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Assad's father-in-law under pressure to quit British Syrian

 
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:58 pm    Post subject: Assad's father-in-law under pressure to quit British Syrian Reply with quote

div class="track"img alt="" src="http://hits.guardian.co.uk/b/ss/guardiangu-feeds/1/H.22.4/19807?ns=guardianpageName=Assad%27s+father-in-law+under+pressure+to+quit+British+Syrian+Society%3AArticle%3A1720485ch=World+newsc3=Guardianc4=Syria+%28News%29%2CUK+news%2CBashar+al-Assad%2CWorld+news%2CMiddle+East+and+North+Africa+%28News%29+MENA%2CAsma+al-Assadc5=Unclassified%2CNot+commercially+usefulc6=Ian+Blackc7=12-Mar-20c8=1720485c9=Articlec10=Newsc11=World+newsc13=c25=c30=contentc42=Newsh2=GU%2FNews%2FWorld+news%2FSyria" width="1" height="1" //divp class="standfirst"Fawaz Akhras' email advice to Bashar al-Assad on crisis is 'last straw' after society's British board members resign/ppPresident Bashar al-Assad's father-in-law is under pressure to step down as co-chairman of the British Syrian Society after the resignation of all its British board members over the brutal repression of protests against the Damascus regime./ppDr Fawaz Akhras, a Harley street cardiologist, faced embarasssment last week over leaked emails published in the Guardian which a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/15/assad-emails-father-in-law-crackdown" title=""showed him advising Assad/a on how to handle the crisis and his daughter Asma – the president's wife – a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/14/gilded-lifestyle-assad-coterie-conflict" title=""shopping for luxury goods while violence raged/a./ppSir Andrew Green, a former British ambassador to Syria and co-chairman of the society, admitted it had faced disarray over the past year and that the emails – especially those showing Akhras advising Assad how to rebutt evidence of civilians being tortured – were the last straw./pp"This is all very sad," Green told the Guardian on Tuesday. "The BSS has done a lot of useful work but it's very hard to see how it can continue. In the light of the recent revelations the five British board members have decided to resign."/ppGreen and the treasurer, Brian Constant, will leave once their duties have been completed. Sir Gavyn Arthur, a former lord mayor of London, and two others have already gone./ppThe BSS has been in crisis since the uprising began last March. In September HSBC said it would no longer represent the society and Wafic Said, the British-Syrian billionaire and philanthropist, resigned as a director./pp"The problem is that the BSS has buried its head in the sand, maintaining a policy of silence which amounts to tacit support for the current regime in Syria and what is happening there," Said wrote in a letter obtained by the Guardian. "This is unacceptable. The BSS has lost all credibility."/ppLater the BSS issued a statement saying it was "saddened and appalled at the violence and loss of life in Syria". But it still faced criticism for giving comfort and cover to the regime as the bloodshed escalated. Several other members resigned./ppGhayth Armazani, the BSS executive director, said on Tuesday:"We will need to decide on the future of our society. Maybe we will have fresh elections. We are obviously in a difficult situation."/ppChris Doyle, director of the Council for Arab British Understanding, said: "It would be hugely damaging to the society's credibility to re-elect Fawaz. He should have gone already."/ppIn a related development, diplomats confirmed that the EU is to announce new sanctions against 12 "core" members of the Syrian regime, including Asma al-Assad, a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/20/assad-wife-face-eu-sanctions" title=""according to sources in Brussels/a./ppThe Foreign Office said: "These sanctions are increasing the economic and political pressure on the Syrian regime and will continue to stop flows of revenue to Assad."/ppWestern governments are this week seeking statements condemning Syria from the UN security council and the human rights council. The UN estimates that some 8,000 people have been killed./ppRussia, which has protected Assad from international censure, showed signs of impatience on Tuesday. "We believe the Syrian leadership reacted wrongly to the first appearance of peaceful protests and ... is making very many mistakes," the foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, told Kommersant-FM radio station. But, he warned, it was unrealistic to demand that Assad resign as a condition of dialogue between the government and the opposition./ppRussia denied reports that it had sent anti-terrorist forces to the Syrian port of Tartous, where Russia has a naval base. Lavrov said recent car bombings in Aleppo and Damascus and "fairytales about the entry of Russian warships into Syrian ports" were disrupting efforts by Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary general, to secure a ceasefire and start talks./pdiv class="related" style="float: left; margin-right: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"ullia href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/syria"Syria/a/lilia href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/bashar-al-assad"Bashar al-Assad/a/lilia href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middleeast"Middle East and North Africa/a/lilia href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/asma-al-assad"Asma al-Assad/a/li/ul/divdiv class="author"a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/ianblack"Ian Black/a/divbr/div class="terms"a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk"guardian.co.uk/a copy; 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our a href="http://users.guardian.co.uk/help/article/0,,933909,00.html"Terms Conditions/a | a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/help/feeds"More Feeds/a/divp style="clear:both" /
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