Moscow :Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says his country has already started delivering the S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system to Syria as part of its efforts to ensure the safety of Russian forces in the Arab country.
“The delivery has been started already. And as President [Vladimir] Putin said, after that incident […] the measures which we will take will be devoted to ensure 100 percent safety and security of our men in Syria,” said Lavrov at a press conference following his speech at the UN General Assembly in New York.
By “incident,” Lavrov meant the recent downing of a Russian aircraft by the Syrian air defenses, which both Moscow and Damascus blame on the Israeli regime’s fighter jets.
Israeli fighter jets attacking Syrian military posts misled the country’s air defenses into shooting down the Russian Ilyushin Il-20 reconnaissance plane on September 17, killing all 15 passengers onboard.
Moscow says the Israeli fighter jets were responsible for Syria’s downing of a Russian aircraft as they hid themselves behind it.
Russia says it had suspended the delivery of its S-300 missile defense system for years over concerns raised by Tel Aviv; however, the recent plane crash prompted the Kremlin to press ahead with its earlier plan to deliver the missile system to Syria within two weeks in a bid to boost the Arab country’s air defense capabilities and take “adequate retaliatory measures”.
Shortly after Moscow announced its decision to deliver the missile system, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called President Putin to warn him about the delivery.
In the Monday phone conversation, Netanyahu claimed the delivery of the missile defense system would increase dangers in the region, a statement by his office said.
Tel Aviv has long lobbied Moscow not to provide the S-300 to Syria, fearing this would prevent its jet fighters from launching illegal aggressions against targets in the Syrian territory.
The US has also called Kremlin’s decision a “major mistake.” US National Security Advisor John Bolton recently warned Russia against the decision, advising it against escalating the already high tensions in the Middle East region.
John Bolton says providing the Syrian military with the advanced Russian air defense system only escalates the already high tensions in the region.
Idlib no safe passage for extremists
Addressing the same press conference on Friday, Lavrov referred to his country’s recent agreement with Turkey over the northern province of Idlib, where both anti-government militants and Takfiri terrorists are living, and said Moscow won’t let terrorists use Idlib as a safe passage to run away.
Based on the deal, Ankara has agreed to separate the armed opposition from radicals and extremists who belong to groups branded as terrorists by the United Nations.
“There is talk that they will be sent off to other hotspots, for example Afghanistan,” Lavrov said, slamming the decision as unacceptable and vowing not to let that happen.
The Russian diplomat underlined that the terrorists have to be eliminated or there has to be a judicial process to punish them.
The leaders of Turkey and Russia said on September 17 they had agreed to create a demilitarized buffer zone to separate Syrian government troops from Takfiri militant groups in Idlib. The deal came amid Turkey’s concerns about thousands of terrorists living in the province.
Pakistan among the few countries to successfully turn tide against terrorism: Imran
Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the country condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including state-terrorism against people under illegal occupation. The PM stated that Pakistan is “among the few countries to have successfully turned the tide against terrorism”.
Addressing the 19th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit at Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Khan reiterated that Pakistan is ready to share its experience and expertise in counter-terrorism. He added that growing intolerance and Islamophobia are threatening to accentuate religious fault-lines. He further said that Pakistan will remain actively engaged in SCO’s counter-terrorism initiatives.
Speaking on Afghanistan, PM Khan said that “the conflict in Afghanistan has no military solution”, adding that Pakistan is fully supporting efforts for “peace and reconciliation, through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process”.
“Excellencies, The world stands at a crossroads. For the first time in ages, we are seeing the advent of a multi-polar global order. Epicentres of economic power and growth momentum are shifting eastwards. Regional integration is speeding up. Disruptive technologies are maturing. Threats from terrorism to climate change to narcotics to bacterial resistance continue to loom large,” said PM Khan.
“There are increasing barriers to open trade and innovation. Meanwhile, growing intolerance and Islamophobia are threatening to accentuate religious fault-lines. For its part, Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including State-terrorism against people under illegal occupation. We are among the few countries to have successfully turned the tide against terrorism,” added the Pakistan PM.
“Pakistan remains ready to share its experience and expertise in counter-terrorism. We will also remain actively engaged in SCO’s counter-terrorism initiatives. Excellencies, There is finally a realization that the conflict in Afghanistan has no military solution. Pakistan is fully supporting efforts for peace and reconciliation, through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process,” further said Pakistan PM Khan.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reiterated India’s strong stand against terrorism and appealed that countries supporting, aiding and funding terrorism must be held accountable. PM Modi highlighted the spirit and ideals of SCO to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism even as Khan looked on.
Without naming Pakistan, a country that has made state-sponsored terrorism its biggest policy to counter India for the last several decades, PM Modi said every country needs to come together, unite and fight against the scourge.
Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
Moscow: Vladimir Putin has said Russia will fight for an independent Palestinian state, and called for the issues of the Middle East to be resolved through peaceful means.
Despite international criticism over Russia’s own role in the Ukrainian crisis, Mr Putin was hailed last week by a St Petersburg Cossack group for his ability to “bring order and stop wars”.
In an address to the Arab League summit in Egypt on Saturday, Putin spoke against foreign intervention in countries’ internal disputes and spoke of the role Russia can play in diplomatic channels.
While Russia openly opposes the stance of US-backed Israel on the Gaza crisis, its position in the Middle East is complicated. Putin is one of Iran’s key allies, but as he spoke on Saturday the core nations of the Arab League engaged in air strikes on the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
His attempts to urge a peaceful solution in Yemen haven’t had much of an immediate impact – on Sunday, the Arab League agreed to the creation of a joint military forces comprised of around 40,000 elite troops to resolve the future “challenges” of the Middle East.
As one of the “Quartet” entities involved in Middle East peace negotiations, Russia has played a key role in talks about the fallout of last year’s Gaza crisis.
He told the summit this weekend: “Palestinians have the right to establish an independent and habitable state with a capital in East Jerusalem.
“Russia will continue to contribute to achieving this goal through bilateral and multilateral channels,” he said.
Trump claims Queen had fun with him during his UK visit
Washington: US President Donald Trump claimed that Britain
s Queen Elizabeth II had more fun during his state visit to the UK than in the last 25 years."I have such a great relationship, and we were laughing and having fun. And her people said she hasnt had so much fun in 25 years. Then I got criticized for it because they said we were having too much fun,” the Hill quoted Trump as saying.
Trump`s comments come two weeks after his first state visit to London to meet the 93-year-old monarch. During his three-day visit, the president dined with the Queen, members of the British royal family and other British politicians at Buckingham Palace.
Trump and the queen reaffirmed the importance of the Washington-London relationship during an elaborate state banquet.”On behalf of all Americans I offer a toast to the eternal friendship of our people, the vitality of our nations and to the long cherished and truly remarkable reign of her majesty, the queen,” Trump said in his toast during the event.
He also met Prime Minister Theresa May. Opposing Trump
s visit, thousands of people hit the streets. TheTrump Baby` blimp was flown by the demonstrators outside the Houses of Parliament, according to CNN, alongside a 16-foot robot version of Trump sitting on the toilet and tweeting.
Other activists came dressed as gorillas, with signs reading that they “only eat chlorinated chicken” — a nod to concerns in Britain that a post-Brexit trade deal with the US would mean a decline in food standards for imported produce.