Patriarch Yazigi: No Distinction between Christians, Moslems in Syria

 MOSCOW -The Russian policy under President Vladimir Putin leadership won't allow any foreign intervention in the Syrian affairs, said Head of the Russian Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko during her meeting yesterday in Moscow with Patriarch Youhanna X Yazigi of Antioch and All East for the Greek Orthodox.

Matviyenko stressed her country's support for a peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria based on comprehensive dialogue and away from any foreign intervention.

"Russia does not see any solution for the crisis in Syria except the peaceful one," she said, pointing out that the Russian humanitarian aid will continue to be provided to the Syrian people.

Matviyenko regretted the kidnapping of the two Aleppo bishops and the Ma'loula nuns by the terrorist extremist groups, stressing that the ongoing terrorist attacks can be stopped only if the international community unifies efforts to solve the crisis in Syria through political means.

She warned that the tragic events in Syria will expose the entire region to the danger of eliminating a more than 2000 years old civilization, reiterating that Russia won't allow the Christian presence in the region to be threatened.

The Russian official condemned the extremists' terrorist attacks on a sovereign country and its holy places.

She stressed that Syria and Russia are linked by strong and deeply-rooted friendship, "so Russia, from the very beginning of events in Syria, backed the Syrian people and followed up the developments on ground with great interest."

Patriarch Yazigi, for his part, highly appreciated the Russian stance which aims at attaining peace in the Middle East and the entire world and helps enhancing bilateral ties between the two countries and between the Russian Church and the Antioch Church in Syria.

Yazigi reiterated the need to insist on guaranteeing the Christian presence in the region, pointing out that "peace in the region, as we see, means to have Moslems, Christians and all spectra of society living together in peace and coexistence."  

The Patriarch stressed "we, in Syria, don't distinguish between the Christian religion and Islam. We think that religion unifies people and doesn't call for extremism and divisions."

He pointed out that some strangers infiltrated into the Syrian society, exploiting religion to sew sedition seeds and divide the society through using sacred slogans like "freedom of speech, democracy and human rights", but what really happened was strange to the Syrian society and has led to destruction not to amity and construction.

H. Mustafa

Al-Zou'bi: Washington Decision to arm Terrorists a Decline of Political Solution

GENEVA,(ST)_ Information Minister Omran al-Zou'bi stressed that the US decision regarding the arming of terrorist groups represents a U.S decline from the option of a political solution , wondering , " how could the U.S. position be supportive and proactive in Geneva 2 and at the same time be supportive to terrorism , violence, and the military option, in a clear and unparalleled contradiction. "

Al-Zou'bi explained that the Syrian delegation will hold a consultative meeting this evening, to be headed by the Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem to consult on talks and issued statements and declared political positions ,outside Geneva on the light of which decisions will be taken and how to act .

Al-Zou'bi pointed that the political statement made by the official delegation is not a substitute for Geneva 1 statement , but is part of providing a political climate that ensures the foundation of a political course , noting that this paper is part of the national principles of the Syrians .

Al-Zou'bi indicated that the Syrian official delegation is in Geneva , trying hard to reveal to the world the reality of what is happening in Syria, considering that "counter media and media from other countries began to change their views, to ask new questions and speak a new language " and that this reading is built since the moment we arrived to Geneva and the speech of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates , who explained everything happening in Syria , including the efforts of the negotiating team of dialogue inside the hall through mediator Brahimi and the media team located in Geneva.


T. Fateh

Syrian Arab Army Eliminate Dozens of Terrorists Outside Damascus, Homs, Daraa, Aleppo

PROVINCES,(ST)_Military operations are still raging on all axes nationwide to record progress in fighting terrorism exported from around 83 countries.

The army units shelled on Tuesday terrorist groupings in Alia Farms, Wadi Ein Tarma, Jobar Khan al-Sheih and Darayya, Adra areas, clashed with terrorists in al-Qadam area and warded off an attack on a garrison in Madaya town outside Damascus province.

They also destroyed two weapons-laden cars in al-Zabadani city and a car equipped with heavy machinegun in the hills overlooking al-Qastal town in the same province [Damascus countryside].

