21 February 2018
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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

20.02.2018 - DRAFT UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON COOPERATION IN COMBATING INFORMATION CRIMES



15.02.2018 - Embassy Comments on statement of Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad

The statement of Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad regarding Russia’s alleged responsibility for the NotPetya cyber-attack is, like many other similar accusations, not backed by any evidence. It is another example of irresponsible and hostile rhetoric of British officials towards Russia. The Embassy considers it as a part of the continuing campaign aimed at the stigmatisation of our country, that we have witnessed in the UK over the recent months.


15.02.2018 - The latest anti-Russian campaign in Western media (MFA comment)

We have noted a number of articles published by Western media in the latest campaign to denigrate Russia’s role in fighting terrorism in Syria. Here are just a few of the many examples: “Syria’s Idlib province pounded by Russian airstrikes, activists say” (The Washington Post, February 5); “Russia bombs Syria rebel strongholds after jet is shot down” (Newsweek, February 5); “Biggest airstrikes in a year hit Syria after rebels shoot down Russian jet” (The Guardian, February 6); “Devastating Russian airstrikes of retribution in Syria” (Deutsche Welle, February 5); “Russia launches an offensive after the jet is downed” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, February 5). These articles are obviously carbon-copies – their style and reasoning are strikingly similar. The misinformation comes down to allegations that the Russian Aerospace Forces are striking rebel strongholds in Idlib, killing civilians and damaging civilian infrastructure, including medical institutions. The Syrian Army is being groundlessly accused of using chemical weapons.


14.02.2018 - Embassy’s Press Officer on the chemical incidents in Syria

Q: Could you comment on the recent statements by a number of Western politicians and media claiming that Moscow and Damascus were responsible for the chemical weapons attacks in the course of the Syrian conflict? A: Russia is against any use of chemical weapons and is a strong supporter of chemical disarmament. In Syria we are in favour of conducting professional on-site investigations of all chemical incidents, something that has never been performed. Instead, the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) relied on “evidence” provided by the self-styled activists and rescue organisations such as the White Helmets which are in fact colluding with al-Nusra and other terrorist groups.


12.02.2018 - Ushakov Medal presented to the Arctic Convoys Veterans

On 9-11 February 2018 Third Secretary of the Embassy Vadim Retyunskiy presented the Ushakov medals to the Arctic Convoys veterans Mr David SIMPSON and Mr George MOON


10.02.2018 - Embassy Press Officer on Boris Johnson’s comments on the humanitarian situation in Syria

Q: Would you please comment on the yesterday’s statement by the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on the humanitarian situation in Syria? What is Russia’s position on this issue? A: The humanitarian situation in Syria remains predictably difficult. Russia continues to take efforts to provide aid to the civilian population, both directly and through international organizations. As regards to the situation in Eastern Ghouta and Idlib as well as in Afrin, Hasakah, Raqqa, Rukban camp and other areas, we share concerns of the UN agencies in Syria and we have repeatedly called on all parties to stop the hostilities.


09.02.2018 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a ceremony on the occasion of Diplomats’ Day, Moscow, February 8, 2018

Colleagues, friends, We are grateful to our guests and comrades for accepting our invitation. I have the honour to declare this ceremony devoted to Diplomats’ Day open. (Anthem of the Russian Federation) * * * I would like to again express our gratitude to all those who have joined the Foreign Ministry staff and veterans on this occasion, including our colleagues from the Presidential Executive Office, the Government Executive Office, the Russian Security Council, ministries, agencies and other offices with which we maintain close and fruitful cooperation. My special thanks go to Valentina Matviyenko, Speaker of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of Russia and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.


09.02.2018 - MFA comment on the humanitarian situation in Syria

The humanitarian situation in Syria remains difficult. Given these circumstances, Russia continues to deploy multidimensional efforts to provide aid to the civilian population, both by directly bringing in humanitarian supplies, and facilitating the work of international humanitarian bodies. In this context, we paid attention to a statement issued by the UN agencies in Syria released on February 6 regarding the humanitarian situation in a number of areas, including Afrin, Hasakah, Raqqa, Idlib, Rukban camp, and Eastern Ghouta, with a call for a month-long break in hostilities in order to deliver humanitarian aid and evacuate wounded and sick people.


07.02.2018 - Shelling of the Russian trade mission building in Damascus

A 120-mm mortar shell hit the Russian trade mission building in Damascus (currently mothballed, but still under diplomatic immunity) on February 6 at approximately 4 pm local time. No casualties have been reported. The building was badly damaged. We strongly condemn this latest terrorist attack against the diplomatic mission of the Russian Federation in Damascus, which is part of a string of recent crimes committed by terrorists against civilians in the Syrian capital.


05.02.2018 - MFA statement on New START

According to Article II of the Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, Russia and the United States were to meet the following aggregate limits on strategic arms by February 5, 2018: - 700 deployed ballistic missiles (ICBMs), deployed submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments; - 1,550 nuclear warheads on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments; - 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments. The Russian Federation has fully complied with its commitment to reduce its strategic offensive weapons.



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