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Friday, 26 April 2019 04:12

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More than 90 per cent of Rukban’s 45,000 residents want to leave, but few want to live under Assad

Afrasianet - About 360 displaced Syrians left Rukban Camp on the Jordanian border to return to government-controlled territory last week, the Russian Defence Ministry said.

Russia has long pushed for the evacuation of Rukban, claiming that US-backed rebels were holding people there against their will.

But when Russia opened a “humanitarian corridor” into Rukban this month, few in the camp returned to government-held areas and many said they feared forced repatriation.

Those who were moved last week were mostly woman and children.

“They received necessary aid and they are provided with food and accommodation,” said Viktor Kupchishin, head of the Russian Defence Ministry's Centre for Syrian Reconciliation.

The camp is home to about 45,000 displaced Syrians who are living in dire conditions, with a severe lack of food and medical supplies.

More than 90 per cent of Rukban residents told the UN in a survey in February that they wanted to leave the camp.

Most would prefer to leave for Jordan or rebel-controlled areas in northern Syria.

Instead, they face the choice of staying in limbo or returning to live under the government of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.

“We are not willing to step foot in Assad’s territory,” said Nasr Hretane, 31, a teacher who lives in the camp.

“We would rather die here of starvation if this is what the regime is gambling on.”

Men in the camp fear that if they return to government areas they may face interrogation, arrest or forced conscription.

“A few men who I know personally left recently through the corridors and were arrested a few days later,” said Shukre Shehab, official spokesman for Rukban camp.

“Now they have disappeared forever, into regime prisons probably.”

But with conditions in the camp deteriorating, some feel they have no choice but to leave.

Jasem, another resident, said he recently sent his family back to government-controlled areas.

“I didn’t have any alternative," he said. "No medical care, no food, milk, medicine. I didn’t want them to die.”

There has been event less food in the camp recently because the Syrian government has shut smuggling routes into Rukban.

“The Assad regime used to allow a good chunk of food through smugglers in the desert to enter the camp to be sold,” Jasem said.

“In the past prices were expensive. Now food is not available any more for the majority of families in the camp.”

A meeting held on Tuesday at a corridor outside the camp to discuss evacuations and the humanitarian situation ended in failure, Mr Shehab said.

The meeting was attended by Russian military, Syrian government officials, the UN and Rukban residents. It was convened to arrange food supplies and agree on a format for departure.

“The meeting was sadly useless," Mr Shehab said. "The Russians and regime weren’t interested in supporting civilians in the camp or allowing the arrival of any sort of aid.

“They only indicated that they are fully ready to accept anyone who wants to leave for regime territory, promising them support and aid whenever they are out.”








Amman - Afrasianet - By Raed Omari - The Lower House on Sunday condemned US President Donald Trump’s recent statement on Syria’s occupied Golan Heights, saying it violated international law.

Reading a statement at the beginning of Sunday’s session, House Speaker Atef Tarawneh said Trump’s pledge to recognise Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights would create more regional instability and prolong the Israeli occupation of Arab territories.

Last Thursday, Trump said it was time for Washington to recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Tarawneh said that ending the Israeli occupation of Arab territories in the only way to achieving regional peace and stability.

Trump’s statement “is yet more proof of US favouritism of Israel and Washington’s withdrawal as a neutral and transparent peace-brokering party”, he added.

Tarawneh, who is also president of Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union (APU), said that the APU has issued a similar statement, condemning Trump’s remarks and emphasising Syria’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi on Friday affirmed Jordan’s unaltered stance on the Golan Heights, stressing they are occupied Syrian territory, as stipulated in all international legitimacy resolutions that clearly ban the forceful annexation of land.

Safadi said in a statement that a permanent and comprehensive peace requires Israel’s withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories.

The Syrian Golan is an integral part of these occupied territories, he underlined.

The minister also referred to the 1981 UN Security Council Resolution Number 497, which rejects Israel’s annexation of the Golan.

Safadi also stressed that UN resolution 497 voids Israel’s administrative and unlawful control and enforcement of its laws in the Syrian Golan Heights.

Mar 24,2019








Regional experts, members of ICAO take part in 2-day meeting

Amman - Afrasianet - The first regional coordination meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) started on Sunday in Amman to ensure safety procedures required for the resumption of aerial movement through the Syrian airspace.

