UK Was Aware of Saudi Plot Against Khashoggi Weeks in Advance

Jamal Khashoggi was about to disclose details of Saudi Arabia’s use of chemical weapons in Yemen when he was killed.

An activist dressed as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman holds a prop bonesaw during a demonstration calling for sanctions against Saudi Arabia outside the White House in Washington, U.S., Oct. 19, 2018.

UK Was Aware of Saudi Plot Against Khashoggi Weeks in Advance: Report
By TeleSur

Saudi Arabia told the U.K. about their plan of abducting Khashoggi three weeks before the incident took place. The MI6 warned them against carrying out the said operation.

The murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi was about to disclose details of Saudi Arabia’s use of chemical weapons in Yemen when he was killed, as reported by the Sunday Express, a source close to him told the media outlet Friday.

This revelation was made as different intelligence sources disclosed that the U.K. was made aware of the entire plot by Saudi Arabia three weeks before the incident took place on Oct. 2.

Intercepts by GCHQ of internal communications by the kingdom’s General Intelligence Directorate revealed orders by a “member of the royal circle” to abduct the troublesome journalist and take him back to Saudi Arabia. The report does not confirm or deny whether the order came from the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

They were supposed to abduct Khashoggi and take him back to Riyadh but could take other actions, if the journalist created problems.

“We were initially made aware that something was going in the first week of September, around three weeks before Mr. Khashoggi walked into the consulate on October 2, though it took more time for other details to emerge,” the intelligence source told the Sunday Express Friday.

“These details included primary orders to capture Mr. Khashoggi and bring him back to Saudi Arabia for questioning. However, the door seemed to be left open for alternative remedies to what was seen as a big problem. We know the orders came from a member of the royal circle but have no direct information to link them to Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Whether this meant he was not the original issuer we cannot say.”

The MI6 had warned their Saudi counterparts to cancel the mission. “On October 1 we became aware of the movement of a group, which included members of Ri’āsat Al-Istikhbārāt Al-‘Āmah (GID) to Istanbul, and it was pretty clear what their aim was.

“Through channels, we warned that this was not a good idea. Subsequent events show that our warning was ignored.”

Sunday Express also obtained an anonymous interview from a close friend of Khashoggi’s who revealed that the journalist was about to obtain “documentary evidence” of Saudi Arabia’s use of chemical weapon in its proxy war in Yemen.

Iran has previously claimed that the kingdom had been supplying ingredients that can be used to make the nerve agent Sarin in Yemen but Khashoggi was possibly referring to phosphorus which can be used to burn bones. Last month it was claimed that Saudi Arabia had been using U.S.-supplied white phosphorus munitions against troops and even civilians in Yemen.

Jamal Khashoggi was a Washington Post columnist who left Saudi Arabia a year ago due to the widespread crackdown on dissent by the crown prince which saw imprisoning of a large number of dissenters and activists in Saudi Arabia.

The journalist went to Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 .to get papers for his marriage and never seen after that. Turkey maintained that he was killed inside the consulate by Saudi authorities but the latter denied any allegations against them for almost three weeks before finally accepting that he indeed was murdered but alleged it to be a rogue operation about which the crown prince had no knowledge.

The case of Khashoggi created an international uproar and diplomatic scandals where many countries are deciding to impose sanctions on the country and many companies severed their ties with Saudi Arabia.

According to the latest updates, the European Union is considering a ban on arms sale to Saudi Arabia and other sanctions. The EU will make a joint decision on how to punish the kingdom, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday in Istanbul after Russia-Turkey-France-Germany summit on Syria. A similar sentiment was expressed by France’s Emmanuel Macron.

This article was originally published by TeleSur” –

Advertisements

The US has encircled Russia with the biological laboratories, by Ruslan Ostashko

English translation and subtitles by Eugenia

 

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Euronews

Via The Saker

October 18, 2018

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Euronews

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Euronews, Moscow, October 16, 2018

Question: The issue of Russia’s financial contribution to the Council of Europe has long been on the agenda after Russia’s voting right was suspended. How important is the Council of Europe to Russia? What, in your view, is the likely solution to this impasse?

Sergey Lavrov: The Council of Europe is going through a serious crisis and not because Russia suspended its contribution more than a year ago but due to the reasons you mentioned: because Russia was denied the right to vote. This happened in 2014 as punishment for the free expression of will by Crimea residents, who voted in favour of reintegration with Russia at a referendum. This punishment was imposed on the members of parliament that were elected by the population of Russia and sent as a delegation to the Council of Europe.

The sanctions imposed in 2014 became tougher in 2015. As a result, the Russian members of parliament were stripped of all rights whatsoever and were only allowed to be present at the meetings of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and listen to anti-Russia statements without having an opportunity to answer, which is, strictly speaking, regular practice in any normal parliament where, even if tensions are running high, it is always possible to answer and compare different positions. Our members of parliament were denied this right for three years even though from 2014 until 2017 we made the required contributions. In so doing, we warned that this could not go on forever because without due representation at the assembly and without the opportunity to state its position it would be unwise for Russia to pay for Russophobic activities; the same goes for any other country that might end up in a similar situation for that matter. So we warned everyone that we would be forced to suspend our contributions at some point. We did this in the summer of 2017, making it clear that as soon as the rights of our members of parliament at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe were unconditionally and fully reinstated, we would immediately pay our debts.

I want to stress that our decision on this point has worked. Many sensible MPs and functionaries in the Council of Europe have become aware of the seriousness of the situation. Michele Nicoletti, the then President of the Parliamentary Assembly, and Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland were struggling to find a way out of this absolutely abnormal situation.

As a result of that work, the attention of all members of the Parliamentary Assembly was drawn to the fact that there is a basic document that all bodies of the Council of Europe, including the Parliamentary Assembly, must be guided by in their work. This is the Statute of the Council of Europe – a fundamental document, an imperative, so to say. It says that all Council of Europe member states enjoy equal rights in any Council of Europe format, whether the Parliamentary Assembly, or the Committee of Ministers, or any other organ.

We pointed this out and asked our colleagues in the Parliamentary Assembly to comply with the document they signed when they endorsed the decision to establish the Council of Europe and to honour the terms on which Russia joined the organisation. Once again, I will point out that the term written in the Statute is the complete equality of the delegations of all Council of Europe member states, including in the Parliamentary Assembly.

Instead, a small, but very loud and aggressive group of delegations from countries that are well known to everyone (I won’t bother mentioning the names; they have been pushing an anti-Russia stance in the European Union, as well as NATO, the United Nations and the OSCE) set forth the premise that besides the Statute of the Council of Europe there are also the Rules of Procedure for the Parliamentary Assembly. These Rules of Procedure stipulate that decisions be adopted through a vote and by a very narrow majority. The most they were willing to do was to consider whether these rules should be changed to make it harder to restrict the rights of one delegation or another.

Our response was simple and tough. No regulations, rules or procedures can compare in significance with the fundamental document – the Statute of the Council of Europe, which, let me point out once again, proclaims the mandatory equality of all delegations in all structures of the Council of Europe.

