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Umakhanov, Haddad Discuss Situation in Syria, Counterterrorism Developments

MOSCOW, (ST)- Deputy Chairman of the Russian Federation Council Ilyas Umakhanov and the Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riad Haddad have discussed the situation in Syria and developments of  counterterrorism process.

The two sides stressed the need to completely uproot terrorism from Syria, reiterating that solving the crisis will only be done by the Syrians themselves pursuant to the results of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi as well as the Astana talks and the Security Council resolution No. 2254.

Russia, India Agree to Ink Arms Deals in Own Currencies to Skirt US Sanctions

Russia and India have already signed several arms contracts worth the equivalent of billions of dollars using rubles and rupees, and have sought other ways to increase trade in national currencies amid concerns in Delhi that Washington could slap sanctions on India for buying Russian-made defence equipment.

Russia and India have devised a new mechanism which will allow payments for multi-billion dollar deference deals to be made using their own national currencies, Bloomberg has reported, citing a Russian source and two Indian sources said to be familiar with the matter.

According to the business newspaper, settlements in rubles and rupees are designed specifically to allow Moscow and Delhi to skirt the Countering America's Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), a 2017 US legislative measure designed to slap severe restrictions on Russia's ability to sell arms abroad.

Hammond Pledges to Fight a No-Deal Brexit from outside Government

British finance minister Philip Hammond said on Monday he would not stay in his job when the country’s next prime minister takes over next week, and he would do everything he could to stop a no-deal Brexit.

Hammond told CNBC television he did not want to make life difficult for either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt, the two contenders to replace Theresa May as prime minister on July 24.

But he made it clear he would work to block any attempt to take the country out of the European Union without a transition deal to soften the economic shock.

“If the new government tries to drive the UK over a cliff edge called no-deal Brexit, I will do everything I can to stop that happening,” he said.

China hosting Afrian miliary leaders for week-long security forum in Beijing

Beijing is hosting African military leaders for a week-long summit aimed at strengthening China-Africa military relations, with discussions expected to mainly focus on peace and security across the continent.

The Defense Ministry kicked off China-Africa Peace and Security Forum on Sunday with the presence of African defense ministers and military chiefs in Beijing.

High-ranking military attaches and army representatives from virtually all African countries are attending the event, Press TV reported.

“The main point of the forum will be more technical and specialized exchanges,” said Wang Hongyi, a researcher from the Institute of West Asian and African Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Iran Denies US Talks

TEHRAN– Iran’s Foreign Ministry dismissed rumors about mediation by some countries for launch of Iran-US talks, saying there are no negotiations between Tehran and Washington.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi denied reports that the US has asked Russia to pass on a message calling for negotiations with Iran at the level of foreign ministers.

 “The Islamic Republic of Iran is not involved in any negotiations with the American officials at any level,” the spokesman underlined, according to Tasnim News Agency.