After talking about Assad’s fear… Arnous leads regime’s delegation to Climate Change Conference
The Prime Minister of the Syrian regime’s government, Hussein Arnous, arrived in the United Arab Emirates today, Thursday, November 30, to participate in the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference.
The Syrian state news agency (SANA) reported that Arnous is heading the Syrian delegation to participate in the World Climate Action Summit as part of the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28).
At Dubai Airport, the political advisor to the President of the United Arab Emirates, Anwar Gargash, received the regime’s delegation, according to the Syrian Prime Ministry.
The absence of the regime’s president Bashar al-Assad from the summit, despite receiving an invitation from the UAE on May 15, was attributed by the Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta to Assad’s fear of traveling to the UAE.
The newspaper considered in a report on November 28 that Assad’s absence is related to the fact that the French authorities issued arrest warrants against him, and there is an effective agreement between Paris and Abu Dhabi to hand over criminals, and Assad’s participation would pose a challenge to Abu Dhabi’s commitment to such arrangements.
Reactions to the invitation
The UAE’s invitation to al-Assad in May was followed by international and human rights reactions to try to prevent him from participating in the conference.
The Financial Times quoted the US National Security Council on May 22 as saying that the UAE’s invitation to al-Assad is left to Abu Dhabi to invite whom it wants to participate, while Britain considered that the invitations are a matter for the host state.
On November 5, the Syria Campaign organization launched a petition calling on the UAE to revoke the invitation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to attend the 28th session of the World Climate Action Summit.
The petition stated that instead of holding the Syrian regime accountable, al-Assad is given “the perfect opportunity to whitewash his crimes against humanity at his first international conference since 2011”.
The American Coalition for Syria (ACS) also called on France on November 28 to submit a request for the arrest of al-Assad in the event of his attendance at the summit.
The American Coalition published a statement in which it called on France to temporarily issue an arrest warrant to the United Arab Emirates and cooperate with France’s request.
This step was justified by the French judiciary’s issuing of arrest warrants on the same month against Bashar al-Assad, his brother Maher, and two of his aides on charges of using prohibited chemical weapons against civilians in the city of Douma and Eastern Ghouta in Damascus in 2013, which resulted in the deaths of more than 1,000 people.
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