Russian official: Irans effective, constructive role in settling crisis in Syria indisputable

New York- Russian permanent representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said there were no doubts as to the effective and constructive role of Iran in settling the ongoing crisis in Syria.

Talking to IRNA, he hoped Iran would be present in the next round of negotiations.

Commenting on the reasons behind Iran's absence in the Geneva-2 talks, he said it was all too clear that Iran will not accept the invitation of the UN secretary-general which was extended to the country one day prior to the start of the talks.

He said that even the UN chiefs spokesman said in a statement that the secretary general did not expect Iran to attend the international conference based on an invitation it received just one day before the meeting.

The Russian diplomat stressed the need for continuation of the talks and hoped both parties could find a solution to the crisis in Syria .


Russian Foreign Ministry: Brahimi gives high level briefing on Geneva talks Round 1

Munich-Brahimi summarized the outcomes of the first round of the inter-Syrian talks at the Geneva-2 conference at the tripartite meeting, it said. The parties shared the view that it is important to continue closely coordinating steps in providing political-diplomatic support to these negotiations, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"Russia emphasized that, to make the process of the "Syrian crisis" settlement stable enough, the number of participants in the negotiations should be increased. Apart from the Syrian government and the "NCSR" and Opposition Forces, other influential opposition groups should be represented to ensure the interests of all groups and strata of the Syrian population, including ethno-religious minorities," it said.

"The participants in the meeting emphasized that it is important to secure an agreement between the Syrian parties to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to the residents of a number of populated areas blockaded due to combat actions," it said.

Lavrov, Kerry and Ban praised the level of interaction between Russian and US diplomats and UN officials at the Geneva talks, it said, according to Voice of Russia, Interfax.


Terrorism in Syria cannot be fought using other terrorists - Russian FM Lavrov

Munich -Syria's armed opposition group, the "Islamic Front", with whose assistance foreign stakeholders in the conflict are trying to combat terrorism in the country, is in fact a terrorist organization itself, says Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov,according to Voice of Russia.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Lavrov noted that, while some are trying to combat the terrorist organizations "al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant "through establishing a new association called the Islamic Front, the groups comprising the "Islamic Front "are pretty similar to those terror groups.

At least one was involved, with the "al-Nusra Front", in the Adra massacre in Syria, in which dozens of Christians, Druze, and other minorities were slain, he added. "Militants "migrate between the" Islamic Front, al-Nusra Front, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" depending on who pays more, Russia therefore has great doubts that the "Islamic Front" could serve as an alternative to terrorists, Lavrov said.

Russian FM Lavrov against ultimatums regarding Syrian chemical disarmament

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov suggests that no ultimatums should be made concerning the chemical disarmament process in Syria.

Lavrov pointed out that it is wrong to threaten Syria that force might be used against it if it fails to meticulously adhere to the chemical disarmament schedule that was agreed upon earlier.

The Russian minister contended that such threats are not helpful.

Syrian opposition delegation in Geneva should be more representative - Lavrov

The Syrian opposition delegation at the Geneva-2 international conference on Syria should be more representative, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Lavrov noted that external stakeholders should not promote these or those Syrian groups as the only legitimate representatives of the Syrian people but should persuade the Syrian parties to remain in Geneva and continue the negotiations.

Moscow welcomes the modest but still inspiring results UN Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has achieved with the Syrian government and" opposition" delegations in the past week and expects these to be developed at the next round of talks, he said.

Russia actively supports this dialogue and believes it should be made truly representative as soon as possible, which is the only way for it to be successful, Lavrov said.

All those who can influence the "opposition" should make sure that the delegations at the negotiating table represent the entire spectrum of Syrian society, he said.


Solana: Iran's presence in Geneva II conference was necessary

Madrid– Former EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana reiterated that Iran should have taken part in the Geneva II talks, according to IRNA.

I believe that Iran should have participated in the Geneva II conference, although it was still present in the conference despite having physical presence at the conference, Solana said.

I liked Iran to have a clearer presence in Geneva II conference, perhaps not in the first day, but in the next days, because Iran is an important regional player, he added.

Solana stressed that the only solution to the crisis in Syria is through finding diplomatic solution.


