Daily Archives: February 14, 2014

Egypt dig unearths 3,600-year-old mummy, rare sarcophagus in Luxor – CNN.com

This photo released on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 by Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, shows a preserved wooden sarcophagus that dates back to 1600 BC, when the Pharaonic 17th Dynasty reigned, in Egypt

(CNN) — Archaeologists say they unearthed a rare find during a dig in Egypt: a sarcophagus that’s 3,600 years old — with a mummy still inside.

Egypt’s state-run Al-Ahram newspaper reported Thursday that a team working on a routine excavation at a tomb in Luxor uncovered the painted, human-shaped sarcophagus.

It dates back to 1600 B.C., when the Pharaonic 17th Dynasty reigned in Egypt, the country’s Supreme Council of Antiquities said.

The sarcophagus belonged to a top government official, whose mummy was enclosed inside, Al-Ahram said, citing Egypt’s antiquities minister, Mohamed Ibrahim.

The sarcophagus is engraved with titles of the official, but archaeologists haven’t yet been able to identify him, Ibrahim said.

This photo released on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 by Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, shows Egyptian men digging up a preserved wooden sarcophagus that dates back to 1600 BC, when the Pharaonic 17th Dynasty reigned, in the ancient city of Luxor, Egypt

This photo released on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 by Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, shows Egyptian men digging up a preserved wooden sarcophagus that dates back to 1600 BC, when the Pharaonic 17th Dynasty reigned, in the ancient city of Luxor, Egypt

The Spanish-Egyptian team also found two other burials while digging at the Draa Abul-Naga necropolis on Luxor’s west bank, Al-Ahram reported, but both were empty.

“It is believed they were robbed in antiquity,” the newspaper reported.

Egypt dig unearths 3,600-year-old mummy, rare sarcophagus in Luxor – CNN.com.

Libyan army commander calls for parliament ,Government to be suspended

A leading military figure from the 2011 uprising made the announcement on Friday

(Reuters) – A Libyan military commander on Friday called for the interim parliament to be suspended and a presidential committee to be formed to govern until new elections in what he described as a road map to “rescue” the country.

Major General Khalifa Haftar was a leading figure in the 2011 revolution against Muammar Gaddafi, but it was not clear how much influence he has even within the small, nascent army in a country where other militia groups are more powerful.

Since the fall of Gaddafi, Libya has had a fragile government and armed forces unable to impose their authority on competing political factions and the brigades of former rebels who refuse to disarm.

Tripoli was calm, with telecommunications normal, and Reuters witnesses said there were no immediate signs of any extraordinary troop movements or activity outside the parliament, the prime minister’s office or any ministries.

“The national command of the Libyan army is declaring a movement for the new road map,” Haftar said in a statement in which he said the armed forces were calling for Libya to be “rescued” from its upheaval.

“We will hold meetings with different parties and groups regarding implementing this road map,” he said.

A spokesman for the General National Congress (GNC) parliament dismissed the statement.

“He doesn’t represent the army,” Omar Humaidan said. “He is not even in Tripoli, the capital is secure.”

Libya’s army barely exists with most of its soldiers still in training or drawn from the ranks of former rebels who are often more loyal to their own regions, their commanders or their tribes than a national force.

Haftar was once a Gaddafi ally, but broke with the autocratic leader over the war with Chad in the 1980s. He later sought exile in the United States, but returned to become a commander of forces in the 2011 revolution.

The General National Congress is deeply split by infighting between the nationalist National Forces Alliance party and Islamists in the Justice and Construction Party, which is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Al Wafaa movement.

Since its election in 2012, the GNC has become increasingly unpopular with Libyans who see it has made little progress in the transition to democracy. Libya still has no new constitution.

But tensions have increased over its future, after its initial mandate ran out on February 7. Its members agreed to extend their term in office to allow a special committee the stability to draft the constitution.

Rival political factions and militia groups have competing views on how the country should continue, with some calling for early elections and others supporting the extension of the parliament’s mandate.

