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Barcelona Process, EU Partnership and Syria

by Oui Mon Dec 31st, 2018 at 12:14:49 PM EST


Pax Americana - the years of the Bush/Cheney wrecking ball in the Middle East completed under the Obama administration. What has the 21st century wrought with the War on Terror after the 9/11 attacks by Saudi led Al Qaeda jihadists. Hundreds of thousands died, the majority innocent civilians and hardship for most in decades to come. The world has NOT become a safer place, when will Western politicians realize cause and effect of their policy and deeds. The United Kingdom and France have played a key role in the development around the Arab Spring in North Africa and the Middle East (MENA). The military aggression to solve conflicts must be broken down. Europe should respect the promises made and goals set with he founding of the EEC in 1957.

The financial crisis of the banking mafia has brought hardship and was a stimulant for a populist revolt in European countries. The crisis of inequality should be tackled and the basic needs of all should be met: income, healthcare and a pension. Priorities should be set and there should be a focus on the real issues and avoid bureaucracy and over-regulation that hits business and citizens. Hopefully Brussels will reform with the exit of Jean-Claude Juncker.

More below the fold ...

Iran to reap rewards in Syria's reconstruction, says Syria economy minister | The National UAE |

Iran is asserting its dominance in Syria's post-war reconstruction drive, at a time when Gulf states are pushing for the reinstatement of diplomatic relations with the cash-strapped government in Damascus.

Iranian public and private companies will be granted priority in Syria's post-war reconstruction, Syria's Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade Mohammad Samer Al Khalil said on Sunday, after signing a long-term economic cooperation agreement with senior Iranian officials in Tehran.

The agreement calls for "comprehensive cooperation at the financial and banking levels," and "contributes to facilitating trade" and investment between the two countries, Mr Al Khalil said, according to the state-run Sana news agency.

"We are looking forward to improving cooperation in the economic field," Mr Al Khalil was cited as saying.

For his part, Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami said that the agreement signed on Sunday was only the beginning of "broad" cooperation between the two countries in the future.

The announcement comes less than a week after the UAE reopened its embassy in Damascus for the first time in seven years. Bahrain has also said it will soon restore its mission to the country.

The diplomatic detente has raised speculation regarding the role of the Gulf countries in funding reconstruction.

According to the Syria Report, an economic digest, several companies from the UAE are looking to restore investments in Syria and have started to send delegations to Damascus.

Prior to 2011, UAE companies invested in Syria's real estate sector. Emaar Properties, for example, was in charge of the Eighth Gate development in Damascus, the Syria Report said.

Long-Term Pact between Iran, Syria Defies Sanctions | Asharq al-Awsat |

A year of uprisings and revolutions: uncertainty reigns in the Arab world | The Guardian - 2011 in review |
Outlook is bleak for key countries including Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria and Yemen | The Guardian - Dec. 2018 |

Related reading ...

The EU, the Mediterranean and the Middle East - A longstanding partnership [included Syria]
The Barcelona Process as seen through British Eyes between 1995 and 2005 [Excellent read!]
Syria Drama In the Making - the Bush and Obama Years 2005-2013 with role NSC head Stephen Hadley
Syria: Netanyahu agreed to full Golan Heights withdrawal end of 2010 | Ynet News |

Syria in Bush's Cross Hairs | TIME - Dec. 2006 |

American officials say the U.S. government has had extensive contacts with a range of anti-Assad groups in Washington, Europe and inside Syria. To give momentum to that opposition, the U.S. is giving serious consideration to the election-monitoring scheme proposed in the document, according to several officials. The proposal has not yet been approved, in part because of questions over whether the Syrian elections will be delayed or even cancelled. But one U.S. official familiar with the proposal said: "You are forced to wonder whether we are now trying to destabilize the Syrian government."

Some critics in Congress and the Administration say that such a plan, meant to secretly influence a foreign government, should be legally deemed a "covert action," which by law would then require that the White House inform the intelligence committees on Capitol Hill. Some in Congress would undoubtedly raise objections to this secret use of publicly appropriated funds to promote democracy.

The proposal says part of the effort would be run through a foundation operated by Amar Abdulhamid, a Washington-based member of a Syrian umbrella opposition group known as the National Salvation Front (NSF). The Front includes the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization that for decades supported the violent overthrow of the Syrian government, but now says it seeks peaceful, democratic reform. (In Syria, however, membership in the Brotherhood is still punishable by death.) Another member of the NSF is Abdul Halim Khaddam, a former high-ranking Syrian official and Assad family loyalist who recently went into exile after a political clash with the regime.

