Saturday, February 06, 2010


* Syria: We're ready for peace or war Syria's official newspaper Tishreen said Saturday that while Damascus is ready to make peace with Israel, it is also prepared for war.

* West greets Iran nuclear claim with scepticism Western powers have responded with scepticism to a claim by Iran that a deal to swap enriched uranium for nuclear fuel could now be close.

* Euro Debt Crisis Is Political Test for Bloc What began with worries about the solvency of Greece in the face of high deficits, fake budget figures and low growth has quickly become the most severe test of the 16-nation euro zone in its 11-year history.

* World financial leaders focusing on budget crises A crisis in Europe over budget belt-tightening has upended global markets and seized the attention of financial leaders meeting in the Canadian Arctic.

* Transatlantic, meet Pacific: China's bold stance at Munich security conference Today Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi, speaking with unusual bluntness in front of 300 leading diplomats – including senior US officials – here in Munich publicly stated that China is getting stronger on the international stage.

* PA questions US on Mitichell's offer The Palestinians have asked the Obama administration to clarify a US Mideast envoy George Mitchell's proposal to restart long-stalled peace talks with Israel .

* Russia urges U.S., Europe for joint assessment of missile threats Moscow highlighted the need to carry out an assessment of missile threats jointly with both Washington and Europe in response to U.S. plans to deploy missile defense elements in Romania.

* Hamas backtracks on missile apology The Hamas government in Gaza has distanced itself from an earlier statement in which it expressed regret for harming Israeli civilians in rocket attacks.

* Why are U.S., allies telling Taliban about coming offensive? Thousands of U.S., British and Afghan troops are poised to launch the biggest offensive of the war in Afghanistan in a test of the Obama administration's new counterinsurgency strategy.

* Putin scolds party after rally exposes discontent About 10,000 people attended a rally in the Baltic region of Kaliningrad last week to call for the dismissal of the governor.