Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Falafel Republic – 2!

Despite the advice that President Jacques Chirac seems to have gotten from his Egyptian counterparts and Saudi counterparts, statements made by the French President during his recent address laying out French foreign policy for the year ahead reflect a certain unwillingness to compromise with the Syrian regime at this stage. President Chirac affirmed that the time for dabbling in Lebanese affairs and attempting to destabilize it is over, he then called on the Syrian authorities to cooperate fully with the UN commission and asserted that Syria's "return to the heart of the community of nations is contingent on a change in behavior."

Coming so soon on the heel of the visits by the Egyptian President and the Saudi Monarch, these are pretty uncompromising stands adopted by the French President. As such, the likelihood of a deal with France seems highly unlikely at this stage.

Meanwhile, the former Syrian PM, Muhammad Mustafa Miro, has just been stopped with his family at the Aleppo airport and prevented from traveling to Poland. His passport was confiscated and his name and that of other officials is said to be on a recently circulated travel ban list.

Moreover, the Syrian Minister of Justice (and what an oxymoron that is these days: Syrian justice) has just announced that Khaddam will be tired for high treason on account of this recent stands and statements.

The Syrian people couldn’t care less about any of this seeing that their Feast of Sacrifice is currently including them a well. Prices are so high, they couldn’t afford the traditional lamb meal, and fears of the Bird Flue drove them away from chicken.

Falafel anyone?