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Al-Halqi discusses with Russian Ambassador development of bilateral relations

DAMASCUS,(ST)-Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi highlighted the deeply-rooted historical and strategic relations between Syria and Russia and its role in promoting economic and trade relations.

During the meeting held on Sunday with the Russian Ambassador to Syria  Azmat Kulmuhametov, Premier al-Halqi outlined the steadfast and firm stances of the Russian leadership and people regarding the comprehensive aggressive war waged against Syria and their support to the Syrian people in face of the conspiracy targeting stability and security of Syria and the region to facilitate passing the US-Zionist schemes.

For his part, Kulmuhametov stressed the Russian firm stance regarding the crisis in Syria and his country's support to the Syrian leadership and people, pointing out that those who bet on changing the Russian stance are mistaken.

The meeting dealt with means of developing trade and economic relations to include all other domains including oil, electricity, medicine, transport and communication to consolidate Syria's steadfastness in the face of the unjust siege imposed on it.

Premier al-Halqi confirmed that the government seeks to support steadfastness of the national economy and enhance the national comprehensive dialogue as the only outlet to the crisis, hailing the capabilities of our brave army and the great victory it has achieved lately in getting  rid of the armed terrorist groups, thanking the Russian leadership and people for supporting the Syrian people and offering humanitarian aid to the people harmed due to the terrorist action .


Baath Party Foundation Anniversary Marked with More Determination to Defeat Terrorism

DAMASCUS, (ST) - The Baath Arab Socialist Party's 66th Foundation Anniversary comes as Syria is experiencing a terrorist global war in which developed weapons and high-tech misleading media are used aiming to destroy the state and weaken the Syrian army, the Baath Party Regional and National Leaderships said on Saturday.

In a statement issued on this occasion, the Regional Leadership stressed the Syrian people's determination to confront the terrorist aggression which has been targeting Syria's national role and achievements which have aimed to build a strong state that is able to protect its sovereignty and independence.

The leadership statement highlighted the party's eventful history of struggle and its ability to deal with developments through preserving people's interests and embodying their aspirations.

It stressed that the ongoing confrontation with the foreign-backed terrorists and mercenaries aims to protect Syria, build the national Arab project and foil the US-Zionist scheme which aims to fragment and dominate the region.

The statement pointed out that this confrontation necessitates from all parties to unify potentials to overcome the challenges.

It affirmed the need to maintain the achievements attained in Syria by the Syrian people under the leadership of the Baath Party and other national forces within the framework of the country's process of building and development which helped the state be independent in its political decision, economy and social culture. 

The statement asserted adherence to Syria's principled stances, particularly towards resisting the Zionist-US project against the region and stressed the party's current and future role within the framework of the solutions proposed by the new constitution which is based on democracy and pluralism.

According to the statement, the party affirmed the importance of working hard to implement the political solution initiative and to build Syria in accordance with the political program to solve the crisis through national dialogue which leads to an all-out national charter approved by the people themselves.

It highly appreciated the honorable role of the Syrian Arab Army in defending Syria and called for rebuilding the national unity through dialogue, understanding and accepting others' views on the basis of respecting Syria's sovereignty and independence and on rejecting foreign interference in the country's affairs.

"All Baathists, now more than ever, have to enhance their role in urging the Syrian local popular community to defend the homeland and its achievements," the statement said.

For its part, the National Leadership of the Baath Party issued a statement on the Party's Foundation anniversary stressing that since its foundation the party was very much influential and dynamic in the development of Arab countries.

"The party supported Iraq against the American occupation and other colonialist projects. It also fought in occupied Palestine, launched October Liberation War, faced the Zionist occupation army in Lebanon and backed Algeria, Yemen and Sudan's stances at all Arab arenas. In addition,  the party played a great role in building modern Syria," the national leadership said.   

