UN Security Council Calls for Soonest Resumption of Syria Dialogue

UNITED NATIONS- The United Nations Security Council expects the Syrian government and the "opposition" to resume negotiations as soon as possible and without preconditions, members of the council said in a written statement released Friday.

"The Members of the Security Council looked forward to the early resumption of the intra-Syrian negotiations and encouraged the Syrian parties to return to talks in good faith and to engage constructively and without preconditions on the agenda set out by the UN Special Envoy when talks resume," the statement reads, according to Tass news agency.

Berlin Shows Double Standards in Dealing with Mosul and Aleppo: Moscow

MOSCOW- Berlin demonstrates double standards by comparing the situation in Iraq’s Mosul and Syria’s Aleppo, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday commenting on the recent statements by German politicians and diplomats about the situation in the northern Iraqi city.

"We are puzzled and surprised by attempts to describe as ‘surgically precise’ the campaign to retake Mosul, carried out with support from the US-led anti-IS coalition. They sound cynical against the background of numerous civilian deaths and large-scale destruction of civil infrastructure caused by the 'targeted' air strikes," the ministry said in a statement, according to Itar Tass.

Territorial Integrity of Syria Obligatory Condition for Full-Fledged Settlement

MOSCOW-Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed the need to unify the efforts of the international community as to fight terrorism in Syria and the world.

In a press conference with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyib Erdogan in Moscow on Friday , Putin said he discussed with Erdogan the situation in Syria, adding that the two sides noted the need to join efforts in the fight against terrorism.

Kazakh Foreign Ministry: Upcoming Astana meeting on Syria will be held on March 14-15

 

Astana – The Kazakh Foreign Ministry affirmed on Thursday that the next Astana meeting on Syria will be held on March 14-15, SANA reported.

“The next high-level meeting on Syria will be held in the capital of Kazakhstan on March 14-15, 2017.

High-level delegations from Russia, Turkey and Iran will take part in the meeting. Invitations will be sent to the United Nations, the United States and Jordan. The guarantor countries expect the Syrian government and the armed opposition to confirm the participation of their delegations,” the press service of Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

According to the Kazakh Foreign Ministry, on March 14th, preliminary consultations are scheduled to take place, while on March 15th, the meeting’s participants will hold a plenary meeting.

Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry noted that Kazakhstan is ready to further contribute to international efforts aimed at finding a political solution to the crisis in Syria, adding that the results of the previous meetings of Astana, especially those related to the cessation of hostilities agreement had provided an opportunity in front of the Syrian parties to go to discuss the issues raised in the framework of the Geneva process in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution 2254.

Kremlin rejects information on allowing Israel to target Hezbollah from Syrian airspace

 

Moscow – The Kremlin rejected information on Thursday that Moscow would allegedly allow Israel to target the Lebanese Hezbollah from the Syrian airspace, SANA reported.

 “I cannot comment on the information. This has nothing to do with reality,” the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

According to the spokesman, this theme “was not discussed”, adding that “there is no talk about that.”

Lavrov: Meetings of Astana and Geneva on crisis in Syria were useful and achieved significant progress

 

Moscow - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that the meetings of Astana and Geneva were very useful as they achieved a significant progress, expressing hope that they will help in consolidating the cessation of hostilities agreement and moving forward the political solution to the crisis in Syria, SANA reported.

In a joint press conference with his German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel, Lavrov said “accelerating Geneva process is in our interest.”

Fifth Round of Intra-Syrian Talks in Geneva on March 23rd

NEW YORK, (ST)- The UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura has invited the Syrian government and opposition to resume the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva on March 23rd.

In a press conference he held in New York, de Mistua said the fifth round of the talks will also be indirect.

UN Human Rights Chief Warns about Trump's Immigration Policies

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has warned that US President Donald Trump's immigration policies could lead to mass detentions and “collective expulsions” of migrants, amounting to a “breach of international law.”

In an annual speech to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said better leadership was needed to tackle rising discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities in the US.

"Expedited deportations could amount to collective expulsions and refoulement, in breach of international law, if undertaken without due process guarantees, including individual assessment," Zeid said, referring to the UN Refugee Convention, which prohibits the forcible return of people who are escaping persecution, violence and war.