‘US gives a wink and a nod to those sending military aid to terrorists in Syria’ - Churkin




As Russia takes over its month-long presidency of the UN Security Council, the country’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin tells RT, that Washington’s resolve not to provide terrorists in Syria rebels with lethal arms still leaves room for concern.

Russia’s term starts on March 1 and will last for one month. The role of the president of the Security Council involves setting the agenda, presiding over meetings, and overseeing any crisis.

On the eve of occupying the presiding chair at the Council, Russia's envoy to the UN spoke with RT about what will be on the agenda and other acute international issues.

RT: What to do with Syria next? How is Russia going to try to bring people together there over the next month?

VC: There is nothing specific at this point in our program of work on Syria. But of course Syria comes our way every now and then under different circumstances. For instance, yesterday there was a stirring briefing to the consultation of the Security Council of humanitarian agencies describing the awful situation in that country. So, of course, there is a lot of worry and frequent discussions in the Security Council on the situation in Syria.

Our position is very simple: we believe that violence must stop and for that dialogue must be established without precondition. And the government is saying that they have outlined their negotiating team and they outlined their proposals for dialogue. There is a Geneva document of June 2012, which, we believe, should serve as the consensus basis for dialogue.

We can help them. Russia is trying to do exactly that by talking at the same time with the government and various opposition groups urging them to enter dialogue.

But unless they themselves make their determination I am afraid the violence will continue and the crisis will continue to spiral.

RT: The Syrian opposition has been promised more 'non-lethal' help from the US today. Where is the 'lethal' support coming from? What’s Russia’s view on that?

VC: There is a general understanding that maybe Qatar is supplying weapons to Syria, but here I am basing myself mostly on newspaper accounts and on previous experience, because it’s well-known now, that in the course of the crisis in Libya, for instance, Qatar happened to be a major supplier of weapons into that country.

You know there is all this talk about non-lethal assistance from the US. There is a certain clear division of labor. The US for a number or reasons chooses not to sully its hands with direct supply of weapons to the armed groups, because among them are terrorists and others, with whom the US would prefer not to be associated.

But at the same time they give a wink and a nod to those who provide direct military aid to rebel armed groups. All this is very unfortunate, because it takes attention away from the need to enter a political dialogue.






Putin warns against "international terrorists" exploiting the crisis in Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned against "international terrorists" exploiting the crisis in Syrian for their own ends.

It is unacceptable for radical groups and international terrorists to exploit the Syrian tragedy for their own ends," Putin told a news conference after talks with French President Francois Hollande on Thursday,according to Voice of Russia, Interfax, TASS

A "barbaric terrorist attack" was carried out near the Russian Embassy in Damascus just a week ago, and "numerous people, including children, were killed and injured," Putin said. "Obviously, acts of this kind must be resolutely condemned by the entire international community."

While meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, French President Francois Hollande made several new proposals on the settlement of the situation in Syria, Putin told a joint press conference with Hollande. Putin admitted that the discussion of the Syrian issue at the meeting in the Kremlin drew heated debate, the Voice of Russia correspondent reports.

"Mr. President made some new proposals during the meeting, which I think we could discuss with all partners and implement,"Putin said.

"Despite current nuances in the positions of Russia and France, we stand for the preservation of Syria as a single democratic state, and we have a lot in common in our principles, in assessing this situation," Putin said.

The two countries have maintained fruitful political dialogue and strengthened humanitarian ties. Economic cooperation has been enriched with joint ventures and cooperation with emphasis on innovation and high technology, the Russian President said.


Syria calls on UNSC to prevent oil drilling in Golan

DAMASCUS,(ST)_Foreign and Expatriates Ministry appeals to the UN Security Council to put an end to Israel' violation of UN resolutions related to the occupied Syrian Golan.

In two identical latters addressed to the International Security Council's Head and the UN Secretary General, the ministry said: "Recent reports have unveiled the Israeli occupation authority's determination to go ahead with the project of oil drilling in the occupied Syrian Golan."

"On February, 21, 2013, the Israeli 'YediotAhronot' daily reported that Uzi Landau, Energy Minister, approved the U.S. Genie Energy Company's request to start oil drilling in the occupied Golan."

This illegal act, as the ministry said, is a blatant breach of the UN resolutions No. 497 issued in 1981 and aims to consolidate occupation and annexation, SANA reported.

The UN resolution underscores that the decision taken by Israel to impose its laws, legislations, administrative regulations on the occupied Golan is null and void, and of no legal effect on the international level. "It (the resolution) requests Israel to immediately cancel, without any further delay, its decision." 

The ministry noted that this act also violates the relevant decision taken by the UN General Assembly and international organizations, particularly the resolution entitled "Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian land including East Jerusalem and that of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources."


"Syria warns over danger of Israel's attempts to exploit ongoing circumstances in the region to consolidate its occupation of the Syrian lands and plunder wealth," the ministry said.

It called on the UN to end Israel's disregards of its laws and decisions, citing that double standards give Israel political immunity.

Moreover, the ministry added that belongingness of the U.S company (Genie Energy) to a UN permanent state doubles the state's responsibility to guarantee its companies' adherence by international law and relevant UN resolutions.

Syria appealed to the UNSC to act beyond the pro forma condemnation of Israel's breach of the Syrian land, stressing the need for drawing up suitable measures to force Israel to respect and implement the relevant UN resolutions.  

