The Organisation of the Islamic Conference said Tuesday that it was against any military intervention in Libya, while the United States and Europe weighed up the idea of a no-fly zone over the country. "Allow me to underline our position against any possible military intervention on the situation in Libya," OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu told the UN Human Rights Council. "To this end, all options should be utilised for the settlement of disputes through peaceful means and without resorting to the use of force," he added. The United States on Monday positioned naval and air forces around Libya, where ongoing violent repressions by Moamer Kadhafi's regime has left at least 1,000 dead. Although Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday that Washington was not planning any naval operations, she stressed that all options remained on the table. Some Western countries are also weighing up the option of using NATO air power to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to prevent the regime from aerial bombardment of its population. Ihsanoglu said that the OIC remained "seized of the situation in Libya" and has sent two coordination missions to assess the humanitarian needs at Libya's borders with Tunisia and Egypt, where tens of thousands of people have fled. The OIC chief highlighted that the situation in the Arab world reflected that the people in the region "aspire to democracy, good governance and human rights". "This must be respected," said Ihsanoglu. "The leadership in these countries and the international community must deal with the situation with patience, wisdom and forward looking vision," he added.
II. VOICEOFRUSSIA - Kremlin: Gaddafi should quit
Libya’s leader Muammar Gaddafi should step down, a high-ranking Kremlin source told reporters in Moscow on Tuesday. For a politician who used military force against his own people there is no place in the civilized world, the source said. He confirmed that Russia would impose sanctions against Libya in conformity with the UN Security Council’s resolution which stipulates an arms embargo and a travel ban against Gaddafi and his inner circle over brutal violence against civilians. Russia endorsed the resolution but has been restrained in its comments because of fears for the safety of Russian citizens in Libya, the Kremlin source said.
III. RIANOVOSTI - Russian, Armenian, Azerbaijani leaders to discuss Karabakh settlement
The Russian, Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents will meet in the Russian southern resort city of Sochi on March 5 to discuss Nagorno Karabakh settlement issues, the Kremlin said in a statement on Tuesday. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has invited his Azerbaijani and Armenian counterparts, Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan to Sochi to discuss the settlement issues of the long-pending territorial dispute, the Kremlin said. On January 18, during a visit to Cyprus, Sargsyan said that Azerbaijan does not have legal, political, or moral grounds for claiming the territory of Nagorno Karabakh, a predominantly ethnic Armenian region. The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno Karabakh first sparked in late 1980s, when the region claimed independence from Azerbaijan to join Armenia. More than 30,000 people are estimated to have died on both sides between 1988 and 1994. Nagorno Karabakh has remained in Armenian control since then. Russia, along with France and the United States, is a member of the OSCE Minsk Group, which is mediating efforts to resolve the conflict.
IV. THEJAPANTIMES - Wrong choice in Kosovo
A recent Council of Europe report says that during and after the 1998-99 Kosovo conflict, militia leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) tortured and killed hundreds of Serbs and political rivals in secret Albanian hideouts, removed their organs for sale and dumped their bodies in local rivers. The report added that these people were also heavily involved in drug, sex and illegal immigrant trafficking across Europe. Yet while all this was going on, the NATO powers had decreed that Serbia should be bombed into accepting the KLA as Kosovo's legitimate rulers — rather than the more popular Democratic League of Kosovo headed by the nationalist intellectual Ibrahim Rugova advocating nonviolent independence... Western involvement in the breakup of the former Yugoslavia had more than its share of such mistakes. The Serbian forces resisting the breakup were accused of war crimes and ethnic cleansing. But anyone aware of that nation's troubled history should have realized that the Serbian minorities in Croatia and Bosnia would not accept domination by the successors to their former pro-Nazi oppressors. Retaliations and violent resistance, including even the shocking Srebrenica killings, were inevitable. Besides, the final result was that close to a million Serbs had to seek refuge in Serbia itself. So who had been cleansing whom? Kosovo too had seen wartime ethnic cleansing against Serbs by pro-Nazi elements. The cleansing continued during the 1990s as U.S.