2-Jul-11 World View — Hundreds Of Thousands Of Syrians Protest

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians protest

Demonstrators march through the streets of Damascus on July 1 (RFE/RL)
Demonstrators march through the streets of Damascus on July 1 (RFE/RL)

The brutal acts of killing, torture and mutilation of peaceful protesters by Bashar al-Assad’s security forces have not stopped more and more protests from occurring, especially after midday prayers on Fridays. On this Friday, possibly the biggest outpouring in over three months of angry protests occurred, as hundreds of thousands took to the streets in towns across Syria to demand an end of Assad’s abuses. Two deaths were repored in Damascus, but the number of deaths in other cities could not be ascertained. Syrian activists say that more than 1,300 have been killed since the beginning, and at least 10,000 have been arrested. RFE/RL

Speaking at a meeting of the Community of Democracies in the Baltic state of Lithuania, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said

” It doesn’t appear that is coherent and consistent message coming from Syria. We know what they have to do, they must begin a genuine transition to democracy and allowing one meeting of the opposition in Damascus is not sufficient action toward achieving that goal. So I am disheartened by the recent reports of continued violence on the borders and in Aleppo, where demonstrators have been beaten, attacked with knives by government organized groups and security forces.

It is absolutely clear, that Syrian Government is running out of time. There isn’t any question about that. They are either going to allow a serious political process, that will include peaceful protests take place throughout Syria and engage a productive dialogue with members of the opposition and civil society, or they going continue to see increasingly organized resistance. We regret the loss of life and we regret the violence, but this choice is up to the Syrian Government. Right now we are looking for action, not words and we haven’t seen enough of that.”

US State Dept.

Turkey’s foreign minister will talk to rebels in Benghazi

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (Zaman)
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (Zaman)

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will go to Benghazi on Saturday to hold talks with Libya’s rebel National Transitional Council (NTC), to prepare to protect Turkey’s interests in Libyan if, at some point in the future, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is overthrown and the humanitarian kinetic military action ends. Davutoglu sees the NTC as “a legal and credible representative” of the Libyan people, it does not see it as the sole representative. Zaman

Netherlands predicts problems if Libyan action not over by September

The Dutch defence minister Hans Hillen warned NATO allies on Wednesday against “mission creep” in Libya:

“I hope we will be finished by the end of September. If it’s not finished by then, I think the debate will get higher and higher — ‘why didn’t we finish until now’, and ‘what is the problem exactly’, and ‘why does everybody say give us three more weeks, three more months?’

And then in November they say, ‘well, just a couple of months’ — that’s mission creep.”


New book on Britain’s participation in the American Civil War

A World on Fire
A World on Fire

A World on Fire: An Epic History of Two Nations Divided, by Amanda Foreman, shows how the American Civil War was not just a vicious struggle between the Unionist North and Confederate South but “neutral” Britain too. Telegraph

Iran threatens to halt crude oil shipments to India

Iran has warned that it will stop shipments of crude oil to India in August, unless Indian refiners pay the $2 billion that they already owe to Iran. However, Traders and industry executives say that Iran won’t really stop oil exports to India, because Iran will have difficulty finding another market that doesn’t conflict with the West’s sanctions. Wall Street Journal (Access)

Relations between France and Algeria strained by Libya

Relations between France and its former colony, Algeria, have been strained for a number of years, although they cooperate in security cooperation related to the growing role of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Africa’s Sahel. However, the rapprochement on that issue is being overshadowed by friction over the question of Libya and its future. France is demanding that Muammar Gaddafi step down, while Algeria wants to reach a political solution to the stalemate, based on the position taken by the African Union. Jamestown

Audacity of Hope remains docked in Greece, kept from Gaza

Several ships in “Freedom Flotilla II,” with plans to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza, are being kep from leaving port in Greece by Greek coast guard officials. One ship, the Audacity of Hope, populated by U.S. activists, made a secretive attempt to leave port on Friday, but coast guard officials forced them to return to port. Canadian Press


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