Was the CIA involved in Libya's revolution 2011?

 

Libyan Government should be suspended, says military commander – Middle East – World – The Independent.

Libyan army commander calls for parliament to be suspended | Reuters.

ليبيا – قائد القوات البرية والبحرية السابق يعلن تجميد عمل السلطتين التنفيذية والتشريعية

قال رئيس الوزراء الليبي، علي زيدان، الجمعة، على أن السلطة لن تسمح بانتزاع “الثورة من الشعب”، وذلك في معرض رده على إعلان قائد عسكري سابق “تجميد” المؤتمر الوطني العام والحكومة

وفي مؤتمر صحفي، قال زيدان إنه أمر الأجهزة الأمنية باعتقال قائد القوات البرية والبحرية السابق، خليفة حفتر، الذي كان قد طالب بتشكيل “هيئة رئاسية برئاسة المحكمة العليا وتعيين رئيس وزراء جديد”

وكان حفتر الذي شارك في الثورة على نظام معمر القذافي بعد انشقاقه عن الجيش، أعلن “تجميد” عمل السلطتين التنفيذية والتشريعية ، مشيرا في الوقت نفسه أن الأمر لا يعد “انقلابا عسكريا بالمفهوم التقليدي”

وردا على ذلك، سارع زيدان إلى توجيه كلمة للشعب أكد فيها أن كلام حفتر لا أساس له من الصحة وأنه “مدعاة للسخرية”، مشددا على أن الحكومة لن تسمح لأحد أن ينتزع “الثورة من الشعب”

وفي وقت سابق، قال حفتر في اتصال هاتفي مع “سكاي نيوز عربية” إنه يهدف من وراء “تجميد السلطات” إلى “محاولة تعديل مسار الثورة الليبية”، مجددا تأكيده على عدم “وجود انقلاب عسكري”

وأضاف أن القضاء سيترأس السلطة التنفيذية خلال المرحلة الانتقالية، مرجحا أن تستمر تلك المرحلة 6 أشهر وذلك إلى حين اجراء انتخابات تشريعية تنبثق عنها حكومة جديدة

في المقابل، قال الناطق باسم المؤتمر الوطني الليبي، عمر حميدان، نفى ما ذكرته بعض الوسائل الإعلامية عن سيطرة مسلحين على مناطق حيوية في العاصمة

وأضاف في مداخلة هاتفية مع سكاي نيوز عربية أن السلطة اتخذت قرار بإلقاء القبض على حفتر، مشير إلى أن الأخير لا يحق له اتخاذ إي قرار بتجميد البرلمان أو المؤتمر الوطني

يشار إلى أن حدة التوتر تصاعدت في ليبيا بعد تمديد ولاية المؤتمر الوطني ، إذ رد حزب العدالة والبناء المنبثق من حركة الإخوان المسلمين بالدعوة الى انتخابات مبكرة

وكان المؤتمر الوطني قرر تمديد ولايته ديسمبر 2014 بالرغم من معارضة قسم كبير من السكان الذين ينتقدون عجزه عن فرض النظام ووقف الفوضى

كما تبنى المؤتمر “خريطة طريق” تشمل سيناريويهن، أولهما انتخابات عامة في نهاية العام إذا تمكنت الهيئة التأسيسية من تبني مشروع قانون تأسيسي في مهلة 4 أشهر بعد انتخابها المقرر في 20 فبراير

زيدان: لن نسمح بـ”انتزاع الثورة” من الشعب – أخبار سكاي نيوز عربية

U.S. says Russia shouldn’t weigh in on Egypt’s vote

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The United States scolded Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday for endorsing Egyptian military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the key U.S. ally’s presidential polls.

Washington also assured that a warming of relations between Cairo and Moscow wouldn’t harm the “historic” ties shared between Egypt and the United States, which have soured in recent months.