Saudi, Tunisian, Lebanese terrorists

An unknown number of terrorists died in the said areas and in al-Zara town outside Homs province.

A military source announced names of 10 identified terrorists, some were of Saudi, Tunisian and Lebanese nationalities.

Arms cache pounded

While in northern Aleppo province, the army units obliterated an arms depot in Qadi Asjar quarter and struck terrorist groupings in the surrounding of the central prison and in Ma'arret alErtiq, al-Mansoura, Enjara, Hilan Dahret al-Brej, Kweris, al-Jdedeh, Rasm al-Abbod as well as in quarters of al-Jazmati, al-Sha'ar, al-Nerab, Hanano, al-Rashedin and farms near al-Nairab bridge. 

Around 60km to the north west of Aleppo, precisely in Idleb province, the army units eliminated several armed terrorist groups in Kafrlata, Abo al-Dhohor, Tal Salmo, Ma'arret al-No'aman, and Me'arata areas.

More terrorists were crushed in towns of Inkhel and al-Sheikh Meskin and in Daraa al-Balad amid reports of destroying a bomb-making factory in al-Khazzan area in southern Daraa province.


A clash flared up between an army unit and an armed terrorist group that tried to attack a garrison in Jordan Street in the same province.

Other clashes raged in quarters of al-Hweqa and al-Sena'a in Der Ezzour province.

The operations coincided with a terrorist attack targeted Saidnaya city where shells –fired by terrorists- landed on a home and on the outskirts of the city leaving material damages with no casualties.

The US, France, the UK, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar sponsor the terrorist groups operating in Syria, media reports say.


Shaaban: All Talks About Changing Regime in Syria Destroy Country

Geneva (ST)-Presidential Political and Media Advisor Buthaina Shaaban said that the US decision to rearm the "opposition" contradicts the efforts exerted by Russia, the US, and the international community for launching the Geneva 2 conference.

In statements to reporters on Tuesday, Shaaban said that the US decision aims at hampering the political process, torpedoing Geneva  2 and putting pressure on the Syrian official delegation, pointing out that the US talks with Russia about Syria using a certain language and carries out actions that contradict its statements.

Shaaban refuted the US allegations on the so-called "non-lethal weapons", stressing that all what is being sent to terrorists consists of lethal weapons which reach  the "Islamic State in Syria and the Levant" and "Jabhet al-Nusra", adding "when these weapons cross the borders, none knows their destiny".

"How do the Americans want to arm these organizations and simultaneously say that they desire a political process?" she wondered.

Shaaban outlined the contradictory statements of the US Secretary of State John Kerry, who, while talking about a political solution in Syria, was using in Paris and Doha an incomprehensible and unacceptable language that constitutes intervention in the Syrian affairs.

"Those who claim they are Syrians and keen on the Syrian people are supporting a decision to bring weapons into Syria to kill its people.  They defend the American decision which constitutes a blatant interference in the Syrian people's affairs and causing their bloodshed," Shaaban affirmed.

Shaaban described those who defend foreign intervention and war decisions in Syria as delegates of the Americans, the American decision, and the parties who shed the Syrian blood and threaten the lives and fate of the Syrian people.

Shaaban said that all talks that have been going on since three years about the need to "change the regime in Syria" aims primarily at destroying Syria and the Syrian people, not the "regime," as all that they did was devastation of the Syrian establishments, hospitals, towns, villages and all properties.

The statement proposed by the Syrian official delegation to the UN Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi is excerpted from the Geneva I statement, Shaaban clarified, stressing that the Syrian official delegation's insistence on implementing the first article of the Geneva communiqué - relating to stopping violence and terrorism-  is based on its commitment to quash terrorism targeting the Syrians and claiming their lives.

Shaaban wonders "why do others jump to articles they pick and want to talk about before stopping terrorism, while the first Geneva communiqué zeroes in on creating a political environment suitable for launching a political process?".

