Lavrov Slams Pressure on UNESCO Bogging down Restoration of Palmyra, Aleppo

MOSCOW- Restoring monuments that were ruthlessly decimated by terrorists in the Syrian cities of Palmyra and Aleppo, has gotten stalled due to pressure being exerted on the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday at a session of the country’s Commission for UNESCO.

Moscow Refutes Allegations about Russian Air Strikes in a Village in Syria's Idlib

MOSCOW The Russian Defense Ministry has refuted claims by some western news outlets that the Russian Aerospace Force planes struck the area near Maar Shurin village in Syria’s Idlib Governorate, Itar Tass reported.

"The Russian Aerospace Force planes did not conduct flights in the specified area," the ministry said.

UK PM Urges Trump to Step Forward with Mideast Peace Plan

British Prime Minister Theresa May has urged US President Donald Trump to bring forward proposals on achieving peace in the Middle East after he recognized al-Quds as Israel's capital.

"They discussed the different positions we took on the recognition of Jerusalem [al-Quds] as the Israeli capital, and agreed on the importance of the US bringing forward new proposals for peace and the international community supporting these efforts," a spokesman for May said on Tuesday.

Russia Must Become Leader in knowledge, Intellect and Culture, Putin Tells Supporters

Vladimir Putin has told a forum of his supporters that he sees the main objectives of his new presidential program as maintaining Russia’s freedom, social stability and leading place among world nations.

Speaking at the Tuesday session of the “Forum of Actions” organized by the All-Russian Popular Front movement incumbent president Vladimir Putin said that Russia had to fulfill the principal historical tasks of the moment, such as population growth, creation of a new economy and development of its Arctic and Far East regions.

Trump's Bid to Portray Iran as Threat Futile, Says Qassemi

Iran has slammed as "unbalanced and unilateral" US President Donald Trump's first national security strategy, saying it was just a futile attempt to depict Iran as a threat.

"What has been portrayed in this unconventional text devoid of any rationality and realism was nothing but the repetition and rehashing of baseless and groundless accusations and illusions of a few delusional countries in the region and the US," Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Tuesday.

US Vetoes UNSC Resolution Rejecting Trump's al-Quds Decision

The United States has been further isolated after it vetoed a UN Security Council’s resolution calling for the annulment of US President Donald Trump’s controversial bid to recognize al-Quds as Israel’s capital.

Fourteen members of the 15-member council voted on Monday in favor of the Egyptian-drafted resolution, which did not specifically name the US or Trump but expressed “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem” al-Quds, while US Ambassador Nikki Haley wielded Washington’s veto against the call, according to Press TV.

“What we witnessed here in the Security Council is an insult. It won’t be forgotten. We do it [the veto] with no joy, but we do it with no reluctance,” said Haley after casting the US veto.

Gatilov: No Obstacles Hinder Convening Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi

MOSCOW– Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov stressed that no essential obstacles hindering the launch of Syrian National Dialogue Conference in Sochi, adding that the conference date has not yet been set, according to SANA.

Gatilov, in a statement to Russia’s Sputnik news agency, said that preparations are underway to hold the conference and there are talks among Astana process guarantor states to reach an agreement on the participating sides.

He added that difficult issues still need to be settled in order to ensure the success of this conference and that everything is moving along as planned.

Putin Thanks Trump for CIA Data that Helped Prevent Terror Attack in St. Petersburg

MOSCOW- Russian President Vladimir Putin has thanked his US counterpart, Donald Trump, for CIA information that helped arrest terrorist who had plotted bomb attacks in St. Petersburg’s Kazan Cathedral and in other crowded places in Russia’s second largest city, the Kremlin press service said on Sunday after a telephone conversation between the two leaders, Itar Tass reported.

"The Russian president thanked his US counterpart for information shared by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that helped trace, expose and detain a group of terrorists who had plotted explosions in St. Petersburg’s Kazan Cathedral and in other crowded places in that city," the press service said, adding that the conversation was initiated by the Russian side.