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NightWatch 20110627

NightWatch

For the Night of 27 June 2011

Pakistan-Afghanistan: The Pakistan Chief of Army Staff, General Kayani, met Afghan President Karzai to address rocket fire from Pakistan into Konar and Nangarhar Provinces in the past day.

Afghanistan protested the firing of more than 450 rockets from Pakistan against the Afghan city of Jalalabad and towns in Konar Province. Ssegerl dozen people were killed.  Karzai promised there would be consequences from the attacks.

General Kayani said that he discussed this issue with officials from the Afghan National Defence Ministry and promised that the Pakistan government immediately would begin investigations of this incident.

In the meantime, the two sides also exchanged views on cooperation in the military sphere and war on terrorism.

Comment: Only the Pakistan Army and paramilitary forces have the resources to fire 450 rockets into Afghanistan. The motives and the identity of the firing unit are not known.

Syria: The Syrian government will hold talks with the opposition on 10 July to set the framework for President al-Asad's national dialogue.

About 200 Syrian opposition figures, including independent intellectuals, engaged in a consultative meeting on 27 June in Damascus and presented in a statement several recommendations to help end the unrest in the country.

The statement called on Syrians to support a peaceful movement toward a transition to a democratic state that would grant rights and freedom to all Syrian citizens. The statement also urged Syrian leadership to withdraw its security forces from towns and villages and called on the formation of an independent investigation committee to probe the killings of civilians and army personnel. The statement spoke against the idea of a foreign intervention in the country and also called for the release of all political detainees, including those that were detained during the recent unrest.

Comment: The Asad government's reply was the offer of 10 July for discussions. The opposition leaders identified themselves to the government during the 27 June meeting.

Sudan-China: Sudanese President Omar al Bashir arrived in Beijing on 27 June for talks with Chinese officials. Al Bashir's is expected to meet Chinese President Hu Jintao and other Chinese officials on 29 June, a Chinese Foreign Ministry official said.

Comment: al Bashir is wanted for crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur under an international criminal warrant. China is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Neither is the United States.

End of NightWatch for 27 June.

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