Putin: Armed Groups in Syria Used Chemical Weapon to Provoke American Intervention

NEW YORK – Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed the armed terrorist groups in Syria are the party which used chemical weapons not the Syrian Arab army.

In an article, published in the Wednesday issue of "The New York Times", Putin said: "There is every reason to believe that poison gas was used not by the Syrian Army, but by armed groups, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists."

Putin warned that any US military intervention in Syria would unleash a new wave of terrorism and could destabilize the region and damage "an entire system of international law."

"A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism," Putin said, arguing that it could also undermine talks on Iran's nuclear program, and efforts to settle the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The Russian President also warned of the repercussions of launching military operations in circumvention of the UN Security Council, pointing out that the United Nations may collapse  if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization.

Putin alarmed that along with mercenaries from Arab countries, people from Western countries and Russia are also fighting in Syria.

"Mercenaries from Arab countries fighting there, and hundreds of militants from Western countries and even Russia are an issue of our deep concern," Putin said.

"Might they not return to our countries with experience acquired in Syria? After all, after fighting in Libya, extremists moved on to Mali," Putin added.

"This threatens us all," Putin said. He pointed out that the US State Department has designated the so-called al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, fighting with the armed opposition, as terrorist organizations.

"This internal conflict, fueled by foreign weapons supplied to the opposition, is one of the bloodiest in the world," Putin said.

H. Mustafa 

Russia says there is still a chance for peace in Syria

There is a still a chance for peace in Syria and the world must not let it pass, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying on Thursday, according to Reuters.

Speaking to students in Kazakhstan, Lavrov welcomed the Syrian government's acceptance of Russia's proposal that Damascus place its chemical weapons under international control.

"I am certain that there's a chance for peace in Syria," he said, adding a warning that military intervention would further destabilize Syria and the region, Interfax news agency reported.

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Senior US Senator Praises Russia for Syria Initiative

WASHINGTON-The head of the US Senate Intelligence Committee has praised Russia for proposing a plan to have Syria place its chemical weapons under international control, according to RIA Novosti.

“I’d like to take a minute to give Russia credit for bringing forward this plan for a negotiated solution to the conflict. … Russia is sincere, wants to see a United Nations resolution and supports the Geneva process, which would accompany a negotiated settlement to the crisis in Syria,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein said on the Senate floor.

The Democratic senator from California met earlier this week with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, to discuss Moscow’s push to get the Syrian government to relinquish control of its "chemical weapons stockpile".

 “Based on my conversation with Ambassador Kislyak, I believe that Russia’s goal is in fact to eliminate these weapons, and I would point out that that is also our goal,” Feinstein said.

 

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Russian, US chemical weapons experts to take part in Lavrov-Kerry meeting in Geneva

Teams of US and Russian chemical weapons experts are said to accompany their corresponding delegations for the upcoming high-stakes talks on Syria’s "chemical arsenal", Russia’s foreign minister said Thursday.

"Both we and Americans are going to bring experts who have a good command of such problems and ways of dealing with them," Lavrov said. "These are in large part technical matters," he added.

Lavrov spoke in favor of Damascus joining the Chemical Weapons Convention, "which would presume that Syria should declare nonproliferation of chemical weapons and disclose its chemical programs in general."

Sergei Lavrov is set to meet his US counterpart, John Kerry, on Thursday, though officials say the negotiations could stretch into Saturday.

Lavrov to discuss preparations for int'l meeting on Syria with Kerry in Geneva

 

UN envoy to Syria Brahimi to come to Geneva on Sept 12 to take part in Lavrov-Kerry meeting

UN Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi is heading to Geneva and, if possible, is planning to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry there, Martin Nesirky, the spokesperson for the UN secretary-general, said.

The meeting will be focused on ways practically implement the idea of putting the Syrian chemical weapons under international control.

Program of Lavrov-Kerry talks is being worked out - source

The program of talks on Syria involving Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry is being thrashed out; a source on the Russian delegation said.

"The program of the talks in Geneva is being worked out," the source said answering the question whether UN special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is expected to take part in the talks on Syria.

Lavrov and Kerry are due to meet in Geneva on September 12-13. The United Nations has announced that Brahimi is flying to Geneva where he will be available for contacts with Lavrov and Kerry, if they wish it.

Lavrov, Kerry to discuss in Geneva how to impound Syrian chemical weapons

 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry were expected to discuss Moscow's plan for controlling Syria's chemical weapons arsenal at a meeting Thursday in Geneva.

Russia delivered the plan Wednesday to US officials ahead of the Geneva talks between the foreign ministers of the two countries, the Russian news agency Interfax reported, citing an unidentified Foreign Ministry official.

Kerry and Lavrov were likely to continue talks on Friday and perhaps into the weekend, diplomats in Geneva said.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the United States will evaluate the Russian proposal's credibility, but Kerry already told Lavrov that the US is "not going to play games here."

Psaki said developments since Tuesday - when Damascus immediately agreed to a surprise Russian proposal to impound Syria's chemical weapons - had opened a door to resolve the crisis through negotiations.

"We don't think it will be easy, but we have the responsibility to pursue it," she said.

Russia said Wednesday it had given the US its plan to put Syria's chemical weapons under international control amid hopes of a diplomatic solution to the crisis triggered by an alleged gas attack near Damascus last month.

Sources:Voice of Russia, DPA, AFP, TASS, Interfax, RIA

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Wide Support for the Russian Initiative on Syrian Chemicals

CAPITALS,(ST)_ Cypriot President NikosأAnastasiadis   welcomed the Russian  initiative on putting  the  chemical weapons in Syria under international control , adding  that this initiative will help to avoid large - scale conflict in Syria and the region as a whole.