Therefore, we will propose that the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe pass a resolution confirming the indisputability of this statutory provision – this is its function. If that decision is blocked, it will be a deliberate step by those, who, in their anti-Russia fervour, simply want to “bury” Europe.

Please note that since our MPs were stripped of the right to vote, the Parliamentary Assembly has already elected, if I am not mistaken, 24 judges to the European Court of Human Rights. And the total number is 47. So, the majority of judges in the European Court are judges elected in the absence of the Russian votes.

Similarly, a new High Commissioner for Human Rights was elected without the Russian MPs. Next June, a new secretary general of the Council of Europe will be elected. So, due to the suspension of our right, which is granted to us by the Statute of the Council of Europe, to participate in these votes, the above functionaries of the Council of Europe (the judges, the commissioner for human rights and soon, if this issue persists, the secretary general) will, in fact, not be legitimate for us. Therefore, I do hope that all our partners, including and in the first place those who made this mess, who decided to punish the deputies chosen freely by the will of the people who are residents of Crimea – that they have become aware of the seriousness of the situation and the responsibility that they are taking upon themselves.

Question: Thorbjorn Jagland said they would make the budget without Russia’s funds. Our Russian MPs say that one of the options is leaving the Council of Europe. Is Russia considering this possibility?

Sergey Lavrov: Thorbjorn Jagland has no other option than to create the budget using the current funding under circumstances where we are not paying our share. We, again, recently stated that as soon as our rights are restored we will pay our dues to the Council of Europe in full. The European Court of Human Rights has been largely formed without our participation, so its legitimacy for Russia is rather dubious, just like the legitimacy of the Commissioner for Human Rights. I have heard the Russian parliamentarians’ statements to the effect that if this outrage continues, the Council of Europe will be signing its own death warrant. I do not think that Russia’s participation in Council of Europe is more important for Russia than for the European countries. This is my firm conviction. We joined the Council of Europe on the principle that it provides for a pan-European, universal legal and humanitarian space. I am sure that those who have dealt a blow to this space through illegitimate actions that violate the Statute and seek to deprive the Russian delegation of their equal rights, they know what they are signing up for. If they want to push Russia out of the Council of Europe, we won’t give them the pleasure; we will leave the organisation ourselves. Let those in the majority, who are aware of the provocative nature of this plan initiated by a small but loud group of countries, work within this group. It is unacceptable to ruin a pan-European organisation to satisfy the ambitions of certain politicians in some European capitals. Everyone is aware of this. I hope that most sensible people will be brave enough to prevent this from happening.

Question: Is Russia doing anything to prove to the West that we are reliable and can be trusted after what has happened to the Skripals and all those hacking attack charges?

Sergey Lavrov: Our Western colleagues are priding themselves on having built a rule-of-law state in their countries; rule of law and the rules-based order are allegedly what the historical West has created as well as what all others should accept and reproduce, including the judicial system. There is English law and there is Roman law, but in both cases for someone to start proving his innocence he should hear the concrete charges. We have not been presented with such charges. We are baselessly being convinced that we have “highly likely” done something unlawful in Salisbury, then in Amesbury, and later we did something unlawful in Catalonia. Allegedly, we have meddled in all these matters. They are also accusing us of having played our sad role in Brexit and of many other sins. But not one single concrete charge has been presented.

Unlike our partners, we did build a rule-of-law state, because we hold sacred our international legal commitments and hope that all others will do the same. We have advised the British Government dozens of times, in keeping with conventions existing in our bilateral relations (the Council of Europe conventions, incidentally), of the need to utilise the mechanism for mutual assistance in criminal cases. After numerous reminders on our part, they replied officially that the British Government could not do that out of national security considerations. As is clear to everyone, this reply lacks substance and is disrespectful of the British legal system, among others. Therefore, as soon as we are presented with concrete facts, we will be ready to sit down and talk. The same goes for allegations that we have meddled in the US elections. Moreover, in both cases, we have long been suggesting – even before Donald Trump was elected president and before the Salisbury incident – that we should start concrete work on cybersecurity, where professionals, first of all, will exchange their concerns and respond to these mutual concerns, and, secondly, devise certain universal rules that will make it possible to rule out or dramatically reduce the abuse of cyberspace, which is used by terrorists, criminals, drug addicts, pedophiles, and many other people, who must be restrained in every possible way. In response, we hear only that Russia should mend its ways, if it wants to be talked to. This is neither serious nor the way adults behave.

Unlike our accusers, we ask some very concrete questions: there is a convention on legal assistance, let us use it; there is the Chemical Weapons Convention, which says that if a state party has questions to ask another state party, the country that has conceived a question must put this question directly in a bilateral format to the country, to which this question is addressed. Nothing of the kind has been done.

Yet another utterly concrete question, which we have been asking for too long now and which is shameful to ignore for much longer, is: where are Yulia and Sergey Skripal? If the evidence we have been presented with includes just the corpses of a cat, a hamster, and a poor, unstably housed woman, as well as a scent-bottle, it all looks grotesque. I don’t want to belittle the seriousness of cases involving the use of chemical substances, but if someone wants to gamble on this and put up a show to amuse the public and rally the European community against the Russian Federation, then this is shameful. If someone is seriously concerned about these problems, there is no need to tell the untruth. You should prove your accusations with facts, including by presenting to the public Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia. While Sergey has British nationality apart from Russian citizenship, Yulia is just a citizen of Russia. She appeared on television just once, uttered a clearly filmed monologue, and added that she wanted to return back to Russia. No one has seen her since then. Her relative, Viktoria, has failed to obtain a visa. She was harassed at the British Embassy in Moscow, where they repeatedly urged her to change the documents, rewrite the questionnaires or bring new photographs. In the end she was left without a visa. There are many other factors preventing relatives of these people from contacting them. So, we are in favour of legal solutions to any problems. The rabid accusation in the spirit of “highly likely” or “we don’t see any other plausible explanation” are just not serious.

Question: What about Bellingcat? All these investigations…

Sergey Lavrov: That’s part of the same story, really. White Helmets, or Bellingcat – it’s all the same. It’s not a secret for anyone, and Western journalists openly write about this, that Bellingcat is closely connected with the special services that use it to channel information intended to influence public opinion. No matter how many times we were told that the White Helmets are truth lovers, human rights champions and humanitarian workers who save people in the most difficult situations. More and more facts are popping up confirming their close connection with ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra. This is more like they are not at all benefactors working “answering the call of the heart,” but rather for getting payment. As for the staged videos, the locals are not allowed to leave the site until these people arrive with their cameras. There are a lot of facts like this that have become public.

Moreover, quite recently, three months ago maybe, our Western colleagues decided, as they said, to “save” the units of the White Helmets in southern Syria after non-Syrian forces left the de-escalation zones established there by Russia, the United States and Jordan. Their positions were taken over by the Syrian army, which has now restored the order on the Golan Heights established by the UN Security Council resolution of 1974, which Israel also supported. Representatives of the White Helmets, 400 people with their families, urged to take them to Jordan for a period of three or four weeks, and then, as was announced, Britain, Canada, Germany and Holland would take them. Three months have passed. They are still there. According to our data, Western countries, which promised Jordan to take these people and move them to Europe and Canada, have browsed through some of their dossiers and became horrified. Their past suggests that European countries would be scared of accepting such people with prominent criminal tendencies.

