Saturday, January 19
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Politics

Lavrov: Return of all Syrian areas to state authority way to stop increase of terrorism

Politics
Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has renewed Russia's determination to continue backing Syria to eradicate terrorism.Lavrov, in a joint press conference with his German counterpart Heiko Maas in Moscow on Friday, depicted as unacceptable the continued violation of the demilitarized zone agreement and targeting Syrian army points and civilians by Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization.The Russian Diplomat stressed that the return of all Syrian territories to the state authority is the best way to stop the increase of terrorism again.It was necessary to preserve the unity and sovereignty of the Syrian territories, he said, calling on the international community to constructively cooperate for reaching a political solution to the crisis in Syria as soon as possible.Lavrov sai...

Sabbagh: Enhancing cooperation between Syrian and Jordanian associations in reconstruction stage

Politics
Damascus, Speaker of the People's Assembly Hammoudeh Sabbagh affirmed the important role of the delegation of associations, parties, and the Arab organizations, which are visiting Syria in clarifying the reality of what the Syrian people have been exposed to, not to mention brutal crimes committed by armed terrorist groups being supported by the West and regional sides.Sabbagh's remarks came during a meeting with the delegation from Jordanian Construction Contractors Association on Thursday.Sabbagh said that Syria today is nearing to announce the final victory over terrorism, hoping to enhance cooperation between Syrian and Jordanian associations in the upcoming reconstruction stage.For his part, head of the Jordanian Construction Contractors Association Ahmad Yacoub said that the Syrian p...

US Envoy in Kabul to Advance Afghan Peace Efforts

Politics
ISLAMABAD, Zalmay Khalilzad, the man responsible for overseeing America's negotiations with the Afghan Taliban, arrived Tuesday night in Kabul, after making stops in India, the United Arab Emirates, and China. He is expected to visit Islamabad next.His outreach to regional players continues despite what seems like a setback in talks with the Taliban.The [dialogue] process has halted for now so the venue and the date for a future meeting are not known, a senior Taliban official who is privy to the developments confirmed to VOA earlier this week when asked whether their peace talks with the U.S. were still on track.Talks scheduled with the Taliban in Saudi Arabia earlier this month were called off by the insurgent group after it came under pressure by the host government to meet with represe...

US Envoy in Kabul to Advance Afghan Peace Efforts

Politics
ISLAMABAD, Zalmay Khalilzad, the man responsible for overseeing America's negotiations with the Afghan Taliban, arrived Tuesday night in Kabul, after making stops in India, the United Arab Emirates, and China. He is expected to visit Islamabad next.His outreach to regional players continues despite what seems like a setback in talks with the Taliban.The [dialogue] process has halted for now so the venue and the date for a future meeting are not known, a senior Taliban official who is privy to the developments confirmed to VOA earlier this week when asked whether their peace talks with the U.S. were still on track.Talks scheduled with the Taliban in Saudi Arabia earlier this month were called off by the insurgent group after it came under pressure by the host government to meet with represe...

Ambassador Skayni: What happened in front of Lebanon Embassy in Tripoli reaction to Libyan flags’ removal in Beirut

Politics
Lebanon's Ambassador to Libya, Mohammad Skayni, clarified to the National News Agency on Monday that what happened in front of the Lebanese Embassy in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, was a reaction to the removal of the Libyan flags in Beirut near the Seaside Arena. "What happened is a reaction to what took place in Beirut; it is not a reaction to Libya's absence from the imminent economic summit," Ambassador Skayni said in a phone call with NNA. "A group of angry Libyan young men came to the embassy this dawn in Tripoli, removed the 'Lebanese Embassy sign' and wrapped the Libyan revolution flag to the embassy's main gate," he explained. "We, in Lebanon, are completely convinced that what happened, whether in Beirut or in Tripoli, is not aimed against the Libyan and Lebanese people," Skayni u...

Pompeo: Qatar Diplomatic Crisis ‘Has Dragged on Too Long’

Politics
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday an ongoing boycott of Qatar by four of America's allies in the Middle East "has dragged on too long," though he gave no sign of any coming breakthrough in the dispute.Stopping off in the small, energy-rich nation as part of a Mideast tour, America's top diplomat made a repeated point to say that "great things" were happening between Qatar and the United States."We're all more powerful when we're working together," Pompeo said at a news conference. "Disputes between countries that have a shared objective are never helpful."Pompeo said he signed a memorandum of understanding with Qatar regarding the expansion and renovation of al-Udeid Air Base, which hosts the forward headquarters of the U.S. military's Central Command an...

Pompeo: Qatar Diplomatic Crisis ‘Has Dragged on Too Long’

Politics
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday an ongoing boycott of Qatar by four of America's allies in the Middle East "has dragged on too long," though he gave no sign of any coming breakthrough in the dispute.Stopping off in the small, energy-rich nation as part of a Mideast tour, America's top diplomat made a repeated point to say that "great things" were happening between Qatar and the United States."We're all more powerful when we're working together," Pompeo said at a news conference. "Disputes between countries that have a shared objective are never helpful."Pompeo said he signed a memorandum of understanding with Qatar regarding the expansion and renovation of al-Udeid Air Base, which hosts the forward headquarters of the U.S. military's Central Command an...

Eyeing Iran, US to Host Mideast Peace Ministerial in Warsaw

Politics
STATE DEPARTMENT, With an eye on Iran, the United States and Poland will jointly host a ministerial meeting to promote peace and security in the Middle East. The international gathering will be held in Warsaw on Feb. 13-14.The ministerial will address a range of critical issues including terrorism and extremism, missile development and proliferation, maritime trade and security, and threats posed by proxy groups across the region, a State Department statement said.U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News the gathering would focus on Middle East stability and peace and freedom and security, including an important element of making sure that Iran is not a destabilizing influence.The top U.S. diplomat arrived late Friday in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, after a short visit to Mana...

Moscow: Washington seeks to retract withdrawing its forces from Syria

Politics
Moscow, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Moscow had the impression that the United States was trying to back down from withdrawing its forces from Syria.The presence of US forces is illegal in Syria and does not lead to calming the situation but rather to escalating it and supporting terrorist organizations, Zakharova said at a press conference on Friday.She stressed that if Washington has intentions to withdraw from Syria, it should achieve it because it is a positive step, but the most important is the return of the areas from which the US troops will withdraw to the Syrian State authority,On de-escalation zone in Idleb, Zakharova stressed that this area is temporary, underlining the need to prevent its transformation into a haven for terrorist organizations.We a...

US Lawmakers Demand Accountability for Killing of Saudi Journalist

Politics
WASHINGTON, U.S. lawmakers called on Thursday for Washington to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at one of the country's consulates in Turkey and vowed that Congress would act if the Trump administration did not.More than a dozen senators and members of the House of Representatives, including both Democrats and Republicans, spoke at an event in the U.S. Capitol complex to celebrate a free press and remember Khashoggi and more than 50 other journalists killed around the world last year.Democrats deplored the lack of a strong response to Khashoggi's death from President Donald Trump's administration, saying strategic or commercial ties to Saudi Arabia should not triumph over democratic values like free expression."If we decide commercial interests o...