Russia, Italy Discuss Situation in Syria

MOSCOW- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had a telephone conversation with Italian counterpart Emma Bonino to discuss the situation in Syria. Italy initiated the conversation, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated on Tuesday, according to Itar Tass.

“During the conversation several issues of bilateral cooperation, the situation in Syria were discussed,” the ministry said.

H. M

"rebel" threats against Geneva II outrageous, situation around talks requires interference - Lavrov

Threats by "rebel groups" in Syria against Russia and other states favoring political settlement of "Syrian conflict" are outrageous, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday,according to Voice of Russia, Interfax.

"It is outrageous that some of these extremist, terrorist organizations  fighting government forces in Syria are starting to make threats... against those who have the courage" to attend the so-called Geneva 2 conference, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in televised comments.

Lavrov has called on those who have influence on the Syrian "opposition" to intervene in the situation with regard to convening the Geneva II conference.

"Generally, the situation with Geneva II requires immediate action by those who have influence on the "opposition". A whole range of issues arises due to the fact that this "opposition "is split," Lavrov said at a press conference given jointly with his Ukrainian counterpart Leonid Kozhara.



Syria submitted chemical arms destruction plan on time - OPCW

Syria handed over a detailed plan to destroy its chemical stockpile on time, international watchdog OPCW said Sunday,according to Voice of Russia, AFP.

"On 24 October 2013, the Syrian Arab Republic submitted to the OPCW its formal initial declaration covering its chemical weapons programme," the watchdog said in a statement.


Pushkov: Sponsors of "Syrian Opposition" Want Geneva-2 Disruption

MOSCOW- Alexei Pushkov, the head of the International Committee of the State Duma believes that it is more in the interests of the foreign sponsors rather than the Syrian "opposition" to disrupt the international conference on Syria, according to the Voice of Russia.

"19 groups of the Syrian opposition that are not capable of operating without external support rejected the carrying out of Geneva-2. That means that their sponsors are interested in disruption," quoted Pushkov's message in Twitter Interfax.

" Meeting will be, presumably, held in late November. Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General should declare the final date.


Lavrov and Kerry discuss planned Syria conference


MOSCOW-Lavrov and Kerry discussed "aspects of Russian-American interaction in organizing the planned international conference on the settlement of the conflict in Syria," the Russian Foreign ministry said in a statement, according to Voice of Russia, Interfax.


Russian special envoy, Syrian mufti exchange views on situation in Syria

MOSCOW, Russian presidential special envoy for the Middle East, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov has met Grand  Mufti of Syria Sheikh Ahmed Badreddin Hassoun to exchange views on the situation in Syria, according to ITARTASS.

 “During the meeting, Mikhail Bogdanov and Sheikh Ahmed Badreddin Hassoun discussed in detail the development of the situation in Syria and around it,” the Foreign Ministry reported on Saturday.

 “They expressed understanding for the danger and unacceptable attempts to enhance ethno-confessional confrontation in Syria,” the ministry said, adding, “The meeting touched on certain issues related to Russian-Syrian relations.”

 “The Russian diplomat and the Syrian mufti focused on active cultural, public and religious contacts between both countries,” the ministry said.


Lavrov Phones Fabius on Syria


MOSCOW-The situation in Syria was the focus of a phone conversation between Russian Foreign Minister Sergi Lavrov and his French counterpart Laurent Fabius.

In a statement on Saturday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that the two ministers concentrated in their discussions on international issues of common interest, including the situation in Syria and bilateral cooperation.

Discussing the Syrian situation by the foreign ministers of the two countries comes as preparations to hold the international conference on Syria, “Geneva2”, are underway to find a solution to the crisis in the country.

H. Mustafa  

Lavrov ,Venizelos to discuss Syria

MOSCOW- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit Greece on October 29-30 for talks on Russian-EU relations and the situation in Syria, the Foreign Ministry reported on Thursday,according to ITAR TASS.

Lavrov is expected to hold talks with his Greek counterpart Evangelos Venizelos. The Russian minister is due to meet Greek President Carolos Papoulias and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

Lavrov and Venizelos will open a conference entitled “Ioannis Kapodistrias and Russian-Greek Relations”. The conference will take place within the events devoted to the 185th anniversary of Greek Independence Day.

The purpose of the visit “is to continue a political dialogue with Greece on a wide range of bilateral and international issues”. Both parties “will exchange views on Russia-EU interaction, including in the context of Greece’s upcoming presidency in the EU slated for the second half of 2014. The parties will also discuss the situation in Syria and Egypt, Iran’s nuclear program and the situation in the Balkan region, etc,” the ministry said.

The positions of Russia and Greece “coincide. Both countries favor the strengthening of the U.N. role in international relations as the key universal institution to maintain peace and security”, the ministry said.

Relations between Russia and Greece “are based on friendship and mutual sympathy. The countries maintain political and other contacts at different levels”, the ministry said.

Greece remains to be Russia’s stable partner in trade and the economy. “Despite serious difficulties in Greece, our relations continue upward trend: trade turnover is growing. In 2012 it reached 6.5 billion dollars - this is the biggest rate in the history of relations. Trade increased by almost 25 percent as compared with 2011. In the seven months of the year mutual trade increased by 4.5 percent and amounted to 3.5 billion dollars as compared with the same period of last year,” the ministry said.

The 8th session of the Russian-Greek commission on economic, industrial, scientific and technical cooperation gave a considerable impetus to trade and economic interaction between the two countries.