17 August 2017
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

19.06.2017

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answer to a media question at a joint news conference of BRICS foreign ministers, Beijing, June 19, 2017

Question: Terrorism is one of the main challenges facing the international community. Could the BRICS nations consolidate their efforts in Syria? Could a mechanism be created so that BRICS representatives monitor the ceasefire, including in those areas where this is being established? Yesterday, the United States assumed control of the al-Tanf border crossing in southern Syria. Could the strengthening of the US role without coordination with the Syrian government complicate the efforts toward a settlement?

Sergey Lavrov: The BRICS countries are at one on the necessity of enhancing the effectiveness of counterterrorism efforts. We have a Working Group on Counter-Terrorism, which has held two meetings and has a considerable potential. These efforts should be taken in an interdepartmental format. We have common views on the need to involve foreign policy departments and the concerned counterterrorism agencies, prevent terrorist attacks and exchange related information.

Of course, it takes more than our five countries to rout global terrorism, and the BRICS countries agree on the necessity of broader international efforts. I would like to remind you about President Putin’s initiative of a broad counterterrorism front, which is still vital. I hope that the recent UN General Assembly decisions based on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ proposal for a new office for counterterrorism will give momentum to our movement towards this goal. Russia will actively contribute to this.

As for a settlement in Syria, the BRICS countries stand for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2254. We are grateful to our colleagues and friends for the high appreciation they have expressed today for the efforts taken by Russia, including jointly with Turkey and Iran, in the framework of the Astana process. The next meeting in Astana will be held on 10 July. It will be attended by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura. The sides involved have agreed to complete the coordination of the parameters and modalities of the regime in the de-escalation zones and around them at the upcoming meeting. When this initiative was advanced at the previous Astana meeting on May 4, the related memorandum said that Russia, Turkey and Iran as guarantors would welcome any contribution from other parties, even those that are not involved in the Astana process. As I said, when we know the parameters, we will be ready to consider proposals from other countries that are willing to contribute to the implementation of this initiative.

As for the developments on the ground in Syria, we believe that respect for Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be ensured in compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and other UN documents. Any actions on the ground, where many sides are deployed, including those who are involved in the hostilities, must be coordinated with the Syrian government. This is what Russia, Turkey and Iran are doing in Astana. We coordinate all our initiatives and proposals with the Syrian government. We believe that this is how everyone should act, especially when the issue concerns control of any area in Syria and when such actions may raise questions about their real goals.

We urge the United States and all other countries that have military forces or advisers on the ground in Syria to coordinate their actions. De-escalation zones are a possible form of moving forward together. We urge everyone to avoid acting unilaterally, to respect the sovereignty of Syria – as I have said – and to join the common efforts that are coordinated with the Syrian government.




LATEST EVENTS

16.08.2017 - 72 UNGA: Afghanistan is a matter of primary concern

Russia supports efforts of the Government of Afghanistan to advance national reconciliation and dialogue with the armed opposition. We are deeply concerned over the rise of ISIS in the north of Afghanistan and over the risk of spread of terrorist activity to the Central Asia. We believe that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) as well as enhanced regional cooperation will play a crucial role in the stabilization process. Moscow supports the work of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) which serves as the main coordinator of international civilian efforts in Afghanistan.


15.08.2017 - Embassy responds to Russian media question

Question: It looks like British media continue their policy of writing/saying either harsh criticism of Russia or nothing at all. And this in summer time, when journos like Ed Lucas, Luke Harding, Con Coughlin and Roger Boyes, who specialize in Russia-bashing, are away on holiday. At the same time it seems that the same attitude takes shape towards America, if we take Gideon Rachman’s article in today’s FT as example. What is your view of that?


15.08.2017 - 72 UNGA: We must help relaunch Israeli-Palestinian negotiations

There is a need to relaunch direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on the Middle East settlement. We call on both sides to abstain from unilateral steps which undermine the chances of the two-State solution. Russia continues to contribute to the settlement both through bilateral channels and in the format of the Quartet of international mediators.


15.08.2017 - Press release on Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov’s meeting with Qadri Jamil, a leader of the Syrian opposition Popular Front for Change and Liberation and head of the Syrian opposition’s Moscow platform

On August 14, Russian Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov received Qadri Jamil, a leader of the Syrian opposition Popular Front for Change and Liberation and head of the Syrian opposition’s Moscow platform.


15.08.2017 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on terrorist attack in Ouagadougou

On August 13, a group of armed individuals attacked visitors of a café in the centre of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. According to local authorities, 17 people were killed and about ten wounded to varying degrees as a result of the terrorist attack.


14.08.2017 - Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s meeting with Libyan National Army Commander Khalifa Haftar

On August 14, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a meeting at the Foreign Ministry with Libyan National Army Commander Khalifa Haftar, who is paying a working visit to Moscow.


14.08.2017 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on terrorist attack in Ouagadougou

On August 13, a group of armed individuals attacked visitors of a café in the centre of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. According to local authorities, 17 people were killed and about ten wounded to varying degrees as a result of the terrorist attack.


14.08.2017 - Russian Embassy’s comment on Malcolm Rifkind’s piece in The Times of 14 August 2017

We are not surprised by the former tory foreign and defense secretary’s attempt at finding some common ground between a post-Brexit Britain and the EU. But why at Russia’s expense?! Napoleon’s "nation of shopkeepers" and charges of "bloodymindedness" had nothing to do with Russia. And if all of history is taken into account, one could conclude that it was Russia’s participation in settlement of European quarrels, like two world wars, that ensured the right outcomes. WWI was a common failure of all European powers, with Russia the least interested party having suffered the most. As to WWII, it seems the West cannot disown Nazism enough.


14.08.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions at the Terra Scientia on Klyazma River National Educational Youth Forum, Vladimir Region, August 11, 2017

Thank you for such a warm welcome. I have been invited for the third time running. I am very pleased to receive these invitations because it is very important for international relations professionals to talk to young people who are interested in diverse issues. All the more so since this forum has gathered sociologists and political scientists – professions that are very closely intertwined and, I believe, necessary to figure out what life is about, including international life.


14.08.2017 - 72 UNGA : Only diplomatic settlement can bring peace to the Middle East and North Africa

We believe that there is no alternative to a diplomatic settlement of conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa. Collective counter-terrorism efforts in the region should go in parallel. Russia contributes to a peaceful settlement in Syria by supporting the inter-Syrian dialogue in Geneva. The future of the Syrian Government must be determined by Syrians themselves, while maintaining public administration and secular and multicultural nature of the Syrian State. It is critically important to continue the Astana process aimed at de-escalation and promotion of political settlement. We oppose any attempts to politicize the humanitarian issues, blaming only the Syrian Government for the situation in the country.



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