Russia Renewed Rejection of Military Force Use Against Syria

MOSCOW,(ST)_  Russian  Army Chief of Staff  Valery Gerasimov  renewed rejection of  any interference from any party , especially the use of military force against Syria, stressing the need of dialogue to resolve the crisis in Syria.
"Solving the crisis in Syria  is only possible through dialogue between  parties,without a third party intervention , especially the use of military force." Gerasimov said following his talks on Thursday with the representative  of NATO ‘s military committee  Knud Bartels
Gerasimov criticized NATO ‘s  deployment  of the Patriot missile system in Turkey , noting that " despite the fact that the situation in Syria is deteriorating  , NATO is deploying anti-aircraft  missiles systems  in Turkey."

For his part,  Bartels  said  that " NATO shares  the  Russian concern over the grave  situation in Syria”, noting  “  we will work to strengthen relations with General Gerasimov  in this regard."
Meantime, chairman of the  public division for international military cooperation at  the Russian defense ministry Sergei  Koshelev ,  said  that the Danish  Gen.  Knud Bartels  announced on Thursday in Moscow that NATO has no plans for military intervention in Syria.
"The Russian side welcomed this statement which  reflects   the position  of NATO Military Committee, which means that NATO will continue its commitment to this position in the future , and therefore will  not carry out  any military operations against Syria regardless of the evolution of conditions  in this country , and the Libyan scenario will not be repeated in Syria.”  Koshelev  emphasized.


T. Fateh

Syria Geopolitical Friend to Russia- Russian Researchers

MOSCOW, (ST) - Head of the Russian Eurasia Organization and President  of Faculty of  Sociology at Moscow State University, Professor Alexander Dugin, declared that Americans do not have the right to recognize Doha coalition, extremist and terrorist forces in Syria and offer unilateral support to them, in contrary to all rules of international law.

In an interview with SANA correspondent in Moscow yesterday Dugin, who is professor at the Russian State University assured that what had happened in Syria of events is  designed to impose foreign will and its hegemony upon Syria, while the orientations of the Syrian leadership emerges of the geopolitical view and the Syrian national interests, aiming at cooperation with countries of the Eurasian region, adding that Syria is an essential component of the global geopolitical shape, not just a strategic ally of Russia and Iran.

"Russia adopts serious and responsible positions in helping the Syrian people and protecting the independence and sovereignty of Syria and preventing any foreign interference in its affairs and the Syrians realize that Russia supports them, stressing that the Americans are targeting Syria and its leadership as it maintains its sovereignty and independence and establishes relations of friendship and cooperation with Russia and Iran. This sort of relation doesn't meet America and their local and regional allies' satisfaction, particularly Qatar and Saudi Arabia," the head of the organization said.

"The objectives of the United States against Syria bring to mind and remind Russians with the support that the Americans offered to separatist in Chechen," he said.

Russia comprehends that if we abandoned Syria today, the cart will be directed to her later as the impact of targeting Iran because the three countries are interlinked in geopolitical terms," he clarified.

"President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov mean this particular truth when talking more and more about the track because Russia is considerd a geopolitical major Eurasian country which stands against terrorists and armed opponents," Prof. Dugin stressed.
Dugin noted to President Putin's talk about geopolitical interests of Russia in his annual message to the Russian Parliament that he means his support for the vision of the geopolitical events in the world and that Russian policy is more consistent, realistic and resolute and determined to achieve Russia's national interests, indicating that the meaning of geopolitics lies in the existence of fixed and continuous contradictions between the civilization of land represented by Russia and civilization of Sea represented by NATO countries and the United States .


"The Russian national geopolitical interests spoken by President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov contradict fully with the U.S. interests. Therefore, the west tends to support reactionary forces in the world and repeat the chaos and bloodshed as happened in Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq. It also provoks internal wars which bring suffering and tragedies to the Syrian people.Russia works to resolve the crisis in Syria through an inclusive political dialogue," Dugin concluded.

In a similar interview with SANA correspondent, Vladislav Choregan, Head of Editorial Board of "Russia's Soldiers Magazine" said that Syria is one of the closest allies to Russia in the Middle East pointing out to the strong relations between Russia and Syria.

Qatar and Saudi Arabia see in Syria an impediment to achieve these objectives. The two Gulf countries do what all they can to destabilize Syria with support by the United States which has recognized the coalition of Doha as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people and this is inconsistent with all the international rules and norms, Choregan clarified.

