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Attempt to stop Syria's voice being heard at the Geneva Peace Conference

Update 23:55 +10:00, 22 Jan 2014 :
European Union attempts to sabotage Geneva-2
by Thierry Meyssan (also included as Appendix).

John Kerry must have been dreading forthcoming exchange with Syrian delegation at Geneva 2 Peace Conference.

Approximately half a day before (2:30AM +10:0, 22 Jan 2013) the scheduled peace talks are to begin in Geneva, the plane carrying the Syrian delegation has been delayed at Athens Airport.

Russia Today reports:

"A plane with a Geneva 2 peace talks delegation onboard has been reportedly prevented from refueling as it landed in Athens."

"The plane en route to Switzerland was permitted to pass through the relevant airspace and had to land at Athens' airport for refueling, Reuters reported.

"Despite having proper clearances, the plane was still refused a refuel and the delay, so far, is three hours, according to SANA."

A Greek foreign Ministry spokesman claimed that "the issue has been settled. "Everything is OK, it has been cleared for take-off," he said, without specifying the reasons for the delay.

A Greek foreign Ministry spokesman claimed that "the issue has been settled. "Everything is OK, it has been cleared for take-off," he said, without specifying the reasons for the delay.

However, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported:

Despite claims by the Greek Foreign Ministry that the situation was resolved, the plane is still at Athens International Airport and hasn't been allowed to refuel and thus cannot take off.

Speculated reasons for the delay, from local media reports include:

  • "Ground crew refused the refuel because the pilots had not provided the airport with any flight plans or informed them of their intention to land there." – cited by ITAR-tASS
  • "It could have been 'sanctions against the Assad regime.'"

Such explanations are simply not believable, given that a peaceful resolution of the Syrian conflict at Geneva conference, scheduled to start tomorrow, was at stake. That conflict has lasted nearly three years and has so far cost the lives of 100,000 Syrian citizens according to some estimates.

Almost certainly the real reason for the attempt to ground the Syrian delegation in Athens is a fear by Syria's enemies of the voices of members of Syria's delegation being heard by the people of the world. Given that:

  1. The evidence of the criminality of other participants at the Geneva, including United States Secretary of State John Kerry, on whose hands the blood of many Syrians lies, is overwhelming and conclusive; and
  2. The Syrian Government, particularly President Bashar al-Assad, has shown itself to be very effective at putting its case to the people of the world, through interviews with critical and often hostile journalists and through their media outlets such as the aforementioned SANA and Syria News,

... John Kerry and his allies will be seen for what they are by large numbers of people who are able to witness to the exchanges between them and the Syrian delegation.

Update: 2:40AM +10:00

A report by the Wall Street Journal only 15 minutes ago stated: "Syrian Delegation's Plane Grounded in Athens, Denied Fuel" but that has since changed to "Syrian Delegation's Plane Leaves Athens After Grounding Over Fuel". (Hopefully, the latter report proves to be correct.)

Appendix: European Union attempts to sabotage Geneva-2

Article by (author not named) published on VoltaireNet on 22 Jan 2013. See also : Preparing Geneva-2, 22 Jan 2014 by Thierry Meyssan.

The Geneva Peace Conference 2 had to take place, despite the obstacles strewn by the enemies of Syria.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who had invited Iran Monday night withdrew his invitation Tuesday morning. Indeed, the delegation of the Syrian opposition had responded by canceling its attendance. To justify his retraction, Ban hypocritically evoked Iran’s refusal to endorse the Geneva I communique, which Iran can not do because it wasn't there.

Except for a last minute change, the delegation of the Syrian National Coalition should not include any member of its main component, the National Council. It should not include either any members of the Provisional Government in exile, whose Prime Minister has resigned.

The European Union is trying to delay the arrival of the Syrian delegation. Thus, France has denied the Syrian airplane fly over rights. Now, a small part of the Geneva International Airport is located on French territory. The plane should thus land near Montreux. On the other hand, Greece has refused to provide fuel to the Syrian plane which has been waiting for several hours on the tarmac in Athens. Although the Syrian delegation, whose composition has been known for a long time, is making the trip at the invitation of the UN Secretary-General, France and Greece-which are participating in the conference-argue that they are applying the sanctions of the European Union.

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