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RIA Novosti

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Syria Denies Assad Ready to Stand Down

Topic: Protests in Syria

13:40 20/07/2012
MOSCOW, July 20 (RIA Novosti)
Tags: Alexandre Orlov, Bashar al-Assad, Syria

Syrian authorities denied on Friday reports that President Bashar al-Assad was preparing to leave office “in an orderly way.”

A statement on Syrian state television said the rumors were “completely devoid of truth.”

The denial came after comments by Russia’s ambassador to France, Alexander Orlov, to French radio.

"At the Geneva conference, there was a final communique that foresees a transition towards a more democratic system," Orlov told RFI radio.

"This final communique was accepted by Assad. Assad nominated his representative to lead the negotiations with the opposition for this transition. That means he accepted to leave, but in an orderly way,” he went on.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said later that Orlov's comments had been taken out of context.

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France – agreed on June 30 in Geneva that a transitional government should be set up in Syria. The text of the document said this could include members of the government and opposition, although Russia later objected to U.S. suggestions that the deal ruled out any role for Assad.

The United Nations, quoting Syrian rights activists, says some 16,000 people have died in Syria since the start of thenow almost 17-month revolt against Assad.

Russia's Foreign Minstry dismissed on Friday rumors that Assad’s British-born wife, Asma, had fled to Moscow following the death of the country’s defense minister in a suicide blast in Damascus on Wednesday.

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13:40 20/07/2012 Syrian authorities denied on Friday reports that President Bashar al-Assad was preparing to leave office “in an orderly way.”>>

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  • bielecLegal considerations re: rebels and mercenaries
    19:02, 20/07/2012
    Syria should immediately explore and enact an "Enemy Combatant" legislation, including the "Unlawful Combatant" status regulations that would apply to the rebels.
    Both U.S. and Israel have similar laws that can be used as an example.

    Wikipedia: - "Under Article 47 of Protocol I (Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts) it is stated in the first sentence "A mercenary shall not have the right to be a combatant or a prisoner of war."

    "On 4 December 1989 the United Nations passed resolution 44/34 the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries. It entered into force on 20 October 2001 and is usually known as the UN Mercenary Convention. Article 2 makes it an offence to employ a mercenary and Article 3.1 states that "A mercenary, as defined in article 1 of the present Convention, who participates directly in hostilities or in a concerted act of violence, as the case may be, commits an offence for the purposes of the Convention."

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