21 August 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

20.08.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the investigation of the death of Nikolay Glushkov

Question: Does the Embassy have any new information regarding circumstances of the death of the Russian citizen Nikolay Glushkov in London on 12 March? Answer: Unfortunately, we have to state once again that the British side continues to evade any sort of cooperation with Russia with regard to the investigation of Mr Glushkov’s death. The British authorities continue to ignore our requests. After the Foreign and Commonwealth Office recommended to address all correspondence on this case not to the police but to the FCO, the Embassy has sent a respective Note Verbale.


18.08.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s comment on anti-Russian statement by Minister of State Mark Field

We have taken note of the speech by Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Mark Field in the Philippines during his tour of Southeast Asia. The Minister has irresponsibly stated, inter alia, that “in recent years many countries have fallen victim to Russian state aggression”. These accusations are absolutely misleading. As we have emphasized over and over again at various levels, Russia does not threaten anyone. The UK, on the other hand, in recent years together with the US have initiated aggression in Iraq, destroyed Libya and committed an act of aggression against Syria this April by launching a massive missile attack on its territory.


17.08.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question on cooperation between the UK and the OPCW with regard to the investigation of Salisbury and Amesbury incidents

Question: How would you comment on the recent information regarding the OPCW experts’ visit to the UK upon the British authorities request for “technical assistance” in the framework of the investigation of the Amesbury incident? Answer: First of all, we would like to point out that the Embassy has learned about the OPCW experts’ visit to the UK from the media publications. Unfortunately, the British side continiously refuses to launch a transparent and independent international investigation.


17.08.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question on the UK plans to provide assistance for Idlib province in Syria

Question: How would you comment on the statement by the UK government on its intention to provide assistance for Idlib province in Syria? Answer: We monitor closely the modalities of the UK assistance in Syria, what are its objectives and who are its recipients. The official British statement issued today indicates that the assistance will be provided to Idlib province. Moreover, according to the statement, around 3 million civilians “have sought shelter” in this area, while “many have already been displaced multiple times”.


16.08.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning possible reputational costs to the UK and the US following the Salisbury incident

Question: How would you comment on the claims that the refusal of the British authorities to cooperate with Russia on the investigation of the Salisbury incident might damage the UK international reputation? Answer: The Embassy is still concerned about the lack of information regarding condition and whereabouts of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. Unfortunately, the British authorities continue to refuse us consular access to them. The UK government ignores numerous relevant requests for legal assistance sent by the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation to the Home Office. This is a clear breach of UK international obligations.


16.08.2018 - Agricultural Attaché Vladimir Derbenskiy visits School of Veterinary Sciences University of Bristol

On 15 August 2018 the Agricultural Attaché of the Russian Embassy Vladimir Derbenskiy visited the School of Veterinary Sciences University of Bristol.


15.08.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s comment on the UK media speculations around the Arctic

We have taken note of a number of publications in the British media (including today's issue of the Daily Telegraph), presenting the conclusions of the House of Commons Defence Sub-Committee report "On thin ice: UK defence in the Arctic" as evidence of “a serious threat to Britain from Russia on the Arctic flank”. On this false basis the authors of the pieces call for enhancing the UK military potential in the region as well as an overall increase in the government defence spending.


13.08.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question on the prospects of the UK involvement in humanitarian assistance to Syria

Q: How do you assess the prospects of the UK involvement in humanitarian efforts to help the Syrian people? A: Our contacts at the FCO clearly show that the UK government, unfortunately, is not ready to change its position and join the international efforts aimed at providing assistance for the people of Syria. We do not see any practical steps by the official London in this direction, although, in our opinion, now is just the right time to act. However, British authorities do not go beyond expressing concerns over the Syrian population’s sufferings.


13.08.2018 - Foreign Ministry statement

On August 8, the US administration announced the imminent imposition of new sanctions against Russia on the basis of the US national law on Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination. Our country is accused of having used chemical weapons in connection with the so-called Skripal case, although no one has yet been able to provide any evidence of this, and the British side, despite our repeated requests, refuses to cooperate in the investigation of the March 4 Salisbury incident.


10.08.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the investigation of the death of Nikolay Glushkov

Q.: 12 August marks five months since the mysterious death of the Russian citizen Nikolay Glushkov in London. Has any clarity been established in this case? A.: Unfortunately, we have to state that no clarity has been established as the British authorities continue to ignore our requests. Since 26 April, when Assistant Commissioner of the Met Police Mr Neil Basu QPM informed us about the course of the investigation into Mr Glushkov’s death, only the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has contacted the Embassy with the request to address all correspondence on this case not to the police, as it was advised earlier, but to the FCO in the first instance.



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