At a gathering in Rome with Lebanon’s new cardinal, Pope Benedict XVI launched a new appeal for peace in Syria and the Middle East, the Associated Press reported.
“The church encourages all efforts for peace in the world and in the Middle East, a peace that will only be effective if it is based on authentic respect for other people,” Benedict told the gathering, which included several Lebanese pilgrims.
The leaders of Iran and Syria have learned the dirty little secret of dealing with an international community making demands them.
In the case of Iran, the U.S. and other countries are about to launch another round of negotiations with Tehran in an effort to prevent the Islamic revolution leaders from developing a nuclear weapon that threatens the region and the free world.
E.U. foreign ministers are slapping new sanctions on the wife of Syrian President Bashar Assad, three other Assad family members, and eight Syrian government ministers, according to reports.
The new restrictions, which are slated to go into effect on Saturday, include a travel ban and the freezing of assets, The Associated Press reported. The wife of the Syrian president, Azma Assad, is a British native and holds British citizenship, which may mean she may still travel to England, AP said.
It was somewhat jarring this week to see the President of the United States take to his podium to figuratively hold up the head of Osama bin Laden as a political trophy. But that's what Barack Obama felt compelled to do after Republican contenders Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney accused the commander-in-chief of "appeasement" of America's enemies.
I was wrong. I was one of those who criticized the Obama administration for returning a US ambassador to Syria after a five-year absence without getting any clear pro-quid-pro from Bashar Assad. It would be interpreted as a sign of weakness by the Syrians as well as Assad's Iranian allies, I wrote at the time.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon this urged Syrian President Bashar Assad to take “bold and decisive measures before it’s too late” and called on members of the world body to unite and take “coherent measures” with regard to Syria, the AP reported. The AP reported those were among Ban’s “strongest criticism yet of the Syrian government.”
After weeks of ratcheting up the criticism and pressure, President Obama has finally explicitly called for Syrian dictator Bashar Assad to resign. He intensified sanctions on by freezing all assets of the regime under American jurisdiction and imposing other tough measures, but he ruled out “foreign intervention.”
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