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Putin, Obama discuss by phone Syria, Iran, US-Russia relations - Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has had a telephone conversation with US President Barack Obama at the United States' initiative, in which they substantively discussed the agenda of the international conference on Syria to open in Montreux on January 22, the Kremlin press service reported.

Putin and Obama also touched upon a number of other issues, including the implementation of the November 2013 agreements on settling the problem of the Iranian nuclear program.

The two leaders "exchanged opinions on the further development of the Russian-US relationship, with the emphasis placed on trade and economic cooperation," it said. "The conversation was businesslike and constructive in manner," it said, according to Voice of Russia, Interfax.

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Al-Jaafari Condemns Provocative, Misleading Way Some Countries Deal with Crisis in Syria

 NEW YORK-Syria's Permanent Representative at the United Nations Bashar al-Jaafari has condemned the anti-Syria provocative and misleading statements made by delegations of some countries at the Security Council session held on Tuesday to discuss the "Situation in the Middle East".

 "Some countries keep promoting anti-Syria claims, fabrications and accusations which serve the scheme of supporting terrorism and extremism in Syria and the entire region. Such fabrications aim at diverting attention from the core topic of discussion which is the methods of ending the Israeli occupation of Arab territories not the internal situation in the region's countries," Al-Jaafari said in Syria's statement.

He added that "these countries support, shelter, arm and provide training to terrorists and facilitate their infiltration into Syria across the borders with neighboring countries. They keep inciting extremism and terrorism in Syria and work hard to foil efforts to attain any peaceful settlement to the country's crisis, including the efforts exerted to hold Geneva 2 conference in which the Syrian government had agreed to participate without preconditions."

Al-Jaafari explained that the delegations of these countries referred to and condemned the terrorism spreading in Iraq at Syria's eastern borders but ignored the terrorism hitting Syria, despite the fact that the major terrorist organization targeting both Syria and Iraq is called al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Levant.

He wondered why these countries had condemned the activities of al-Qaeda in Iraq, but kept silence regarding the activities of terrorist organizations in Syria, though Syria had provided the Security Council with names of hundreds of terrorists killed in the country including Saudi, Qatari, Turkish, British, French, Belgian, American, Canadian, Australian, Libyan and Tunisian terrorists.

Syria's UN Representative pointed out that the interior ministers of Britain, France and some other Western countries in addition to the American FBI had admitted their countries' concerns over the possible return of their terrorist nationals who are shedding the Syrian blood in Syria to their home countries.
"These Western officials see a problem in the return of western terrorists to their home countries and find this issue unacceptable. They prefer their terrorist nationals to stay in Syria and keep shedding the blood of the Syrians, as if those terrorists had come to Syria without the knowledge of the intelligence systems of the governments of these western countries," Al-Jaafari explained.

Al-Jaafari went on to say that the delegations also ignored the announcement made by the Palestinian Labor Minister Ahmad Majdali in Damascus recently that the Saudi, Qatari and Turkish- financed Islamist terrorists are the party which shot fire on the UNRWA humanitarian aid convoy while trying to enter al-Yarmouk Camp to provide assistance to the Palestinians there.

On the Palestinian issue, al-Jaafari said that the UN shoulders historical and legal responsibility to establish an independent Palestinian state with a complete sovereignty in accordance with related UN resolutions, but the Israeli occupation authorities have violated all the resolutions and aborted every opportunity to establish a Palestinian state.

Al-Jaafari referred to the almost half a century old suffering of the Syrian citizens under the Israeli occupation of the Syrian Golan  as a result of the oppressive and racist policies of the occupation authorities.

He clarified that the Syrians in the occupied Golan undergo racist policies by the occupation and they are deprived of their rights of education and medical service.

"The occupation authorities have also built an apartheid wall to the east of Majdal Shams town and refused to hand over the maps of minefields in Golan to the international organizations, al-Jaafari said.

He held the Israeli occupation authorities full responsibility for the outcomes of the assistance and support they provide to the armed terrorist groups in the UNDOF area, describing this behavior as a blatant violation of the international law and the UNDOF agreement of 1974.

He stressed that the Israeli support for terrorists exposes the life of the UN peacekeepers acting in the Golan to danger

Al-Jaafari affirmed that it is not allowed to let the failure of the United Nations in shouldering its responsibilities towards implementing its resolutions continue.

"The United Nations now should keep what has been left of its credibility by putting an end to the double standard policies being adopted by some member countries and by forcing Israel to comply with the UN resolutions that end the Israeli occupation of Arab territories," al-Jaafari said.

He stressed that any just and comprehensive peace in the region won't be attained except in accordance with the well-known peace terms of reference, particularly the UN concerned resolutions.

Al-Jaafari asserted that all what peoples of the region want is peace, prosperity, stability and ending the state of tension and occupation.

H. Mustafa  

   

Attempts to apply outside pressure on Syria counterproductive - Lavrov

Moscow said that the attempts of external forces to dictate recipes of the future political structure for Syria would not lead to stable peace in the country.

