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Wednesday, September 07, 2005 

Bashar Al-Assad cancels UN visit

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad wont be attending the biggest gathering of world leaders at the UN next week.

Speculation about Bashar's involvement in the Hariri killing has grown since UN investigator Detlev Mehlis announced he'll be visiting Damascus on Saturday.

'Doing an Arafat'

But the real reason for staying at home might be the frosty reception he'll receive in New York. Condoleeza Rice said she'll hold meetings about Syria on the sidelines of the UN gathering - all Arab leaders, plus EU heads of state would be involved. But Bashar would be shut out.

Opposition groups also planned to protest the visit, and he was likely to be vilified in the US media.

His decision not to attend was leaked in gossip rags Elaph, and As-Siyasiyah.

Syria has never sent anyone to similar gatherings, and it might have been a unique opportunity to bring Syria close to US officials for the first time since the Hariri killing. There are precedents - Bashar met and warmly greeted the Israeli President at the Pope's funeral. And former Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad held behind-the-scenes negotiations on a peace deal during the Israeli-Arab Madrid Summit.

But not this time.

What you wrote above indicate the low life some arab countries have their leaders are traiters to their people ,Syria should inform them that a consperecy against syria and it,s secular goverment will and yes will be confronted head on,syria should by now has had enouph on unjustified creticysm syria should make it clear that interference in syria,s internal affair by anybody ,US,France and other arab countries will be respnded to by the same.

"Bashar Al-Assad cancels UN visit" is the title of this post, and we all wonder what is behind that decision. There could be any number of reasons, and probably not just one.

The SNW says: "the real reason for staying at home might be the frosty reception he'll receive in New York." Yeah, that could be part of the answer But there are other things to consider.

First, if I were a ruler of a country when my rule is about to be questioned whether we assasinated someone, and expecially if I felt my control of my country was a litttle shakey, I sure as heck wouldn't leave the country!! There are too many people out there who want my job!!

Secondly, he rules Syria and can control things in Syria. But he has no such power in NYC. Could the UN supoena him to testify while he is in the UN Building? Could they arrest him? If I were Bashar, I certainly would not want to take that chance.

Next to these two possibilities , the risk of being 'snubbed' is really minor.
No, I feel it has to be more than the reason advanced in the OP, above. Fun to speculate about, tho, isn't it?


Hi Barney,

Thanks for your comment.

No, I'm quite sure the UN couldn't legally supoena anyone for this investigation. They've been given a mandate by the Security Council to invesigate and produce a report. They can however make suggestions to the LEBANESE Judiciary as to who should be arrested. The UN Resolution is quite clear that it's the Lebanese legal system that will deal with the case.

And in any case, one of the warmest receptions Bashar was to receive would be from the UN Secretariat!

As for his job - internally he's secure, perhaps even stronger (in the face of international criticism).

So yes, it is very inteersting to speculate on why he isn't going. It probably comes down to something as boring as the Syrian intransigence we're all used to and fear of face-to-face conflict.


I spit on America and Israel. May they burn!

Syria will come out on top in the end.

In times like these we miss Hafez Asad ,i hope bashar is as good as i expect him to be,god bless Syria,naim

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