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Russia Calls on BRICS Nations to Take Part in Rebuilding Syria

RIO DE JANEIRO- Moscow urges all partners in the BRICS group of nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) to take part in work towards post-war restoration of Syria, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a BRICS foreign ministerial session on Friday, according to Itar Tass.

"It is crucially important to support the processes of Syria’s post-conflict restoration. We urge participation in this activity and note in this connection efforts taken by our Chinese and Indian friends," the Russian diplomat said.

The main tasks for the settlement in the Syria are restoration of sovereignty and territorial integrity, extermination of the remaining terrorists, assistance in the return of refugees with an advance of the political process led by the Syrians themselves in line with Resolution 2254 of the UN Security Council, Lavrov reiterated, Tass said.

Up to 150 Refugees Feared Drowned in Shipwreck off Libya

A spokesman for the UN refugee agency says up to 150 refugees trying to reach Europe from Libya are believed to have died after their boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea.

According to press TV, Charlie Yaxley, a spokesman for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said on Thursday that a further 150 survivors were picked up by local fishermen and then returned to the coast by Libyan coastguard.

It is not clear if the refugees were on one or two boats that left the Libyan town of al-Khoms, some 120km (74.5 miles) east of Tripoli.

If confirmed, the number of dead would be the highest for a shipwreck in the Mediterranean this year.

Boris Johnson Formally Becomes Britain's New Prime Minister

Boris Johnson took office as Britain's new prime minister on Wednesday.

"The Queen received in audience The Right Honourable Boris Johnson MP this afternoon and requested him to form a new administration," Buckingham Palace said, according to Press TV.

"Mr Johnson accepted Her Majesty's offer and kissed hands upon his appointment as Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury," it added.

Syria Offers Condolences over Death of IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano

VIENNA- Syria’s Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Bassam al-Sabbagh on Wednesday morning offered condolences on behalf of the Syrian Arab Republic’s government over the death of the Director -General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano, SANA reported.

In a recorded speech, al-Sabbagh said that Amano’s passing away represents a great loss for the (IAEA) . During his tenure, he made every effort to develop the Agency’s methods of work and to achieve tangible results in harnessing the atomic energy for peace and human health.

Iran Condemns Trump’s ‘Racist’ Remarks against Afghan People

TEHRAN  – Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi condemned recent remarks by US President Donald Trump against the Afghan people as “racist” and said such comments threaten global peace and security.  

In a statement on Wednesday, Mousavi slammed Trump, who said Afghanistan “would be wiped off the face of the Earth” if he wanted to win the war in the country, Tasnim News reported.

The Iranian spokesman described the remarks as “racist and unacceptable” and said they endanger international peace and security.  

“The Islamic Republic of Iran sides with the resistant nation and the government and intellectuals of the brotherly and neighboring country of Afghanistan,” he added.

Trump on Monday suggested that he could put an end to the Afghanistan war in a week, but that it would cost millions of lives and wipe the country “off the face of the Earth.”

“If we wanted to fight a war in Afghanistan and win it, I could win that war in a week. I just don't want to kill 10 million people,” Trump said, seated beside Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White House.

“I have plans on Afghanistan, that if I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the Earth. It would be gone. It would be over in -- literally, in 10 days, and I don't want to do -- I don't want to go that route.”