Lavrov calls for including Syria in Friends of Syria group

MOSCOW, (ST)_ Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday said Syria itself should be included in the Friends of Syria group.

Established in 2012, the group comprises Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Moscow Confirms Delivery of Aid to E. Ukraine, Trucks Return to Russia

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed humanitarian aid has been delivered to the besieged city of Lugansk in eastern Ukraine. Meanwhile all trucks that delivered aid had returned to Russia.

We express our satisfaction that the Russian humanitarian aid for those in need in southeastern Ukrainian south-east has been delivered as intended. We were motivated only by the goal of helping civilian citizens in need,” the statement read.

UN chief welcomes destruction of Syria's declared chemical weapons material

20 August 2014 – (UN. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomes the destruction of Syria’s declared chemical weapons material on board the United States Maritime Vessel Cape Ray.

“This marks a significant achievement in the international community’s efforts to eliminate the chemical weapons programme of the Syrian Arab Republic following the framework agreement between the Russian Federation and the United States of America,” the UN chief said in a statement issued by his spokesperson in New York.

Qatar Funding So-called ISIL in Iraq- German minister

BERLIN- German Development Minister Gerd Muller has stressed that Qatar is funding the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) terrorist organization in Iraq.

In a statement to AFP published on Wednesday, Muller, who condemned the crimes being committed by the ISIL terrorists, asked “who is financing these forces? I think it is Qatar.”

According to observers, Qatar, encouraged by the United States and its western allies, is openly supporting, financing and arming the armed terrorist groups in Syria, including the ISIL, to serve the great schemes targeting the Arab region.

Muller’s remarks come after a statement made yesterday by German Finance Minister Sigmar said that the international community is arguing about the party which has financed and is still financing the ISIL.

These statements by German officials indicate Germany’s fears from the danger posed by the ISIL terrorist organization and other terrorist groups over the security and interests of Western countries which have been providing all forms of support to the armed groups in Syria over the past three years to destroy the state.

H. Mustafa

Security Council Adopts anti ISIS Resolution

Expressing its “gravest concern” that parts of Iraq and Syria are now under the control of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Al-Nusra Front, the United Nations Security Council placed six individuals affiliated with the terrorist groups on its Al-Qaida sanctions list and threatened measures against those who finance, recruit or supply weapons to them.

Putin Vows to End Violence in Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised to do everything to stop the ongoing violence in eastern parts of neighboring Ukraine.

Speaking in Crimea, the Russian president described the violence in eastern Ukraine as fratricide.

Russia's Humanitarian Aid Not Pretext for 'Incursion', Allegations Absurd - Moscow

Allegations that the Russian convoy carrying humanitarian aid to Ukraine may serve as a pretext for a “military incursion” into Ukraine are “absurd,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

 “Absurd statements that the humanitarian convoy to aid civilians in southeastern Ukraine may be used as a pretext for a Russian "military incursion" into the neighboring state are still being voiced," the ministry said in a statement.

Destruction of Sarin Precursors from Syria on the Cape Ray

All 581 metric tonnes of a precursor chemical for sarin gas that were removed from the Syrian Arab Republic and trans-loaded onto the U.S. Maritime Vessel Cape Ray in early July, have been destroyed with neutralisation technology aboard the ship while sailing in international waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The destruction operations were continuously monitored and verified by a team of OPCW inspectors on the Cape Ray.

In a statement by the OPCW, Wednesday, 13 August 2014,  the OPCW  Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, thanked the United States for completing the destruction of the precursor chemicals in a safe and environmentally sound manner, and for its overall contribution to the international efforts to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons programme.

The precursor chemicals - methylphosphonyl difluoride, or DF - were neutralised with two Field Deployable Hydrolysis Systems (FDHS) that were installed on the Cape Ray for the purpose of destroying the most dangerous chemicals in Syria’s stockpile. The FDHS units mix the chemicals with fresh water and reagents and then heat the mixture, which reduces the toxicity of the chemicals by at least 99.9 percent. All of the resulting effluents, or reaction mass, from hydrolysis of the DF are stored aboard the ship.

The Cape Ray has now begun operations to neutralise 19.8 metric tonnes of sulfur mustard, a blistering agent, which are all the Syrian chemicals that remain on the ship. When that has been completed, the Cape Ray will then transport the effluents from the DF and sulfur mustard for disposal at land-based facilities in Finland and Germany.

M. Wassouf