“Of course we don’t endorse a candidate and don’t think it’s, quite frankly, up to the United States or to Mr Putin to decide who should govern Egypt,” said State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf.

“It’s up to the Egyptian people to decide.”

Putin publicly threw his support behind Sisi’s as yet undeclared presidential bid during talks with the Egyptian defense minister in Moscow.

“It’s not up (to) us to endorse a candidate, and really not up to anyone else outside of Egypt to either,” Harf told reporters.

In remarks broadcast on Russian television, Putin spoke with Sisi about his presidential ambitions.

“I wish you luck both from myself personally and from the Russian people,” Putin said.

The 59-year-old Egyptian field marshal has not actually declared his presidential ambitions but is overwhelmingly predicted to run in elections set to be held later this year, after Islamist President Mohammed Mursi was ousted in July.

Sisi came to Moscow with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy for talks aimed at securing Russian assistance, particularly for the military.

Russia — one of the world’s top weapons exporters — is keen to revive military ties with Egypt, which had been extensive through the 1960s and early 1970s.

Cooperation between the two sides dropped after Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty and Cairo began receiving generous aid from a United States eager to encourage adherence to the peace deal, secure its own access through the Suez canal and support the most populous Arab country amid the “war on terror.”

But Washington ultimately froze a portion of its military aid to Cairo in October as punishment for Egypt’s bloody crackdown on Mursi supporters.

The U.S. State Department also denied that growing ties between Moscow and Cairo would hurt Washington’s “long-standing, strong, historical relationship with Egypt.”

“Egypt is free to pursue relationships with other countries. It doesn’t impact our shared interests,” Harf said, adding that the United States brings “unique capabilities to bring to bear militarily and economically” for Cairo.

 
Marie Harf Deputy Spokesperson Daily Press Briefing -Washington,DC
February 13, 2014

TRANSCRIPT:
Via Teleconference
1:19 p.m. EST

MS. HARF: Hi, everyone. Happy snow day. It’s the second time we’ve had to do this over the phone this year. And I appreciate folks, their patience and understanding with doing this.

So this will be just like a normal daily press briefing. It’ll be all on-the-record. What I’ll do is just give a quick travel update, and then we’ll go ahead and open it up for questions. So as the moderator just said, the question-and-answer mode should be on now.

So that’s all I have at the top. No athlete of the day today, because I don’t have the screens to show you all photos. So with that, we’ll start with Lara Jakes of the Associated Press.

QUESTION: Hi. Can you hear me?

MS. HARF: I can.

QUESTION: Hooray. Okay. I have two questions, one on Egypt and one on Afghanistan. I’ve never done this before, so do you want me to just ask both of my questions —

MS. HARF: No, go ahead and do Egypt. We’ll keep your line open, so you can ask follow-ups. So go ahead and do Egypt, and then we’ll do Afghanistan.

QUESTION: Okay. So on Egypt, I’m sure you saw the reports today out of, I believe, Moscow, where Putin has endorsed Field Marshal al-Sisi’s unannounced bid for president. Wanted to get your all’s response on this. Also, a couple of ministers there, Russian and Egyptian, issued a joint communique condemning meddling in foreign affairs by foreign – I’m sorry – in domestic affairs by foreign nations. This is seen on the ground as a poke at the United States and their involvement with working with domestic political issues in Egypt. Can you respond to that?

MS. HARF: Yeah. So on your first question, I think in part we need to wait and see what comes out of this visit to Moscow. Of course, we don’t endorse a candidate and don’t think it’s, quite frankly, up to the United States or to Mr. Putin to decide who should govern Egypt. It’s up to the Egyptian people to decide. So we’ve said – we have urged the government to continue to advance an inclusive transition that includes all groups and all parties. And again, it’s not up for us to endorse a candidate, and really not up to anyone else outside of Egypt to either. In terms of the – your second question, who issued that? I’m sorry. I haven’t seen that communique. Who issued that, Lara?

