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Kremlin Describes Putin’s Phone Call with Ukrainian President as Pragmatic

MOSCOW - The first telephone conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky lasted about 20 minutes on Thursday, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, adding that the conversation had been pragmatic.

"As for the atmosphere of the phone call, it was the first introductory conversation between the two presidents, it was the first time they held a phone call as they hadn’t contacted each other before," Peskov said. According to him, "the conversation was rather pragmatic." Peskov added that the phone call had lasted "about 20 minutes."

The first conversation between Putin and Zelensky is important in itself, according to the Kremlin spokesman.

"It is hardly necessary to discuss tones and emotions, this is not what the conversation was for," he said when asked if Putin was satisfied with his phone call with Zelensky. "The first conversation between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents is very important in itself," Peskov pointed out.

Eyewitness Interviews Show There Was No Chemical Attack in Syria’s Douma: Expert

THE HAGUE- Interviews of eyewitnesses in Syria show that there was no chemical attack in Douma, Director of the Foundation for the Study of Democracy Maxim Grigoryev told reporters at a news conference on Friday, according to Itar Tass.

According to Grigoryev, in late June and early July, the organization interviewed people living in the house where the bodies of the alleged chemical attack victims had been found. "These interviews have shown that there was no attack and that the people who had lived in the house for a long time did not know those who were allegedly exposed to chlorine," Grigoryev pointed out.

The expert noted that the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) experts could have carried out the investigation and witness interview as well. However, for some reason, they failed to do so.

Western Media Keeps Ignoring Fact that US-Backed Terrorists Control Some Oilfields, Burn Crops in Syria, Grospic

PRAGUE, (ST)-  It is shameful that Western media keeps ignoring the fact that the US-backed terrorists are in control of some oilfields in Syria and that Washington agents continue to intentionally burn wheat fields in the country, Stanislav Grospic, Head of the Czech Parliamentary Group for Friendship with Syria, has stressed in a statement to SANA reporter in Prague.

Iran door to diplomacy remains open despite Europe failure to fulfill deal pledges

Tehran says it is not after fueling tensions and keeps the door open to diplomacy and talks despite Europe’s failure to stand up to US pressure and uphold its commitments under a 2015 nuclear deal.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Wednesday that the country remains committed to the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but at the same time, defends the nation’s rights.

“Although Iran is pursuing this strategy, we have not closed the door to diplomacy and the door is open to talks,” he added.

The remarks came as Emmanuel Bonne, French President Emmanuel Macron’s top diplomatic adviser, is in Tehran to hold talks with Iranian officials in a bid to salvage the JCPOA and de-escalate the tensions, which broke out in the aftermath of the US’s unilateral withdrawal last year from the accord and re-imposition of harsh economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic, Press TV reported.

Maduro Says UN Rights Report Full of Lies

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has slammed the latest United Nations report on the country’s human rights situation as full of “lies’’, according to Press T.V

Speaking in a press conference at the Miraflores presidential palace on Monday, Maduro further dismissed the UN document as “just another report” dictated by the US State Department, noting that it was drafted by people who were enemies of Venezuela and the Bolivarian Revolution.

The Venezuelan president also said that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (HCHR) and former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet- who prepared the report - had “made a wrong call.”

He said Washington’s hawkish Special Representative for Venezuela Elliot Abrams had exerted “personal pressure on Bachelet,” adding that Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry had called for the “rectification of lies, falsehoods, and manipulations” in the report.