Erdoğan meets Merkel, Putin ahead of Syria summit

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Istanbul on Saturday ahead of a four-way Syria summit.

The summit on Syria, hosted by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, will see the participation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Staffan de Mistura, the UN special Syria envoy, will also attend the summit.

During the summit, the leaders will address the Syrian conflict in all its aspects, focusing on the situation on the ground, the Idlib agreement, and the political process, and harmonizing joint efforts to find a lasting solution to the conflict.

The leaders will also discuss the Sept. 17 agreement between Ankara and Moscow to establish a demilitarized zone in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib.

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Cuba: Backing Syria is firm Cuban decision

Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz affirmed his country’s support for Syria in its war against terrorism.

During his meeting with Health Minister Dr. Nizar Yazigi in Havana on Thursday, the Cuban Minister said that “standing by Syria and supporting it is a firm Cuban decision that is based on Cuba’s consistent policy of supporting friends and allies.”

The Cuban minister noted that the signing of a medical cooperation agreement contributes to enhancing the relations between the two countries in this field and allows the establishment of relations with Syria in other fields.

On Wednesday, Syrian and Cuban Health Ministries signed a medical cooperation agreement to strengthen relations in this field.

“It’s our duty to provide all kinds of help to the Syrian people in light of the current ordeal they are going through,” he said.

The Cuban official expressed  his confidence that Syria will triumph over terrorism thanks to the  sacrifices of its army and steadfastness of the Syrian people and their leadership.

In turn,  Yazigi, considered  the agreement as a “starting point for building a strategic partnership for cooperation in health field and the other fields, transferring  biotechnology and  importing medicine in both directions, training and exchanging expertise and researches.

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Cuban official reiterates support for Syria during meeting with Information Minister

Head of the Department of International Relations at the Cuban Communist Party’s Central Committee Jose Ramon Balaguer reiterated his country’s support for Syria in all fields, foremost in its war against terrorism.

Meeting Information Minister Imad Sara on Wednesday at the Committee’s headquarters in Havana, Balaguer praised the Syrian army’s sacrifices in fighting terrorism and aborting the conspiracy against Syria.

Minister Sara, for his part, said the army’s successive military wins have paved the way for jump-starting the reconstruction process and pushing the political process forward.

Syria’s national media has stood up to a media war waged against the country since the start of the terrorist war against it and managed to frustrate its goals, Sara stated, lauding the support to Syria by friendly media outlets which took it upon themselves to convey the facts about the Syrian situation to international public opinion.

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Al-Moallem and Marcelino: Syria and Cuba to continue coordinating stances in international circles in support of their just causes

Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem on Wednesday met First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba Marcelino Medina and the accompanying delegation, reviewing the friendly relations and historical cooperation between Syria and Cuba.

The two sides’ viewpoints were identical on the importance of developing and bolstering those relations on all levels, stressing the importance of coordinating the stances of the two friendly countries in the international circles in support of their just causes.

The latest developments in Syria and the region were also touched upon during the meeting.

Al-Moallem briefed the Cuban side on the efforts exerted by Syria in facing the fierce terrorist war waged against it by terrorist organizations backed by regional and international forces, which seek to dominate and control Syria.

He stressed that the Syrian people will continue their war against terrorism and its supporters.

Minister al-Moallem expressed appreciation of Cuba’s supportive stances to Syria, renewing Syria’s support to Cuba in facing the unjust US economic siege against it.

For his part, Medina affirmed Cuba’s continued support to the Syrian government and people in facing the terrorist war, thanking the Syrian government for its stance towards ending the unjust economic siege on Cuba, stressing that Cuba will continue supporting Syria in the international circles.

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Syria, Cuba sign executive program of cultural cooperation agreement

Syria and Cuba have inked an executive program for an agreement of cultural cooperation between ministries of higher education in the two countries.

The agreement was signed by Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Atef al-Naddaf, and his Cuban Counterpart, José Ramon Saborido, in the Cuban capital of Havana .

After signing the agreement, Minister al-Naddaf told journalists that the agreement would further enhance the standing scientific and cultural cooperation between the two countries.

He added that the program includes exchanging visits between professors, experts and specialists and the participation in symposiums and conferences organized by the universities and scientific research centers in both countries.

For his part, Cuban Minister indicated that the agreement will give a great impetus for the scientific cooperation between Syria and Cuba in the scientific and cultural domains.

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Syria, Cuba discuss enhancing cooperation in higher education, scientific research

Minister of Higher Education, Atef al-Naddaf, discussed with Chargé d’affaires of the Cuban Embassy in Damascus, Carlos Moya, means to enhance and develop bilateral relations in domains of higher education and scientific research.

