Russia warns against military intervention in Syria

Russia on Sunday welcomed Damascus' offer to allow a mission by UN inspectors probing alleged chemical weapons use and warned the West that an Iraq scenario in Syria would be a "tragic mistake", saying that any unilateral military action in Syria would undermine efforts for peace and have a "devastating impact" on the security situation in the Middle East. Russia has urged action to get all Syria opposition groups to agree to talks, said threats of force against the Syrian government counterproductive.

"We once again decisively urge (the United States) not to repeat the mistakes of the past and not to allow actions that go against international law. Any unilateral military action bypassing the United Nations will ... lead to further escalation (in Syria) and will affect the already explosive situation in the Middle East in the most devastating way," the ministry said.

Moscow has urged Western leaders to avoid attempts to a priori force biased conclusions on UN inspectors who will look for evidence of reported chemical weapon attacks in the Syria on August 21.

"We again resolutely urge all those who are trying to force conclusions on the UN experts and who say that armed action against Syria is possible to show common sense and avoid tragic mistakes," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement the text of which is posted on the ministry's website,

"Policies on various crises must be based on international law and authentic facts instead of attempts to match surmises and inventions with unilateral geopolitical projects," he said. On Sunday the Syrian government agreed to allow UN inspectors to come to Syria and check allegations of the attacks. "This has become the result of our intensive work with Damascus," Lukashevich said.

"We are satisfied with the constructive attitude of the Syrian leadership to organizing effective interaction with the UN mission. In our view, it opens up opportunities for careful, unbiased and objective investigations into all circumstances of what happened in the Damascus suburb, something that we have persistently been calling for," he said.

"It is important that the "armed opposition" that controls some of the areas in the eastern part of Ghouta [the suburb where the alleged attacks took place] should provide security guarantees for the expert mission and should not dare resort to the provocative use of weapons against them as was the case with a UN observer mission last summer. We appeal to everyone who has any influence on Syria's illegal armed groups to put pressure on them for this purpose," the spokesman said.


Obama moving unavoidably towards Syria war - Pushkov

The US is moving gradually towards a war in Syria, said chairman of the State Duma's International Affairs Committee Alexei Pushkov.

"Obama is moving unavoidably towards a war in Syria, the way George W. Bush was moving towards the war in Iraq,according to Voice of Russia.

A war in Syria, like the war in Iraq would be illegitimate, and Obama will become Bush's clone," he wrote in his Twitter blog on Sunday.

The Pentagon chief, Chuck Hagel, earlier announced readiness to implement a military scenario in Syria if President Barack Obama issues the order.

Russia and Germany: Foreign Ministers discuss Syrian conflict

A telephone conversation between Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his German counterpart Guido Westerwelle has taken place earlier today, initiated by the German side.

The Ministers exchanged opinions on several issues equally important to both sides, paying particular attention to the crisis in Syria

Yesterday, in another telephone conversation, Sergei Lavrov discussed the situation in Syria with UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, Italy’s Foreign Minister Emma Bonino and France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.


Russia's Ambassador to Lebanon Urges Negotiated End to Crisis in Syria

TEHRAN - Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin said the current developments in Syria prove that the solution to the crisis in that country can only be attained through dialogue, according to FNA.

In an interview with Lebanese al-Diyar newspaper, Zasypkin added that the preparatory meeting for the conference which will be held on August 28th in the Hague by Russian and American officials will discuss political issues.

He noted that the Russians will ask the Americans to exert pressure on the "opposition" to agree on participating in the Geneva 2 Conference with no preconditions according to the Geneva Communiqué, adding that if the Americans failed to exert pressure on the "opposition", the international conference will be postponed.

"The political assessment of the allegations on chemical weapons use would vary according to the interests of each side dealing with this issue and this is why technical assessment is required by UN inspectors who are currently present in Syria," Zasypkin said.


Syrian "opposition" must guarantee safe access for UN mission to suspected chemical attack site - Russia

The Syrian "opposition "ought to allow the visiting UN inspectors to safely access the site of this week's alleged chemical attack in the suburbs of Damascus, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The ball is now in the court of the "opposition", which should ensure the [UN] mission's safe access to the presumed site of the incident," the ministry said in a statement on Friday following a telephone conversation between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Lavrov and Kerry "expressed their mutual interest in the UN expert mission currently visiting the country, as well as the need for an impartial investigation into the latest reports claiming the possible use of chemical weapons in the suburbs of Damascus," it said.

