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Monday, January 28, 2013
Excerpts: Obama vows never again on Holocaust Memorial Day. Russia says Assads prospects fading January 28, 2013

Excerpts: Obama vows 'never again' on Holocaust Memorial Day. Russia says
Assad's prospects fading January 28, 2013

+++SOURCE: Naharnet (Lebanon) 28 Jan.’13):”Obama Vows ‘Never Again’on
Holocaust Memorial Day”, Agence France Presse
SUBJECT: Obama vows ‘never again’ on Holocaust Memorial Day

QUOTE:”the anniversary is also ‘a time for action’ “

FULL TEXT:U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday[27 Jan.] vowed to prevent
genocide, as the world marked Holocaust Remembrance Day on the anniversary
of the 1945 liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

"We honor the memories of the six million Jews and millions of other
innocent victims whose lives were tragically taken during the Holocaust over
sixty years ago," Obama said in a statement.

But he said the anniversary is also a "time for action."

"We must commit ourselves to resisting hate and persecution in all its
forms. The United States, along with the international community, resolves
to stand in the way of any tyrant or dictator who commits crimes against
humanity, and stay true to the principle of 'Never Again,'" Obama said.

"By remaining vigilant against those who seek to perpetrate violence and
murder, we honor those we lost during one of the darkest periods in human
history," he added.

SourceAgence France Presse

+++SOURCE:Jordan Times 28 Jan.’13:”Russia says Assad’s prospects fading”,Reuters

SUBJECT: Russia says Assad’s prospects fading

QUOTE:” Medvedev: if Assad is thrown out by force ‘then the civil war will
last for decades’ ”

EXCERPTS:MOSCOW — Russia said the chances of Syrian President Bashar Assad
staying in power were becoming “smaller and smaller”, as fighting on
Sunday[27 Jan.] in southwestern Damascus shut a main highway from the
capital.

Assad has long counted Moscow as an ally and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s
remarks were the most vocal Russian statement yet that his days may now be
numbered, although they come after predictions from France, an avowed enemy,
and from neighbouring Jordan that the Syrian president’s downfall is not
imminent.

“I think that with every day, every week and every month, the chances of his
preservation are getting smaller and smaller,” Medvedev said, according to
the transcript of an interview in Russian with CNN that was released by his
office.

“But I repeat again, this must be decided by the Syrian people. Not Russia,
not the United States, nor any other country,” said Medvedev, whose
administration has criticised Western, Turkish and Arab Gulf support for
Syria’s rebels.

“The task for the United States, the Europeans and regional powers ... is to
sit the parties down for negotiations, and not just demand that Assad go and
then be executed like Qadhafi or be carried to court sessions on a stretcher
like Hosni Mubarak.”

After Egypt’s veteran president Hosni Mubarak was toppled, Russia withheld
its veto on a UN Security Council resolution authorising Western and Arab
powers to provide military help to the rebels who overthrew Muammar Qadhafi
in neighbouring Libya.

Moscow has since accused the West of breaching sovereign rights and has
vetoed UN action against Assad. Medvedev warned that removing Assad by force
would mean “decades” of civil war.

The mainly Sunni Muslim rebels have seized territory in the north of the
country, including several border crossings, and have challenged Assad’s
control over Syria’s main cities.

But Assad’s air power and army, whose senior ranks are dominated by his
Alawite minority, have stemmed rebel advances.

Activists said rebels clashed with forces loyal to Assad in southwestern
Damascus on Sunday[27 Jan.], seizing a railway station and forcing the
closure of the main highway to Daraa in the south.

Footage posted on the Internet showed what activists said was a rebel attack
on the station in Qadam district.

One clip showed gunmen taking cover as gunfire could be heard. Another
showed gunmen inspecting buildings by the track after what the narrator
describes as the “liberation” of the station.

Another video showed black smoke billowing above concrete buildings, the
result of what activists said was an air strike by Assad’s air force near
the railway terminal.

Syrian media did not comment on the fighting around Qadam and restrictions
on independent media make it difficult to verify reports from activists.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based opposition group
which monitors the violence in Syria, said jets and artillery also struck
targets in rebel strongholds to the east and south of the capital after
fierce clashes there.

The fighting came as United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos visited
Syria ahead of a UN aid conference in Kuwait which aims to raise $1.5
billion for millions of people made homeless, hungry and vulnerable by the
conflict. . . ..

Most of the money from the Kuwait conference will go to support neighbouring
countries hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees, while $519 million is
earmarked for aid inside Syria.

The fighting has alarmed neighbouring Israel, where Vice Prime Minister
Silvan Shalom said that any sign that Syria’s grip on its chemical weapons
was slipping could trigger Israeli military strikes.

Such a development would be “a crossing of all red lines that would require
a different approach, including even preventive operations”, he told Israel’s
Army Radio.

Medvedev said Assad did not appear to be ready for a negotiated solution to
the crisis.

“He should have done everything much faster, attracting part of the moderate
opposition, which was ready to sit at the table with him, to his side,” the
Russian premier said. “This was his significant mistake, and possibly a
fatal one.”

But he also warned of consequences if Assad is thrown out by force. He said:
“Then the civil war will last for decades”.

==========
Sue Lerner - Associate, IMRA

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