US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged world powers on Friday to show Russia and China they would pay a price for impeding progress toward a democratic transition in Syria.
"It is frankly not enough just to come to the Friends of the Syrian People (meeting) because I will tell you very frankly, I don't think Russia and China believe they are paying any price at all - nothing at all - for standing up on behalf of the Assad regime," Clinton said at a gathering of countries seeking to speed the departure of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Russia and China have in the past vetoed UN Security Council resolutions designed to pressure Assad, who has sought to crush a rebellion against his family's 42-year rule.
In her comments, Clinton repeated the US call for a Security Council resolution under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which allows the council to authorize actions ranging from diplomatic and economic sanctions to military intervention.
French president Francois Hollande on Friday called for stiffer sanctions against his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad, and increased support for rebels seeking Assad's ouster, at a meeting of Western and Arab powers.Meanwhile, Abdulbaset Seyda, the head of the Syrian National Council, asked for the implementation of United Nations special envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan under Chapter 7 of the UN charter, which allows for sanctions ranging from economic measures to an arms embargo, and if necessary military force.
Seyda also called for humanitarian corridors and a no-fly zone.
Chapter 7 was last used against Libya last year. But doing so against Syria at the UN Security Council is highly unlikely, given Russia and China’s use of their veto powers to protect Assad thus far.
Libya's top politicians have hatched a deal that would see the Muslim Brotherhood lead the government after the country's first free elections in almost five decades takes place on Saturday.While the elections for a 200-member National Congress is unlikely to grant a majority to any one faction, the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies are confident they can join their counterparts in Tunisia and Egypt at the helm of leadership.
Negotiations between the Muslim Brotherhood and a secular-based political movement led by former interim prime minister Mahmoud Jibril have focused on forming a post-election government as soon as the result is known.
An adviser to Mr Jibril said the former prime minister was likely to take the post of figurehead president with Mustafa Abu Shagour, currently interim deputy prime minister of the Muslim Brotherhood, taking the prime minister's slot as head of government.The Muslim Brotherhood would dominate the ministries.
Now, however, things seem to be changing. When the Egyptian revolution erupted in January 2011, the Islamic Republic rushed to welcome the move, while pointing out the parallels to their Islamic revolution of 1979. Even though differences between the two countries abound, some are predicting that Egypt may turn into a Sunni version of Iran.
Six years after the outbreak of the Second Lebanon War, the IDF is saying openly that Israel is preparing for another Lebanon war.
The commander of the IDF's 91st Division, Brigardier-General Hertzi Halevy told journalists on Thursday, "We understand that there is more than one factor, whether this is Lebanese, or whether it will come from somewhere else, that can ignite the border here."
The 91st Division, part of the Northern Command, and responsible for the front with Lebanon, sees developments in Syria as one of the factors that could upset the calm that has prevailed in the region since the war. The collapse of the Syrian regime may also bring with it an increase in Jihadi or Hezbollah operatives, who may try to carry out targeted attacks in the area.The IDF has stated that there are some 60 thousand missiles in Lebanon, ten times more than there were in the country during the first Lebanon war. Hezbollah has the capability to launch a large quantity of rockets in a short period time, and this could cause significant damage on the Home Front.
Amid energetic lobbying from both sides, the Obama administration is taking part in month-long negotiations at United Nations headquarters aimed at finalizing a conventional arms trade treaty, which supporters say will save millions of lives but opponents fear threatens to restrict Second Amendment rights at home and U.S. arms sales policies abroad.In a letter to Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the eve of the conference, 130 Republican lawmakers outlined their concerns that the treaty being negotiated could negatively affect U.S. security, foreign policy and economic interests – as well as Americans’ constitutional rights.At home, it says, the Second Amendment must be upheld: “There will be no dilution or diminishing of sovereign control over issues involving the private acquisition, ownership, or possession of firearms, which must remain matters of domestic law.”Second Amendment advocacy groups are adamantly opposed to the treaty, which Gun Owners of America calls “a backdoor attempt by the Obama administration to impose radical gun control on America citizens.”