9 Egyp­tian of­fi­cials re­sign from posts

Austin American-Statesman - - THE SECOND FRONT -

DUBLIN — Diplo­matic ef­forts to end Syria’s civil war moved for­ward Thurs­day with Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton join­ing Rus­sia’s for­eign min­is­ter and the U.N. peace en­voy to the Arab coun­try for ex­tra­or­di­nary talks that sug­gested Washington and Moscow might fi­nally unite be­hind a strat­egy as the As­sad regime weak­ens.

In Washington, De­fense Sec­re­tary Leon Panetta said in­tel­li­gence re­ports raise fears that an in­creas­ingly des­per­ate Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar As­sad is con­sid­er­ing us­ing chem­i­cal weapons, which the U.S. and Rus­sia agree is un­ac­cept­able.

“I think there is no ques­tion that we re­main very con­cerned, very con­cerned,” Panetta said, “that, as the op­po­si­tion ad­vances, in par­tic­u­lar in Da­m­as­cus, that regime might very well con­sider the use of chem­i­cal weapons.”

It was un­clear whether As­sad might tar­get rebels within Syria or bor­der­ing coun­tries, but con­cern over such a sce­nario was clearly adding ur­gency to dis­cus­sions in Dublin.

On the side­lines of a hu­man rights con­fer­ence, Clin­ton gath­ered with Rus­sian For­eign Min­is­ter Sergey Lavrov and me­di­a­tor Lakhdar Brahimi to look for a strat­egy the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity could rally around to end Syria’s 21-month civil war.

“We have talked a lit­tle bit about how we can work out hopefully a process that will get Syria back from the brink,” Brahimi said.

The ex­pe­ri­enced Al­ge­rian diplo­mat, rep­re­sent­ing the global body and the Arab League, said he would put to­gether

An elite Egyp­tian unit po­si­tions tanks out­side the pres­i­den­tial palace Thurs­day af­ter bat­tles be­tween Is­lamists and sec­u­lar pro­test­ers.

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