H. Mustafa

North Korea Suggests Embassies Evacuate Staff – Russia

TASHKENT, April 5 (RIA Novosti) – North Korea has asked foreign embassies based in its capital, Pyongyang, to consider evacuating staff, as tensions continue to rise on the Korean Peninsula, Russia’s foreign minister said on Friday.

“The proposal was made to all the embassies in Pyongyang, and we are now trying to shed light on the situation,” Sergei Lavrov told journalists in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent.

A Russian embassy spokesman told RIA Novosti that the proposal had been made in light of increasing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Lavrov also said Russia was in "close contact" with the United States, China, South Korea and Japan - participants in stalled talks in the North's nuclear program - over the unexpected announcement, which comes shortly after the isolated north-east Asian country threatened to launch nuclear attacks on both the US mainland and American military bases in the region.

The North Korean threats came as US and South Korean forces carried out annual joint military drills, including near the maritime border between the two Koreas. The United States responded by deploying F-22 Raptor stealth fighters to the region.

Analysts say North Korea is unlikely to launch a full-scale attack on either US forces or South Korea, but concerns persist that rising tensions could spark hostilities.

Tensions began to rise on the Korean Peninsula after international sanctions were imposed on North Korea in response to a long-range rocket launch in December that world powers condemned as a ballistic missile test. North Korea responded by carrying out a third nuclear test in February, which was followed by more sanctions.


Ongoing turmoil attracts international terrorists into Syria: says Lukashevich

Russia says the ongoing turmoil in Syria is turning the Arab country into a center of attraction for ‘international terrorists.’

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday, “Syria’s transformation into the center of gravity for international terrorists is becoming a reality.” It is a “frightening reality,” he added.

The Russian diplomat further reaffirmed Moscow’s support for a national dialogue to end the deadly violence in Syria.

    “Russia will continue its efforts to speed up the resolution of the conflict in Syria,” Lukashevich said.

Russia has long accused the Western powers and their regional allies of using double standards by providing anti-Syria militant groups with financial support to purchase weapons while at the same time calling for talks.

A recent study by the London-based International Center for the Study of Radicalization (ICRS) found that up to 5,500 foreign fighters had traveled to Syria since the crisis erupted more than two years ago.

The study also revealed that up to 11 percent of the militants came from Europe, mostly holding UK passports.

In November 2012, Damascus presented the UN Security Council with lists of hundreds of foreign nationals who had been killed during clashes with the Syrian army.

Many people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers and security personnel, have been killed in the country since the violence broke out in March 2011.



Al-Halqi: government continues delivering supplies to Aleppo

DAMASCUS,(ST)_Prime Minister debated on Thursday with several MPs representing Aleppo Province services issues and locals' suffering from terrorist groups' attacks.

Wael al-Halqi said the government attaches great importance to Aleppo and all other provinces, noting that the armed forces have re-opened most of roads to the city and continue hunting down terrorists everyplace.

"The government goes ahead with delivering supplies to Aleppo," the premier said, citing that there is a strategic store of all items, particularly flour and oil derivatives.   

He underscored need for persistence coordination and integration between legislative and executive authorities in drawing up strategies to realize sustainable and comprehensive development in all sectors.

The MPs noted efforts being exerted by the government to meet citizens' basic needs in the extraordinary circumstances.

Physicians, ministerial committee review political plan

Later on, the Premier, who chairs the ministerial committee tasked with the implementation of the political plan, and the committee's members held talks with representatives of physicians, dentists and pharmacists nursing unions.

The talks dealt with procedures taken so far to launch a national dialogue conference and the representatives' viewpoints in this regard.

Al-Halqi stressed the government's interest in health sector through developing hospitals and health centers and rehabilitating the centers destroyed by the armed terrorist groups.  

On January, 9th, the cabinet endorsed the three-stage political plan outlined in President Bashar al-Assad's January 6th – speech.

The ministerial committee includes Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Ministers of Information, Justice, National Reconciliation, Transport, Industry, Red Crescent Affairs, and People's Assembly Affairs.



Basma Qaddour