"The UN serious action to prevent Israel from carrying out the new 'provocative' and 'aggressive' measure preserves credibility in implementing resolutions related to ending Israel's occupation of the Arab lands and achieving a just and comprehensive peace in the region under peace process upon which international community agreed," the ministry concluded.

U.S. Company

The US former Vice-President, Dick Cheney, is the Advisor of the U.S. company whose most shares are owned by Rupert Murdoch, according to the Israeli "Glob" paper.

Drilling works are to cover half of the Golan's area, specifically the area between "Ketsarin" settlement in the north and "Tzemakh" settlement located south Tiberiaslake, according to Arabian business website.

In 1981, Israel annexed the Golan, but this annexation has not been internationally recognized.


Sayyed Nasrallah Refutes Rumors, Stresses: “We Won’t Be Dragged into Sedition”

As his eminence appeared on Wednesday on al-Manar TV to refute rumors over his health condition, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah warned that there have been sides who seek sectarian sedition in Lebanon.

Sayyed Nasrallah said that there are clerics among the Sunni sect, who have been adopting an escalating rhetoric, wondering if "their incitement is based on realities or illusions."

His eminence also tackled the electoral law, calling for discussing the proposal of a law based on single district with proportional representation.

Hezbollah S.G.said that there is an armed campaign aimed to displace people who live in villages located in the Syrian border, stressing that these people have been defending themselves.

Sayyed Nasrallah also urged the government to convene in order to discuss the ranks and salaries system and to settle this issue.


Sayyed Nasrallah warned that some people have been seeking sectarian sedition, noting that there are clerics among Sunni sect who have been adopting an inciting rhetoric.

“There are sides that are driving sectarian strife, especially between Sunnites and Shiites, in an accelerated manner,” Sayyed Nasralla addressed his people on al-Manar TV

“There are MPs and clerics among the Sunni sect who have been adopting an escalating rhetoric,” his eminence said, wondering: “This incitement is based on realities or illusions?”

“If it’s based on realities let us sit together and talk about it in order to solve the problem. But is it is based on illusions, let us know who has been seeking sedition in our country.”

Sayyed Nasrallah also stressed that “we must not sit and simply watch who are seeking strife, and this needs wise people who intervene in a bid to reconcile between the sides who are at odds.”

“I say to those who simply watch any dispute that the “strife is not in favor of any side in this country.”


On the issue of Sidon and the threats made by Imam of Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque Sheikh Ahmad Assir, Sayyed Nasrallah warned against “wrong calculations”, but stressed that Hezbollah “won’t be dragged into sedition.”

Asking whether the residing in Sidon needs permission from one side or another, Syyed Nasrallah said: “we were engaged in Sidon’s liberation… and after the Israeli withdrawal from the city we have apartments, houses, mosques and complexes there since 20 or 25 years.”

“We didn’t have an office near a Mosque, however this mosque was built near the office,” Sayyed Nasrallah said referring to Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque.

Assir threatened last week that a Hezbollah office near his mosque should be evacuated by Hezbollah members. However Sayyed Nsrallah stressed that this office was established even before Bilal Bin Rabah Moasque was built.


Speaking about the electoral law, Sayyed Nasrallah called to seriously discuss the law of single district with proportional representation.

His eminence said that this proposal is the most appropriate electoral law since it goes beyond the negative points of the Orthodox Gathering proposal.

He also said that “there are foreign and local powers that have been driving for delaying the elections.

Responding to claims that Hezbollah favors postponing elections, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed “it’s of Hezbollah’s interest to hold the elections on time.”

However, he said that some sides prefer to delay the elections, as they bet on the fall of the Syrian regime.

“Who wants to delay the elections, let him announce his intention and causes without accusing others of being interested in the delay.”


Sayyed Nasrallah indicated there has been an armed campaign against some Lebanese villages on the Syrian border.

“These campaigns are aimed at displacing the people of these villages. These people hold weapons to defend themselves, and their land.”

In this context, Hezbollah S.G. said “it is their right to defend themselves,” but stressed that they should not attack any one.

Syrian armed opposition has occupied some Shiite villages in Syria, as it displaced its people whose some of them are now seeking shelter in the region of Bekaa and Hermel.”


On the other hand, Sayyed Nasrallah urged the government to settle ranks and salaries system, calling for a quick and exceptional session in which this issue will be approved and then to refer it to the Parliament.

Meanwhile, his eminence tackled the kidnapping Lebanon has been witnessing since weeks ago, considering this issue a dangerous one.

He called for a national cooperation to confront this phenomenon, stressing that the state, security body and the judicial authority should hold their responsibilities in this problem.


Al-Manar Website: Marwa Haidar


President Al-Assad Condoles Baqqoush And Youssef Families

DAMASCUS, (ST)-Delegated by President Bashar al-Assad, Minister of the State's Presidential Affairs Mansour Azzam offered condolences to the families  of actor Yassin Baqqoush  and TV presenter Mahran Youssef.

Baqqoush  was martyred last Sunday when his car was directly hit by  a shell launched by an armed terrorist group in  al-Yarmouk Camp area  in Damascus.

TV Presenter Mahran Youssef  passed away  on Monday of a heart attack.

Families of Baqqoush and Youssef appreciated and thanked President al-Assad's  noble  gesture.