Lavrov to Egyptian Newspaper: Trump's Declaration on Occupied Syrian Golan Undermines Stability in Middle East

CAIRO- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has stressed that the US recognition of Israel’s annexation of the occupied Syrian Golan poses threat to stability in the Middle East.

According to Itar Tass, Washington’s recognition of Israel’s annexation of Syria's Golan has once again revealed the US determination "to destroy the generally accepted foundation of the international law, which lays the basis for the quest to find ways of settling the Middle East issue."

He added that US actions in the Middle East are in line with Washington’s policy of "destroying the cornerstone international agreements, of replacing the international law with what it calls the ‘rule-based order.’"

Moscow fully recognizes Syria’s sovereignty over Golan

Russia’s top diplomat reiterated that Moscow fully recognizes Syria’s sovereignty over the territory and its stance on the Golan issue remains unchanged.

IAEA Visits Iran Site which Exposed Netanyahu's Lie

The UN nuclear agency says it has inspected a site in Tehran which Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu last year described as a “secret atomic warehouse” but it turned out to be a carpet cleaning facility.

Netanyahu claimed at the United Nations in September that the site housed 15 kg of unspecified radioactive material, citing it as testimony to his frivolous allegations that Tehran sought to obtain nuclear weapons.

The claim angered the International Atomic Energy Agency which has repeatedly confirmed the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program after many inspections. At the time, the agency said it does not take information presented to it at face value and sends inspectors “only when needed”.

 On Thursday, Reuters quoted three three diplomats familiar with the agency’s work as saying that IAEA inspectors have visited the site.

US-Saudi Arms Deals 'Dramatically Understated' - Study

An American think tank says it has found new data showing US arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the UAE are "dramatically understated" and billions more than previously reported.

The data collected by arms trade watchdog Security Assistance Monitor (SAM) shows the US has struck at least $68.2 billion worth of deals with the two countries since they started their war in Yemen. 

The colossal sum includes, for the first time, both commercial and governmental arms deals and indicates that US involvement in the disastrous war may be greater than suspected, said London-based Middle East Eye which cited the data.

"In fact, the weapons expenditure could have funded the United Nations’s 2019 humanitarian appeal for Yemen – which totaled $4 billion – 17 times over," the online news outlet said.

Russia Hopes Military Scenario Won’t Be Carried out in Libya, Says Diplomat

MOSCOW - Moscow hopes that a military scenario won’t be implemented in Libya and the crisis will be ironed out by a political and diplomatic means, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

"We hope this scenario won’t be fulfilled," the diplomat stressed. "We believe that the crisis will be sorted out by a political and diplomatic means. We have been making every effort for this over the past several years," she noted.

On Thursday, Commander of the Libyan National Army Khalifa Haftar ordered his troops to launch an offensive on the capital, vowing to liberate it from all illegal armed groups. He noted that the Libyan National Army "had heard the call" of Tripoli’s people.

Prime Minister of Tripoli’s Government of National Accord Fayez al-Sarraj ordered all military units controlled by him to be on full combat alert, giving the green light to airstrikes in order to "defend the civilian population and crucial facilities."

Lavrov: War on terrorism in Syria hasn’t finished, terrorists should be eliminated completely

Moscow - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that the war on terrorism in Syria “hasn’t finished yet”, underlining the necessity of eliminating terrorist organizations completely.

In an interview on Wednesday, reported by SANA, Lavrov said “It is important for us to completely crush hotbeds of terrorism, and one of the most important of them which raises concerns is Idleb as there are still several thousands of terrorists in it.”

Lavrov added that dialogue against terrorism was resumed with the US after its long attempts to avoid it, “and we will resume dialogue with the European Union.”

He reminded of President Vladimir Putin’s proposal in his speech at the UN in 2015 on establishing a real international front for combating terrorism.

He expressed his country’s concern over the reluctance of Western Europe’s states to pull out their citizens who joined the terrorist groups in Syria which means that “Cooperation in the domain of combating terrorism isn’t comprehensive”.

Bad Time to Nuclearize Saudis, Says US Senators Warn Trump

A bipartisan group of American lawmakers have raised concerns about Washington’s nuclear dealings with Saudi Arabia despite Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s “deeply troubling actions” and his not-so-secret penchant for acquiring nuclear weapons.

In a letter drafted to US Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Tuesday, Senators Robert Menendez, the senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Republican committee member Marco Rubio questioned the recent approvals for American companies to share nuclear energy information with Saudi Arabia.

Turkey Rejects Stepping Back from Russia Arms Deal

Turkey will not turn back from a major arms deal with Russia despite the US suspension of Ankara from the F-35 fighter-jet program, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday.

"The S-400 deal is a done deal and we will not step back from this," he told a think-tank forum in Washington, where he is taking part in 70th anniversary celebrations of NATO.

The United States said Monday that it was halting shipment of F-35 parts of Turkey as well as joint manufacturing work due to Ankara's purchase of the S-400 missile defense system from Russia.

Putin, Tokayev to Keep Working for Syrian Settlement within Astana Process Framework

MOSCOW - Moscow and Nur-Sultan will go ahead with cooperation within the framework of the Astana process for a settlement in Syria on the basis of international law, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Kazakh counterpart Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said in a joint statement signed upon completion of their talks in the Kremlin on Wednesday.

"On the political track the presidents agreed to go ahead with efforts within the framework of the Astana process for a peace settlement of the crisis in Syria based on the unconditional observance of the universally recognized principles and norms of international law," Putin and Tokayev said in a statement.