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Geopolitics

EU Lifts Arms Embargo On Syria, Russia On The Defensive

FRANCE 24 (France), ITAR-TASS (Russia), BBC NEWS (UK), RT (Russia), LE MONDE (France)

Worldcrunch

BRUSSELS – European Union members decided not to renew the arms embargo on the Syrian opposition early Tuesday, in one of the strongest actions taken to date by the West against the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

“Tonight EU nations agreed to bring the arms embargo on the Syrian opposition to an end,” British Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement, adding that it was a “difficult decision for some countries,” France 24 reports.

After a 12-hour discussion in Brussels, Hague welcomed the lifting of the embargo, saying it was "important for Europe to send a clear signal to the Assad regime that it has to negotiate seriously and that all options remain on the table if it refuses to do so", the BBC reports.

Russia's envoy to NATO Aleksndr Grushko said that the abolition of the EU arms embargo on the Syrian opposition will only exacerbate armed conflict in the country. Russia has been delivering S-300 long-range air defense systems to the Syrian Government for two years. “We consider this delivery a factor of stabilization.” Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told RT.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton declared at a news conference late on Monday that the member states had agreed not to "proceed at this stage with the delivery" of equipment until now subject to the ban," the BBC adds.

The European Union will consider again the problem of arms supplies in Syria before August 1, after the international peace conference “Geneva 2” scheduled for June, Itar-Tass reports.

Meanwhile, the fighting is still raging in Syria, especially around the strategic border town of Qusair. On Monday, France's Le Monde newspaper published first-hand accounts of apparent chemical attacks by Assad's forces.

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Geopolitics

Utter Pessimism, What Israelis And Palestinians Share In Common

Right now, according to a joint survey of Israelis and Palestinians, hopes for a peaceful solution of coexistence simply don't exist. The recent spate of violence is confirmation of the deepest kind of pessimism on both sides for any solution other than domination of the other.

An old Palestinian protester waves Palestinian flag while he confronts the Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the village of Beit Dajan near the West Bank city of Nablus.

A Palestinian protester confronts Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the West Bank village of Beit Dajan on Jan. 6.

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — Just before the latest outbreak of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, a survey of public opinion among the two peoples provided a key to understanding the current situation unfolding before our eyes.

It was a joint study, entitled "Palestinian-Israeli Pulse", carried out by two research centers, one Israeli, the other Palestinian, which for years have been regularly asking the same questions to both sides.

The result is disastrous: not only is the support for the two-state solution — Israel and Palestine side by side — at its lowest point in two decades, but there is now a significant share of opinion on both sides that favors a "non-democratic" solution, i.e., a single state controlled by either the Israelis or Palestinians.

This captures the absolute sense of pessimism commonly felt regarding the chances of the two-state option ever being realized, which currently appears to be our grim reality today. But the results are also an expression of the growing acceptance on both sides that it is inconceivable for either state to live without dominating the other — and therefore impossible to live in peace.

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