Anastasiadis added in an interview with Itar - Tass news agency that " there are good prospects  in the initiative to avoid war, if completed in the manner proposed by Russia."

The  Cypriot President  continued that  the initiative will help find a political solution to the crisis in Syria and remove the threat of unpredictable consequences  war  on Syria and neighboring countries.

" I agree with the Russian initiative and I want it to be approved by everybody and that the main task is to implement it ,  under the auspices of the United Nations because in this case we will avoid the current  threat ."

Cyprus had confirmed that it will not participate in any military action led by the  US against Syria.

President of  EU  Commission : A political solution is the only way to achieve  peace in Syria

President  of the  European Commission  Jose Manuel Barroso said yesterday that " a political solution is the only one that allows bringing peace to which the Syrian people deserve ."

According to AFP, Barroso welcomed in his annual report on the status  of the European Union in the French city of Strasbourg yesterday the Russian initiative on chemical weapons in Syria , saying it was " good."

Barroso hoped the Syrian government  to apply the initiative  without delay: "The use of chemical weapons requires a strong response " , calling  on " the international community , especially the UN  to assume a collective responsibility to put an end to the crisis in Syria."

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Walid al-Mouallim said that Syria welcomed the Russian initiative on chemical weapons from the Syrian leadership 's responsibility to prevent Western aggression and to preserve the lives of citizens and  the infrastructure.

Ashton renewed  support for the Russian initiative

In turn,  Commissioner  of the External Affairs and security in the European Union Catherine Ashton  called on members of the UN Security Council to " assume their responsibilities " in resolving the crisis in Syria.

 

AFP  quoted  Ashton as saying during the debate in the European Parliament on Syria in Strasbourg , France, yesterday,  that the "role of the Security Council can not be avoided and  members of the Council  must  shoulder their responsibilities in the crisis in Syria "

Ashton expressed ,once again, her  support for the Russian initiative on putting  chemical weapons in Syria under international supervision ,calling to " seize this new dynamic ."

Ashton said "  that Syria should declare respect  for the set  conditions as the matter  "  is  not just about solving the problem associated with the use of chemical weapons , but the settlement of the crisis as a whole .

Ashton announced that she  is active in  multi-directions  at the international level " and that the European Union is making " very intensive contacts with the Americans , the Russians and the Arab states ."

OIC welcomes Russian initiative

 Secretary - General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation  OIC EkmeleddinIhsanoglu,  welcomed the Russian initiative as a step towards finding a peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria.

The organization said on its Web site that Ihsanoglu stressed the need to evacuate the Middle East from  weapons of mass destruction.

Ihsanoglu also stressed the need for the UN Security Council to take the necessary measures to stop  violence in Syria.

 

T. Fateh

Russian State Duma calls on US Congress to prevent plans to attack Syria from being realized

The State Duma on Wednesday called on the international community to prevent aggression against Syria, saying the conflict can only be resolved within the framework of the Geneva convention,according to Voice of Russia, Interfax.

"Trying to prevent a catastrophe using all available methods, the State Duma is calling on the US Congress and the parliaments of other countries to prevent the aggressive plans from eventuating and to focus on looking for peaceful solutions to the conflict in Syria, while it is still possible," the statement adopted by the State Duma says.

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Russia denies asking to put off UN Security Council’s conference on Syria

Russia has denied asking to put off a UN Security Council’s conference on Syria. The meeting was initially set for yesterday, September 10,according to Voice of Russia.

Russian foreign ministry’s spokesman Alexander Lukashevich today said that Moscow had moved to hold a meeting on Syria, but the decision to postpone it was made by request of the Council’s members.

Russia reacted to a BBC-circulated report that it had allegedly asked the UN Security Council to put off a September 10 conference on Syria till a later date.

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Retired CIA Analyst: US’s Evidence on Syria Chemical Attack Fabricated

Elements within the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have fabricated intelligence to implicate the Syrian government in the recent chemical attack in Syria and cater for Washington’s case for launching strikes on the Middle-Eastern country, said a retired CIA analyst,according to FNA.

 Ray McGovern made the remarks in an interview with Russia Today (RT) channel on Monday amid the US rhetoric of war against Syria.

The US has all along the way been insisting that it has strong “evidence” against the Syrian government while refusing repeated calls to release it publicly.

 “The media is drumbeating for the war (on Syria) just as before Iraq,” McGovern said. “And they don’t want to hear that the evidence is very flimsy. They don’t want to hear that people within the CIA - senior people, with great access to this information - assure us, the veterans, that there’s no conclusive evidence that the Syrian government ordered those chemical incidents on August 21.”

McGovern was among the veteran intelligence professionals who recently signed a letter to US President Barack Obama, warning that Damascus was not behind the August 21 chemical attack in the country and that CIA Director John Brennan “is perpetrating a pre-Iraq-War-type fraud on members of Congress, the media, and the public.”

Obama “is being given cooked-up intelligence because John Brennan, the head of the CIA, and James Clapper, the confessed perjurer, have thought it in their best interests to cater to the wishes of the White House, which have been very clear: ‘this time, we want to strike Syria,’” McGovern concluded.

The US president, who has faced very weak support for his war plans, said on August 31 that his administration would first seek authorization from an already skeptical Congress.

Reports indicate a majority of Congress members are either against the planned strikes on Syria or are yet undecided. The mood in the Congress seems to mirror that of the general American public, which, polls show, is largely opposed to any US strikes on Syria.

The UN, Iran, Russia, and China have been voicing strong opposition to the US plan for war.

R.S