Shaaban asserted that the first point of agreement must be stopping bloodshed and terrorism in our country, confirming that the Syrian official delegation will continue working in Geneva until Friday whatever happens and will do its utmost to make this track beneficial for the Syrians, stop terrorism, and restore security and safety to Syria.


O. Al-Mohammad

Miqdad : U.S. decision to arm terrorist groups a gift to abort Geneva 2 conference

GENEVA,(ST)-Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Dr. Faisal al-Miqdad ' stressed that the US decision to arm terrorist groups in Syria is a gift to abort  Geneva 2 Conference and that the party providing weapons to terrorist groups is not interested in the success of this conference.

In statements to reporters today, al-Miqdad described the U.S. decision as a very bad and the worst message , noting that the Americans should not support the armed groups , based on their knowledge that the weapons they sent before , went to terrorists .

He noted that the Syrian delegation is working day and night for the success of the Geneva 2 Conference , to overcome impeding obstacles and will exercise the maximum degree of flexibility in order to achieve security and peace for the Syrians .

Al-Miqdad stressed that one who demands the departure of President Bashar al- Assad offers a recipe for the destruction of Syria and that the presence of President al-Assad on the top of the Presidency in Syria is the only factor that ensures and guarantees a peaceful solution to this crisis and to achieve peace and security in Syria .
He stressed that President Al-Assad does not need protection from any party , rather he protects Syria because he is protected by the people and " we are ready to protect Syria, even if this unfair global war on Syria continues for fifty years."

He pointed out that preparations to get out the besieged in old Homs are still in process and the government is ready to receive all the women and children, noting that convoys of food and medicine recently reached about four million people.

Al-Miqdad explained that the talks in Geneva were not suspended  and will be resumed tomorrow morning through the UN envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi .

In response to a question on the existence of the U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford in Geneva and that he meets the coalition delegation , Miqdad said , " Ambassador Ford is in Geneva, and is meeting with the coalition delegation and providing them with his instructions and that if Ford leaves Geneva the coalition delegation will leave it".



US Decision to Arm Terrorist Groups in Syria Undermines Geneva 2 Talks, Says Syrian Official Delegation's Statement

GENEVA,(ST)_Delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic to the Geneva 2  -Conference has proposed a draft statement censuring the United States' decision to resume arming the terrorist groups operating in the country.

The statement, which was proposed during today's morning session between the UN Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and the Syrian official delegation and the 'opposition coalition', appealed to the US and other countries that provide terrorists with weapons to stop doing that.

'Irresponsible' decision

It described arming terrorists as 'irresponsible' act, stressing that it will undermine the Geneva 2 conference and will foil efforts exerted to guarantee the success of the conference.  

The statement made it clear that the US decision contradicts the Geneva I Communiqué which calls, in its first clause, to end violence and terrorism. It noted that the Geneva 2 conference is being held according to the US-Russian initiative based on the Geneva communiqué.

"The world was surprised by the decision adopted by the US- which is one of the two parties of the initiative- and the timing of the decision," the statement read, adding that the provocative decision of the US violates the UN resolution No.1373.

It cited that everyone knows that the US weapons end up in the hands of the blacklisted terrorist groups, such as "the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, al-Nusra Front and the Islamic Front".

Coalition rejects political solution

The statement proposed by the official delegation was rejected by the 'opposition coalition' delegation.

Sources close to the Syrian official delegation were quoted on the official news agency as saying: "the rejection of the statement stresses that the coalition delegation is unserious and it doesn't want a political solution."

They also see that the US military support for gunmen in Syria fuels violence and terrorism and means a retreat from the political solution.

Basma Qaddour  

President Bashar Al-Assad Personality of Year 2013

Beirut- President Bashar Al-Assad on Monday was announced as Personality of the Year 2013 according to a three-week poll carried out by "Al-Mayadeen" Channel on its website. The poll included 16 Arab and foreign personalities.

According to "Al-Mayadeen", President Al-Assad got 193404 votes, that is; 36.97% of the total number of voters who exceeded half a million.

According to the channel, Sultan Qaboos bin Saeed of Oman came second in the poll's results, while Nouri al-Maleki, the Iraqi Prime Minister came third.

H. Mustafa