Brussels News


The Syrian Government has announced that it was rejecting the plan announced by the Arab League on Sunday to put an end to the crisis gripping Syria since March of last year and which includes a handling of power by the Syrian President to his deputy and a referral to the Security Council of the United Nations (UNSC) for its endorsement.


In response to the Syrian government's ongoing use of force against the country's civilian population, the European Union officially implemented an oil embargo against Syrian crude on Saturday - dealing a serious blow to the Syrian economy. The last three days also saw a troubling rise in violence with over 45 people killed amid security crackdowns across the country.


For the first time in five weeks, President Bashar al-Assad offered no concessions the day before Friday's planned mass after-prayers protests.

Cham Wings Airlines, Syria’s first private sector airliner, will be expanding its fleet with a new aircraft next month. The Syria Report talks to Ossama Satea, Business Development Manager, on the company’s performance and prospects.
Exiled former Syrian Vice-President Abdel-Halim Khaddam and Ali Bayanouni, leader of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, announced the creation of a united front on March 17 aimed at forming a transitional government to bring about "regime change" from President Bashar al-Assad to democracy.


At least one Syrian security official was killed by gunfire during clashes between Kurdish demonstrators and Syrian security forces during a recent protest march in Qamishli following the murder of an influential Kurdish sheikh, according to Kurdish officials.

Early April saw Syria’s relations with the EU focus on questions over the implementation of the Syrian-European Association Agreement, the trade liberalisation agreement, initialled by both sides in October last year after seven years of negotiations, which outlines the creation of a free trade area between the EU and Syria by 2010.


*By Mouaffaq Nyrabia

Following George Bush’s visit to Brussels on the 22nd of this month, the European Union and the United States called for the complete and immediate application of UN resolution 1559 and for an international inquiry into the death of former Lebanese PM Rafic Hariri. 


After Hariri’s assassination and the resignation of the Lebanese government Syria is facing a period of intense pressure to withdraw its army and intelligence services from Lebanon.


Syria and the European Union have formally concluded their negotiations on an Association Agreement between them by initialling the text on October 19 in Brussels.


The signing of the association agreement seems increasingly in danger following EU pressures to amend the final draft.


Disagreements between Syria and the EU are now limited to the trade aspect. The next formal round of talks is expected to be the last.