In light of this fact, the Turkish government is looking for a military pretext to intervene in the Syrian affairs with the support of NATO, whereas Turkish officials are trying to create confrontations regarding borders, pointing out that constructing the Patriot missiles systems in Turkish territory came when Russia prevented adopting a decision in the Security Council for military intervention against Syria, Choregan added.




Fears grow for Ukrainian reporter held hostage in Syria

The Ukrainian government has appealed for the release of a Ukrainian journalist abducted in Syria two months ago amid reports her life is in danger,according to the Voice of Russia.

Anhar Kochneva, who was working as a freelancer for Russian and Ukrainian media, is believed to have been kidnapped near the city of Homs.

Several videos apparently released by her captors show her asking for her kidnappers' demands to be met.

Initially they called for a ransom of $50m (£31m; 38m euros) to be paid.

Kochneva's abduction was condemned by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and European Federation of Journalists (EFJ).

The Damascus-based journalist went missing in the second week of October while reportedly working on an assignment for Russian media.

She was last seen leaving the port of Tartus for a visit to Homs, which has been the scene of fierce fighting, writing in her blog: "Don't try to find me for a couple of days. Leaving."

A 15-second video posted online on 7 November showed her, wearing a headscarf and speaking in Arabic to the camera, saying she was being held in Homs and appealing for her kidnappers' demands to be met.

On 28 November, a second video, three and a half minutes long, had her repeating the appeal, this time apparently reading from a prepared statement.

The latest video, broadcast on Wednesday by Ukrayina, was an apparent response by her captors to the Ukrainian government's appeal for her release.

Oleksandr Dikusarov, spokesman for the Ukrainian foreign ministry, said Kochneva's kidnappers had "threatened to annihilate her if their demands" were not satisfied.

Kochneva, who is known for her critical views of the Syrian opposition, told the BBC Russian service in an interview in February she had arrived in Damascus three months earlier.

She reported on the conflict for various Russian-language media outlets.

Her mother, Lyudmila Dudarenkova, made an emotional call for her daughter's release.

"Any mother who has a child will understand me," she said, speaking in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.

"Without her I won't be alive as well. I am calling on those who hold her. You have mothers and children too. Please don't commit a sin. I'm begging you to set my daughter free."

"This news is very alarming indeed and we are gravely concerned for the safety of Anhar Kochneva," said IFJ president Jim Boumelha in a statement.

"Those who are holding her will be held responsible for summary execution if she is killed."

Arne Koenig, the EFJ's president, commented on the reported ransom demand: "This blatant use of journalists as a money-spinning scheme is outrageous.

"She and her family should not be subjected to such a cruel blackmail. She should be released immediately and unharmed to be reunited with her relatives and colleagues."




Russia, China and Iran for Solving the Crisis in Syria Peacefully, without Foreign Interference

MOSCOW, BEIJING.(ST)_  Iran and Russia  on Thursday renewed rejection of any foreign interference in Syria's internal affairs, stressing  that dialogue is the only way to resolve its  crisis.
“ The crisis in Syria should be resolved through Syrian political groups, in partnership with the  Syrian government,” said chairman of the Iranian- Russian  parliamentary friendship committee in the Iranian Shoura council Mehdi Sanae during his meeting with the deputy chairman of the  Russian Duma council Nicolai Ageshev,  adding that dialogue  is the sole way to settle the crisis  and reach a fair mechanism to this end .
“ The events in Syria reveal the fact that harmony between Russia, Iran and China is, but ,  vital and that  the USA should not be permitted to sweep towards the Middle East and Russia,” the Iranian official said , calling on these countries, being the  three major forces in the region, to from a one single bloc.
For his part, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Duma council  stressed Russia unwavering  position concerning the crisis in Syria. “ The Syrian sides are able to solve their  country ‘s issues and the  interference of the  USA and other countries in Syria will aggravate the  crisis,” the  Russian  official said.

He underlined the importance of relations between Russia and Iran, the strategic aspects of bilateral cooperation relations and  the need to strengthen  them.
For their part, China and Russia stressed the need of solving the crisis in Syria peacefully without external interference.

Iran ‘s deputy foreign minister for  Asia and the Pacific Abbas Araqji said  that he “ exchanged  during his meeting in Beijing with the Chinese foreign minister Yang Je Chi, in the context of the 11st meeting  of the Iranian- Russia political consultation committee, view points on recent developments, pertaining  to the middle east especially the crisis in Syria  and that stress was laid  on  solving this crisis peacefully , without foreign intervention”, adding that: “ Stances of Tehran and Beijing  are identical concerning regional issues.
Araqji  added that stress was laid during his talks with the  Chinese FM on the need of halting  violence  and  dispatching  weapons and money to  various armed groups  in Syria, noting that the Syrians should decide  their fate by themselves.

