Astana Meeting on Syria Doesn’t Substitute Geneva Process

MOSCOW- Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has stressed that Astana is getting ready for hosting the talks on Syria, but the meeting doesn’t substitute the Geneva process.

When asked whether Kremlin confirms the invitation submitted to the administration of President-elect Donald Trump to participate in the talks on the Syrian settlement in Astana, he said: "No".

According to Peskov, it "would not say anything particular about the proposal."

"Astana is getting ready, the meeting is being prepared, which is a rather challenging process. It does not substitute for other formats, including the Geneva process, it looks more like supplementary parts," he said, according to Itar Tass.

A Timeless American Tradition: Trump, Syria, and Giving in to Flinching

TEHRAN - Sanctions continue to be one of those traditional tools US officials use as a shortcut to thinking. The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it.

President Obama has declared fresh sanctions against Syria just days before having to give up his crown to Republican President-elect Donald Trump. As previously, we have no reason to assume it is any more substantial than the rubbish to declare the continuation of national emergency against Iran, claiming that despite full commitment to its nuclear deal with the six world powers, the Islamic Republic still poses “an unusual and extraordinary threat” to America, according to Fars News Agency.

'Certain Forces in EU Afraid' of Possible Thaw in Russia-US Ties

German intelligence has accused Russia of systematically undermining relations between Europe and the US, German Spiegel Online magazine wrote, citing a new report prepared jointly by the Federal Intelligence Service and the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

The authors of the paper have claimed that Moscow has been trying to exacerbate conflicts that existed in the West and undermine the alliance between the EU and the US.

Nuclear Deal Promoted Iran’s Global Image, Says Araqchi


A senior Iranian official has highlighted the achievements of the 2015 nuclear deal both at home and abroad, saying the historic accord promoted Iran’s image in the international arena, Press T.V reported.

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi made the remarks at a press conference in Tehran on Sunday, marking the first anniversary of the implementation of the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Araqchi, who is the head of the JCPOA follow-up committee, further said the 2015 deal foiled the attempts by the US and enemies to depict a “false image” of the Islamic Republic using Tehran’s peaceful nuclear activities as pretext.

PLO Welcomes France Peace Conference Closing Statement

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has welcomed the closing statement of a Middle East peace conference held in France, "which stressed the need to end the Israeli occupation."

Secretary of PLO Executive Committee Saeb Erekat made the announcement on Sunday, while calling on France "to immediately recognize the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital."

KSS Says West's Wrong Policy Towards Syria Increases Violence

Leader of Communist Party of Slovakia [Komunisticka Strana Slovenska] ‎Jozef Hrdlička has condemned the terror blast that took place last Thursday in Kafer Souseh area in Damascus, stressing that the brutal crimes being perpetrated by terrorist organizations in Syria are shame on the United Nations Security Council and the International Community which have kept silent about these crimes.

He praised steadfastness of Syrian people, leadership and army, affirming the party's support for Syria in order to preserve its sovereignty and to confront the conspiracy that targets its national stances.

Russian Defense Ministry Surprised by Lack of Assistance to Aleppo Civilians from UN

MOSCOW- Russia’s Defense Ministry is surprised by a lack of assistance to civilians in Aleppo from international organization, though the city has been liberated from militants for a month already, spokesman of the Russian Defense Ministry Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday, according to Itar Tass.

"Surprisingly, after the period of super-close attention to Aleppo from international organizations, involved in humanitarian demining, a month later there are no initiatives to offer assistance to the people in that city," he said. "Is the UN authority on demining and the Geneva international center for humanitarian demining aware of the fact working in Aleppo since mid-December does not risk lives, and all roads to the city are absolutely free and safe? They do know, for sure."

Putin Discusses with Russian Security Council's Permanent Members Preparations for Astana Talks

Moscow Hopes Astana Talks to Improve Situation in Syria

MOSCOW-Vladimir Putin held a meeting with permanent members of the Security Council.

The participants discussed preparations for the inter-Syrian talks in Astana, including Vladimir Putin’s recent telephone conversations with President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

They also touched on current socio-economic issues in Russia.

Russia Interested in broadest representation at Astana talks

The Kremlin has refused to comment on the possibility of US involvement in the upcoming talks on the crisis in Syria to be held in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana but noted the need to make sure that the largest possible number of parties is represented at them.