Question: Do you believe that diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom and Western countries can improve?

Sergey Lavrov: All relations do not boil down to just diplomatic relations. There are other relations, including cultural relations that have not disappeared anywhere and which continue to evoke tremendous interest among Russian, British and American citizens and those of the EU countries. There are also economic relations that, incidentally, concern Russian citizens and the relevant business circles to a considerable extent, and these relations are the subject matter of ongoing contacts.

Diplomatic relations depend on the extent to which various partners are ready to respect diplomatic proprieties. Our British colleagues who, to be honest, started wrecking our relations, are not seriously committed to diplomatic proprieties today. I have already said that we have failed to receive any reply after sending dozens of diplomatic notes. Many requests to the Foreign Office also went unanswered. One gets a strong feeling that the United Kingdom’s current authorities have decided to vent their domestic frustrations, including Brexit, on Russia and to explain their domestic problems by Russian scheming. It appears that the Democratic Party of the United States has set this example by justifying its election campaign defeat by the fact that Donald Trump waged an unfair struggle, with Russia allegedly assisting him during this process. It is sad when domestic political squabbles start affecting relations between leading states. They continue to face a problem linked with Brexit. A struggle is now underway for the post of the leader of the Conservative Party, for holding new elections and so on.

For some reason, the “Russian card” has become quite popular among politicians. Possibly, they don’t have enough creativity for doing something else. They simply blame Russia for everything, without trying to take into consideration their  electorate and believing that their voters will accept any concoction.

It is amusing to see British representatives rushing all over Europe after the Salisbury incident and demanding that the EU countries take part in sanctions. They have persuaded many countries, but not all of them, to expel Russian diplomats after the Salisbury incident. Today, they are also inventing some new systematic sanctions that the whole of the EU would have to impose on any violators of the chemical weapons ban and lots more. It appears that a country, now leaving the EU, is frantically trying to influence the EU’s Russian policies. I believe that the UK wants to rein in the EU with regard to Russia and other matters concerning international affairs. It is not up to me to decide to what extent this meets the EU’s interests as well as their dignity.

Question: Is Russia worried about the political and even economic fallout in connection with the Jamal Khashoggi case.

Sergey Lavrov: You are so metaphorical! I support the current calls for a speedy investigation as soon as possible. We praise the agreements between Turkey and Saudi Arabia on the various steps being taken to make it possible to conduct this investigation. I do hope that the international community will get to know the results.

Question: The media has reported today that President of Syria Bashar al-Assad is set to visit Crimea. Does Russia plan to involve Syria in Crimean matters? There are plans for economic activities there.

Sergey Lavrov: President of Syria Bashar al-Assad is our partner. We regularly exchange visits with our Syrian colleagues at the level of presidents, ministers of foreign affairs, trade and economic development. Our military personnel and secret services also maintain contacts. This is very important for combating terrorism. The Russian regions are interested in various opportunities being provided by Syria for expanding economic, cultural, humanitarian and educational ties. Quite recently, Head of the Republic of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov visited Damascus at the invitation of President of Syria Bashar al-Assad. As is customary in normal diplomatic practices, he handed over an invitation from Russian leaders for Bashar al-Assad to visit the Russian Federation, including Crimea. Well, that’s about it.

Please come to Crimea. They are telling us that human rights are being violated in Crimea. But all those who are concerned with this matter have repeatedly been able to see what life is really like there. Those trying to make a politically motivated story out of this insist that they will only go to Crimea via Ukrainian territory. This is out of the question because Crimea is part of the Russian Federation under the results of the March 2014 referendum that involved the people of Crimea. But for some reason, not all Western journalists want to go there and see everything with their very own eyes. They have every opportunity to see how the people of Crimea live. If they are interested in a political game, they strike an attitude and say that they will only visit Crimea via Ukrainian territory. This is unprofessional.

Speaking of professionalism, I would like to mention another aspect, namely, Donbass. In effect, Ukraine is divided by the frontline. Provocations continue despite the Minsk Agreements and all attempts by members of the Normandy format and the Contact Group to fulfil all the agreements. Thank God, there are no large-scale hostilities like back in 2014 and early 2015, but regular firefights occur, despite regular “school,” “harvest” and “Christmas” ceasefire agreements. We have been asking officials from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine not to issue sterile reports listing attacks on communities, the number of killed and wounded civilians. Instead, we are expecting them to provide specific updates on the developments in various sections of the demarcation line and to focus on attacks against civilian facilities and casualties and fatalities among the civilians. In September 2017, the OSCE issued the first such report listing the location of attacks and the damage incurred. This was a difficult job because the Ukrainian authorities tried hard to forbid the OSCE from publishing this report. According to this report, five times more civilian facilities were damaged in the areas controlled by the self-defence fighters. The responsibility for this rests with the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Civilians living in such places also sustained six-seven times more casualties and fatalities. Any military expert would use this data to note that such a correlation between damage and civilian casualties and fatalities means that, by all appearances, the Armed Forces of Ukraine attack civilian facilities in communities, including kindergartens, hospitals and schools. For their part, self-defence fighters retaliate by hitting positions from which they are being attacked. I have mentioned journalism and professionalism. Representatives of the Russian media work non-stop, seven days a week and 24 hours a day in areas controlled by self-defence fighters. They show the extent of damage and the real results of the operations involving the Armed Forces of Ukraine. If our Western partners are saying that Russia and the separatists are to blame for everything, and that the Minsk Agreements would be immediately fulfilled as soon as Russia wants this to happen, and that Ukraine has allegedly fulfilled them almost completely (this is what some of our European colleagues and US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker are saying), then it would probably be no problem to send BBC, CNN and Euronews correspondents to areas controlled by the Armed Forces of Ukraine and to show everyone how people live there and  the extent of damaged civilian facilities, if any. I have repeatedly spoken with journalists I know about this but failed to get any reply. They are simply looking at me, nodding but doing nothing. If Donetsk and Lugansk are accused of everything, including aggressive behaviour, then it would be appropriate to send journalists there, so that they would work honestly in areas allegedly severely attacked by self-defence fighters. Over all these years, BBC and someone else sent their groups there only once or twice, and that was all about it.

Question: Speaking of President of Syria Bashar al-Assad once again, does Syria plan to conduct economic operations in Crimea or not?

Sergey Lavrov: This depends on the extent to which this region and a certain region in Syria, be it Damascus, Latakia or any other, are interested in specific projects. This was the first meeting between the Head of Crimea and representatives of the Syrian leadership. Quite possibly, they will be able to discuss mutually beneficial projects after assessing the local situation.

IRGC Cmdr.: «Israel» Could Never Win, Netanyahu Should Learn How to Swim

IRGC Cmdr.: «Israel» Could Never Win, Netanyahu Should Learn How to Swim

Local Editor

Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Hossein Salami blasted the “Israeli” prime minister for fabricating the realities on the ground and promoting Iranophobia, and said that Benjamin Netanyahu will take his dreams to grave.

