EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva sounds alarm on Syria while the European Union is one of the most important arms suppliers in Syria...
Brussels, December 7, 2012
'EU aid chief sounds alarm on Syria after 1,000 days of conflict'
Syria is facing "the most disastrous humanitarian crisis in decades," a senior European Union official warned Sunday, marking 1,000 days since the armed conflict began.
"One thousand days of violence which has resulted in tens of thousands of men, women and children losing their lives, millions being displaced in the country and beyond its borders in search of safety," EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said.
"One thousand days of death, fear, hardship, deprivation and despair. One thousand days in which we are witnessing the creation of a lost generation," she said.
Syria's conflict of nearly three years has left more than 100,000 dead and forced more than 3 million refugees to flee the country, according to United Nations estimates.
Long-awaited peace talks between the Damascus government and the Syrian opposition are expected to be held in Geneva on Jan. 22.
Georgieva said her hopes are "pinned" on the conference.
"In the meantime, I continue to reiterate my plea, and that of the entire international humanitarian community, for the parties involved in this terrible conflict to facilitate humanitarian access to all those in need," she said.
Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2013/12/07/3361185/eu-aid...
Increasing European militarism
28.4.2003 - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA): 'Belgian PM says strong EU military will back its foreign Voice':
16.3.2011 - Verhofstadt on Libya: "The weak position of the EU makes me sick"‘
The weak position of the European Union makes me sick’:
14.12.2011 - Verhofstadt: "I am shocked by the lack of urgency to halt a massacre in Homs - we must take the same action as we did in Benghazi"
29.11.2013 - ALDE Group Leader Guy Verhofstadt: 'Today, the time has come to fight back'
Reshaping EU-US Relations
A Concept Paper
The European Union and the United States are major players in the globalised world order: often they determine its course, sometimes they are adversely impacted and above all they are being profoundly transformed by its effects. But in the ten years since 2000, the foundations of American power (military force, technological excellence, economic success) have been severely shaken, as have the certainties of the European project (continuous prosperity, citizen support, the attraction of the European model).
As a result, Euro-American relations can no longer be approached and practiced in the way they were for more than half a century. A high-level European reflection group comprising former Ministers and Heads of Government was brought together by Notre Europe to review the future of the Euro-American partnership. It undertook a sober examination of the changes under way in the world and their effects on the European Union and the United States. Above all, the group proposes a new approach based on renunciation of EU national and US imperial illusions that could enable the Euro-American partnership to become a springboard for a global partnership.
Reflection Group: Romano Prodi, Guy Verhofstadt (co-chairs),
Jerzy Buzek, Etienne Davignon, Jacques Delors, Joschka Fischer,
Paavo Lipponen, Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa.
Guy Verhofstadt who pleads on a very fanatic way for weapon deliveries to the so called ‘Free Syrian Army’ and calls for a NATO intervention in Syria, is since 2012 a Board Member of the Brussels-based, Brussels-quoted Sofina holding (petroleum gas and oil platforms).
In 2004, Verhofstadt was suggested as a candidate to replace Romano Prodi as the next President of the European Commission. In the 2009 European Parliament election, he was elected a member of the European Parliament for the term 2009–2014. He also has been put forward as the possible candidate for replacing José Manuel Barroso as the president of the European Commission by a coalition of greens, socialists and liberals.
On July 1, 2009 he was elected President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group in the European Parliament. Verhofstadt is also a member of the Club de Madrid, an organization of more than 80 former statesmen.
The Belgian industrialist Viscount Etienne Davignon is Honorary Director of Sofina.
One of the groups participating in Sofina is EXMAR Group. This group specialises in the transport of liquefied gas and was created following its breakaway from the maritime transport company CMB in 2003. The company owns a fleet of ships that are able to transport both liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), including propane, butane and ammonia, for which it is also the world leader in the midsize segment, and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). As part of the transport of LNG, EXMAR has developed, in partnership with its American partner Excelerate Energy, a technology that makes it possible to regasify the gas on board the ships (LNG RV, Liquefied Natural Gas Regasification Vessel). More recently, EXMAR has developed an offshore activity, which also offers services for oil platforms, such as storage, handling and unloading of oil and gas products. In addition, EXMAR also designs and installs new offshore structures, such as OPTI-EX, a semi-submersible platform designed to exploit oil and gas fields in deep waters. Based on its expertise in the field of maritime fleet management, EXMAR offers technical assistance and insurance services to maritime transport companies.
Davignon is the former president of the Bilderberg Group. He is also president of 'Friends of Europe (BP, BT, Cargill,The Coca Cola Group, Deutsche Post, Dow, Eni, EUGAO, Eurofuel, Europia, ExxonMobil, Facebook, First Solar, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), GIZ, Huawei, International Fragrance Association (IFRA), LM&CO, Merifin Capital, Microsoft, New Bulgarian Media Group Holding, Repsol, Sanofi, Sanofi Pasteur MSD, Schuttelaar & Partners, Shell International, Statnett, Statoil, TATA consultancy services, Telefónica, The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE), Total, Toyota Europe, United Technologies Corporation (UTC), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) European Policy Office (EPO) and Yara)
Current directorships and offices held by Davignon: Chairman of Compagnie Maritime Belge, Compagnie des Wagons-Lits, Recticel, Sibeka, SN Airholding, Palais des Beaux-Arts (Belgium) and CSR Europe. Vice-Chairman of SUEZ-TRACTEBEL (Belgium), Director of Accor (France), Cumerio, Real Software, SN Brussels Airlines (Belgium), and Gilead (United States).