"Only Syrians themselves can determine the structure of the country's future. The attempts of external forces to engage in social engineering and to dictate the recipes of political structure to other nations are counterproductive," .

Such actions "will not lead to stable peace and national accord," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, the Voice of Russia correspondent Artyom Kobzev reports.

Absence of Iran at Geneva-2 will not help in fighting terrorism in Muslim world

The absence of Iran in the Geneva II peaceful conference on Syria will not contribute to fighting terrorism in the "Muslim" world, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"The absence of Iran will not contribute to the efforts on ensuring the unity of the Muslim world, including in fighting terrorism, which is a threat to all of us and all Muslims as well," Lavrov said .

Russia supplies to Syria nothing that could destabilize regional situation Russia supplies to Syria nothing that could destabilize regional situation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Situation around Geneva-2 conference does not add authority to UN

Situation around Geneva-2 conference does not add authority to UN, Russian Foregin Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Neutralization of terrorist threat in Syria should be Geneva-2 priority

Terrorists related to "Al Qaeda" are currently the main threat to Syria, and Russia suggests Geneva-2 should elaborate ways of their neutralization, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, the Voice of Russia correspondent Artyom Kobzev reports.

"A major problem, which has been aggravated during the crisis in Syria, is a surge in extremism and terrorism. Most serious politicians admit that operations of terrorist groups related to "al-Qaeda" present the main threat to Syria nowadays," he told a press conference in Moscow on Tuesday.

"The elaboration of ways of their neutralization should become a priority of the Geneva-2 conference," he stressed.

We will go to Geneva to promote inter-Syrian dialog without preliminary conditions

Russia will go to Geneva-2 conference and will promote inter-Syrian dialog without preliminary conditions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"We will go to the Geneva conference and promote our stand in order to start a dialogue between the Syrian sides without preconditions," .

Iran should be represented at Geneva-2

Iran shoul be represented at Geneva-2, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. Russia insists that Iran should participate in the process of the settlement of the situation in Syria.

"The interests of the cause essentially require the representation of Iran, like all the other countries of the region," said Lavrov .

Revocation of the UN's invitation of Iran to Geneva-2 is mistake, but not catastrophe

The revocation of the UN Secretary General's invitation of Iran to Geneva-2 is a mistake, but not a catastrophe.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's decision to withdraw his invitation to Iran to attend the Geneva-2 international conference on Syria is a mistake, but it is not a catastrophe, Lavrov said.

"It is certainly a mistake. I said this before. But no catastrophe has occurred. In this case, we are speaking about a one-day event on January 22, to which some 40 foreign ministers from different states, including the most remote regions, have been invited," Lavrov said .

Only Syrians themselves can define future of their country

Only Syrians themselves can define future of their country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, the Voice of Russia correspondent Artyom Kobzev reports.

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Iran invited to Geneva 2,says Ki-Moon

Iran has been officially invited to participate in the Geneva 2 Syria peace conference on January 22, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. The Syrian National Coalition has threatened to withdraw from the talks, unless Iran’s invitation is revoked.

The UN chief also said that he had assurances from Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that Tehran would play a “constructive role" in solving the crisis in Syria, Reuters reports.

“I believe strongly that Iran needs to be part of the solution to the crisis in Syria,” Ban told reporters today in New York after discussions with Iranian officials. “Iran said that they are committed to play a very constructive and important and positive role.”

Representatives of Iran and 39 other countries will attend talks in Montreux, Switzerland in advance of negotiations in Geneva starting January 24. Ban also has invited nine other nations on Saturday that have an interest in the crisis in Syria, saying that their presence would be an important display of solidarity. These include representatives of Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Greece, the Holy See, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands and the Republic of Korea.

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Syrian National Forum: Geneva II meeting must adopt 'practical steps' to combat terrorism

DAMASCUS,(ST)_ The Syrian National Forum has underscored the necessity of convening the Geneva II meeting without precondition and without encroachment on Syria's sovereignty, unity and national independence.

The forum, which was held on Saturday by the Popular Reconciliations' Central Committee in Syria, stressed that the upcoming Geneva meeting must adopt 'practical decisions' to combat terrorism, eradicate it, obliterate its resources and stop bloodshed in the country.

The participants in the forum, according to the official news agency, want the Geneva II meeting to pave the way for reaching a political solution to the ongoing crisis.

They see that the solution must be based on an essential principle that only the Syrians are able to shape their country's political future far away from foreign dictations and intervention.

In addition, they clarified that the Syrian Arab Republic's delegation to Geneva represents the Syrian people and express its aspirations under national principles and President Bashar Al-Assad's directives.

Opposition abroad represents their masters

The participants in the forum said that the opposition abroad represent but their masters, rejecting suspicious pressures to keep Iran away from the Geneva II conference.  

Syrian parties, dignitaries and Non-Governmental organizations took part in the forum entitled "Syrian people have the final word in Geneva II".

B.Qaddour