QUESTION: I will get you the names momentarily. It was – hold on. I don’t have the names of the people right now. I was just looking over a story, and I didn’t see it. I was just told this from one of our correspondents on the ground, but I will get that information.

MS. HARF: It’s okay. And the top line – and it said that no one should be meddling in Egypt’s affairs?

QUESTION: Hold on, and I will get you the exact language. Okay. I’ll just read this to you: Russian and Egyptian ministers issued a joint communique in which they, “condemned foreign interference in domestic affairs of any country and call for solving all existing problems and crises exclusively by peaceful means and broad, all-inclusive dialogue.” So no names, and I don’t have the names of the —

MS. HARF: Okay. That’s fine. Well, having not seen it, I think there is some irony to a foreign country issuing a statement saying other foreign countries shouldn’t get involved. But putting that aside, we have a long-standing relationship with Egypt that’s based on shared interests, as does Russia, as do other countries. So what we’ve said from the beginning is that we certainly do not – cannot and would not want to impose outcomes in Egypt. It’s up to the Egyptian people to decide what their future looks like. And that’s why we’ve said we will work with all parties and all groups across the political spectrum to help advance a process, right, an inclusive democratic transition, but not to impose outcomes and not to endorse candidates, because, again, that’s up to the Egyptian people. So I think that our position certainly hasn’t changed. We have relationships with countries all over the world, including Egypt, based on shared interests, not based on what the U.S. wants or doesn’t want to be done there, but based on what our interests are and what their interests are. You had Afghanistan?

QUESTION: Okay. I was wondering if you have anything more about the arrest of this employee in the Embassy in Egypt. You said you were going to get more clarity. Is this – have you been notified that this is because of any contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood? And what are you – given that this employee wouldn’t have any diplomatic immunity, but – what do you plan to do about this?

MS. HARF: Yeah. So – and thank you for the question. I know there’s been a lot of sort of churn in the media out there about this case. We have been in touch with the Government of Egypt. We have requested additional information about his case. To our knowledge, no charges have been filed against him, although he does remain in prison. He is a member of our political section at the Embassy, performed a number of duties, and does what locally employed staff do for political sections, sort of, in embassies all over the world, right: help us interpret political developments on the ground and connect American diplomats to a wide variety of political actors so we can inform our policy decisions based on those discussions. So what we said to the Government of Egypt is that they need to tell us, and more importantly make public, right – not through anonymous sources, but make public very clearly why he was arrested and is being held. They have not done that yet. I’ve seen some of the anonymous Egyptian officials being quoted about why – talking about why he may have been arrested, but they have not told us yet why he has been detained.

QUESTION: Okay, but given the fact that they haven’t told you this, are you – do you believe that this is because of his work in the political section, which when you say that he connected American diplomats to various —

MS. HARF: Political actors.

QUESTION: — political actors, I’m assuming that would mean the Brotherhood. And given what these anonymous officials are saying in terms of why he was arrested, I mean, what does that say to you about the overall crackdown on the Brotherhood and the intimidation of diplomats who might have contact with them?

MS. HARF: Yeah, well, again, we’ve seen – at least the anonymous sources I’ve seen in the press – maybe I’m missing something – don’t actually mention the Muslim Brotherhood as talked about dealing with certain groups or outlawed groups – which, of course, some could mean that. But I think what we have said is that there are a lot of anonymous officials out there talking about why he may or may not have been arrested, but they need – the Egyptian Government needs to tell us and needs to make public why he was arrested – not through anonymous sources but actually tell us why officially, right? That’s how the process works here. I think – so I don’t – and it’s what we said yesterday, sort of – until they tell us why he was arrested, we don’t want to jump to conclusions and don’t want to, in this specific case, make judgments that we don’t know are necessarily founded in reality. But putting aside his specific case, we have been concerned about the political climate in Egypt. We’ve talked about it a lot. We’ve been concerned about Egyptians of different parties being able to peacefully demonstrate and express their political views. We’ve been as concerned about the inclusiveness about the process and very clearly said that it needs to be inclusive going forward. So we need some more details, quite frankly, about this – official details, which is how the process works, before we’re going to make, I think, any generalizations about his case.

