|AFTER more than five months of
continuous protests, I stand today
in Change Square with thousands
of young people united by a lofty
dream. I have spent days and
nights camped out in tents with fellow
protesters; I have led demonstrations in
the streets facing the threat of mortars,
missiles and gunfire; I have struggled to
build a movement for democratic change
- all while caring for my three young children.
We have reached this historic moment
because we chose to march in the streets
demanding the resignation of President
Ali Abdullah Saleh, an end to his corrupt
and failed regime and the establishment
of a modern democratic state. On June 4,
our wish for Saleh´s departure was granted,
but our demand.
|PERHAPS no Arab ruler
responded as wisely to this
protests as the king of
Morocco - although that is
an exceptionally low bar.
When other dictators in the Arab
world answered protesters with gunfire,
King Mohammed VI grudgingly
accepted demonstrations, at least
when he was in a good mood. His
regime claimed that antigovernment
activism underscored the country´s
openness, and on Friday the king
announced constitutional reforms
that seem likely to reduce his own
role in governing the country.
These days, as much of the Arab
Spring has faded into an Arab winter
of repression, Morocco still feels fairly
spring-like. You can tell that from
the denunciations of the regime...
EU threatens new sanctions against Syria
THE European Union condemned in the strongest terms on Monday the worsening violence in Syria and said it was preparing to expand its sanctions against the regime.
But it stopped short of announcing new penalties, and it did not call for President Bashar Assad to step down.
Any new sanctions would be an effort to bring about a fundamental change in policy by the Syrian leadership without delay, it said.
The sanctions in place so far have not had that effect.
In late May, the EU expanded sanctions to include Assad himself after earlier travel bans and asset freezes on 13 people with links to the regime failed to stop the killing of anti-government protesters.
Monday’s statement gave no indication of who might be targeted next, other than to say that they would target individuals and entities responsible for, or associated with, the violent repression against the civilian population.
The statement made no mention of Assad’s televised speech on Monday, in which he said his regime would consider political reforms but also said that ‘saboteurs’ were exploiting legitimate demands for reform.
On the way into the foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg, British foreign secretary William Hague said Syria’s leader had to reform or go.
Hague also said he hoped that Turkey, Syria’s northern neighbour, would play an influential role in conveying to Assad the will of the international community.
“I hope our Turkish colleagues will bring every possible pressure to bear on the Assad regime with a very clear message that they are losing legitimacy and that Assad should reform or step aside,” Hague said.