Russia ,US to urge 'Opposition 'to Form Team for Negotiations,says Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday affirmed that Moscow and Washington will seek to urge "the Syrian Opposition" to form a team to hold negotiations with the Syrian government.

Speaking to journalists after meeting his American counterpart John Kerry,RT website quoted Lavrov as saying:"The US Secretary of State underlined that when he contacts the Syrian opposition, he will seek the same as when we talk to the opposition, mainly to form a team to hold negotiations with the Syrian government delegation".

He added that the continuation of the current situation, when all sides depend on the war till victory, is unacceptable.

An US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity told reporters travelling with Kerry :"there was no sign of any  change in Moscow's stance on Syria 'adding that Lavrov and Kerry's talks on Syria were relatively brief.

To be noted,Lavrov is currently in London to attend the G8 summit.

M.D

FM: Armenia Keen to Upgrade Relations with Syria

Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian called for expansion of bilateral ties between Armenia and Syria in all arenas,according to FNA.

During his meeting with Syrian Ambassador to Iran Adnan Mahmoud, Nalbandian underlined his country's intention to boost the deeply-rooted historical relations with Syria in all fields.

For his part, Ambassador Mahmoud thanked the Armenian Minister for his country's stance regarding Syria, stressing that one goal of the war against Syria is to undermine its national unity.

Earlier on Tuesday, Ambassador Mahmoud participated in the inauguration ceremony of appointing Serzh Sargsian as President of Armenia for a new term.

R.S

UN Report: Libyan Arms Transfers to Terrorists in Syria

 UN,NEWYORK,(ST)_ In a new evidence  on the  involvement of Arab and foreign sides  in arming terrorist groups in Syria, a UN  report stressed  that Libya has become a major source of weapons in the region and transfers of arms to Syria had been organized from various locations in Libya, including Misrata and Benghazi, via Turkey or northern Lebanon.

Weapons are spreading from Libya at an "alarming rate," fueling conflicts in Mali, Syria and elsewhere and boosting the arsenals of extremists and criminals in the region, Reuters quoted  a U.N. report published on Tuesday.

The report by the U.N. Security Council's Group of Experts - who monitor an arms embargo imposed on Libya in 2011 said Libya  had become a key source of weapons in the region .

"Illicit flows from the country are fuelling existing conflicts in Africa and the Levant and enriching the arsenals of a range of non-State actors, including terrorist groups," according to the 94-page report, which was dated February 15 but published on Tuesday.

"The proliferation of weapons from Libya continues at an alarming rate," the report said.

"The significant size of some shipments and the logistics involved suggest that representatives of the Libyan local authorities might have at least been aware of the transfers, if not actually directly involved," the experts said.

The experts said they had found that Qatar and the United Arab Emirates had breached the arms embargo on Libya by arming  the Libyan militias noting  that  "some 18 months after the end of the conflict, some of this materiel remains under the control of non-state actors within Libya and has been found in seizures of military materiel being trafficked out of Libya," according to the report.

"Civilians and brigades remain in control of most of the weapons in the country, while the lack of an effective security system remains one of the primary obstacles to securing military materiel and controlling the borders," it said.
The report also pointed to increased flows of weapons from Libya to Egypt dramatically over the past year.

"While trafficking from Libya to Egypt represents a challenge primarily for Egypt's internal security, in particular in relation to armed groups in the Sinai, some of the materiel appears to have crossed Egypt to further destinations, including the Gaza Strip," the experts wrote.

Weapons from Libya were also being transported through southern Tunisia, southern Algeria and northern Niger to destinations such as Mali, but some arms were remaining in those corridor countries for use by local groups, the report indicated.

Several  media reports disclosed operations of  providing  terrorist groups in Syria with weapons to prevent a political solution based on dialogue including US by the Republican senator Rand Paul who  earlier in  February admitted  dispatching  of weapons from Libya to Syria under US supervision of U.S. besides  reports indicated that  Croatian capital Zagreb became  to a transit point for weapons and ammunition to terrorist groups in Syria and the involvement of Washington and its  allies in training terrorists in camps in Jordan.