QUESTION: But have any of your diplomats in Egypt been encouraged or subtly threatened or anything not to be speaking to the Muslim Brotherhood?

MS. HARF: By the government?

QUESTION: Yes.

MS. HARF: Yep. It looks like our next question is from Michael Hernandez of Anadolu Agency.

QUESTION: Well, thank you, Marie. I just have a couple quick questions going back to al-Sisi’s visit to Egypt.

MS. HARF: Yep. Moscow?

QUESTION: I’m sorry?

MS. HARF: To Moscow.

QUESTION: I’m sorry. Yeah. Yeah, to Russia.

MS. HARF: Okay.

QUESTION: Okay. First of all, I wanted to get your reaction to the fact that this is his first foreign trip since the military endorsed his unannounced bid for the presidency, and also what you make of Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov saying that the two have agreed to a document talking about the need to accelerate military-to-military technological cooperation.

MS. HARF: Yeah, so just a couple of points on this. I think we want to see sort of what comes out of the meeting – the meetings, in terms of what happens and sort of any analysis we have on that. Look, Egypt is free to pursue relationships with other countries; it doesn’t impact our shared interests. Obviously, each country brings unique capabilities and pieces of the pie, so to speak, to relationships, bilateral relationships with Egypt and with other countries. So again, this doesn’t impact our relationship, but we’ll wait to see what comes out of it. And if we have more analysis to do then, we’ll do so after it’s over.

QUESTION: And just to follow up, if I could, you don’t see this in any way as Russian – Russia kind of stepping into the historically strong role that the U.S. has had with Egypt on military cooperation?

MS. HARF: It’s an interesting question and it’s in some ways an easy narrative for people to try and pick up on, right? When some of the other countries in the region offered Egypt some financing, for example, people said, “Well, are they trying to take your role in terms of financing?” And what we said on that – and what I would say here – is that the United States has unique capabilities to bring to bear military and economically in terms of the relationship, right? So we have a longstanding, strong, historical relationship with Egypt. That has not changed, and we don’t think that this visit to Russia will impact our shared interests with Egypt. So again, we’ll wait and see what happens. But because I think we do have unique capabilities to bring to the relationship, which we’ve seen over decades, I think we feel like we are in a place where we’ll keep working on issues together, and if they want to work with other countries, then they’re free to do so.

(The briefing was concluded at 2:02 p.m.)

Daily Press Briefing – February 13, 2014.

Google, Facebook, Twitter and other IT firms protest against US government’s spying

A coalition of the nation’s leading technology firms joined an international protest Tuesday against the US government’s spying programs, urging more limits on collections of Americans’ electronic data and greater oversight and transparency about the secret operations.

Top executives from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, AOL, LinkedIn and Twitter published a joint statement and sent a letter Tuesday to President Barack Obama and members of Congress. The coalition of tech firms, known as Reform Government Surveillance, urged changes that would include a government agreement not to collect bulk data from Internet communications.

Technology companies expressed outrage last year after media accounts based on leaks from former NSA employee Edward Snowden disclosed that the US and the Britain intercept massive amounts of electronic Web metadata abroad from foreign computer users and sometimes from Americans. Executives highlighted their concerns during talks with administration officials about the spying programs, but Obama did not commit to curtailing the NSA’s sweeps of data from the Internet.

The stance taken by the technology firms provided a public boost to “The Day We Fight Back,” a day of protest against the government’s spying operations organized by civil liberties and privacy advocates.

Activists urged Americans to write and call members of Congress in protest. By midafternoon, “The Day We Fight Back” claimed backers had sent 104,000 emails and made nearly 50,000 calls to Congress.