“Netanyahu should know that there is no way for him except fleeing the region and so he needs to learn how to swim in the Mediterranean Sea,” General Salami said on Friday, addressing a group of IRGC commanders and officers in the city of Isfahan in Central Iran.

He underlined that the enemy was planning to create a new Middle East led by the “Israeli” regime, but all their dreams turned sour.

“The US says it has spent some $7 trillion in funding wars across the region, but with the will of God and resistance of nations, it has not been able to gain anything from it and has faced defeat,” Salami added.

“Israel” is estimated to have 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal. The regime, however, refuses to either accept or deny having the weapons.

It has also evaded signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in flagrant violation of a UN Security Council resolution amid staunch endeavor by the United States and other Western states on international levels in favor of its non-commitment to the accord.

Iran has repeatedly announced that its nuclear program is merely for peaceful purposes and poses no threat to the international peace and security. Iran’s nuclear facilities have been under the constant monitoring of the International Atomic Energy Agency for the last two decades. But a nuclear accord signed by Iran and six world powers in 2015 placed the country under even stricter rules of supervision and inspection.

Yet, the UN nuclear watchdog has underlined in 12 reports under the deal as well as dozens of more reports prior to the endorsement of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that there has never been any anomaly at Iran’s nuclear program to indicate a move or drive towards a military nuclear capability, reasserting that the country’s nuclear program has remained strictly loyal to its stated “peaceful purposes”.

Back in June, the Iranian foreign minister decried the “Israeli” entity’s nukes as a real threat to the Middle East region and the rest of the world, calling for a new focus on the occupying regime’s nuclear arsenal.

Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif posted a message on his official Twitter account, saying although Iran had no nuclear weapons, the entity, which is the sole Middle Eastern country to possess such weapons, continued to “howl” about “fabricated” Iranian “ambitions”.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

Related News

IAEA Chief Refutes Netanyahu’s Big Lies on Iran

By Stephen Lendman

Last May, in response to numerous times Netanyahu falsely accused Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, notably his latest Big Lie at that time, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman  Bahram Qassemi slammed him strongly, saying:

He’s a “broke and infamous liar who has had nothing to offer except lies and deceits,” adding:

“Netanyahu and the notorious, child-killing Zionist regime must have reached the basic understanding that the people of the world have enough awareness and cognizance.”

He long ago lost credibility. Many Israelis despise him, venting their anger in occasional large-scale street protests against him remaining prime minister.

His shameful accusations against Iran are never supported by credible evidence because there is none. 

Its legitimate nuclear program has no nuclear component. It’s combatting terrorism, not supporting or proliferating it.

It neither threatens or attacks other nations like Washington, NATO and Israel do repeatedly.

Qassemi called Israel an “illegal regime…using battered charlatanism of the ignorance age, (mindless) of world public opinion.”

In response to Netanyahu’s false claim about a “secret atomic warehouse” in his UN General Assembly address, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano refuted the accusation, saying:

“The agency sends inspectors to sites and locations only when needed. The agency uses all safeguards relevant to information available to it but it does not take (so-called intelligence) at face value.” 

Without mentioning Israel or Netanyahu by name, Amano added that “(a)ll information obtained, including from third parties, is subject to rigorous review and assessed together with other available information to arrive at an independent assessment based on the agency’s own expertise.”

“In order to maintain credibility, the agency’s independence in relation to the implementation of verification activities is of paramount importance.”

Since Security Council Resolution 2231 made the JCPOA nuclear deal binding international (and US constitutional law under its Supremacy Clause), Washington alone breached it – straightaway by Obama, notably by Trump’s unlawful pullout.

The IAEA affirmed Iran’s full compliance with JCPOA provisions 12 consecutive times. No nation is more intensively monitored, none more scrupulously in compliance with Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) provisions and its other nuclear obligations.

US use of radiological material in war theaters, along with deploying nukes in Europe and elsewhere flagrantly violate NPT’s letter and spirit.

Moscow slammed its “joint nuclear missions” with NATO imperial allies, saying “this is a direct violation of (NPT) Articles I and II…”

It expressly prohibits transfer of nuclear weapons from one nation to another.

According to the Federation of American Scientists, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Turkey currently host 150 US nukes at six bases.

B61 nukes are the Pentagon’s oldest in its arsenal, in 2020 to be replaced by B61-12 bombs, costing over $10 billion, according to the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Cost Estimating and Program Evaluation.

Moscow’s complaint to Washington about illegally deploying nukes was ignored.

The Trump regime plans an unprecedented nuclear upgrade – unjustifiably justified by a “Russian threat (and) troubling” behavior that doesn’t exist.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry warned that US behavior “significantly lowers the threshold (for) use of nuclear weapons,” adding:

The “baseless allegations of a growing ‘Russian nuclear threat,’ peddled by Americans, look particularly cynical.”

“The provisions of our military doctrine concerning the use of nuclear weapons are deliberately distorted.”

“The western public is being continuously told that Russia appears to review its stance on the place and the role of the nuclear weapons and focuses more and more on that. This does not correspond to the reality.”

Trump reportedly wants America’s nuclear arsenal increased 10-fold. US nuclear policy under Bush/Cheney, Obama, and Trump assert America’s preemptive right to unilaterally declare and wage future wars using first strike nuclear weapons.

Nuclear armed and dangerous Israel likely has a similar unstated policy.

Iran deplores these weapons, wants them all eliminated. As long as they exist, using them eventually remains an ominous possibility.

Source

Before pointing the finger at Russia and Syria, the U.S. should answer for its own record in regard to chemical weapons

Source

Written by Brian Kalman exclusively for SouthFront; Brian Kalman is a management professional in the marine transportation industry. He was an officer in the US Navy for eleven years.

The world is once again witnessing the height of U.S. hypocrisy as members of the U.S. State Department ratchet up anti-Russian and anti-Syrian rhetoric surrounding the use of chemical weapons in Syria and the UK. Ambassador Nikki Haley has warned Syria, Iran and Russia that they will be held accountable for their pre-determined use of chemical weapons in Idlib on innocent civilians. No evidence was provided to support her threats. The United States carried out cruise missile strikes on two previous occasions, and each time provided no evidence to prove their assertion that the Syrian government used chemical weapons in attacking civilians, nor was any rational reason given for such an obviously irrational decision on the part of the Syrian state. No evidence has ever been provided to justify the clear international crime of aggression committed by the United States on these two earlier occasions. Now, the UK and the U.S. are both attempting to accuse the Russian government of using chemical weapons in an alleged attempted assassination of a Russian national on UK soil. Once again, no real evidence has been presented, only assertions and hearsay.

On Thursday September 13th, Assistant Secretary of State Manisha Singh declared before the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee that the United States would level the most severe of sanctions against Russia, including breaking all diplomatic ties, if Russia refused to admit its guilt in perpetrating the Skripal assassination fiasco and refused to submit to International inspections by the OPCW of its alleged chemical weapons and biological weapons programs. She stated that Russia would have to meet this requirement by an arbitrary November 4th deadline, set by the United States in accordance with a U.S. law, not an international law. H.R. 1724 – Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 specifies in part:

Title III: Control and Elimination of Chemical and Biological Weapons – Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 – Declares it is U.S. policy to: (1) seek multilaterally coordinated efforts with other countries to control the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons; and (2) strengthen efforts to control chemical agents, precursors, and equipment.

