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Putin confirms support for Palestinian statehood

PressTV ~ Russian President Vladimir Putin has pledged continued support for Palestinians’ legitimate right to establish an independent state.

“Russia has consistently advocated in favor of the earliest execution of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians for establishment of an independent, contiguous and viable state,” Putin said in a letter sent to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on Saturday.

“We believe that Palestine’s acquisition of national sovereignty on the common international legal base will be an important factor in ensuring comprehensive, just settlement in the Middle East,” he added.

Russian Ambassador to Palestine Alexander Rudakov delivered the letter to Secretary-General of the Palestinian Presidency Al-Tayeb Abdul Rahim.

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is observed annually on November 29 since 1977.

Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds (Jerusalem), and the besieged Gaza Strip and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories.

In November 2012, the United Nations General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status at the UN from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state” despite strong opposition from Israel and the US.

The upgrade allows the Palestinians to participate in debates at the UN General Assembly and improve their chances of joining UN agencies and the International Criminal Court where they could file complaints against Israel.

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President Bashar al-Assad: “Palestinian cause most affected by ongoing events”

SANA ~ President Bashar al-Assad received Monday members of the general secretariat of the Union of Palestinian Communities in Europe who wrapped up a recent conference in Damascus.

The secretariat’s chairman Dr. Radi al-Shoaibi led the delegation.

President al-Assad stressed during the meeting that the secretariat choosing Damascus to hold the conference in despite circumstances in Syria and the region carries significant implications, especially the Palestinians’ appreciation for Syria’s key role in championing the Palestinian cause.

It also signifies, added the President, that the Syrian people remain committed to supporting the Palestinian people whatever the challenges as “the Palestinian cause is the most affected by the events unfolding on the Arab arena.”

Palestinian communities in Europe have a pivotal role in explaining Arab causes and the dangers posed by Western policies in the region and the world, the President said, affirming Syria’s support for these unions and gatherings that reflect the pulse of Palestinian and Arab peoples.

The secretariat’s members thanked Syria for its support for the Palestinian people, vowing to remain faithful to Syria that has made great sacrifices in support of their cause.

The war against the Syrian people is due to their national and pan-Arab stances, they added.

The General Union of Palestinian Communities in Europe on Sunday wrapped up the 3rd general conference in Damascus with a closing statement pledging unlimited support for the Syrian people, army and leader.

The statement expressed utter rejection of foreign interference in the Syrian internal affairs.

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Al-Baath Arab Socialist Party : “Palestine will remain Syria’s central issue”

SANA – Regional Leadership of al-Baath Arab Socialist Party reiterated Syria’s permanent and principled stance in support for the Palestinian people’s right of self-determination, establish their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital and maintain the right to return Homeland.

In a statement on the 97th anniversary of the ominous Belfour Declaration, the Party’s leadership stressed that Palestine will remain the essence of the pan-Arab cause and the central issue of the Syrian people.

The statement asserted that the enemies’ attempts to liquidate the Palestinian cause and undermine Syria’s support to the rights of the Palestinian people are doomed failure.

It called upon the international, legal organizations and political parties to shoulder their responsibilities towards the Israeli entity’s illegitimate practices against the Palestinian people.

The statement also called on mass media to concentrate on the volume of the Israeli crimes perpetrated against the Palestinian people and its violations against the UN charters, the international and humanitarian law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

The leadership underlined the necessity of besieging Israel on all political, diplomatic, media and international levels, benefiting from the latest developments on the international and the world popular levels.

The Balfour Declaration (dated 2 November 1917) was a letter from the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Baron Rothschild (Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild), a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland.

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UN urges Israel to renounce nuclear arms, join non-proliferation treaty

RT ~ The UN General Assembly has passed an Arab-introduced resolution calling on Israel not to develop, produce or possess nuclear arms and criticizing the country for not being part to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

The resolution calls on Israel to “accede to that treaty without further delay, not to develop, produce test or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons, to renounce possession of nuclear weapons,” and put its nuclear facilities under the safeguard of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, AP reports.

The UN would like to see the whole of the Middle East a nuclear weapons-free zone, according to the text of the document, which specifies Israel is the only country in the region which has not signed the non-proliferation treaty.

Israel, which is believed to have nuclear arms but has never admitted to it, has long been under fire from Arab countries in the region for not putting its alleged stockpile under international supervision.

The resolution, initiated by Egypt, was approved by 161 nations with only five voting against it and 18 abstentions.

The United States and Canada were among the minority opposing the measure.

US representative Robert Wood, earlier condemned the resolution for failing “to meet the fundamental tests of fairness and balance.”

It confines itself to expressions of concern about the activities of a single country,” he said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) voted in September on a resolution, expressing concern over Israel’s assumed nuclear arsenal. That time the resolution was rejected by 58 votes to 45.

In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly passed a non-binding call on Tel Aviv to join the NPT “without further delay.

Israel then rebuffed the call with the Foreign Ministry saying in a statement that the UN “lost all its credibility regarding Israel with these types of routine votes that are ensured passage by an automatic majority and which single out Israel.”

Israel has repeatedly stressed it sees Iran as the real nuclear threat in the region, urging the international community to do whatever it takes to thwart Iranian nuclear problem. Tehran insists it’s not pursuing weapons and its nuclear effort is altogether peaceful.

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Fayssal Mikdad3

Minister Fayssal Mikdad renews Syria’s readiness for cooperation with OPCW, calls for pressure on Israel

SANA ~ The latest positive developments in relation to the file of the Syrian chemical weapons were reviewed during a meeting in the Hague on Tuesday that brought together Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Fayssal Mikdad and UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane.

As he highlighted the developments, Mikdad also underscored the great efforts which Syria has put with regard to implementing its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the decisions of the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

In the course of the talks, which were held on the sidelines of the 19th Conference of the States Parties to the CWC, Mikdad renewed Syria’s readiness to continue cooperating with the OPCW.

The UN official, for her part, welcomed the progress that has been made “in record time” as far as the elimination of the Syrian chemical weapons is concerned, hailing the Syrian government’s cooperation and implementation of its CWC commitments.

The efforts seeking to convene a conference on establishing a weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-free zone in the Middle East also figured highly in the talks, with Mikdad asserting the need that Israel be pressured to accede to all international agreements on non-proliferation of WMD.

Another meeting brought together Mikdad with Finnish Foreign Ministry Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Security Policy Jaakko Laajava, where talks focused on discussing the means to facilitate the aforementioned conference.

The Finnish official presented a review of the unofficial deliberations that have been held in the past period in the framework of preparing for the conference.

Syria’s Permanent Representative to the OPCW Bassam al-Sabbagh attended the two meetings.

As the Conference of the States Parties to the CWC continued its activities after it kicked off yesterday, statements of a number of the participating delegations considered Syria’s accession to the CWC as a key and unprecedented turning point in the history of the OPCW, hailing the Syrian government’s cooperation with the Organization and abidance by its obligations in spite of the complicated and difficult security circumstances in the country.



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