Minister al-Naddaf, meeting Moya on Wednesday, underlined the deep rooted historic relations binding Syria and Cuba, indicating that an executive program of a cultural and education cooperation agreement will be signed soon between the two countries.

For his part, Moya emphasized his country’s stand by Syria, hailing the heroism of the Syrian people and their resistance in the face of terrorism and stressing their ability to restore security and stability to their country.

He underlined the importance of enhancing the domains of scientific cooperation with the Syrian Ministry of Higher Education and the educational institutions in general.

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Reconciliation Process Instituted by Syrian Gov't Makes Progress

In the presence of the government authorities of the central province of Homs and the Russian Center for Reconciliation, about 27 cities and towns of that territory have joined to the reconciliation deal, media outlets from this country reported today.

After recognizing Russia's efforts to achieve peace in the areas in conflict, representatives of local organizations agreed that the momentum of the national reconciliation process contributes to the unity of the Syrian people.

It also enables the safe return home of thousands of displaced and Syrian refugees to this territory.


Tadmur, in Palmyra; al-Amriya, Jandar and USh al-Warwar are among the cities that took refuge in the occasion to the reconciliation deal.


As part of the reconciliation plan itself, more than 110 opposition elements laid down their weapons in front of the authorities in the city of Qamishli, Hassakeh province, about 710 kilometers north of Damascus.


The unarmed elements signed an official document in which they pledge not to commit illegal acts that disturb citizen security, Hassakeh governor, Jaez Al-Musa, said.

More than a hundred opponents received last weekend a pardon from the authorities in the southern province of Deraa, shortly after they vowed to comply with the laws of this Levant state.

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'Syria chemical weapons probe poisoned by new Russia-US Cold War'

The way the OPCW-UN's investigated the chemical incident in Syria is clearly not what the world expects when it sets up an agency to investigate events like this, and wants to be able to rely on it, says Nicolas J. S. Davies, author of Blood On Our Hands.

Russia on Thursday vetoed a US draft resolution at the UN Security Council to extend the work of a joint inquiry into the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack in Syria earlier this year.

RT:  Why do you think the US and Russia failed to agree on this issue?

Nicolas Davies: It’s very hard to understand what has gone wrong with the OPCW investigation here. I mean the inspectors didn’t go within a 100 kilometer of the site, presumably because it’s too dangerous for them because that area is controlled by rebels linked to Al-Qaeda. Yet, they trusted the same rebels to gather samples and have custody of all the physical evidence they then examined, which is a complete violation of the OPCW’s rules for handling materials like that and for conducting an investigation.

@RT_com Russia blocks US-drafted resolution to renew inquiry into chemical weapons attacks in https://on.rt.com/8sfv pic.twitter.com/gYyWfmlQoz

@RT_com Russian resolution on international inquiry into chemical attacks in has failed at UN Security Council https://on.rt.com/8sfv pic.twitter.com/SgBOthDb0t

Then in the report, they issued they seemingly ignored all the contrary evidence that suggested there might have been some other cause for these deaths of 82 people – possibly a bomb hitting another building nearby that was that was storing pesticides – that is one of the theories. But clearly that is not what the world expects of the OPCW or of the UNSC. When the world signs an international treaty and establishes an agency to investigate an incident like this, we expect to be able to rely on it, to conduct its investigations with integrity and to hear from experts from all sides and all points of view. This clearly didn’t happen. There are American experts challenging this … John Gilbert, who used to work for the Defense Department, I believe. So we haven’t had the kind of thorough investigation of this incident that all those ambassadors sitting on the UNSC should be demanding and should expect.

RT:  Do you think we’ll ever get to the bottom of what actually happened in Syria following this latest disagreement at the UNSC?

ND: I don’t know. This just seems to be poisoned by what people are calling a new Cold War between the US and Russia. Frankly, the hostility seems to becoming much more from the American side then the Russian side. But it really threatens the whole world. We’ve got the two countries with more of 90 percent of the nuclear weapons in the world that seem to be on a collision course. At the same time, we have a crisis on the Korean peninsula, where essentially the North Koreans have come to believe that the only way they can keep their own people safe is to develop weapons that threaten the lives of millions of Americans.

We have to acknowledge that this is just a breakdown in the rule of international law, in the world, and this has really developed for the most part since 9/11, and since the US invasions of Afghanistan, and Iraq and serial US acts of aggression against country after country, for which there has been no legal or political accountability whatsoever…

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