Putin Has Yet to Decide if He Plans to Be Party Candidate or Independent -Kremlin

Last week, Putin announced that he plans to run for a new presidential term in the 2018 election

Russian President Vladimir Putin has not made a decision so far if he plans to run for the next presidential term as a party candidate or an independent one, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday.

"No, not yet, as soon as there is the decision, we will tell you," Peskov said. The decision may be announced before the New Year or later, he added.

US, Zionist Entity Responsible for Tensions in Middle East, Says Iran Defense Minister

 The Iranian defense minister has denounced the recent "provocative and unwise" decision by US President Donald Trump to recognize al-Quds as Israel's "capital," saying the United States and Israeli regime are responsible for any further tension and bloodshed in the Middle East.

Brigadier General Amir Hatami said on Monday that Trump's bid was a serious plot aimed at violating rights of the Palestinian people.

  "This move will hasten the destruction of the Zionist regime [Israel] and will double unity among Muslims," he added.

Russia, India and China Agree to Share Experience in Fight against Terrorism

NEW DELHI-The foreign ministers of Russia, India and China agreed to share their experience in the fight against terrorism, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has underscored.

He made the remarks following the 15th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Russia, India and China, also known as the RIC. Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi and his Russia counterpart Sergei Lavrov held the meeting with Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi, Indian media reported.

"Russia, India and China are ready to share their experience with other partners in the fight against foreign terrorists," Lavrov said, RIA Novosti reported on Monday.

The ministers will discussed the situation in Afghanistan, the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula, a joint fight against terrorism, drug trafficking, international information security, as well as countering the legalization of criminal proceeds and financing of terrorism.

Kazakhtan: Astana Talks on Syria to Be Held on December 21-22

ASTANA, (ST)-- The 8th round of talks on Syrian settlement in the Kazakh capital city of Astana will be held on December 21-22, according to Kazakhstan’s foreign ministry.

In a statement on Monday, the ministry announced that "the next international meeting on Syria within the Astana process will take place on December 21-22".

 It said that participants in the forthcoming meeting plan to discuss the work of the de-escalation zones and to adopt a joint statement on humanitarian action and the demining of Syrian areas liberated from terrorists.

Russian Senator Praises Syrian Operation against Daesh

MOSCOW- It is hard to overestimate the success of the joint Russian-Syrian operation to eradicate the main forces of Daesh terror group (IS, ISIS), Chairman of the Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Committee for Foreign Affairs Konstantin Kosachev said on Monday. According to him, "a showcase victory over the first terrorist quasi-state" is in the entire world’s interest, Itar Tass reported.

 On December 6, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the total defeat of the Islamic State terror group on both banks of the Euphrates River. He pointed out that there could still be some pockets of resistance but on the whole, terrorists active in that area had been totally defeated. On Monday, Putin visited the Hmeymim air base in Syria and ordered the Russian Defense Ministry to begin the withdrawal of troops from the county.

Zakharova Reminds Western Partners about Their ‘Successes’ in Iraq, Lybia, Afghanistan

MOSCOW- Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Sunday jogged the memory of the Western partner about their "successes" in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan in comment to French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drina’s statement that Russia has "arrogated" the defeat of Daesh in Syria, Itar Tass reported.

Iran FM, Britain Foreign Secretary Discuss JCPOA, Economic Ties in Tehran

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson have held talks in the Iranian capital about a landmark nuclear agreement reached between Tehran and the P5+1 group of countries more than two years ago, according to Press T.V.

According to a statement by Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the top Iranian and British diplomats discussed on Saturday the implementation of the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and commitment of all signatories to the deal, whose future has been thrown into doubt by US President Donald Trump.

US Jets Tried to Hinder Victory over Daesh in Syria: Russia's Military

Russian authorities have indicated how the US military attempted in a latest incident to hinder the full defeat of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in Syria.

According to Press TV, Igor Konashenkov, the Russian Defense Ministry's spokesman, said on Saturday that American warplanes in Syria had tried in late November to disrupt a Russian air operation against the positions of Daesh in eastern Syria.

"An American F-22 fighter actively prevented the Russian pair of Su-25 attack aircraft from carrying out a combat mission to destroy the Daesh stronghold in the suburbs of the city of Mayadin in the airspace over the western bank of the Euphrates River on November 23,” said Konashenkov.