribute a warship to alliance’s naval patrol in Mediterranean Sea
NATO said Friday it is considering an Israeli offer to contribute a warship to the alliance’s naval patrol in the Mediterranean, despite Turkey’s opposition.
NATO spokeswoman Carmen Romero said the offer is being evaluated ‘according to NATO procedures and operation requirements.’
In the past, Israeli warships and air force jets have joined in some NATO exercises, but Israel’s participation in the naval operation would the first time its armed forces have taken part in one of the alliance’s military operations.
Israel is a member of the Mediterranean Dialogue, a NATO outreach program with seven friendly nations bordering on that waterway. Romero said the alliance is prepared to enhance practical cooperation with all partner nations in the region, including Israel.
The naval patrols – known as Operation Active Endeavor and usually including four warships – were launched in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The operation was initially restricted to member nations but since 2004 has included vessels from partner nations.
NATO currently has about 40 partner nations, including Australia, India, Japan, Pakistan and Russia. Its partnerships include ones with European non-NATO countries, the Mediterranean basin and Persian Gulf states.
NATO’s treaty requires the alliance to militarily defend member nations, but not partner ones. Still, partner states regularly contribute to NATO operations such as those in Afghanistan and naval missions off Somalia and in the Mediterranean Sea.
NATO Ships Drop Anchor In Tunisia
February 10, 2012
NATO Ships Drop Anchor in Tunisia
A NATO naval minesweeping group docked yesterday at the harbor of La Goulette, a northern suburb of Tunis, in an operation aiming to enhance mutual relations between NATO and countries of the Mediterranean like Tunisia.
The group, officially known as the Standing NATO Mine Counter Measure Group 2, is a multinational maritime force comprised of vessels from various allied nations….In 1999, NATO created the Standing Mine Countermeasures Force Mediterranean to be permanently active in minesweeping operations.
The visit will also include training exercises with the Tunisian navy.