15:30-16:30 Friday, September 6, 2013
Charge D’Affaires, the Embassy of the Syrian Arab Republic
The decision by President Barack Obama to seek US congressional approval for an attack on Syria means the potential for another Middle East war has retreated…but for how long? The Senate Foreign Relations Committee agreed this week on a draft resolution backing the use of US military force. It will be voted on next week. Many observers believe is it only a matter of time before Washington launches some sort of limited strike.
Washington says Syria's government crossed what Obama calls a "red line" by using chemical weapons near Damascus on 21 August, allegedly killing over 1,400 people. Syria strenuously denies the attack. Russia, Syria's ally, calls the allegations "ludicrous" and says any American military action without UN approval or proof of the chemical weapon claims would be aggression.
Warlif Halabi, Charge D'Affaires has agreed to come to the FCCJ and discuss the claims against her government, amid the looming threat of war. Halabi was educated at Long Island University, New York, and at Oxford University in the UK. She joined Syria's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1991 and has a great deal of experience with international diplomacy, including a stint at the United Nations in New York.