Arms exports to Israel from EU worth €200m
European Union member states authorised the export of €200 million in arms exports to Israel in 2007, the latest figures from Brussels disclose, with France far and away the Jewish state's biggest European weapons supplier.
According to the EU's 2008 report on arms export licences, published in December for the 2007 calendar year and consolidating the accounts that member states must annually submit, 18 member states authorised a total of 1,018 such licences to Israel worth €199,409,348.
France, Germany and Romania were the top three exporters. France issued export licences worth €126 million, Germany authorised €28 million and Romania €17 million, the EUobserver can reveal.
In response to calls from opposition politicians that the UK government halt its arms exports to Israel and push all other EU member states to do the same, a British foreign office spokesperson said: "We do not approve any defence related exports if we judge that there is a risk that they will be used for external aggression or internal repression.
"We routinely refuse export licences where we believe that there is a risk of this. Any application relating to Israel is considered on this basis," the spokesperson continued.
EU arms code of conduct
The EU has maintained an arms export code of conduct since 1998, but it is overseen at the member state level, not in Brussels, so if Mr Brown were to push for such a move, he would have to convince the 26 other member states.
In 2007, €12 million in small arms and ammunition were exported to Israel by Bulgaria, Germany, Poland, Romania and the UK.
Another €23.5 million in "light weapons," meaning those that require two to three people to operate them, such as bombs, torpedoes and explosive devices, were supplied by the Czech Republic, Germany, Romania and Slovenia.
Belgium, France and Romania also sent Israel €18.5 million worth of aircraft and related material. Paris is responsible for €10 million of this sum.
In a fourth, very broad category of armaments in the EU's consolidated report, "electronic equipment" - referring to electronics specifically modified for military use, navigation and guidance equipment, and satellite jamming systems, some €94 million was exported by France (€89 million) and Germany (€5 million).
The rest of the €200 million consists of weapons that fall into other minor categories beyond small arms, light weapons, aircraft and electronics.
Italy, traditionally a major arms exporter, only supplied Israel with €0.5 million in weapons in 2007. Spain, also a leading trader in the sector also sold Tel Aviv just €4.5 million worth of armaments.
Sweden, another major European weapons producer, along with eight other EU member states, delivered nothing to the Jewish state.
Across the EU, only 28 export licences were refused as a result of human rights, internal security or regional stability reasons.
Kaye Stearman, of the UK-based Campaign Against Arms Trade, told this website: "The UN and impartial observers have regularly documented how Israeli military actions have violated international humanitarian law.
"Although the UK's own Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria is supposed to assess the impact of arms sales on regional peace, security and stability, and the country's human rights record, it seems that this is ignored in the case of Israel."
"Britain must immediately stop selling arms, including arms components, to Israel and also stop buying arms from Israeli companies - arms that have been 'tested' in the laboratories of the occupied territories."
Photo: Nato-buildings Brussels
Russian Military Intelligence Chief Warns of Increased Numbers of Terrorists from Europe Fighting in Syria
Director of Russian Military Intelligence, Gen. Igor Sergun, warned against the dangers of the increasing number of terrorists who are fighting within the ranks of the armed opposition in Syria coming from Europe.
Sergun's warning came in his speech addressed to an international conference held Thursday in Moscow on "the Military and Political Aspects of Euro-Atlantic Security".
He cautioned that those terrorists "would come back to their countries having acquired a combat experience and would be able to use their experience in the European continent."
He pointed out that "The extremist groups in Syria risk the collapse of the state by continuing to impose their conditions in the issue of creating the state's regime."
He considered that those acts by the extremist groups indicate more chaos and risk the collapse of the state and increasing the number of the displaced in the neighboring countries.
Russian Diplomat: EU Discussions on lifting Arms Embargo on 'Syrian Opposition" Inappropriate
May 23, 2013
Chizhov told journalists in Moscow Thursday " the EU Council for Foreign Affairs should look into this issue on the 27th of the current month."
"According to our estimations, the majority of the EU states reject the abolishment of arms embargo," the Russian official said, adding that cancelling weapon prevention to one side only in view of the circumstances of the continuous crisis in Syria is a dangerous move.
"Sending more weapons to such places will never contribute to bringing peace," Chizhov said, pointing out that the "Syrian opposition" is a contradictory combination of different backgrounds.
He said that the "extremist groups control "the armed opposition," adding when they talk that weapons will not go to extremists, it seems very dangerous, as Russia will not accept such a stance.
The Russian official added that the EU has its particular systematic instructions on acting with regard to arms trade and military technology adopted in 1998 and was modified in 2008, clarifying that they stipulate for not sending weapons to areas of conflict where it may be used in the context of human rights violations.
He referred that the Syrian crisis will be one of the central issues to be tackled by the EU Summit due to be held in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg on 3rd and 4th of June.
Chizhov said that the EU will normally participate in Geneva meeting, as it participated in the last meeting, a matter that will not hinder the member states, particularly those permanent in the UN Security Council from participating in this meeting.
R. Milhem / Ghossoun