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France backs no-fly zone over Syria, Russia continues cooperation with Damascus

English.news.cn   2012-08-24 13:26:08            
 • French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called for a partial closure of Syria's air space.
 • Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad again accused Turkey of helping "terrorists" in Syria.
 Russia said it would continue economic cooperation with Syria.


BEIJING, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- The international community is still divided on ways to solve the Syrian conflict as France indicated Thursday that it would support a partial no-fly zone over Syria while Russia continues close cooperation with the Syrian authorities on energy.

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, speaking on France 24 television, called for a partial closure of Syria's air space, as suggested by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

However, he warned that shutting Syria's entire air space would mean "going to war."

Earlier this month, Clinton said imposing no-fly zones around Syrian cities such as Aleppo "need greater in-depth analysis." She said Turkey and the United States had agreed to mull further moves.

As a follow-up, Turkish and U.S. officials Thursday held their first "operational planning" meeting to coordinate military, intelligence and political responses to the crisis in Syria.

Earlier in the day, Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad again accused Turkey of helping "terrorists" in Syria.

He said "support by regional circles, including the dangerous support by Turkey" is among the factors "that have fuelled this crisis" as regional countries are providing the rebels with sophisticated weapons.

Syria's staunch ally Russia said Thursday it would continue economic cooperation with the Middle East country although it suffers unilateral sanctions by a number of countries.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said the economic ties between Russia and Syria have developed dynamically over the last 18 months.

Cooperation in the oil and gas industries, transport and agriculture was discussed during the two visits to Moscow by Syrian government delegations led by Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Qadri Jamil in August.

After Kofi Annan resigned as UN special envoy to Syria earlier this month, Syria Thursday expressed its readiness to work with new UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, hoping he could pave the way for "national dialogue."

Deputy Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad said his country was expecting news from the UN secretariat about further details after the expiry of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria.

Mikdad made the remarks after meeting with Gen. Babacar Gaye, head of the expired UN mission.

The four-month UN observer mission in Syria expired last week. The United Nations agreed to establish a civilian office in Damascus to keep a foothold in Syria.

The Chinese government will provide 30 million yuan (4.76 million U.S. dollars) worth of emergency humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.

Two batches of material assistance worth 15 million yuan each will soon be delivered to Jordan and Lebanon to help the two governments settle the refugees and improve their humanitarian situation, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

Last March, the Chinese government provided 2 million dollars in cash assistance to the Syrian people through the International Committee of the Red Cross.


Russia says to continue economic cooperation with Syria

MOSCOW, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Some countries' unilateral sanctions against Syria would not hinder Russia's economic cooperation with the Middle East country, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.Full Story

Russia calls Western stance on Syria self-righteous

MOSCOW, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- Russia's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday criticized Western countries for doing nothing but stirring up armed conflicts in Syria.

"Our western partners still have done nothing to influence the (Syrian) opposition and to encourage it for dialogue with the government. Instead, they are engaged in open incitement (of the opposition) to continue the armed struggle," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.Full Story

No-fly zone would be aggression against Syria: envoy

BEIJING, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- A proposal by Western countries to set up a no-fly zone over Syria would be considered an aggression against the Middle East country, a senior Syrian official said.

The no-fly zone, suggested by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other Western officials, "will be an aggression against Syria and Syria is a country that will not accept any aggression and will defend itself, " Bouthaina Shaaban, the Syrian president's special envoy and political and media adviser, told Xinhua here in a recent interview.Full Story


Editor: Liu
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