“Reports about government surveillance have shown there is a real need for greater disclosure and new limits on how governments collect information,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a statement on the Reform Government Surveillance website. “The US government should take this opportunity to lead this reform effort.”

The civil liberties groups, which include the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, are trying to mirror the success that activists had in 2012, when a similar protest effort helped derail two major anti-piracy bills in Congress.

The organizers oppose a bill sponsored by Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Senator Dianne Feinstein, that would codify and provide legal underpinnings for many of the NSA’s current operations.

“The Day We Fight Back” movement prefers a bill co-sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy,that would end the bulk collection of phone records and restrict sweeps for electronic and other data.

The Reform Government Surveillance coalition urged the US and other governments to “codify sensible limitations on their ability to compel service providers to disclose user data that balance their need for the data in limited circumstances.” The group also called for strong “independent” court review that includes “an adversarial process.”

Obama has committed to the involvement of a panel of public advocates in some proceedings of the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court, which oversees electronic spying operations. But under Obama’s proposal, the advocates would have limited ability to intervene.

During a White House appearance Tuesday with French President Francois Hollande, Obama said his administration is “committed to making sure that we are protecting and concerned about the privacy rights of not just Americans, not just our own citizens, but of people around the world, as well.”

White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said later that Obama’s plans for limited surveillance changes “help chart a path forward that should give the American people greater confidence that their rights are being protected, while preserving important tools that keep us safe.”

Google CEO Larry Page said on the coalition’s site that the security of users’ electronic data “is undermined by the apparent wholesale collection of data, in secret and without independent oversight, by many governments around the world. It’s time for reform and we urge the US government to lead the way.”

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said the Snowden revelations “have shaken the trust of our users.” She urged Congress to “change surveillance laws in order to ensure transparency and accountability for government actions.” The remarks by Zuckerberg, Page and Mayer were echoed by statements from Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith and LinkedIn General Counsel Erika Rottenberg.

In addition to its Reform Government Surveillance supporters, the protest effort was also backed by other tech firms, such as Tumblr, Mozilla and Reddit. The day-long protest claimed support from more than 6,000 web entities. But, conspicuously, Verizon and AT&T, two major US phone service providers that turn over bulk customer data to the NSA every day, did not join in.

The tech coalition also hired a lobbyist to handle the group’s interests in Washington. The Washington lobbying firm Monument Policy Group LLC filed a formal lobbying registration last week with Congress, citing the coalition as its client.

AP

Last day of Geneva-2: Syrian gov’t wants to stop violence, opposition stands against

Geneva II peace talks

The second round of the inter-Syrian talks is drawing to an end in Geneva. Friday, in theory, is the last but one day in the present series of meetings whic involve a Syrian government delegation, on the one hand, and that of the opposition as represented by the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (NCROF), on the other.

However, on Thursday, for the first time since the Geneva-2 peace conference was started at the end of January, the sides not only kept away from the negotiating table but did not even held separate consutations with Lakhdar Brahimi, UN/LAS joint representative on Syria, with whose mediation discussions have been held.

“Syria is inside a dark tunnel and we here make attempts at finding gleams of light at the end of this tunnel. And we are still looking for such gleams,” Brahimi acknowledged at a news conference on Thursday.

He said that in the lack of an agenda, no dialogue had begun on any subject that each of the delegations considers to be principled.

The purpose of the government is to fight terrorism and stop violence while the oppoents of the present authorities press for the formation of a transitional governing body, in which there would be no room either for President Bashar Assad or anyone from among his entourage.

Brahimi himself at the beginning of the week suggested discussing two themes in a parallel manner, to which the delegations did not give consent.

Unwilling to make concessions on the principled matters, the sides virtually decline to speak to each other.

This does not allow the process to make headway if only by small steps towards taking confidence-building measures on the basis of which UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had called for conducting a dialogue. This refers to local cessations of fire and an exchange of lists of detainees and kidnapped people.