"The [Russian] minister stressed that as soon as this information appeared, the Russian side called on the government of Syria to cooperate with the UN chemical weapons experts," the ministry said.

Sources:Voice of Russia, Interfax, Reuters


HRD Minister lauds deep-rooted ties between Syria and India

NEW DELHI, (ST)- Indian Minister of Human Resource Development (HRD) M. M. Pallam Raju has hailed the deep-rooted ties between Syria and India in all the fields.

"I do hope that  prosperity and stability  will soon  back on the track in Syria", underscored Raju.

Raju's remark was made during a meeting with Syria's Ambassador to India Riyad Abbas.

During the meeting, Raju voiced his concern over the armed terrorist groups' vicious acts in Syria , including the destruction of public and private facilities and targeting of national cadres.

"the HRD is ready to bolster  cooperation with the Syrian government in the field of education," added Raju .

The Indian diplomat here refers to the growing  number of scholarships offered to the Syrian students.

Furthermore ,Raju affirmed  his country's need for benefiting from  the Syrian expertise as regards consolidating  the Arabic language in India.

The Syrian Ambassador, for his part, expressed Syria's appreciation of India for the opportunities it has been offering the Syrian students in the field of education and scholarships.

"hopefully, the already inked agreements between Syria and India will be renewed," stressed Abbas


China says U.N. chemical inspectors should be objective in Syria

BEIJING - China said on Thursday that U.N. chemical weapons experts should be objective and "fully consult" with the Syrian government in their work,according to Reuters.

"China's position is very clear. It does not matter what side in Syria uses chemical weapons, China resolutely opposes it," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement send to Reuters in China's first public response to the attack.

"At present, the U.N's chemical weapons inspection team for Syria is on the ground beginning its investigations, and (China) hopes that the team fully consults with the Syrian government and maintains an objective, impartial and professional stance".


Syrian gov't ready for cooperation with UN experts in chemical attack probe - Moscow

The Syrian government is ready for "maximum" cooperation with UN experts working to clarify the alleged use of chemical weapon in attacks, Voice of Russia correspondent Polina Chernitsa reports from the Russian Foreign Ministry's press conference. Syria will provide all materials related to the investigation.

"The government of Syria has reiterated its readiness to cooperate with the UN experts as broadly as possible and provide them with complete logistical support, including access to the previously collected documents that address the incident in the Khan al-Asal district," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said at a press briefing in Moscow on Thursday.

The UN experts and "the Syrian authorities are discussing the practical aspects of their cooperation in a quiet and constructive atmosphere," the Russian diplomat said.

The agreement reached by the Syrian government and the UN allows the inspectors to question eyewitnesses, people injured in the alleged incidents and representatives of the local authorities, Lukashevich said.

The UN inspectors are expected to stay in Syria for 14 days, but their mission may be prolonged with both sides' consent, should such a need arise.

"The mission plans to visit three sites in Syria where chemical weapons were allegedly used, including the Khan al-Asal district near Aleppo," Lukashevich said.

The UN mission will have to receive the agreement of the Syrian government before going to the site of the alleged chemical attack, which mass media has just revealed, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

"As far as we know, this region is under militant control and we assume that the mission should clear this maneuver with the Syrian government as the one hosting this mission," Lukashevich said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry is hoping that the results of the work of UN experts in Syria will eliminate speculation on the use of chemical weapons there.

"We are hoping that the results of the experts' work will help clarify this issue and will eliminate speculation on the use of Syrian chemical weapons, which will simultaneously create a positive background for progress towards the political settlement of the crisis in Syria," Russian Foreign Ministry official Alexander Lukashevich told a briefing on Thursday.



India Concerned Over Terrorists' Crimes against Syrian Citizens, Institutions: Minister

NEW DELHI-India's Minister for Human Resources Development Pallam Raju has expressed concern over the crimes being perpetrated by armed terrorist groups against the Syrian people, intellectuals and institutions.

Raju, who was speaking during a meeting with Syria's Ambassador to India Riad Abbas, hoped that normal life will be restored to Syria soon, hailing the historical relations linking Syria and India.

He stressed that his ministry is ready to enhance cooperation with the Syrian government in the area of education, referring to a plan to increase scholarships offered to Syrian students.

The Indian official pointed out that the ministry also aims at benefiting from the Syrian expertise to strengthen the Arabic language in India.

For his part, the Syrian Ambassador expressed Syria's appreciation for the opportunities being offered by the Indian government to Syrian students and hoped that education and cultural agreements signed between the two countries will be renewed.

H. Mustafa