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Putin Discusses Syria with Security Council of Russian Federation
Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, discussed the situation in Syria during a meeting with the permanent members at the Security Council of the Russian Federation.

Dmitri Peskov, spokesman for the Russian president, said that the Putin discussed the issues listed on the international agenda, with focus on the situation in Syria.

There was also a detailed exchange of views on building the Russian armed forces, the spokesman said, adding that the meeting also tackled issues related to domestic and foreign security.

Gatilov: We Support Holding Geneva 2 Meeting on Syria

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Gennady Gatilov, expressed his country's support to holding a 'Geneva 2' meeting for solving the crisis in Syria to discuss specific implementation of Geneva Statement items.

Quoted by Russia Today website, Gatilov indicated in his Twitter page the importance of expanding the circle of participants in the meeting by inviting other countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia.

"The two countries are important in the process of finding a solution and can have positive contribution to this work," said the Russian diplomat.

Gatilov earlier pointed out that "Russia is ready to hold a meeting at whatever level," reminding that the two tripartite meetings between Russian and U.S. officials and the UN Envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, suggested holding a second meeting of the action group as 'Geneva 2' meeting to discuss implementing Geneva Statement.

Gatilov Denies News on Forthcoming Meeting on Syria in Munich

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Gennady Gatilov, denied reports on a four-way meeting scheduled to be held in Munich in Germany between the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, UN Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and President of the so-called Doha Coalition Moaz al-Khatib.

''News on a four way meeting between Lavrov, Biden, Brahimi and al-Khatib are baseless,'' said Gatilov on his twitter account, stressing that such meeting is not on Lavrov's agenda.

Media reports had circulated news on the possibility of holding such meeting during the 49th Munich Security Conference that starts on Friday afternoon and lasts till Sunday.

Russian Foreign Ministry: Ford Interprets Geneva Statement According to his Wishes

The Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich, stressed that the US Ambassador Robert Ford interprets Geneva statement about finding a solution to Syrian crisis according to his own wishes, to the extent that he completely changes its meaning, adding that the Ford's statements reflected dishonest intentions in interpreting the statement.

Answering journalists' questions about Ford's statements, Lukashevich said "the official circles at the Russian foreign ministry considered these statements an additional evidence that Russia's partners leave no chance to influence the Arab public opinion , particularly the Syrian opposition and their supporters for preparing atmosphere that does not accept the political solution of the crisis in Syria as stipulated by Geneva statement."

Lukashevich, hoped that Ford's statements don't reflect the US government's stances on Syria and the Middle East, saying that "We don't know by which coincidence this political declaration was published on the same day of appointing a new Secretary of State in the US administration, and we hope that to be a coincidence, not a scheduled declaration about Syria by the new US Department of State."

The Russian diplomat added that no one discussed the crisis in Syria in the same way that the American ambassador did, because Geneva statement stipulated a dialogue between all parties in Syria without preconditions.

Melnikov: Israeli Political Powers Arm, Fund Terrorists in Syria

First Deputy Chairman of the Russian State Duma, Ivan Melnikov said that the Israeli political powers back the mercenary terrorists and the extremist opposition in Syria, adding that they are providing them with arms and funds.

In an interview with SANA reporter in Moscow of Friday, Melnikov said that the attack of Israeli warplanes on Syria is a gross violation of international law and the UN Charter, and a blatant aggression on a sovereign state, adding that the attack proves once again that the events in Syria are not an internal conflict but have morphed into a regional one.

''There is no doubt that Israel informed the US administration it was planning to carry out the raid on Syria, '' Melnikov said, ''and the US administration was capable of preventing the aggression but they didn't. Therefore, it is the US and its allies who are giving Israel full rein to carry out its aggressive acts.''

Melnikov said attempts to justify the Israeli air raid by claiming it targeted a military convoy are futile, as ''Israel has no right to launch an air assault on Syrian goals,'' adding he is convinced that the schemes for foreign intervention in Syria and some other Arab countries were actually put into effect, citing Libya that became a hotbed of terror.

He added that the US, Israel and their allies don't want a strong Syria that is a keystone for stability in the Middle East and seeks peaceful settlement and just solutions to regional issues, that's why they are trying to fragment and weaken it.

''I attended an international conference of presidents of European parliaments in Strasburg last September in my capacity as deputy chairman of the Russian State Duma, and I put forward the Russian official stance on these events,'' Melnikov said.

Melnikov said that Moscow has adopted firm stances regarding regional issues and conflicts such as the one unfolding in Syria, adding that Russia is reclaiming its former position in the international arena.

Chairman of the Syrian-Russian Friendship Association, Alexander Dzasokhov told SANA reporter in Moscow that the Israeli violation of the Syrian airspace is a gross violation of the UN principles and the UN Security Council.

''The Israeli violation of the Syrian airspace has raised Russia's concerns, which in fact constitutes a clear defiance of the UN and its charter,'' Dzasokhov said.

''We are sure that the Arab peoples, politicians and leaders will revise the trajectory of events, because there is no sitting on the fence on this as the Syria issue is intertwined with the issues of the Arab world,'' Dzasokhov said.

He saw that the blatant Israel violation of the Syrian airspace can be intended to deflect attention from the political program to solve the crisis proposed by President Bashar al-Assad.

He wondered at some Arab countries' silence over the Israeli attack, stating that ''We haven't heard any condemnation of the aggression from Saudi Arabia, Qatar or other Arab states.''

Dzasokhov hoped that the UNSC will punish Israel for the aggression, adding ''Our reactions should not be restricted to separate incidents, but there should be intensified efforts regarding such reckless violations.''
Sat 2013-02-01  |  22:46:25   
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