The meeting, hosted by the Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission (CARC), discusses issues related to the safety of operational procedures in the Syrian airspace and neighbouring countries, including the challenges that may hinder the flow of air movement, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The gathering also addresses recommended measures to overcome such challenges, in a way that can support civil aviation commissions and airline companies regarding their decisions to resume operations over Syria.

The two-day meeting sees the participation of experts from civil aviation commissions in the Middle East and regional members of the ICAO, as well as local and international airline companies.

Earlier in March, the CARC granted Jordanian airlines permission to fly in Syrian airspace, seven years after banning the use of the airspace in 2012.

The CARC stipulated that airline companies wishing to fly in Syrian airspace must present an evaluation study of flight risk, use a specified air route and altitude and take necessary precautions to ensure that safety is maximised.

The commission added that it was still evaluating the conditions of Syrian airports, especially Damascus International Airport.

In January, the CARC sent a technical delegation that employed international standards of evaluation to assess the risks associated with flying in Syrian airspace.

In 2012, Royal Jordanian halted flights over Syria, and re-routed its flights and operations from Amman to Beirut, causing the airline to incur losses of JD19.4 million, the airline previously said.

- Mar 10,2019








Afrasianet - In the context of Maat’s for Peace, Development and Human Rights concern for international human rights mechanisms, the Association prepared this report in conjunction with the review of the United States of America's compliance with the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Hence, the United States is reviewing its human rights situation in accordance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights at the 125th session of the Human Rights Commission, which takes place from March 4 to 29, 2019.

Maat's report revealed a lot of human rights violations in the United States. Although the United States claims that it is the most country which respect the human rights provisons, and although its permanent emphasis in international forums on the principles of equality and non-discrimination, by examing its human rights situation, a lot of grave violations against various groups of society were spotted.

The most prominent of these violations is a violation of the right to life, religious discrimination against Muslims, and discrimination against women, which entail early marriage and violence against them. Furthermore, the report also reviews US abuses against migrants and asylum seekers.

At the end of the report, Maat Association has presented some recommendations to the US government, asking it to stop violations and comply with the provisions of international treaties, the thing of which the US officials have long been praising and recommending for other governments during the international forums. Whereas, Maat called on the US government to stop discrimination against women, especially those with disabilities, and to abolish the travel ban 3.0 as well as adopting a fair methodology for issuing visas to the United States according to the circumstances of each case, regardless of religion.

To view the report, click here






Afrasianet - A new book, "Kushner Company - Greed, Ambition, Corruption, The Extraordinary Story of Gerid Kouchner and Ivanka Trump" on strange details of the deal of the century, was revealed by Vicky Ward.

The US plan, led by Jared Kouchner, the son-in-law of the US president, the Trump envoy for international negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, and the former bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman, who became the US ambassador to Israel, called the "Deal of the Century", contain strange proposals that express A quirky fantasy of understanding the nature of the Palestinian conflict against the Israeli occupation, such as an exchange of land under which the Palestinians would obtain Jordanian land in return for their land, while the Jordanians would be compensated with Saudi land for the return of Egyptian islands.

In an interesting chapter of her book, Ward explains the details of President Trump's first trip abroad as president, during which he visited Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican, where Saudi Arabia was supposed to play an important role in Kouchner's peace efforts, And to help revive the economy of the besieged Gaza Strip.

"Saudi Arabia was ... the key to Kouchner's son-in-law's peace plan in the Middle East," she said. "What Kouchner wanted, according to many people familiar with the plan's drafts, was that Saudis and Emiratis would provide economic assistance to the Palestinians."

Perhaps the strangest acrobatics in the process belong to the concepts of the surface real estate group of the Arab-Israeli conflict, because "the plan also included the exchange of land, so that Jordan would give land to the Palestinians in exchange for the part settled by the Israelis from the West Bank and the Jordan Valley. Will restore two islands (Sinafir and Tiran) in the Red Sea have been under Egyptian sovereignty since 1950 ".

The paper did not say whether the land swap plan was still in the US peace plan known as the "Century Deal", which the administration says will not be unveiled until the April 9 Israeli elections. But US envoy Jason Greenblatt, In a response to the book Tuesday (March 19) that "no one who has read the plan will publish such false information.

It is noteworthy that President Trump appointed his son-in-law Jared Kouchner, who had no experience in foreign policy or details of the Palestinian conflict to end the occupation responsible for diplomatic efforts to conclude a Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement with Greenblatt and Friedman.

