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Region Briefs

    Syria: BRUSSELS (AP) — Members of Syrian opposition groups met in a conference in Belgium on Sunday to discuss their political differences and Syria’s democratic transition. Groups discussed whether the Syrian opposition should request foreign military intervention and whether the groups should begin negotiations with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. According to activists more …

Daily News Egypt

Turkey and Syria face off after shooting

Diplomatic relations between Turkey and Syria have deteriorated since the Syrian uprising began nearly 17 months ago. Several Syrian civilians and military opposition groups have since taken refuge in neighbouring Turkey

Rana Muhammad Taha

UN aims to triple Syria observer team next week

By Frank Jordans / AP GENEVA: The United Nations hopes to have 30 cease-fire monitors in Syria next week and plans are already being made for the deployment of up to 300, a spokesman for international envoy Kofi Annan said Friday, as France called on the international community to prepare for the possible failure of …

DNE

Syrian troops clash with rebels in eastern city

By Bassem Mroue / AP BEIRUT: Syrian troops clashed with army defectors in an eastern city Thursday, leaving at least one person dead, while government forces bombarded rebel-held neighborhoods of the central city of Homs, activists said. The renewed violence comes as the international community struggles to salvage a week-old cease-fire that is seen as …

DNE

Syria bids to reassure UN over shaky truce

By AFP DAMASCUS: Syria sought on Wednesday to reassure the United Nations over its willingness to implement a ceasefire despite violence and casualties still reported in various parts of the country. Foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdisi told AFP a protocol outlining a UN mission to oversee the fragile six-day ceasefire was nearly completed and that …

DNE

Despite truce, Syrian troops resume attack on Homs

By Karin Laub / AP BEIRUT: Nearly a week after a cease-fire took effect, Syrian troops pounded a rebel stronghold Wednesday as the country’s foreign minister met with his Chinese counterpart in Beijing during the latest round of talks aimed at preventing the truce from unraveling. Despite the persistent violence in Homs and other cities, …

DNE

On the brink: Can non-violence bring Syria back?

By Michael Nagler and Stephanie Van Hook PETALUMA, California: When the Arab Spring was initiated by Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-immolation in Tunisia, it ignited longings for freedom throughout the region; more than that, it took hold of the creative imaginations of non-violent activists and millions of dissatisfied individuals around the world. Has this hope ground to …

DNE

INTERVIEW: Turkish tourism feels ripples of Arab Spring

By Lin Noueihed / Reuters DJERBA: Thirteen months of unrest in Syria have hurt tourism in neighboring Turkey, which expects visitor numbers to remain stable in 2012 at more than 30 million, Turkish Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay said on Monday. Speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of a Mediterranean tourism conference in Tunisia, Gunay said …

DNE

Turkey PM accuses Damascus of holding two journalists

By AFP ANKARA: Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Tuesday called on the Damascus regime to account for the fate of two Turkish journalists missing in neighboring Syria since March. “The two Turkish journalists are still in the hands of Syrians, in a prisoner position,” Erdogan told lawmakers from his ruling Justice and Development Party …

DNE

Activists: Syrian troops widen shelling attacks

By Karin Laub / AP BEIRUT: The Syrian regime widened shelling attacks on opposition strongholds Tuesday, activists said, targeting a second town in a new sign that a UN-brokered cease-fire is quickly unraveling despite the presence of foreign observers. The truce is part of an international plan to launch talks between President Bashar Assad’s regime …

DNE

Shelling in Syria as UN monitors begin mission

By Zeina Karam / AP BEIRUT: An advance team of UN observers was negotiating the ground rules with Syrian authorities Monday for monitoring the country’s 5-day-old cease-fire, which appeared to be rapidly unraveling as regime forces pounded the opposition stronghold of Homs with artillery shells and mortars, activists said. Even though the overall level of violence …

DNE

Syrian truce marred as Assad forces kill four

By Dominic Evans / Reuters BEIRUT: Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad killed at least four people as the opposition tried to stage protests after Friday prayers, marring a ceasefire brokered by UN-Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan. Syrians took to the streets across the country in small demonstrations after prayers, trusting that the truce, …

DNE

Syria truce takes shaky hold, Annan presses Syria

By Mariam Karouny and Dominic Evans /Reuters BEIRUT: Syrian troops held their fire on Thursday after a U.N.-backed ceasefire deadline passed, giving respite to rebellious towns that have suffered heavy bombardments, but international envoy Kofi Annan pressed Damascus to pull its forces back entirely. “Syria is apparently experiencing a rare moment of calm on the ground,” …

DNE