Several countries want to disrupt Geneva 2 - Pushkov


Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the State Duma committee on international affairs, believes that some countries are trying to disrupt Geneva 2 peaceful conference, according to Voice of Russia.

"Several countries are hoping to disrupt Geneva-2," Pushkov said in his microblog on Twitter on Monday.

The Syrian "opposition" is not independent, he said.

"It is fully dependent on outside support. The interests and plans of its sponsors are behind all its steps," Pushkov said.


Kerry comes to London for two-day talks on Iran, Syria

US Secretary of State John Kerry is in London on Sunday and Monday for talks on Iran with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, and on Syria with peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.

According to Voice of Russia, AFP,Kerry flew into London on Sunday from Kabul, at the end of a 10-day trip around Asia.

He was due to have lunch with Ashton on Sunday behind closed doors to discuss Iran's nuclear programme, a State Department official told reporters travelling with Kerry.

The lunch comes ahead of fresh talks between world powers and Iran, amid raised hopes of a less hardline approach from the Islamic republic's new president.

The two-day meeting in Geneva, starting Tuesday, will be the first such negotiations sincepresident  Hassan Rouhani took office in August.

The US is sending Wendy Sherman, the undersecretary of state for political affairs. On Monday morning, Kerry was to meet Brahimi, the United Nations envoy on Syria.

They were also due to speak to press, the State Department said.Their talks will likely revolve around preparations for long-stalled so-called "Geneva-2" peace talks aimed at finding a political solution to the crisis  in Syria.


Russia Welcomes Nobel Award for Chemical Arms Watchdog

MOSCOW– Russia on Saturday welcomed the decision to award the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is currently destroying chemical stockpiles in Syria in line with an agreement reached by Russia and the United States,according to RIA Novosti.

 The OPCW  is one of the most effective international bodies in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

 “The mission that the OPCW, in cooperation with the United Nations, has successfully begun within the framework of destroying chemical weapons in Syria is vivid confirmation of this.”

Elimination of Chemical Weapons in the World

Russia has postponed the destruction of its chemical weapons to 2015, citing underfunding. The United States plans to get rid of its stockpiles by 2023.

The OPCW, headquartered in The Hague, oversees the destruction of chemical weapons by signatories of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention. Only six of the UN’s 193 members are not party to the convention.


HRW Affirms Terrorist Takfiri Groups Committed Crimes against Humanity in Lattakia Countryside

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has described the crimes committed by the armed terrorist groups against innocent people in the villages of the northern countryside of Lattakia in August as crimes against humanity.

 Scores of civilians including children and women were victims of the terrorist assault.

 According to Press TV, the rights organization stressed that terrorist Takfiri groups killed 190 civilians and held over 200 others hostage in Syria’s western province of Lattakia in August alone.

In a report released on Friday, the New York-based rights group presented evidence that anti-Syria terrorist groups carried out the killings and the hostage-taking in their several-day operation that began around villages in Lattakia on August 4.

The 105-page report was compiled based upon on-site investigation and interviews with 35 people, including the survivors of the attacks.

According to the report, most of the killings apparently took place on the first day of the offensive. A vast majority of the hostages are also women and children.

The human rights organization further said the acts of violence "rise to the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity,” calling on the UN Security Council to immediately take such cases to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The rights group also stressed that the scale and organization of the attacks on civilians suggest premeditation.

“This operation was a coordinated, planned attack on the civilian population in these villages,” said Joe Stork, acting Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.

The HRW report also said over 20 armed groups took part in the operation, while many of the dead had been executed by al-Qaeda-affiliated groups.

Since the outbreak of the events in Syria in March 2011, several video clips have been released showing the grisly crimes perpetrated by foreign-sponsored terrorists against innocent civilians in the country.

H. Mustafa

Russia, Kuwait Urge Holding Geneva II without Preconditions

MOSCOW-Russia and Kuwait call for holding the international conference on Syria without preconditions, stressed the Russian Foreign Minister Sergy Lavrov during a joint press conference held on Friday in Moscow with his Kuwaiti counterpart Sabah Khaled al-Hamad al-Sabah.

The two diplomats welcomed the international resolution on chemical weapons in Syria.

"Our two countries' stances on the Middle East and North Africa issues are close. We welcome the international resolution on chemical weapons in Syria and we warn against any provocations aiming to foil the process of implementing this resolution," Lavrov said.

