Syria’s chemical weapons effectively implemented -Lavrov

The Geneva accords on Syria’s chemical weapons are being effectively implemented despite attempts to disrupt them, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday after talks with his Greek counterpart Evangelos Venizelos.

"The agreements on Syria’s chemical disarmament are being implemented very effectively, everyone acknowledges that,” he said. “We hope there will be no provocations although attempts are being made to disrupt this process.”

Lavrov urged all who can influence the situation “to prevent the collapse of the crucial process of eliminating a whole arsenal of weapons of mass destruction".

Geneva-2 international conference

"As regards Geneva-2, the situation is somewhat more complicated because there have already been open objections to that conference initiated by Russia and the United States, objections not only from various Syrian factions but also from the capitals of some neighboring and not only neighboring states," Lavrov told a news conference in Athens on Wednesday.

They are making no attempt to conceal that their negative attitude to the Russian-American initiative stems from Washington’s refusal to bomb Syria, he said.

"In other words, those who sought "regime change" and helped voluntarily or involuntarily to create an extremist state there are now unable to hide their emotions," Lavrov said.

He said it surprised him that "Western capitals are reacting fairly weakly to such arrogant statements".

"Now that the Russian-American initiative to convene a conference on the practical implementation of the Geneva Communique is moving over to the practical stage, some of those who gave verbal assurances of their support are beginning to show their real attitude to it," Lavrov said.

Most western leaders knew they were tapped by US - Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov believes most of the key world political leaders were aware of being tapped by US special services, the Voice of Russia correspondent Ksenya Melnikova reports.

"I find it a little bit boring to comment on the issue. I am sure that everyone knew or at least suspected. And all that fuss being made about that now is because the things that normally aren’t said in public, have been said openly," Lavrov told reporters in Athens when asked about the Russian leaders’ attitude to reports that many world leaders had been wiretapped.

"Frankly, I take it philosophically, though I do understand all the slyness of the phrase ‘we didn’t do anything that others didn’t do", Lavrov said, commenting on remarks by US officials on the matter, according to Voice of Russia, Interfax. 

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EU to Sanction US over Spying

The gap between the European countries and the United States is widening as a result of the US spying behavior against European leaders.

According to Press TV, the European Union is considering a possible imposition of sanctions on the United States as a response to Washington’s massive spying activities on its closest European allies.

German officials said Monday that the EU is considering suspending a data-sharing agreement between the EU and the US.

The agreement allows the United States access to funds transferred through the private, Belgium-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), used by thousands of banks to send transaction information securely.

“This would be a signal that something can happen and make clear to the Americans that the (EU’s) policy is changing,” said German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger.

An EU delegation also met on Monday with US lawmakers in Washington to seek answers to revelations that the US National Security Agency (NSA) spied on European citizens and officials.

Following the meeting, Elmar Brok, the chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, said, “Confidence is damaged. We have to work hard that confidence is re-established between the leaders, between our people.”

Spain became the latest US ally on Monday to demand explanations after a report by the Spanish daily El Mundo revealed that the NSA spied on 60 million Spanish telephone calls in a single month last year.

The Guardian reported on October 24 that the NSA had monitored the telephone conversations of 35 world leaders.

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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.

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"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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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