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Homepage > The Spokesperson > Egyptian Press

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*Regional and International Affairs:

Political Headlines:

1.      Palestinians demand urgent UN Security Council action to halt Israeli settlement campaign

2.      US aware of Assad asylum offers

3.      Syrian civil war spills into Lebanon

4.      At NATO, Clinton tells US allies they must fulfill aid pledges for Afghan security after 2014

5.      Congo’s M23 rebels say they will talk with President Joseph Kabila’s government in Uganda

 

*Regional and International Affairs:

Political Headlines:

 

1.      Palestinians demand urgent UN Security Council action to halt Israeli settlement campaign

The Palestinians demanded urgent action by the U.N. Security Council and the international community today to halt Israel’s “illegal settlement campaign.”

Palestinian Charge d’Affaires Feda Abdelhady Nasser said in letters to the council, the General Assembly and the secretary-general that the intensification of the Israeli campaign is clearly part of “Israel’s contemptuous response” to the assembly’s overwhelming vote last week to recognize the state of Palestine.

The General Assembly voted Thursday to raise the Palestinians’ status at the U.N. to a nonmember observer state. A day later, Israel announced plans to build 3,000 new settler homes in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, and stated its intention to press ahead with two other projects that separate the West Bank from east Jerusalem, the Palestinians’ desired capital.

 

2.      US aware of Assad asylum offers

The Obama administration said yesterday that several countries in the Middle East and elsewhere have informally offered to grant asylum to Syrian President Bashar Assad and his family if they leave Syria.

Administration officials also said they were continuing to encourage those close to Assad to defect and said they believed that Syrian foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi, who disappeared this week, is currently in London.

The State Department said it couldn't vouch for the sincerity of the Assad asylum offers and noted that they raise serious questions of accountability for abuses committed by his government. But spokesman Mark Toner said the U.S. is convinced that Assad must leave and cannot play any role in Syria's future.

3.      Syrian civil war spills into Lebanon

Gunmen loyal to opposite sides in neighboring Syria's civil war battled on yesterday in the streets of a northern Lebanese city where two days of clashes have killed at least six people and wounded more than 50, officials said.

The Lebanese army fanned out in the city of Tripoli in an attempt to calm the fighting, with soldiers patrolling the streets in armored personnel carriers and manning checkpoints. Authorities closed major roads because of sniper fire.

The fighting comes at a time of deep uncertainty in Syria, with rebels fighting government troops near Assad's seat of power in Damascus.

 

4.      At NATO, Clinton tells US allies they must fulfill aid pledges for Afghan security after 2014

The Obama administration pressed its European allies yesterday to follow through on their pledges to Afghanistan’s security after most international troops withdraw in 2014, fearful of being left with the check in an era of austerity budgets and defense cutbacks.

Donors pledged $4.1 billion a year to support Afghan forces from 2015 to 2017 at a May summit in Chicago — firming up a key plank of the U.S. strategy to leave behind a secure Afghanistan after battling insurgents for more than a decade. But many governments have yet to come through with the cash.

 

5.      Congo’s M23 rebels say they will talk with President Joseph Kabila’s government in Uganda

Congo’s M23 rebels are sending a delegation to Kampala, Uganda, to negotiate with the Congolese government today, the rebels’ president said.

“Our delegation will drive to Kampala for talks,” M23 president Jean-Marie Runiga told The Associated Press Wednesday.

Runiga said the talks with representatives of President Joseph Kabila’s Kinshasa government must be wide-ranging negotiations to cover constitutional and governance issues and should include the Congolese opposition and civic organizations.

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