Requires the President to use the U.S. export control laws to control the export of defense articles, defense services, goods, and technologies that he determines would assist a country in acquiring the capability to produce or use such weapons.

Amends the Export Administration Act of 1979 to require the Secretary of Commerce to establish a list of goods and technology that would assist a foreign government or group in acquiring chemical or biological weapons. Requires a validated export license for the export of such items to certain countries of concern.

Requires the President to impose certain sanctions against foreign persons if he determines that they knowingly contributed to the efforts of a country to acquire, use, or stockpile chemical or biological weapons. Declares such sanctions to include: (1) denial of U.S. procurement contracts for goods or services from such foreign persons; and (2) prohibition against importation of products from such persons. Authorizes the President to waive imposition of such sanctions if he determines that is in the national security interests of the United States.

Amends the Arms Export Control Act to set forth similar provisions.

Requires the President to make a determination with respect to whether a country has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals. Authorizes specified congressional committees to request the President to make such determination with respect to the use of such weapons.

Requires the President to impose the following sanctions against foreign countries that have been found to have used such weapons: (1) termination of assistance under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (except humanitarian assistance and agricultural commodities); (2) termination of arms sales and arms sales financing; (3) denial of U.S. credit; and (4) prohibition of the export of certain goods and technology. Directs the President to impose at least three of the following additional sanctions unless such countries cease the use of such weapons and provide assurances that they will not use, and will allow inspections with respect to, such weapons: (1) opposition to the extension of multilateral development bank assistance; (2) prohibition of U.S. bank loans (except loans for food or agricultural commodities); (3) further export prohibitions; (4) import restrictions; (5) suspension of diplomatic relations; and (6) termination of air carrier landing rights. Provides for the removal and waiver of such sanctions.

Requires the President to submit to the Congress annual reports on the efforts of countries to acquire chemical or biological weapons.

Repeals certain duplicative provisions of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993.

It is important to note that nowhere in this law is there a legal commitment made by the United States itself, to eliminate its own chemical and biological weapons capabilities. This is not an oversight, yet speaks to the imperial hypocrisy of the United States and an acknowledgement that it alone has been the largest perpetrator of chemical weapons use and proliferation for more than 50 years. It currently maintains the largest stockpile of both chemical and biological warfare agents of any nation on the planet, and continues to expand its biological weapons research and development on a scale far larger than any other country.

U.S. History of Chemical Weapons Use and Complicity in War Crimes

While the U.S. Department of Defense maintains that its massive biological research programs are meant to counter and defend against new biological weapons being developed, they are in fact developing bio-weapons in the process.

International Obligations and the OPCW

Russia is one of 192 signatories (state and non-state parties) of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention, along with the United States. On September 27th, 2017 it was announced by Russia and the OPCW, that Russia had verified the total destruction of its large chemical weapons stockpile dating from the years of the Soviet Union, estimated at 39,967 metric tons of chemical agents. Russia was obligated to do this by 2020, yet was able to accomplish the task three years ahead of schedule. Under the original agreement, both the U.S. and Russia were obligated to accomplish this by 2007, but both nations required an extension of the deadline.

Although admitting to a total stockpile of 28,000 metric tons of chemical agents, the U.S. admits to destroying 90% of its chemical arsenal. The U.S. requested and was granted an extension out to 2023 to achieve verified elimination of 100% of its chemical weapons. The only other signatory of the law other than the United States not to have already met the requirements is Iraq. It must be stated that much of the chemical weapons in the Iraqi arsenal are based on the chemical warfare agents supplied to the Saddam Hussein regime during the height of the Iran-Iraq war by the United States and other western nations. Saddam used some of these U.S. supplied weapons to murder thousands of Iraqi Kurds in the town of Halabja in 1988. Estimates range between 3,000 – 7,000 deaths and over 10,000 injured.

U.S. History of Chemical Weapons Use and Complicity in War Crimes

Saddam Hussein was a valued asset of the United States and its Western allies for decades. Hussein pictured above with former French President Jacque Chirac and U.S Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Not only did the United States, and France for that matter, provide chemical weapons to the Saddam regime, but the U.S. intelligence agencies provided the Iraqi military with vital battlefield intelligence, including satellite imagery in aiding them in the war. The U.S. was well aware that the Saddam regime had used chemical weapons in at least four offensives during the war. Of course they knew, they had facilitated the transfer of these weapons to help the Iraqis prosecute a war of aggression against Iran. Declassified CIA documents clearly show that the United States was well aware that the Iraqis had used chemical weapons at least four times between 1983 and 1988. Iran had accused Iraq of using chemical weapons, and tried to build a case to bring before the United Nations. The United States withheld its knowledge of course, and continued to aid its ally in perpetrating these crimes against humanity.

U.S. History of Chemical Weapons Use and Complicity in War Crimes

Perhaps the most powerful photo taken of the Halabja chemical attack perpetrated against Iraqi Kurds. This woman died running with her child in an attempt to save her, yet could not escape the deadly effects of the chemical agents used. Their embrace will forever symbolize both human love and sacrifice, and unfathomable human cruelty.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley has lied through her teeth repeatedly in her statements before the U.N. Security Council and the General Assembly. She has stated repeatedly that Assad has used chemical weapons against his own people in Ghouta in 2013, Khan Shaykhun in 2017 and Douma in 2018, yet has not supplied one shred of evidence beyond dubious social media posts of unknown provenance. She has also stated that the United States is certain that it could only be the Syrian government, as no other party in the conflict zone could possibly possess chemical weapons. Here’s the problem with her statement. Firstly, the United States and the OPCW verified that Syria destroyed or surrendered all of its chemical weapons agents. On its official website, the OPCW states:

“Veolia, the US firm contracted by the OPCW to dispose of part of the Syrian chemical weapons stockpile, has completed disposal of 75 cylinders of hydrogen fluoride at its facility in Texas.

This completes destruction of all chemical weapons declared by the Syrian Arab Republic.  The need to devise a technical solution for treating a number of cylinders in a deteriorated and hazardous condition had delayed the disposal process.

Commenting on this development, the Director-General of the OPCW, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, said: “This process closes an important chapter in the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapon programme as we continue efforts to clarify Syria’s declaration and address ongoing use of toxic chemicals as weapons in that country.”

Secondly, the OPCW and the UN have both verified that opposition forces within Syria have used chemical agents as weapons on numerous occasions during the conflict. Not only has Carla Del Ponte, UN human rights investigator, former UN Chief Prosecutor and ICC attorney stated that opposition forces had used chemical weapons, but also the former OPCW head field investigator in Syria Jerry Smith stated to the BBC that he found it very unlikely that the government perpetrated these chemical attacks.. As recently as October of last year the U.S. State Department itself seemed to acknowledge the same truth in its warning to U.S. citizens traveling to Syria. The travel warning stated:

“Tactics of ISIS, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, and other violent extremist groups include the use of suicide bombers, kidnapping, small and heavy arms, improvised explosive devices, and chemical weapons.

