SYRIA SQUEEZED, WITH NATIONS PRESSURING ASSAD ON CEASE-FIRE
- France, the US and other countries are showing little confidence in the week-old Syria cease-fire, increasing the pressure on President Bashar al-Assad to halt the violence while aiding his opponents, Bloomberg Businessweekly reported.
Fifty-seven countries, meeting in France, voted on Tuesday to tighten sanctions on Syria as Russia accused Persian Gulf nations of arming opposition fighters. Members of the so-called Friends of Syria group are openly supporting the rebels with non-lethal assistance, such as communications equipment, and weighing gestures to further cast Assad's regime as a pariah, including the expulsion of Syria's ambassadors, according to European diplomats who aren't authorized to speak to the media.
While the daily death toll has dropped, Assad hasn't lived up to the terms of the United Nations-backed peace plan, which include a pullback of his forces and steps toward democratic reforms. Even as the first UN monitors arrived in Syria, Assad's tanks continued attacking Homs and other areas, Mark Toner, a US State Department spokesman, was quoted as saying.
"The long-term prospects of cease-fire are not good, primarily because it addresses none of the underlying issues," said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma at Norman. Furthermore, he said, some countries want only one outcome -- the end of the Assad government. The Sunni Muslim Gulf countries want to weaken Shiite Muslim Iran by ousting its closest regional ally, Assad. "They don't think dialogue is possible, and anything that falls short of replacing the regime is a defeat," Landis said.
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AZERBAIJAN CONTINUES ACQUIRING WEAPONRY, BUT HOPES FOR PEACEFUL SETTLEMENT OF KARABAKH CONFLICT - ALIYEV
- 1895 The ambassadors from England, France and Russia present a program of reforms (for the six Armenian provinces of Western Armenia), to the Ottoman Turkish government.
- 1920 At the meeting of the Entente States in San Remo (Italy) it was suggested to give a mandate over Armenia through the good offices of President Woodrow Wilson.
- 1932 The Ministries of Heavy and Light Industries, and of Forestry are created in Armenia.
- 1944 Creation of the Administration of Architectural Affairs in the Armenian SSR.
- 1958 Death of singer Haiganoosh Danielian. She was born in 1893.
- 1990 The Cypriot Parliament adopts a special motion condemning the Armenian Genocide.
- 2000 Death of painter Grigor Khanjyan. He was born in 1926 in Yerevan.