As the only positive aspect, Brahimi mentioned the temporary truce in the city of Homs, from the old quarters of which 1,400 civilians have been evacuated within the week. But he immediately recalled that UN and Red Crescent staff had been fired upon and that there remain a dozen of other cities in that country, access to which has been barred for humanitarian personnel.

Now that there is an utter lack of headway “inside”, and the negotiating process has reached an impasse, the role of outside players, primarily Russia and the United States, which had suggested the Geneva-2 peace conference, is coming to the fore.

In an attempt to add “constructivism” to the sides, as a Russian diplomat put it, a trilateral meeting in the RF-USA-UN format was held in Geneva on Thursday.

For two hours Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, and Brahimi held closed-door discussions.

As a result of the consultations, the Algerian diplomat said Russia and the USA promised to help in unblocking the inter-Syrian talks.

“The meeting in the trilateral format was very important,” he said. “Russia and the USA promisid here and in the capitals to help forward the process, in which there is little progress.”

Brahimi did not specify which particual help Moscow and Washington would give and what arguments they would find for the two delegations.

However, the Russian and American diplomats did not shelve the matter and went ahead with work immediately following the close of the trilateral meeting. Gatilov set out for a meeting with the Syrian Foreign Miniser while Sherman went out for talks with the opposition’s delegation.

What will be the direction of the process and, actually whether there will be a third round of of meetings will depend on the outcome of these contacts.

Both delegations assure that they intend to return to the shore of Lake Geneva but do not mention any date for that and continue to accuse each other of an utter lack of a constructive approach, without which to see light at the end of the tunnel is a no easy task.

Russia hopes for successful negotiation of Syrian humanitarian resolution in UN – diplomat

Russia hopes for the successful negotiation of the resolution on Syria in the UN Security Council on the basis of two projects submitted by Moscow and its partners, stated Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN.

” Two projects were presented … I think this time they will be successful”, Churkin told reporters after consultations on Syria in the UN Security Council.

Geneva-2: second round of negotiations may end on Friday – Syrian opposition

The Secretary General of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces Jamus Badr told reporters today that final meeting of second round of negotiations of Geneva-2 will be held on Friday at 11:30 am Geneva time (15:30 Moscow Time).

“Tomorrow our delegation was invited to the meeting by a joint UN and Arab League envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi. He announced that this meeting will be the last one,” said Jamus.

Geneva-2: Syrian issues to take long time to resolve – Brahimi

The issues of the fight against terrorism and the establishment of a transitional governing body in Syria will take a long time to resolve, the joint United Nations and Arab League envoy on Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, said Thursday.

Brahimi told a news briefing that the agenda of the intra-Syrian talks currently ongoing in Geneva has not been formed yet.

Whether these issues will be discussed in parallel or not, but these problems will not be resolved this or next week, he said.

The parties to the Syrian conflict resumed talks on February 10, starting the second round of the Geneva-2 international peace conference on Syria, whose first round ended January 31 with no substantive results.

Geneva-2, organized by Russia and the United States, seeks to negotiate a solution to the Syrian crisis which has claimed over 100,000 lives and displaced millions since its start in 2011.

The position of the Syrian government delegation is that the fight against terrorism should be discussed at the current talks first and a transitional governing body later. But the Syrian opposition apparently believes the transitional government issue, mentioned in the Geneva Communique, should top the discussion agenda.

The Geneva Communique was adopted on June 30, 2012 at a conference of an “action group” on Syria in Geneva. That conference is now commonly referred to as “Geneva-1.”

Geneva-2 is its logical continuation.

Russian, Syrian diplomats to hold new meeting in Geneva

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem will hold a new meeting in Geneva as part of the talks between the Syrian government and opposition.

“I will have a meeting with Walid Muallem. We maintain regular contact,” Gatilov said on Thursday, February 13.

He attended trilateral consultations with US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for the Syrian Crisis, Lakhdar Brahimi, in Geneva on Wednesday.