They have targeted major city centers, road checkpoints, border crossings, government buildings, shopping areas, and open spaces, in Damascus, Aleppo, Hamah, Dara, Homs, Idlib, and Dayr al-Zawr provinces.”

U.S. History of using Chemical Weapons and Supporting Those that Do

The last country in the world that should lecture anyone on the possession and use of WMDs is the United States. Not only is the United States the only country in history to ever target civilians with multiple atomic bombs, it has used chemical weapons against the populations of Southeast Asia and Iraq in the past. Now, they were smart enough not to use mustard gas and anthrax, but the accumulative effects of Agent Orange and depleted uranium in these populations has been devastating, and will not only cause great harm and pain for these populations, but will leave the land poisoned for generations.

The United States sprayed copious quantities of TCDD (dioxin tetrachlordibenzo-para-dioxin), a class 1 carcinogen all over regions of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in an attempt to defoliate the jungle environment, and thus rob their enemy of an environment they excelled at fighting in and hiding in as part of Operation Ranch Hand. Known as Agent Orange, the chemical was banned in the U.S. in 1970. Although extremely hard to quantify, the devastating effects of dioxin exposure in the Vietnamese population are easily identifiable, as the same effects were observed in U.S. veterans that returned home after exposure to the toxin. Abnormally high levels of various cancers and debilitating birth defects are present in Southeast Asian populations in areas of greatest use of Agent Orange. Dioxins remain in the soil and water table, as they do not degrade naturally. Dioxin also bio-accumulates in the fatty tissues of animals and thus remains in the food supply.

U.S. History of Chemical Weapons Use and Complicity in War Crimes

One of the many young Vietnamese born long after the war with debilitating, neurodevelopmental diseases and birth defects due to Agent Orange exposure of their parents.

The United States learned little from the crime it perpetrated in Southeast Asia, nor did it seem to care as it repeated a similar offense in two successive invasions of Iraq. Having failed to achieve its aim of defeating Iran through its brutal Iraqi proxy, even after helping the Saddam Hussein regime in chemical warfare attacks against Iranian soldiers and Iraqi Kurdish civilians, the United States largely ignored the numerous atrocities carried out by one of its favorite dictators. The U.S. would turn on its erstwhile henchman in 1990, after Saddam decided to attack one of its favorite corrupt emirates in the region. The resulting 1991 invasion of Iraq saw the heavy use of depleted uranium armored piercing rounds. Depleted uranium is extremely dense, and thus good for piercing hardened steel or composite armor. The follow-on invasion of 2003 brought more death and destruction, and more depleted uranium.

U.S. History of Chemical Weapons Use and Complicity in War Crimes

Locations of depleted uranium munitions used by U.S. Airforce A-10 ground attack aircraft in Iraq during the 2003 invasion. Depleted Uranium is also used in anti-armor munitions utilized by all U.S. tanks and armored fighting vehicles as well, so the true breadth of distribution and employment of depleted uranium in the above map are understated.

The U.S. has not funded the reclamation and disposal of depleted uranium contaminated scrap in Iraq. The new Iraqi government has started cleaning up the approximately 350 sites identified as having depleted uranium contamination in the country, mostly around Basra and Baghdad, yet also scattered over the entire country. It is estimated that between 1,000 and 2,000 metric tons of depleted uranium used in various munitions fired during the invasion of 2003 alone. It is hard to narrow down the exact amount as the U.S. military has failed to provide any definitive numbers. Iraqi doctors have recorded and reported higher cases of cancers in adult patients and increased birth defects in children being born in Iraq since the invasion took place. The U.S. government seems determined to undermine any attempts to draw direct correlations between this recorded phenomenon and its use of depleted uranium in two successive wars in Iraq. It has also fought all attempts by U.S. war veterans suffering from various cancers and neurological diseases from their similar exposure in both wars.

Continued Support of War Criminals

Nikki Haley fails to acknowledge the historic role of the United States government’s support of some of the world’s most horrible regimes in the past. From the Khmer Rouge and Saddam Hussein then, to Saudi Arabia and Tahrir al-Sham now, the United States has supported many of the world’s most deplorable violators of human rights. Yet Nikki Haley has the arrogance and delusional belief that she has the moral high ground in chastising Syria and Russia before the U.N.?

Just this week U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo clarified that the Saudi and UAE have acted in good faith in taking steps to reduce civilian casualties in their military operations in Yemen and that the U.S. military would keep providing both material and direct support to both nations in prosecuting their illegal war. U.S. manufactured and supplied bombs are being used to kill civilians in Yemen regularly, amounting to an estimated 15,000 killed or injured civilians over a period of three years. This does not take into account the deaths and suffering associated with the humanitarian crisis that has resulted from the Saudi-led coalition destroying virtually all infrastructure in the Houthi controlled part of the country. I am sure that it is also just another “unintended consequence” that al-Qaeda has expanded and strengthened its position in Yemen as a direct result of the conflict. When will any member state in the U.N. finally tell Nikki Haley that the Security Council must acknowledge that al-Qaeda has always been a proxy of Saudi Arabia and the United States?

U.S. History of Chemical Weapons Use and Complicity in War Crimes

Children injured when a Saudi airstrike targeted a school bus in Saada, Yemen. A total of 51 civilians, 40 of them children below the age of 15 were killed in the strike. The United States supplies the aircraft, bombs, aerial refueling and intelligence gathering resources to support the bombing campaign.

Nikki Haley continues to claim that Russia is directly facilitating an impending humanitarian disaster and war crime in the impending Syrian military operations to retake Idlib province, destroy a host of ISIS and al-Qaeda linked terrorist groups and liberate hundreds of thousands of civilians. She said the same thing during the battle to liberate Aleppo. Her lies were revealed when the SAA and Russia finally liberated the city and Syrian civilians who were kept as prisoners there by the Islamic terrorists were finally free of the horror of their captivity. Is it no wonder that tens of thousands of Syrian refugees displaced by the conflict are now returning to their home country?

Apparently Nikki Haley sees no issue at all in Imperial America supporting Saudi Arabia and the UAE killing Yemeni civilians by the thousands in Yemen. The U.S. not only supplies the bombs, but directly provides in-flight refueling of the aircraft and the intelligence used to conduct the “precision” strikes that target schools, hospitals, funerals, and even school bus loads of children. Does this surprise anyone? U.S. coalition airstrikes against ISIL in Raqqa and Mosul killed an estimated 6,000 civilians. In Raqqa, U.S. aircraft conducted 90% of the airstrikes, and the U.S. fired at least 30,000 artillery rounds into the city. The U.S. has yet to pay any political or legal price for its indiscriminant destruction of these cities.

U.S. History of Chemical Weapons Use and Complicity in War Crimes

One of thousands of airstrikes carried out on the Syrian city of Raqqa. The U.S. led coalition was widely criticized for its blatant disregard for civilian casualties in its targeting of the city as part of its offensive to destroy ISIL. They have yet to be held accountable for the estimated 800-1,000 civilians deaths caused.