The Destabilization of Syria and the Broader Middle East War | Global Research |
Syria Expendable In Joint US-Israel ME Power Schemes
The Bush Administration steps up its secret moves against Iran | The New Yorker | by Seymour M. Hersh - July 2008

Forgetting history of the First Gulf War, dictatorship Baath party leader Saddam Hussein, Scud missiles, misguided interventions fomented by Ariel Sharon, Bibi Netanyahu and PNAC.

Trump: Israel can defend itself with the billions the US gave it | JPost - 5 days ago |

US President Donald Trump on Baghdad visit dismissed Israeli concerns over his abrupt withdrawal of US troops from Syria.

Speaking to reporters on a surprise visit to American troops in Iraq, the president said that Israel receives enough US defense aid to defend itself, amid concerns that a US retreat will pave way for Iranian forces marching towards Israel's border.

"I'm the one that moved the embassy to Jerusalem. I was the one who was willing to do that," Trump said. "So that's the way it is. We are going to take great care of Israel. Israel is going to be good. We give Israel $4.5 billion a year. And we give frankly a lot more than that if you look at the books. They've been doing a good job."

Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have frequently spoken of Iran's threat in Syria, including as recently as last week, according to aides of both leaders. Israel advocates repeatedly warned Trump that a complete withdrawal would expose Israel to great dangers.

"I spoke with Bibi," Trump continued. "I told Bibi, `you know we give Israel $4.5 billion a year. And they are doing very well at defending themselves."

Trump's decision to retreat from the Syrian battlefield - a strategic nightmare comprising of a civil war, a massive counterterrorism battle and a complex geopolitical struggle - took US allies and his own national security cabinet off guard.

Israel intel chief sees possible threat from Iraq as Iran's clout grows | Ynet News |
Israeli PM Netanyahu's close ties to Brazil's Bolsonaro. Highlighting Likud Support for Ethno-Nationalist Politicians Abroad

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Tue Jan 1st, 2019 at 02:06:16 PM EST

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Tue Jan 1st, 2019 at 02:09:57 PM EST
Copying the misogyny, racist policy of the imposter sitting in the White House. A new executive order to do business with the State, one must first pledge allegiance to the Jewish State of Israel ... Geez!

Maryland has no business chilling free speech to support foreign governments' human rights violations | Mondoweiss |

What do certain auto part suppliers, contractors and barbers in Maryland all have in common? In order to bid for procurement contracts with the State to provide services or goods, they must effectively first pledge loyalty to Israel.

If this doesn't concern you, it should.

Governor Hogan's executive order requires businesses with state contracts to promise they will not boycott the state of Israel.

Gov. Larry Hogan Signs Executive Order on BDS

In Annapolis this afternoon, Oct. 23, Gov. Larry Hogan signed an executive order prohibiting all executive branch agencies and firms with state contracts from participating in the boycott of the state of Israel.

The order aims to undermine the international Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions movement, which advocates that companies refuse to conduct business with the Jewish state. The BDS movement is opposed to the policies of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his administration.

"BDS is a discriminatory campaign designed to undermine global trade with Israel," said Hogan.

In addition, the governor called on the board of trustees of the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System "to take divestment action with regard to any companies that hold investments with entities who participate in the BDS movement."

Pro-Israel groups across the country advocate that states enact anti-BDS measures. Some critics of the anti-BDS movement say boycotts violate the First Amendment.

"I disagree," said Hogan, when asked about pro-BDS sentiments. "BDS is discriminatory. They are asking people to discriminate against Israel. That is clear to me."

The executive order reinforces the strong commercial relationship between Maryland and Israel. The state is home to more than 30 Israeli businesses, and the export relationship between Maryland and Israel reached a record high in 2015 with more than $145 million in product exports.

The State of Affairs in the segregated state of Israel under rightwing extremists ...

It's Time to Admit It. Israeli Policy Is What It Is: Apartheid | Haaretz - 2015 |
Religious fundamentalism and the extreme right-wing camp in Israel
EU leads criticism after Israel passes Jewish 'nation state' law

Further reading ...

Trump and Netanyahu Governments Both Steeped in Ethnic Supremacy, Ultra-Nationalism

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Mon Jan 7th, 2019 at 12:51:58 PM EST

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