-trained KLA guerrillas targeted Serbs isolated in rural districts and towns (by then Belgrade's efforts to give the province autonomy had failed on the rock of ethnic Albanian noncooperation). When Belgrade finally sent in troops to resist the guerrillas, it was accused of war crimes even though the illegitimate force used was much less than what we see when most other Western nations, the U.S. particularly, intervene against guerrillas they do not like. When many ethnic Albanians fled temporarily after the NATO bombing intervention, that too was supposed to be Serbian ethnic cleansing. Even after gaining power, the KLA violence and cleansings continued. Their victims included the Jewish and Roma minorities and ethnic Albanians who had cooperated with Serbia's attempt to offer autonomy. The trafficking of drugs, women and body organs continued, right under the noses of the U.N. forces sent in to maintain order. Rugova supporters were eliminated. the U.S., U.K. and Germany bear most of the blame for this horror; Germany especially should have realized the passions that would be unleashed by any sudden breakup of the former Yugoslavia. But they seemed more interested in the geopolitical gains. In exchange for helping the KLA, the U.S. got to add the strategic Bondsteel military base in Kosovo to its global base network. And the feisty U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright got to play world leader at the 1999 Rambouillet conference by decreeing that the dashing, handsome KLA leader Hashim Thaci was far preferable to the elderly, unpretentious Rugova as Kosovo's future leader, and that Serbia should be bombed if it did not agree. Belgrade's agreement to Rugova as leader of an independent Kosovo was dismissed as irrelevant. One wonders how the Serbs saw this performance. Two generations earlier, they had been the only European nation with the courage to resist Nazi attack. They had been bombed and massacred as a result. Now they were to suffer again at the hands of the NATO-supporting European nations, most of whom had spinelessly succumbed to, or had even collaborated with, that former Nazi enemy. True, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has now resolved that it is "extremely concerned" over the recent KLA revelations. But is that not rather too late? And will we see apologies from the people behind the past policies, particularly from the likes of former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair who still boasts that his firm resolve against Serbian "ethnic cleansing" in Kosovo led him to support the U.S. in Iraq? I doubt it.
V. EURONEWS - Turkey’s Erdogan angry with Germany
Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged Germany to speak plainly about Turkey’s prospects of joining the European Union. The Turkish prime minister’s remarks come at a time when German and French resistance to Turkish EU membership is seen by Ankara to have reduced Turkey-EU relations to a new low. Erdogan said: “I have no secret agenda. I am explicit in everything I say. If the reality among the Europeans is ‘We don’t want Turkey among us,’ then they should say it clearly. I will accept it, with pleasure!” On Sunday, the Turkish leader, before a visit to Germany, reiterated his rejection of any proposed privileged partnership between Turkey and the EU, short of full membership in the bloc. Accession talks began in 2005, and have moved very slowly. There are 35 negotiating chapters. Thirteen have been started, only one concluded and 18 frozen by Cyprus, France or the European Union.
"The question is not what has occurred to Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski after three years. What is necessary now is to find a solution to the naming issue. Greece has made an acceptable proposal - a proposal, which can break the deadlock in a quick fashion”, Grigoris Delavekouras, Spokesperson of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs commented, as cited by Macedonian Kanal 5 TV station. His announcement was an answer to Gruevski’s words that Macedonia had agreed to the Republic of Macedonia (Skopje) proposal three years ago. Kanal 5 commented that media in Athens were following recent developments in Macedonia with great interest, expecting a fair share of nationalism and an anti-Greek campaign in the pre-election period.
VII. ORTHODOXWAYOFLIFE - Transforming Daily Activities of Life into Spiritual Lessons
We often feel as if our daily life distracts us from having thoughts of God. This is a trick of our mind that we must learn to change. Our sense take inputs from our surroundings and interpret them in terms of our well being automatically. Thus the real essence of everything we see is separated from any spiritual significance. To change this so that everything brings us greater awareness of God requires effort on our part to lift our awareness so we always seek a spiritual meaning for what we observe through our senses. Here is some advice for Saint Theophan the Recluse -- It is necessary for you to reinterpret everything that comes before your eyes in a spiritual sense. This reinterpretation must fill your mind to such an extent that when you look at something, your eyes see something sensual, but your mind contemplates a spiritual truth. For example, you see a stain on a white skirt and sense that it is unpleasant, a shame to have happen. Reinterpret this as to how unfortunate and unpleasant it must be for the Lord, angels, and saints to see the stain of sin on our souls, pure from creation in the Divine image, renewed in the font of Baptism, and cleansed in the tears of repentance. You see how small children, when left by themselves, run around making noise and raising a fuss. Reinterpret this as to how our souls make noise and raise a fuss when their attention falls away from God and the fear of God. We can see that almost any event can be seen as a lesson for our spiritual benefit. You can begin to examine all things around you and consciously seek a spiritual interpretation that keeps the memory of God in front of you all the time. Examine you surroundings and begin to give them spiritual significance. Saint Theophan says, When you do this each thing will be like a holy book or an article in a holy book for you. Each thing will lead you to a thought about God,... Everything will speak to you of God and keep your attention on Him.