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Russia: Calls for Military Intervention in Syria an Attempt to Wipe out Efforts to Convene Geneva II

MOSCOW- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will hold an emergency press conference on Syria on Monday, August 26, according to the Voice of Russia.

 The situation around Syria amid allegations about use of chemical weapons on its territory will top the agenda, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The press conference will begin at 4 pm with Russian and foreign mass media invited to attend it.

 Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry had a telephone conversation to discuss the situation in and around Syria at the initiative of the Russian side.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry statement, Lavrov stressed that "the official statements made in the past few days by Washington about the readiness of the US armed forces to intervene in the Syrian conflict are regarded in Moscow with deep concern. One gets the impression that certain circles, including those that are increasingly active in their calls for a military intervention in circumvention of the United Nations, are frankly trying to wipe out the Russian-American joint efforts of the past few months to convene an international conference on the peaceful settlement of the crisis."

H. Mustafa

China supports Syria in fighting terrorism

DAMASCUS, (ST)- Syria and China have strategic, strong and deep rooted developing political relations. It was emphasized during the meeting held between Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi and China's ambassador to Syria, Zhang Xun

Premier al-Halqi said that Syria is looking forward to enhancing technological  and trade exchange with China to benefit from the booming economic, industrial and scientific development of China in order to boost up the comprehensive development in Syria.

He emphasized the importance of upgrading trade, industrial and cultural  development ties in addition to bolstering political relations.

Al-Halqi lauded China's stance at the international forums in confronting  the unfair and biased resolutions against Syria, praising China's support for Syria against the international terrorism and global war  meant to undermine the axis of resistance, steadfastness  and disintegrating the Arab states.

Syria's enemies  bet on submitting the issue of chemical weapons in Syria to target the country having  failed in the military, political and economic domain ''but they will fail again'', al-Halqi pointed out.

''The chemical weapons' lie is a cheap and unveiled conspiracy by the armed terrorist groups who undertake to bargain over the souls of the Syrians as  a pretext for foreign military intervention in Syria,'' al-Halqi said.

The Premier highlighted the understanding of China and all Syria’s friendly countries of the sinister and vile plot against Syria, confirming that Syria is fighting terrorism and building what had been sabotaged by the terrorists. Syria is exerting its utmost efforts to restore security and stability to the country.    

PM pointed out that the aggression on Syria, which intends to plummeting the structure and economy of the Syrian state, has failed thanks to the unity of the Syrian people and their army in confronting terrorists in parallel with the government's efforts to implement the political program to solve the crisis. The step has been met  favorably with great support and appreciation by the Syrians.

The Chinese ambassador renewed his country's commitment to its principled stance about Syria and its vehement rejection of Western interference in its internal affairs, reiterating that the political solution which respects the will of the Syrian people taking their decisions is irrevocable.

The ambassador commended the Syrian government's positive cooperation with the UN investigation team to probe into  the use of chemical weapons, affirming that ''the Chinese government has full information about the issue and will play a positive role in the Security Council and international forums.''

He hoped that Syria would get out victorious from the crisis, emphasizing his country’s disposition to establish the best economic and trade relations with Syria.

Talks during the meeting dealt with the significance of activating trade agreements between the two countries and signing new ones that would enhance mutual work prospects, as well as revitalizing the role of companies and businessmen to establish joint ventures, and boost cooperation in the fields of electric power, health, pharmaceuticals and communications.

The two sides discussed the possibility of the Chinese companies’ participation in the reconstruction process in Syria and  the establishment of an industrial zone on the Syrian coast.

Importing foodstuffs and consumer goods from China, training Syrian staff in China, exchanging experiences and offering relief aids were also on the table.

O. Al-Mohammad 

Iran Warns US Against Military Option in Syria

MOSCOW- Iran has warned Washington against military intervention in Syria amid growing concerns about the Syrian government's alleged use of poison gas against civilians in the suburbs of Damascus, the Fars news agency has reported.

"Iran has announced many times that the crisis in Syria has no military solution and such provocative measures and comments will merely further complicate the situation in the region and create more tensions," the news agency quoted Iran's foreign ministry spokesman, Seyed Abbas Araqchi, as saying.

Iran believes the alleged gas attack in Ghouta, an eastern suburb of Damascus, was “carried out by terrorist forces,” Araqchi added. He said that the crisis in Syria can only be resolved “through talks” and no international body has issued a permission for military intervention.

His remarks came after US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Sunday the White House is studying different military options against Syria.

"President Obama has asked the Defense Department to prepare options for all contingencies. We have done that and we are prepared to exercise whatever option - if he decides to employ one of those options," Reuters quoted Hagel as saying.


Russia warns against military intervention in Syria

Russia on Sunday welcomed Damascus' offer to allow a mission by UN inspectors probing alleged chemical weapons use and warned the West that an Iraq scenario in Syria would be a "tragic mistake", saying that any unilateral military action in Syria would undermine efforts for peace and have a "devastating impact" on the security situation in the Middle East. Russia has urged action to get all Syria opposition groups to agree to talks, said threats of force against the Syrian government counterproductive.

"We once again decisively urge (the United States) not to repeat the mistakes of the past and not to allow actions that go against international law. Any unilateral military action bypassing the United Nations will ... lead to further escalation (in Syria) and will affect the already explosive situation in the Middle East in the most devastating way," the ministry said.

Moscow has urged Western leaders to avoid attempts to a priori force biased conclusions on UN inspectors who will look for evidence of reported chemical weapon attacks in the Syria on August 21.

"We again resolutely urge all those who are trying to force conclusions on the UN experts and who say that armed action against Syria is possible to show common sense and avoid tragic mistakes," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement the text of which is posted on the ministry's website,

"Policies on various crises must be based on international law and authentic facts instead of attempts to match surmises and inventions with unilateral geopolitical projects," he said. On Sunday the Syrian government agreed to allow UN inspectors to come to Syria and check allegations of the attacks. "This has become the result of our intensive work with Damascus," Lukashevich said.

"We are satisfied with the constructive attitude of the Syrian leadership to organizing effective interaction with the UN mission. In our view, it opens up opportunities for careful, unbiased and objective investigations into all circumstances of what happened in the Damascus suburb, something that we have persistently been calling for," he said.

"It is important that the "armed opposition" that controls some of the areas in the eastern part of Ghouta [the suburb where the alleged attacks took place] should provide security guarantees for the expert mission and should not dare resort to the provocative use of weapons against them as was the case with a UN observer mission last summer. We appeal to everyone who has any influence on Syria's illegal armed groups to put pressure on them for this purpose," the spokesman said.


Foreign Ministry: U.N can inspect site of alleged chemical attack

DAMASCUS, (ST)_"the Syrian government reached an agreement with the United Nations on Sunday, that enters into force immediately, to allow a U.N. team of experts to visit the site of  alleged chemical weapons attacks in Damascus countryside ," an official source at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said.

In a statement read out on state TV, the presenter said that the Syrian government and the U.N. team of experts headed by Prof. Ake Sellstrom are working to set the date and time of the visit to the agreed upon locations  on Aug. 22.

The agreement came during a meeting between Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem with the UN Disarmament chief , Angela Kane earlier this morning.

Al-Moallem ,for his part, expressed Syria's readiness to cooperate with the UN team of experts to expose the false allegations of the terrorist groups accusing the Syrian forces of using chemical weapons in Eastern Ghouta.