 

صحيفة “فيدوموستي” الروسية : موسكو والقاهرة وقعتا بالأحرف الأولى على عقود بقيمة 3 مليارات دولار والقوات المسلحة الروسية تجرى تدريبات عسكرية مشتركة مع الجيش المصري

Russian mig-29m2 fighter jet

Russian mig-29m2 fighter jet

نقلت صحيفة “فيدوموستي” الروسية في عددها الصادر الجمعة 14 فبراير/شباط عن مصادر في الصناعة الحربية الروسية، أن المحادثات المصرية-الروسية التي جرت في موسكو الخميس شهدت التوقيع بالأحرف الأولى على عقود بقيمة تتجاوز 3 مليارات دولار

وأوضحت الصحيفة أن الحديث يدور عن عقود لشراء مقاتلات من طراز “ميغ-29 إم”، وأنظمة دفاع جوي من عدة طرازات، ومروحيات “مي-35” ومنظومات صاروخية ساحلية مضادة للسفن، ومختلف أنواع الذخائر والأسلحة الخفيفة

وكان الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين قد استقبل الخميس وزيري الدفاع والخارجية المصريين عبد الفتاح السيسي ونبيل فهمي. وقبل ذلك عقد الوزيران المصريان محادثات مع نظيريهما الروسيين سيرغي شويغو وسيرغي لافروف بصيغة “2+2″. ولم يعلن الطرفان رسميا عن أية اتفاقيات معينة في ختام المحادثات، إلا أن لافروف قال في مؤتمر صحفي إن وزيري الدفاع اتفاق على ” تسريع إعداد الوثائق التي من شأنها دفع التعاون العسكري والعسكري التقني قدما الى الأمام”

 وكان لافروف وشويغو قد زار القاهرة في نوفمبر/تشرين الثاني الماضي، ولم يعلن الطرفان آنذاك عن أية اتفاقيات بينهما أيضا

ونقلت “فيدوموستي” عن وسائل إعلام مصرية أن المملكة العربية السعودية والإمارات العربية المتحدة تعهدتا بدفع قيمة الأسلحة الروسية لمصر

هذا وقال الخبير في مركز تحليل الاستراتيجيات والتكنولوجيات روسلان علييف، إن السعودية سبق أن وعدت بشراء مجموعة مماثلة من الأسلحة الروسية منذ سنوات. وتوقع الخبير أن تكون الصفقة الروسية-المصرية ترمي، قبل كل شيء، الى تعزيز قوات الدفاع الجوي المصرية وتعزيز قدرات البلاد على الدفاع عن النفس من أي عدوان خارجي بشكل عام

وكانت الإدارة الأمريكية قد أعلنت في أكتوبر/تشرين الأول الماضي عن تقليص المساعدات لمصر التي كانت تبلغ 1,5 مليار دولار سنويا، ومنها مساعدات عسكرية بقيمة 1.3 مليار دولار. وأشارت الصحيفة في هذا الخصوص الى أن تقليص المساعدات طال، بالدرجة الأولى، توريدات الدبابات والطائرات والمروحيات والصواريخ

MiG-29M-2
MiG-29M-2

من ناحيه اخرى ستجري القوات المسلحة الروسية تدريبات عسكرية مشتركة مع الجيش المصري ,أعلن هذا بعد اجتماع بين وزيري الدفاع سيرغي شويغو، ووزير الخارجية سيرغي لافروف ونظيريهما المصريين، الذي عقد في موسكو يوم أمس الخميس

وكما صرح وزير الدفاع الروسي للصحفيين، فقد تقرر في الاجتماع الإسراع في إعداد وثائق التعاون العسكري التقني.وقال شويغو: “اتفقنا أيضاً على الإسراع في إعداد الوثائق، التي سوف تعطي زخماً إضافياً لتطوير التعاون العسكري والتقني

Russian Helicopter MI 28

Russian Helicopter MI 28

ВЕДОМОСТИ – деловая газета. Новости, аналитика, прогнозы..