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Different approaches, same goal? UN vs. Friends of Syria

The UN chief has said Syria has not fully complied with the UN-brokered peace plan and he aims to send more monitors to the embattled country. In Paris, Friends of Syria talks push for opposition support potentially destabilizing the delicate truce. In a written report to the Security Council on Wednesday UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon […]

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Shaky start: Shelling in Syria continues as UN monitors arrive

The first batch of unarmed military observers has arrived in Damascus to monitor compliance with the fragile, four-day-old ceasefire negotiated by special envoy Kofi Annan. But some reports on the ground suggest continuing violence. ­The team, drawn from military missions in the region, is to be joined by 25 more monitors within days. Those already […]

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Belarusian thaw: Lukashenko pardons ‘political prisoners’ amid EU pressure

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko pardoned two opposition figures imprisoned for ‘organizing a riot’ in 2010 as the EU considers a fresh range of sanctions against his regime. ­Andrey Sannikov, a presidential hopeful during the 2010 election, and his advisor Andrey Bondarenko were released from prison on Saturday and Sunday respectively after Lukashenko approved the two […]

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Syria vows to fight ‘escalated terrorist attacks’ as first UN observers arrive

The Syrian army pledged to continue fighting armed rebels in anticipation of the arrival of a team of UN observers, as “armed terrorists” have “hysterically escalated” their attacks following the official halt of all military operations. ­The first six observers arrived in Damascus late Sunday, a UN spokesman said. The other 24 are expected to […]

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Annan calls out Syrian govt amidst post-ceasefire violence (PHOTOS)

The UN-brokered ceasefire aimed at curtailing the conflict has already been marred with reports of bloodshed. Despite the fragile truce, Kofi Annan says the Syrian government is yet to withdrawal its troops and heavy weapons from major urban areas. Syrian state media have reported a roadside bomb, which killed one army officer and wounded at […]

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Syrian ceasefire deadline arrives – no violence reported

The deadline for Syria’s UN-brokered ceasefire aimed at curtailing the conflict has arrived with no immediate reports of violence. However, doubts have been voiced on the international stage whether the regime and the rebels can keep to the truce. The Syrian government told UN-Arab League Envoy Kofi Annan that regime troops would cease fighting at […]

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Syrian govt: ‘We have begun troop withdrawal’

The Syrian foreign minister says the Assad regime has withdrawn troops from several provinces. The president has until the end of Tuesday to pull out all forces ahead of a planned ceasefire between conflicting sides. ­“We have already withdrawn some military forces from several Syrian provinces,” said Walid al-Moualem, following a meeting with Russian counterpart […]

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Syria threatens pullout from ceasefire deal unless given ‘written guarantees’

The Syrian government may not withdraw its army units from cities on Tuesday, if it does not receive a written pledge signed by opposition groups to observe the ceasefire. The withdrawal is part of a deal brokered by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan. “To say that Syria will pull back its forces from towns on […]

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UN blames Assad, Assad blames opposition for violence ahead of ceasefire

Thousands of people have taken into the streets of Damascus in a massive pro-government rally. Syrian President Assad, meanwhile, has sent a message to the UN blaming the opposition for the recent spate of violence ahead of the ceasefire deadline. ­In the message to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the president of the […]

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