 

T. Fateh

Foreign Ministry: Terrorist Bombings, Random Shelling against Civilians Characterize Armed Groups Activities

 

 

DAMASCUS, (ST) - The repeated suicide bombings and the random targeting of civilian districts in Damascus and many Syrian provinces with mortar shells have characterized the activities of the foreign and regional-backed armed terrorist groups in Syria, the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said on Tuesday, citing as an example the latest terrorist suicide explosion which rocked the Sabe' Bahrat and al-Shahbandar areas in Damascus and which claimed the lives of innocent Syrians and caused huge material damage.

In  two identical letters to President of the UN Security Council and the United Nation Chief, the Ministry said that these terrorist attacks have been targeting civil institutions including education, media, cultural, medical, religious and humanitarian facilities. The political and financial support being provided by foreign and regional countries to the armed groups and mercenaries in Syria allows perpetrators to give no heed to laws and makes them think that they will keep away from any kind of accountability in the light of the double standard policies of some countries as regards their commitment to fighting international terrorism.

The Ministry pointed out that the Arab League's (AL)  latest decision, which was adopted in March 26th, 2013 and which called for arming and financing terrorists, has evidently proved the AL's carelessness about countries' legal obligations concerning terrorism fighting and it turned the AL to be a tool for destabilizing the region.

The Ministry's letter stressed that making the political settlement efforts to solve the crisis in Syria based on national dialogue a success, necessitates from the countries which provide funding, training, arming and sheltering to terrorist groups to halt such a policy as it violates their international obligations as well as UN resolutions.

"Syria reiterates its call on the Security Council to adopt a firm and clear stance that confirms its keenness to fight terrorism  and sends a message to the terrorists and the countries backing them stressing that the international community is serious about fighting this plague wherever it is and whenever it happens," the Ministry said.

It concluded by affirming Syria's determination to combat terrorism and chase the terrorists through carrying out the Syrian Arab Army's duty to defend the integrity of the homeland and its national institutions and to preserve the state's sovereignty.

 

H. Mustafa

 

Syrian Youths' Role in Enhancing Dialogue, Abandoning Violence Stressed

DAMASCUS, (ST) - The Syrian youths have a very important role in building renewable Syria as they are the hope of the nation in achieving an all-out development. They represent the open-minded, tolerant and moderate generation vis a vis the criminal Takfiri thinking, said Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi.

The remarks were made during the meeting of the ministerial Committee tasked with following up the implementation of the political program to solve the crisis in Syria with a group of promising Syrian youths.

The Premier focused on the young Syrians role in enhancing the culture of dialogue, tolerance and amity and in abandoning violence in order to create a suitable environment to accelerate the process of holding a comprehensive national dialogue conference which is the only way out of the crisis.

Al-Halqi reviewed the economic situation in Syria under the economic challenges and the global war Syria is facing, stressing the national economy's ability to overcome these challenges and meet citizens' needs. He appreciated the Syrian Arab Army's efforts aiming to rid the country from terrorists and affirmed that the government insists on attaining security and stability nationwide.

For their part, the Syrian youths renewed their support for the political program to solve the crisis, appreciating the government's efforts to enhance the national economy and help the Syrian people withstand the conspiracy.

They presented their views and suggestions to enrich the forthcoming dialogue conference and concentrated on promoting confidence and tolerance among the people of the homeland, tackling the kidnapped and detainees issue, fighting administrative and financial corruption and attaining a balanced and sustainable development, improving socio-economic conditions of rural areas and creating job opportunities for the youths.

Following the meeting, some of the young participants talked to the press about the importance of the meeting as being an opportunity for the youths to contribute to solving the crisis. They stressed that the current circumstances necessitate from all to contribute to saving Syria by making the political solution a success.

 

H. Mustafa