The Russian Response

Russia needs to finally accept the reality that there is nothing to be gained by negotiating, or attempting to collaborate with the United States in solving problems. It’s like a shepherd using a wolf to defend his flock, or a detective enlisting the aid of a criminal to solve a crime that the criminal is a co-conspirator in perpetrating. It is illogical in the extreme. The Russian U.N. mission needs to call out Nikki Haley and the U.S. on its own deplorable record and hypocrisy and while seeking  the aid of other member states, must also realizing that most of them are bought-off by Washington. Hasn’t Haley repeatedly threatened to stop giving money to nations that do not support her resolutions?

The Russians need to realize that they can never have a mutually respectful and beneficial relationship with the political and financial elites that control the United States. Russia will always find a friend in the American people, but Washington? This same elite despises the American people more than it does Putin or Assad. If it wasn’t for working class American citizens fed up with the U.S. establishment elite, we would likely already be in a direct war with Russia, China and Iran. I hope that the Russian political and military leadership understands this. Stop trying to placate Washington and start preparing to defend your nation. The Deep State will not stop at Ukraine or Syria. They desire the complete subjugation of Russia and a return to the Yeltsin days, or worse

Minister al-Moallem Speech at 73rd Session of UNGA

 

29 September 2018 15:58

ST

 

Highlights from Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid al-Moallem speech  to the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, as simultaneously translated and tweeted by https://twitter.com/Golan67

” We have hopes for more stability and security to every span of the entire world,”

”The Syrians battle is to defend their existence and presence,”

”Our battle against terrorism is about to finish thanks to our Army, People, friends and allies, and we are determined to cleanse all of Syria from terrorism and this is our duty.”

”The international coalition for fighting terrorism has been perpetrating crimes against civilians and it is an alliance for supporting terrorism and for war crimes,”

”The return of every Syrian abroad to Syria is the priority and all are welcome back to their country…”

”An ad hoc committee for the return of the refugees in collaboration with Russia,”

”The priority for rebuilding in Syria is for those countries which have been standing by us against terrorism,”

”The Syrians alone have their own right to the decisions about their  country,”

”The use of chemical weapons is rejected and condemned by Syria which dispose of its chemical weapons.”

”The regime of Turkey is still supporting terrorists in Syria,”

”Any foreign presence on the Syrian territories is illegal threatening peace and security in the region and complicates the fighting against terrorism and they as occupying forces should immediately withdraw,”

”We are determined to restore the Golan in full to the line of June4 1967 and Israel should implement related UNSC resolutions especially 497 and the international community should move as put an end to the oppressive measures of the Israeli occupation in the occupied Golan,”

”Syria condemns the US decision to leave the nuclear 5 plus 1 agreement with Iran,”

”We carry message of peace for the people of the world and have never been aggressors against anyone.”

Minister Al-Moallem Address 73rd UN General Assembly

https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/73/sy_en.pdf

 

Minister Al-Moallem Address 72nd UN General Assembly

Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister of the Syrian Arab Republic, Mr. Walid Al-Moallem delivered the following speech at the UNGA 72nd Session in New York:

 

President of the seventy-second session of the United Nations General Assembly, I would like to congratulate you on your election as President of the current session of the General Assembly and wish you all the success. I would also like to thank your predecessor for his important role at the helm of the General Assembly during the previous session. I congratulate Mr. Antonio Guterres on his appointment as Secretary-General of the United Nations and wish him the best in carrying out his responsibilities in service of the principles and purposes of the UN Charter.

Ladies and gentlemen, as we meet again, our world is facing mounting challenges and dangers on a daily basis, and a persistent standoff between two sets of forces: forces that seek to control and dominate nations and their riches, by turning back the clock, re-establishing a unipolar world order, fueling chaos and war, and violating international and humanitarian laws: and opposite forces that work tirelessly to create a more balanced, secure, and just world, one that respects the sovereignty of the states and the right of peoples to exercise self-determination and build their own future.

As we meet again, many people continue to pay dearly and sacrifice their lives, security, stability and livelihood, as a result of the policies of certain countries. Those countries falsely believe that they could use terrorism as a tool to satisfy their greed and further their ill-conceived agendas, which do not serve the interests of any people, not even their own. No people has suffered at the hands of terrorism more than the Syrian people, who, for six years now, has fought against terrorists pouring from all over the world, supported by parties from the region and beyond.

For more than six years, Syrians have endured the worst and have made great sacrifices to defend their country in the face of a terrorist war of unprecedented brutality, which has spared no one and no-thing, targeting innocent people, services, the infrastructure and cultural heritage. Despite it all, Syria is determined, more than ever, to eradicate terrorism from every part of the country, without exception, thanks to the sacrifices of our army and the steadfastness of our people.

Mr. President, since the beginning of the war, our state policy has followed two main tracks: combating terrorism, and working hard towards a political solution that stems the bloodshed and restores stability.

On the counter-terrorism, the Syrian Arab Army along with its supporting forces and allies are making daily achievements, clearing out territories and uprooting terrorists. However, the threat of this plague persists, claiming the lives of the Syrians on a daily basis, and depleting the country’s resources. We must all understand that terrorism and underlying Takfirist extremist ideology will continue to spread like a tumor throughout the world and haunt all of our people unless every one of us demonstrates a genuine will to cooperate to confront it together. Any such endeavor must respect the sovereignty and of states and the interests of the people, and must let go of the illusion that terrorism can be used as a tool for political gains and narrow interests.

On the political front, the Syrian government has spared no effort since the early months of the crisis to stop the bloodshed. The success of local reconciliations would not have been possible without the leadership’s political support and the numerous amnesty decrees issued by President Bashar al-Assad, which allowed everyone who had taken up arms to lay them down and resume their normal life.

These successful reconciliations have allowed tens of thousands of IDPs and refugees to go back home and helped improve the living conditions of a great number of Syrians who had fallen victim to terrorist crimes. Syria is determined to scale up reconciliation efforts, whenever possible, because it is the best means to alleviate the suffering of Syrians and restore stability and normalcy.

Ladies and gentlemen, since day one, the Syrian government has positively considered all initiatives to put an end to the war. However, these initiatives eventually failed after states that supported and fuelled terrorism decided to persist in their aggressive policies against Syria and its people.

As for the Astana and Geneva tracks, the Syrian government has shown seriousness and commitment and has done its best to provide the necessary conditions for these efforts to succeed and achieve their goals.

We are encouraged by the Astana process and the resulting “de-escalation zones” and hope that it will help us reach and actual cessation of hostilities and separate terrorist groups. Such as ISIL, Al-Nusra and others, from those groups that have agreed to join the Astana process. This will be the real test of how committed and serious these groups and their Turkish sponsors are. So far, Turkey under Erdogan has persisted in its aggressive policies against the Syrian people and continued to labor under the illusion that terrorism will help serve its subversive agendas in Syria and the countries of the region. Turkey’s position stands in stark contrast to the positive and constructive role played by Russia and Iran.

Notwithstanding its commitment to the memorandum on the ‘”de-escalation zones”, Syria reserves the right to respond to any violation by the other party. Syria also stresses that these zones are a temporary arrangement that must not violate the territorial unity of Syria.

