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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

31.01.2018

Final statement of the Congress of the Syrian national dialogue, Sochi, January 30, 2018

We, the delegates of the Congress of the Syrian national dialogue, representing all segments of Syrian society, its political and civil powers, ethnic, confessional and social groups, have assembled at the invitation of the friendly Russian Federation, in the city of Sochi, with the intention to put an end to seven years suffering of our people, through the achievement of a common understanding of the necessity for the salvation of our homeland from armed confrontation, social and economic ruin, the restoration of its dignity on the regional and world stage, the provision of fundamental rights and liberties for all its citizens, and most importantly, the right to a peaceful and free life without violence and terror. The only way to achieve this particular goal is the political settlement of the problems of our homeland on the basis of the following principles:

1. Respect of and full commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of the [Syrian Arab Republic / state of Syria] as a land and a people. In this regard no part of the national territory shall be ceded. The people of Syria remain committed to the recovery of the occupied Syrian Golan by all lawful means in accordance with the UN Charter and international law;

2. Respect of and full commitment to Syria’s national sovereign equality and rights regarding non- intervention. Syria shall take its full role in the international community and the region, including as part of the Arab world, in conformity with the UN Charter, and its purposes and principles;

3. The Syrian people alone shall determine the future of their country by democratic means, through the ballot box, and shall have the exclusive right to choose their own political, economic and social system without external pressure or interference, in line with Syria’s international rights and obligations;

4. The [Syrian Arab Republic / state of Syria] shall be a democratic and non-sectarian state based on political pluralism and equal citizenship irrespective of religion, ethnicity and gender, with full respect for and protection of the rule of law, the separation of powers,judicial independence, the full equality of all citizens, the cultural diversity of the Syrian society, and public freedoms, including freedom of belief, featuring transparent, inclusive, accountable and answerable governance, including before the national law, with necessary effective measures to combat crime, corruption and mismanagement;

5. A state committed to national unity, social peace, and comprehensive and balanced development with fair representation in local administration;

6. Continuity and improved performance of state and public institutions, with reforms where necessary, including the protection of public infrastructure and property rights and provision of public services to all citizens without discrimination, in accordance with the highest standards of good governance and gender equality. Citizens shall benefit from effective mechanisms in their relations with all public authorities in such a way as to ensure full compliance with the rule of law and human rights and private and public property rights;

7. A strong, unified, meritocratic and national army that carries out its duties in accordance with the constitution and the highest standards. Its functions are to protect the national boundaries and the people from external threats and terrorism, with intelligence and security institutions to maintain national security subject to the rule of law, acting according to the constitution and the law and respecting human rights. The use of force shall be the exclusive prerogative of competent state institutions;

8. Unqualified rejection of - and active commitment to combat - terrorism, fanaticism, extremism and sectarianism in all its forms and to tackle conditions conducive to their spread;

9. Respect and protection of human rights and public freedoms, especially in times of crisis, including non-discrimination and equal rights and opportunities for all without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, cultural or linguistic identity, gender or any other distinction, with effective mechanism for their protection, which give due regard to the political and equal rights and opportunities of women, including by the taking of active measures to ensure representation and participation in institutions and decision- making structures, with mechanisms aimed to achieve a level of representation of at least 30% for women, and the goal of parity;

10. A high value placed on Syria’s society and national identity, its history of diversity and the contributions and values that all religions, civilizations and traditions have brought to Syria, including the coexistence among its various components, along with the protection of the national cultural heritage of the nation and its diverse cultures;

11. Combatting and eliminating poverty and providing support for the elderly and other vulnerable groups, including persons with special needs, orphans and victims of war, which shall include ensuring the safety and refuge of all displaced persons and refugees, as well as protecting their right to voluntary and safe return to their homes and lands;

12. Preservation and protection of national heritage and the natural environment for future generations in accordance with environmental treaties and the UNESCO declaration concerning the intentional destruction of cultural heritage.

We, the representatives of the proud people of Syria, having lived through terrible misery and having found enough strength to fight against international terrorism, herewith declare our determination to restore the well-being and prosperity of our homeland and to make life decent and comfortable for each and every one of us.

To that end we agreed to form a constitutional committee comprising the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic delegation along with wide-represented opposition delegation for drafting of a constitutional reform as a contribution to the political settlement under the UN auspices in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2254.

The Constitutional Committee would at the very least comprise Government, Opposition representatives in the intra-Syrian talks, Syrian experts, civil society, independents, tribal leaders and women. Care would be taken to ensure adequate representation of Syria`s ethnic and religious components. Final agreement is to be reached in the UN-led Geneva process on the mandate and terms of reference, powers, rules of procedure, and selection criteria for the composition of the Constitutional Committee.

We appeal to the United Nations Secretary-General to assign the Special Envoy for Syria for the assistance of the Constitutional Committee work in Geneva.




LATEST EVENTS

21.05.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning a new report on Russia by the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee

Q: Today the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee published a report “Moscow’s Gold: Russian Corruption in the UK”. How would you comment on that? A: We are carefully studying this report and its recommendations. Meanwhile, one cannot help but notice at first sight that it is another anti-Russian undertaking by the parliamentary committee aimed at supporting the UK claims to play a leading role in the Western bloc to “deter Russia”. The 2015 National Security Strategy, Prime Minister’s Banquet Speech in November 2017, unsubstantiated accusations against Russia of poisoning Sergei and Yulia Skripal, the “fusion doctrine” outlined on 1 May by National Security Adviser Sir Mark Sedwill are all integral parts of the reckless policy of UK political leadership against Russia.


21.05.2018 - Embassy’s press Secretary answers media question on the detention of the journalist Kirill Vyshinsky in Ukraine

Q: How did UK authorities react to the detention of “RIA Novosti Ukraine” journalist Kirill Vyshinsky in Kiev on 15 May? A: The reporter’s detention by the Ukrainian authorities caused worldwide outrage. It was condemned by a number of countries, international organizations and journalists’ professional bodies, including the UK National Union of Journalists. Regretfully, the UK Government, which so often calls on Russia and other countries to respect freedom of speech, has preferred to keep silent on this case.


18.05.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question about Sergei Skripal’s discharge from the hospital

Question: According to the recent reports, Sergei Skripal was discharged this morning from the hospital in Salisbury. How could you comment on that? Answer: We are satisfied that the treatment Sergei Skripal received was successful and he is well enough to leave the hospital. We wish him full recovery.


18.05.2018 - President of Syria Bashar al-Assad made a working visit to Russia

Vladimir Putin held talks with President of the Syrian Arab Republic Bashar al-Assad in Sochi.


16.05.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a question concerning Foreign Office Minister Alan Duncan’s statement on the opening of the Crimea Bridge

Q: Yesterday Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan made a statement, in which he criticized the opening of the Crimea Bridge, accused Russia of the “annexation of the Crimea” and expressed concerns over the alleged human rights violations on the peninsula. How can you comment on that? A: Unfortunately, we have to state that the British political establishment continues to deny current international realities.


15.05.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a question concerning Sergei Skripal’s cooperation with Czech and Estonian intelligence services

Q: How would you comment on today’s British media reports on Sergei Skripal’s cooperation with Czech and Estonian intelligence services? A: Obviously, in the absence of any evidence of Russia’s involvement in Sergei and Yulia Skripal’s poisoning, UK special services are desperately trying to find a “motive” that could explain Moscow’s alleged guilt.


15.05.2018 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko met with members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Russia

On May 14, Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko met with members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Russia. They discussed the preparation for the upcoming World Cup in Russia, including the modalities of Russia’s cooperation with the United Kingdom. The Ambassador informed MPs that Russia is ready for the World Cup. On the Salisbury incident, Alexander Yakovenko brought to the attentions of MPs Russia’s position on this case and called upon the British government to hold a transparent investigation.


14.05.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a question concerning violations of rights of Sergei and Yulia Skripal by the British authorities

Q. Does Russia plan to use international legal mechanisms to hold the UK responsible for violations of rights of Sergei and Yulia Skripal? A. Currently it’s too early to speak of specific steps that Russia could take. It is clear though that the UK continues to blatantly violate the rights of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, who might be forcibly detained on its territory, in addition to violations of Russia’s right to communicate with them in accordance with Article 36 of the bilateral Consular convention. In particular, the actions of the British authorities raise serious questions as regards to observance of the following rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of 1950:


14.05.2018 - Attention Russian citizens!

The Russian Embassy in London has been informed of unmotivated stops and interrogations of Russian citizens, who legally arrive to Great Britain having UK visas, by the UK Border Force and police.


14.05.2018 - Embassy Press Officer replies to a media question regarding the statement by MI5 Director General

Question: What is your response to today’s Berlin speech by MI5 Director General Andrew Parker who called Russia a “pariah” over its “aggressive and pernicious” activities? Answer: The British government is rallying new participants into its anti-Russian campaign. The respective statements by the political leadership have been followed by National Security Adviser Sir Mark Sedwill, a number of high-ranking military officers, and now by Mr Parker.



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