Russia condemns air strike on Syria as attack on sovereign state

The Russian Foreign Ministry has issued a statement expressing deep concern over Israel's airstrike on Syria saying that it violates the UN Charter. Russian diplomats are taking urgent measures to clarify the situation and to establish the details of the incident.

If this information is confirmed that would mean that we have to deal with unprovoked attacks on the territory of a sovereign state which is inadmissible, whatever objectives are declared as a justification,according to Voice of Russia.

Russia has again called upon the international community to stop the violence in Syria, prevent foreign intervention in the conflict, and assist the start of a nationwide dialogue based on the Geneva agreements.

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Lavrov Stresses Geneva Statement Needs no Interpretation

The Geneva statement issued by the international workgroup on June 30, 2012 regarding the Syrian issue, needs no interpretation as it clearly provides for halting violence by all parties and naming the negotiating parties so as to be able to build the structure of the interim leadership body, said the Russian Foreign Minister Sergi Lavrov.

We are strongly determined to go ahead with efforts to solve the crisis in Syria based on Geneva statement, but the rest is connected with our partners," Lavrov added in an article published by the Diplomatic Group's Annual Bulletin, stressing that the Security Council and all influential foreign players have to pave the way for implementing the statement.

"Russia spares no effort to attain a peaceful settlement in Syria after the stopping of violence and having all conflicting parties sitting to the dialogue table so as the Syrians attain national reconciliation and agree on a political structure of their country," Lavrov said.

He affirmed that Russia's priority focuses on attaining a comprehensive settlement in Syria rather than a leadership change, and "this explains Russia and China's use of the veto at the Security Council against military intervention in Syria." 

He warned of more bloody chaos if the conflict continues and if no peaceful settlement is attained.

For his part, Ginadi Gatilov, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, made it clear that the Geneva statement is still urgent and vital as it was, stressing Russia's readiness, together with its partners, to look for new mechanism to implement it.

He pointed out that the real obstacle facing the implementation of the statement is the insistence of some opposition and foreign parties to change the leadership in Syria by force, so that they keep rejecting an all-out national dialogue based on Geneva statement.

He remind of the Russian initiative to hold a second session for the work group namely "Geneva 2", and of Russia's call for expanding the participation in the group's meeting to include key regional players, like Saudi Arabia and Iran, but no response has so far been made by other partners.

"The Security Council had adopted many important resolutions, but when we suggested approving the work group's Geneva statement, our idea didn't get the support of our colleagues in the Council and I think this was a grave mistake," Gatilov said. 

 

H. Mustafa

 

Settlement, rather than change of Syrian government, is priority for Moscow

A comprehensive settlement, rather than a change of the Syrian government, is what Russia sees as a priority, as regards the crisis in Syria.

That is the reason why Moscow and Beijing have vetoed the UN Security Council draft resolutions that actually paved the way for an armed invasion of Syria.

This comes in an article by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, titled The World at a Time of Change: Russian Foreign Policy Priorities.

The Russian Foreign Minister insists that the Geneva communiqué, under which the warring factions should end the violence and delegate negotiators to set up an interim government, should be implemented in full, according to  Voice of Russia, TAS

An alternative to a peaceful solution is bloody chaos, the diplomat writes in conclusion.

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CELAC States: Attaining Peaceful Solution in Syria without Foreign Interference, a Necessity

BRAZILIA, (ST) -Leaders of the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States CELAC bloc have stressed the necessity of attaining a peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria without foreign interference in the country's internal affairs.

In a statement distributed recently by the Brazilian Foreign Ministry following the bloc's first summit in Chile, leaders of CELAC expressed their deep concern over the situation in Syria, affirming the necessity of a permanent peaceful solution without any kind of unjustified foreign interference.

Presidents and leaders of the 60 participating countries, regretted the critical humanitarian conditions of a big number of Syrian displaced citizens, stressing the need to halt violence and kick off a political settlement process led by the Syrians themselves and backed by the international community.

The conferees urged the UN Chief, the Security Council and the international community to double their diplomatic efforts to put an end to violence in Syria.

They stressed that they back every effort which restores stability to Syria and maintains the state's national sovereignty, unity and independence in accordance with the goals and principles of the UN Charter.

CELAC group was established in 2011 at an initiative made by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in a Caracas summit.

 

H. Mustafa

      

 

 

Lavrov: Russia's efforts aim at backing the Geneva communiqué

Russian foreign chief Sergei Lavrov Lavrov stressed that Russia's efforts were aimed at backing the Geneva communiqué, which pushed Syria to set up an interim government in order to put it on track towards peace settlement.

 “That is our stance. It’s not about supporting this or that party in the ongoing crisis . I hope that our foreign colleagues won’t misinterpret Russia’s actions in regard to the crisis in Syria,” he said at a meeting with Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders.

Lavrov said the recent evacuation of Russian citizens, mostly women and children, from Syria made Victoria Nuland, the US State Department spokeswoman, believe it was a signal that Moscow was ready to give up on the Syrian government over “continued deterioration of the security situation.

Hence.Lavrov  called on foreign officials to show more awareness in their comments regarding Russia’s stance on Syria.

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UN humanitarian chief arrives in Syria

UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator Valerie Amos arrived in Damascus on Sunday for talks on humanitarian issues, sources told Xinhua.

Amos, during her two-day visit, will meet with Syrian officials from the Foreign Ministry, a UN source told Xinhua.

The visit, which is Amos' third one since the onset of the crisis in Syria in 2011.

M.W

India Parades First Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

India used its annual Republic Day parade to display its first-ever intercontinental ballistic missile, just hours after the country’s president made loaded comments about its relationship with Pakistan, according to Al-Manar News.

Republic Day, nominally a national holiday celebrating the introduction of a constitution following independence, is traditionally a display of nationalistic fervor, capped by a massive procession showing off all the latest military hardware.

The pride of place this year was taken by Agni-V, a new-generation missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads as far as China and central Russia, which has been developed at a cost of more than half a billion US dollars. Although the missile underwent a successful test launch in August last year, this was the first time it has been shown to the wider public.

With a range of at least 5,500 km (with some experts claiming its true “classified” reach is actually 8,000 km) the project puts India in an elite club of nuclear superpowers with intercontinental capabilities.

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Brazil Nightclub Fire Kills More Than 200: Police

At least 200 people were killed in a nightclub fire in southern Brazil on Sunday after a band's pyrotechnics show set the establishment ablaze, local officials said, according to Reuters.

Bodies were still being removed from the nightclub in the southern city of Santa Maria, Major Gerson da Rosa Ferreira, who was leading rescue efforts at the scene for the military police, told Reuters.

Ferreira said 159 bodies had been removed from the club, and the death toll was likely to rise above 200. He said the victims died of asphyxiation or from being trampled, and there were as many as 500 people inside the club when the fire broke out.

Luiza Sousa, a civil police official in Santa Maria, told Reuters the blaze started when a member of the band or its production team ignited a flare, which then set fire to the ceiling. The fire spread "in seconds", Sousa said.

Rio Grande do Sul state Health Secretary Ciro Simoni said respirators from all over the state were being sent to the scene.

Santa Maria is some 187 miles west of the state capital of Porto Alegre. "A sad Sunday!" tweeted Rio Grande do Sul Governor Tarso Genro. He said "all possible measures" were being taken in response and that he was on his way to the scene.

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