The Syrian government reaffirms its commitment to the Geneva process and further progress on that track. This process has yet to bear fruit in the absence of a genuine national opposition that can be a partner in Syria’s future, and as countries with influence over the other party continue to block any meaningful progress.

Mr. President, it is truly unfortunate that these countries that block a solution in Syria are members of this international organization, including members of the Security Council.

The Syrian government has always insisted that any solution in Syria must respect Syria’s non-negotiable principles which are a red line for all Syrians. These include the complete rejection of terrorism, the territorial unity of Syria and its people, and the rejection of any external interference in political decisions regarding Syria’s future. Only Syrians have the right to make such decisions, whether now or in the future.

Ladies and gentlemen, for decades, Israel has continued its unscrupulous thuggish actions with full impunity.

This usurper entity has occupied Arab territories in Palestine and the Golan for more than seventy years and has committed horrific crimes against innocent civilians. Israel did not stop there. It has publicly interfered in the Syrian crisis since its early days. Israel has provided all forms of support to Takfirist terrorist gangs, including funds, weapons, material, and communication equipment. Israel has also bombed Syrian Army positions to serve terrorist agendas. Coordination between the two was at its best when terrorist groups decided to target Syrian air defense assets used to defend Syria against Israeli aggression. The unlimited Israeli support to terrorists in Syria did not come as a surprise. After all, the two share the same interests and goals. However, let me be clear. It is delusional to believe, even for a moment, that the crisis in Syria will take us for our inalienable right to recover the occupied Syrian Golan fully to the lines of June 4, 1967.

For more than six years, states and parties that were behind the war on Syria, have continued to peddle lies and falsely accused the Syrian government of using chemical weapons, despite a confirmation by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons that Syria has fully eliminated its chemical program. This is enough proof that there is an ill-conceived intention to tarnish the real image of the Syrian government in the international public eye, and come up with new excuses to continue the aggression against Syria in favor of terrorists and their supporters. This was the case when the United States blatantly attacked the Shayrat airbase, claiming that it contained chemical weapons used in the alleged Khan Shaykhun attack. And as was the case after every accusation of this kind, we confirmed our readiness to receive and cooperate with UN investigation teams.

Ladies and gentlemen, certain countries have boasted about fighting terrorism in Syria and having the interests of Syrians at heart. They have established “coalitions” and held dozens of conferences under deceiving titles, such as “friends of the Syrian people”. It is quite ironic that those are the same countries that are shedding the blood of the Syrians by supporting terrorists, bombing innocent civilians, and destroying their livelihoods.

The so-called “International Coalition” led by the US, which was created three years ago to allegedly fight terrorists groups such as ISIL, has killed much more innocent Syrians, mostly women and children, than terrorists and has destroyed vital infrastructure that the Syrians have worked for years to build. It has also used phosphorus bombs and other internationally-prohibited weapons before the eyes of the whole world.

We cannot understand the silence of the international community in the face of these crimes. The international community has not condemned or sought to stop these crimes, even though the Syrian government has made a number of appeals to the Security Council to assume its main responsibility of maintaining international peace and security. The Syrian government has urged the Council to implement its own resolutions on counter-terrorism, particular resolution 2253, and prevent the Coalition from committing more crimes against the citizens of my country.

Ladies and gentlemen, while the coalition failed to make any meaningful progress against the terrorist group of ISIL, the Syrian Army, along with its allies and friends has been able to secure real and significant gains and drives out terrorists from large parts of the Syrian Desert. In what was considered a strategic achievement, the Army was recently able to break the siege imposed on the city of Deir Ezzor and its people by ISIL more than three years ago. This achievement will significantly improve the humanitarian situation in the city and contribute to fight against terrorism in general.

We have declared more than once that it is impossible to combat terrorism without coordination with the Syrian government. This is the only way to make real gains in the war on terrorism. Any presence of foreign troops on Syrian grounds, without the consent of the government is considered a form of occupation, a wanton aggression, and a flagrant violation of international laws and Charter of the United Nations.

Mr. President, the war that the most powerful countries and terrorist groups are waging against Syria is not only a military war. It has taken other forms, no less brutal or aggressive, to break the will of the Syrian people and punish them for their firm support of the Army in its efforts to defend Syria’s political independence and territorial unity. For this reason, those countries have imposed a suffocating economic blockade on Syria, in blatant violation of international law, to destroy the livelihoods of the Syrians and increase their suffering.

These unilateral coercive measures have been imposed on vital sectors, most notably healthcare services. Syria used to have an advanced healthcare system. Today, however, Syrians are denied access to many types of medicine, even those used to treat life threatening conditions, such as cancer. Such sanctions are a clear sign of the hypocrisy of certain countries that shed tears over Syrians while practicing a different form of terrorism.

The refugee problem is one of the consequences of terrorism. As Syria will need the efforts of every Syrian over the upcoming period, the Syrian government has made the return of Syrians to their homes a top priority. To this end, the Syrian government has embarked on a mission to liberate and secure the areas occupied by terrorists improve the basic living conditions of all Syrians.

Mr. President, given the United Nations’ failure to uphold its own Charter and the principles of the international law, we must all consider reforming this international organization to be able to effectively play its role and to defend the legitimate rights against the law of the jungle that some are trying to impose.

Our nations yearn for a safer and more secure, stable and prosperous world. Such a world will remain a fantast as long as certain countries believe that they can go around, spreading chaos, creating troubles and imposing their will with full impunity.

Ladies and Gentlemen, my country, along with its steadfast people and its brave army, supported by our loyal allies, is marching steadily towards the goal of rooting out terrorism. The liberation of Aleppo and Palmyra, the lifting of the siege of Deir Ezzor and the eradication of terrorism from many parts of Syria prove that victory is now within reach.

I am confident that, when this unjust war on Syria is over, the Syrian army will go down in history as the Army that heroically defeated, along with its supporting forces and its allies, the terrorists that came to Syria from many countries and received large support from the most powerful countries of the world, including arms, funding, training, access and political cover.
Those terrorists have tried and failed to impose their backward ideology on a powerful nation that has been for decades a cradle of civilization.

The annals of history will recall for generations to come that achievements of the Syrian people and steadfastness in the face of a barbaric terrorist campaign and unjust measures, which have compounded their suffering and deprived them of their basic needs. The Syrian people have stood their ground, against all odds, because they knew that this was a war that sought to eliminate their country, and with it, their own existence. They are an example to follow by any people who might face, now or in the future, similar attempts to break their will and deny them their freedom and sovereignty.

Thank you Mr. President.

 

 

Minister Al-Moallem Address 72nd UN General Assembly in New York

Al-Moallem Delivers Syria’s Speech at UN General Assembly’s 71 Session

Al-Moallem addresses 70th UN General Assembly in New York

Minister Al-Moallem: fighting terrorism the priority

 http://gadebate.un.org/68/syrian-arab-republic

http://gadebate.un.org/67/syrian-arab-republic

http://gadebate.un.org/66/syrian-arab-republic

 

 

Dr. Mohamad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

Editor-in-Chief

alibrahim56@hotmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/Mohamad.Abdo.AlIbrahim

http://www.presidentassad.net/

%d bloggers like this: