Rami Nakhle speaking on Al-Jazeera

Protestors ‘receive outside help’

Privately-owned Syrian daily Al-Watan reports that protest leaders are being trained in using communication equipment to broadcast information about protests in Jordan, Turkey and the US.

Quoting an investigative report in a French magazine [1], the paper said an Irish NGO called Front Line was involved in the training in Jordan, including teaching protestors how to send information anonymously to avoid being tracked.

Syrian activist Rami Nakhle, currently based in Beirut, was among those being trained, Al-Watan said. Fidaa Al-Sayed was also named as a funder of the protests, based in Stockholm.

Activist Firas al-Attasi, based in Riyad, was also named as involved in transporting communications equipment into Syria.

Arab investment

Meanwhile SANA reports that President Bashar al-Assad met Arab businessmen over the weekend in an effort to secure continued investment into Syria. Assad expressed “appreciation for the Arab investors who increase their investments in Syria in spite of all the circumstances, stressing that these investments have a promising future” the state news agency said.

The meeting followed a similar meeting between Kuwaiti investors and the president on Thursday last week.

Arab Parliament debate

The current situation in Syria has also sparked debate in the Arab Parliament.

In a recent meeting in Cairo the Speaker of the parliament Ali Salem al-Deqbasi from Kuwait clashed with the Chairman of the Political Affairs Committee Abdul Aziz al-Hassan, from Syria.

Deqbasi complained that the events in Syria were not being raised in the parliament.

What is happening in Syria is not included on the schedule, and without my proposal, the situation in Syria would not have been discussed,” he said. “How does the parliament meet without dealing what is happening in Syria and Libya of repression, murder and infanticide while they are demanding freedom and dignity?

Hassan criticized Deqbasi’s speech saying that talking about the Syrian army was a “red line”, and was a national army that had the right to protect “national issues”.

Further EU measures?

On Monday a meeting of European Union diplomats is expected to result in the announcement of further sanctions against Syria, along with Iran and Libya.

Syria Today (Syria)

[1« Syrie : les vidéos de la liberté », par Vincent Jauvert, Le Nouvel Observateur, 19 mai 2011.