He asserted that the encouraging progress in the process of eliminating chemical weapons in Syria adds further seriousness to the issue of making the Middle East and North Africa regions free of mass destruction weapons. 

West is more realistic about Iran's participation in Geneva II

Lavrov said that the West has started treating the possible participation of Iran in the Geneva II international conference on Syria more realistically, according to the Voice of Russia.

"The reasons, strangely justified, against the participation of Iran have been recently reevaluated and replaced by a more realistic approach. Possibly, the appearance of promising prospects for the talks on the Iranian nuclear problem contributes to this," Lavrov clarified.

"Lately we hear more and more realistic statements from our western partners, who were opposed to the participation of Iran [in the Geneva II international conference] until recently and they referred to the fact that the Geneva II should be dedicated to the Geneva communique of 2012 and they further state that Iran has not supported the 2012 document," Lavrov said.

 "This reason has never stood up to any criticism, just because many countries of the region, whose participation in the conference has never been questioned by our western colleagues, not only do not support, despite issuing perfunctory statements, the Geneva II in spirit, but also work surreptitiously to disrupt this event," Lavrov said.

 "Given these circumstances, the participation of Iran in the Geneva conference is, of course, an essential factor as is the participation of the countries that exert influence on the various Syrian groups," the Russian minister said.

Gunmen taught to handle chemical arms in Afghanistan

The Russian Minister also told a press briefing that "third party" countries might have used Afghan territory in order to teach Syrian gunmen how to handle chemical weapons in their confrontation with the Syrian authorities.

"Reports suggesting that third party countries illegally used territories beyond Kabul's control for training gunmen to fight the Syrian government, in particular, how to handle chemical weapons, were posted a long time ago," Lavrov said.

H .Mustafa


UNSC Approves Joint Mission with OPCW on Elimination of Chemical Weapons in Syria

UNITED NATIONS-The United Nations Security Council has approved the establishment of a joint mission of the United Nations Organization and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on the elimination of chemical weapons in Syria, according to the Russian Itar Tass News Agency.

 A corresponding letter was submitted to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon by Azerbaijan’s permanent representative at the U.N. Agshin Mekhdiyev, who chairs the Security Council on October.

On October 7, Ban Ki-moon’s recommendations concerning the disposal of Syria’s chemical weapons were published. These recommendations provided for the establishment of a joint mission of the United Nations Organization and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons with headquarters in Damascus and Cyprus.

The mission, according to the U.N. Secretary General, should consist of about 100 experts, both from the U.N. and the OPCW.


Detailed info on Syrian chemical weapons expected by late October - Lavrov


Moscow expects that Syria will provide detailed information on its chemical weapons by late October, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said,according to Voice of Russia.

"More detailed information in accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention Article III is expected from Syria by late October," Lavrov said in an interview with the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper, which will be published on October 10.

As to the information Damascus has already submitted to the Organization for the Prohibition Chemical Weapons (OPCW), "experts assessed it as quite adequate at the current stage," Lavrov said.


OPCW Deploys 2nd Team of Inspectors to Expand Verification and Destruction Activities in Syria

The OPCW Technical Secretariat in The Hague will deploy a second team of inspectors for the mission in Syria that will augment the advance team of OPCW experts, who have been in Syria since 1 October conducting verification and destruction activities.

In his opening statement to the 74th session of the OPCW Executive council, Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü reported on the progress of the OPCW mission in Syria, inter alia:

    On 4 October the Syrian Arab Republic submitted additional information updating its initial disclosure, which drew in part on technical assistance provided by the OPCW team and will help the OPCW plan its future activities.

    On 6 October Syrian officials commenced destroying certain Category 3 chemical weapons and destroying or disabling a range of items, towards the goal of rendering unusable all production facilities and mixing and filling equipment by 1 November of this year.

 “These developments present a constructive beginning for what will nonetheless be a long and difficult process,” the Director-General stated.

The Director-General further stated that he will shortly sign a supplementary agreement between the OPCW and the United Nations to facilitate the provision of security and field and logistics support by the UN for the joint OPCW-UN mission.  He thanked States Parties for their generous contributions and offers of assistance to date for the mission, including the provision of transportation for the two teams of OPCW inspectors by the Governments of Germany and Italy.