Noteworthy that the political consultative committee between Iran and China meets annually at the level of Assistant Foreign Ministries.

However, volume of trade exchange between the two countries  reached USD 45 billion last year.

Meantime, the Special Representative of the Russian President for the Middle East and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov stressed  that Russia insists on the implementation  of the provisions of the Geneva statement  to resolve the crisis in Syria, adding that   Russia  is counting on a new meeting of the International Working Group on Syria.


T. Fateh


Norway supports peace efforts in Syria

Norway supports the efforts of the UN to find a political solution to the conflict in Syria, and the Norwegian Government is providing extra funds to support these efforts.

This was announced by State Secretary Torgeir Larsen, who went on: "The whole world is following developments in Syria with deep dismay. Lakhdar Brahimi is working on behalf of the UN to find a political solution to the crisis in Syria. His task is as important as it is difficult, and we are providing NOK 1.2 million to support his efforts.”

Special Representative of the UN Lakhdar Brahimi is the international community’s representative in the efforts to find a peaceful solution to the crisis in  Syria. He is in contact with all parties to the conflict, and with other countries in the region and major global powers. Norway’s allocation is being provided to support Mr Brahimi’s efforts to achieve a political solution to the crisis, and to support work to plan the UN’s future role in Syria. A lack of agreement on Syria at the regional and international level is making Mr Brahimi’s task all the more difficult.

“Peace efforts cannot be abandoned even though there is international disagreement on how a solution can be found. All countries fully support Mr Brahimi’s efforts, but he and the UN now also need additional support in financial terms,” Mr Larsen said.


Chavez in stable condition after cancer surgery

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez is in stable condition after he had undergone another surgery to remove a cancerous tumor, an official statement from the country’s government says.

The Venezuelan leader is currently in Havana with his family recovering after a 6-hour surgery,according to the  Voice of Russia.

The parliament speaker Diosdado Cabello earlier dismissed rumors about Chavez's death.

Addressing army servicemen in Caracas on Wednesday, he said that some foreign sources were alleging that President Chavez had died.

That’s not true, he said, adding that these rumors were being spread on purpose.

Vice President Nicolas Maduro has been informing Venezuelans regularly about the president’s health, Cabelio said.

Before leaving for Cuba to undergo cancer surgery, Hugo Chavez declared Maduro, 50, his successor, describing him as one of the most capable young leaders.


Crisis in Syria is a conflict between East and west, says Mahathir Mohammad

TEHRAN, (ST) _ The Former Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohammad,sees that the main reason for what is going on in Syria is the Zionist entity which occupied the Arab territories with a US-British support.

In an interview with the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), Mahathir Mohammad said that the crisis in Syria turned into a conflict between East and West, noting that foreign powers are exerting all possible efforts to overthrow the Syrian government.

He underscored the necessity of disarming the disputed parties and launching a peaceful dialogue to solve the crisis.

On the other hand, the former Malaysian PM said:"The US wants to impose hegemony over the whole world, so everybody must submit to the US. But Iran has not done so that is why they are against Iran."



Mali names new prime minister in abrupt change of leadership

Mali's president has named Diango Cissoko as the country's new interim prime minister, according to state media reports, hours after the abrupt resignation of the former prime minister following his arrest by soldiers.

Cissoko is a former public ombudsman for the republic, according to the state-owned newspaper L'Essor.

In a brief online report, the newspaper states that interim President Dioncounda Traore signed two decrees Tuesday, one removing Diarra from office and the second naming Cissoko as his successor,according to CNN.

Cissoko, 62, is a longtime civil servant, according to public broadcaster ORTM, having served as secretary-general for former President Moussa Traore and his successor, Amadou Toumani Toure, who was deposed in March.

Diarra abruptly resigned Tuesday on state television, a day after he was arrested by soldiers loyal to a former coup leader.

The development was seen as another blow to the stability of a country once hailed as a model of democracy in Africa, but derailed this year by a coup and an uprising of rebels.

It is not yet clear what impact the change in leadership will have on regional and international efforts to tackle advances by the militants in the country's North.

Meanwhile,U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday he was "troubled" by the resignation and called again for a cessation of military interference in politics. He called for Mali to hold elections and restore peace and stability.

The Economic Community of West African States, which appointed the interim president, also expressed concern over the resignation and condemned "any form of interference by the military in the political process."

It urged the Malian president to "take all necessary and immediate measures to form a representative and inclusive government as soon as possible in order to pursue the ongoing efforts to end the crisis."