"The Kushner Foundation: greed, ambition, corruption, the extraordinary story of Gerid Kouchner and Ivanka Trump," that the daughter of President Ivanka Trump and his son-in-law Kouchner are working to mitigate the impact in the vicinity of Trump. "In fact, the couple (Ivanka and Gareed) ) Fueling anarchy that has become a feature of the White House.

Those authorized to refine the American peace plan, such as Kouchner, Greenblatt and US Ambassador to Israel Friedman insist on continuing to use phrases such as "any peace deal must take into account the changes on the ground" or "the need to accept de facto" or "necessity" And the focus of the US peace team on the economic aspect of any peace deal clearly indicates that the long-awaited peace plan does not include a two-state solution and East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state.

"We would like to see Palestinian self-rule improve significantly, as long as it does not endanger Israeli security; how and where can we explain the areas (West Bank) for self-government?" Friedman said last week in his interview with Washington Examiner. Palestinian conflict, it can be negotiated, "adding that" this is not a conflict in which the Palestinians retain the right of veto to make progress; at some point ... things will go ahead with them or without them. The United States will not ignore the reality, and we will not imagine the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem in some way can be separated from Israel or the Jewish people, "dispels any doubts that this administration is working towards the implementation of international accord on peace between Arabs and Israel, Which Israel occupied in 1967








Amman - Afrsianet - A parliamentary delegation on Monday met Syrian Transport Minister Ali Hammoud in Damascus over activating transport, cargo and transit movement between the two countries.

"The Syrian transport minister pledged to look into the possibility of cutting the cost of transporting goods between Lebanon and Jordan via Syria to nearly half its current rate, in addition to forming a joint committee to study the issue," MP Tareq Khouri, head of the Jordanian-Syrian Friendship Committee, said.

MP Qais Ziadin, who is a member of the Jordanian delegation to Syria, stressed the importance of bolstering bilateral ties between the two countries to achieve the interests of both peoples, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Hammoud praised the distinguished efforts exerted by the Jordanian-Syrian Friendship Committee to foster relations between the two countries.

Discussions also went over resuming flights over the Syrian airspace, as well as the possibility of extending opening hours for the Jaber-Nassib crossing for a further two hours, in light of the high traffic it has been witnessing.

Jordan and its northern neighbour reopened the Jaber-Nasib border crossing on October 15, 2018, after passenger and cargo traffic was halted for more than three years as a result of the escalating violence in the Syrian town of Nasib, just across the border station, some 80km north of Amman.

The delegation also met with Syria’s Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform Ahmad Al Qadri, and discussed the possibility of granting Jordanian farmers licences to export their products to Syria, as well as increasing agricultural trade exchange between the two countries.

Qadri promised to conduct a study on Syria’s agricultural import needs that can be supplied from the Kingdom and the possibility of granting licences for farmers based on the study’s outcomes, according to Petra.

Also on Monday, Khouri discussed with Feisal Miqdad, Syria’s deputy foreign minister, the issue of Jordanian prisoners in Syria, stressing the necessity of resolving the matter.

Miqdad promised to find a solution to the issue as soon as possible, Petra added.

Khouri stressed the significance of parliamentary diplomacy and its role in restoring ties, referring to parliamentary efforts that led to the invitation of Speaker of the Syrian People’s Assembly Hammoudeh Sabbagh by Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh to participate in the Arab Parliamentary Union conference, slated to be held in Amman in March.

The current parliamentary delegation to Syria is the second since the conflict began, with the first, headed by MP Abdul Karim Dughmi, visiting Syria in November 2018, during which they met with Syrian President Bashar Assad and Syrian officials and lawmakers and discussed restoring the Jordanian-Syrian relations as well as Syria’s return to the Arab League.

Feb 11,2019







  • The White House questions Congressional mental capacity to assess Trump's statements

  • Jordan To Resume Air Services With Syria Within Days

  • Syria takes part in first Arab meeting since 2011

  • Hundreds of Syrians leave Rukban camp for government controlled areas

  • Jordan, France discuss Syria crisis, bilateral cooperation on multiple levels

  • House condemns Trump pledge to recognise Golan Heights annexation

  • Aviation body discusses safety of flying over Syria

  • The United States, the freest country in the world could also be referred to as the country with...

  • A book entitled "The Kouchner Company" reveals more details and oddities of the "Deal of the...

  • MPs discuss restoring transport, agriculture ties with Syria

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