Lavrov: Russia studies steps towards overcoming crisis in Syria

MOSCOW-Russia is studying what secular authorities and churches can do in order to overcome the crisis in Syria and calm down the situation in the region, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a meeting with Patriarch John X of Antioch on Wednesday, according to ITAR TASS.

 “We value traditional relations between our churches. They help reach accord, which is indispensable in the world and in the Middle East,” Lavrov said.

Mikhail, first metropolitan of Rus, came from Syria, the minister said.

 “Traditional interaction, friendship and brotherly relations between our churches are in demand as never before,” he said, adding that the "Arab Spring" events “affect the fate of Christians, who lived with Arabs in peace and accord over two thousand years”.

 “Today the coexistence, friendship between Orthodox believers and Muslims are under serious tests. Thus, our dialogue is important to prevent the worse scenario,” Lavrov said.

Patriarch John X thanked Russia for its stance on Syria

Patriarch John X of Antioch has thanked Russia for the peace position that the country takes on the situation in Syria.

 “Russia’s position on the Middle East, particularly on Syria and Lebanon, is especially important and it is based on the hard-and-fast guidelines,” the patriarch said at a meeting with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday.

John X also praised Russia’s humanitarian supplies to Syria. “We’re distributing humanitarian aid to everyone without any difference - to Christians and Muslims. We note the importance of peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims and we stand for peace in the region,” the patriarch of Antioch said.

 “Relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Antioch Church are historical and brotherly,” John X said.

Syria should be united and Lebanon should be a stable and safe country to make Christians and Muslims coexist in peace and mutual respect, the patriarch said.

 “We confirm our drive for preserving our roots and staying on the motherland of our ancestors because it is very difficult to imagine the Middle East without Christians,” he said.


Lavrov: Terrorism in Syria Becomes a Threat to Entire World

BRUSSELS- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has warned of the expansion of terrorism in Syria and of its spillover to other countries, stressing the need to fight this serious treat.

Replying a question by correspondent of the Lebanese As-Safir newspaper in Brussels, Lavrov said: "fighting terrorism in Syria is one of the major tasks of the international conference on Syria, Geneva2," pointing out that the Geneva1 statement of June 30th, 2012 has called on the Syrian government and opposition to be unified to expel terrorists from Syria.

Lavrov said that he noticed "an increasing understanding of this issue by the European partners during his talks with them on the situation in Syria."

Yesterday in Brussels, Lavrov strongly criticized the continuity of sending weapons to the terrorists in Syria, warning that this issue will lead to supporting terrorists in the whole region.

Lavrov was commenting on news unveiling that the US Congress has secretly endorsed a decision to send weapons to the armed terrorist groups in Syria.

H. Mustafa 

Declaration on Syrian state's existence should be next step in inter-Syrian dialogue - Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has outlined his vision of prospects for the dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition.

"The adoption of a declaration on principles of the Syrian state's existence should be the next step in the inter-Syrian dialogue," Lavrov told journalists in Brussels on Tuesday,according to Voice of Russia, Interfax.


Obama Urged to Exert Efforts to Guarantee Immediate Stop of Extremists' Flow to Syria


WASHINGTON- Syrian members of the Syrian American Forum (SAF) has recently sent a letter to the White House in which they urged US President Barack Obama to exert the influence and efforts of the United States in order to guarantee an immediate stop to the flow of extremists from other countries to Syria, and an immediate end to smuggling weaponry and providing other kinds of support to terrorists and extremist groups fighting in Syria.

The letter reiterated the forum's support for the ongoing Geneva II conference, calling on the US Secretary of State John Kerry to focus on attaining a political solution to the crisis in Syria. It asserted: “no foreign entity can claim representation of the aspirations of any people" and that "solution must be Syrian and by the Syrians themselves”.

"No country or party should be allowed to hijack the future of the Syrian people by feeding and fueling the current war in Syria”, said the letter, affirming that only the Syrians have the right to decide their future.

The SAF Syrian members also said: "We, as Americans of Syrian origin, believe in separating religion from the authority of the state and believe in democracy and the freedom of religions. We are united in the calls for peace and reconciliation aiming at preserving Syria and stopping the killing and destruction in the country.

H. Mustafa