Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, October 4, 2017

Thursday, 05 October 2017 16:34

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov meets with university graduates joining the Ministry’s diplomatic service

On October 9, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with the university graduates of 2017 who have been accepted into the diplomatic service at the Russian Foreign Ministry.
It has to be stressed that this year the Ministry hired the largest number of university graduates in the last five years. All in all, 115 graduates have been hired this year.
Such meetings have long been a good tradition. New diplomatic workers at the Ministry will have a chance to speak directly with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on topical issues of the current foreign policy agenda.
Also taking part in the meeting will be Ministry executives and foreign policy veterans whose experience and knowledge are invaluable for the new generation of Foreign Ministry staff.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to take part in the meeting of the CIS Council of Foreign Ministers

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will chair a regular meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Commonwealth of Independent States in Sochi on October 10.
The agenda will cover various aspects of the many-sided cooperation within the CIS, including topical international issues. Particular attention will be paid to the problems of combating corruption, ensuring security and fighting terrorism.
The ministers are expected to approve the draft statement in support of the institution of family and traditional family values developed at the initiative of the Russian side as part of the Year of the Family being held in the Commonwealth in 2017.
A number of documents aimed at deepening cooperation in the economic, law-enforcement, military and cultural areas are to be passed.
The draft documents approved by the meeting will then be submitted for consideration to the Council of CIS Heads of State (October 11, Sochi) and the Council of CIS Heads of Government (November 3, Tashkent).
I would like to draw your attention as media representatives to the fact that the official Russian MFA site has posted an announcement on the accreditation of journalists for the upcoming event. Those planning to cover the event should make sure you get your accreditation before noon on October 6.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s talks with Minister of External Relations and International Cooperation of the Republic of Burundi Alain Aime Nyamitwe

Minister of External Relations and International Cooperation of the Republic of Burundi Alain Aime Nyamitwe will pay a working visit to Moscow on October 11-13. He will have talks with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on October 12.
The two ministers will discuss issues concerning the progressive development of Russia-Burundi ties, paying attention to the practical aspects of promoting interaction in the political, trade, economic, humanitarian and other areas.
An in-depth exchange of views is to take place on key international and regional problems, with the focus on resolving the crisis situations in the hot spots on the African continent.

Presentation of the art album The Pearl of the Antilles devoted to Cuba and leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro

A presentation of the art album The Pearl of the Antilles devoted to Cuba and Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro will take place in the atrium of Foreign Ministry building 1 on October 13.
The album has been prepared by the National Committee for Economic Cooperation with Latin American Countries (NC CEPLA) jointly with the Russia-Cuba Business Council, the Creative Expeditions Office and the Orden Cultural and Educational Centre headed by member of the Russian Academy of Arts Vladimir Anisimov, with the support of the Del Rio group of companies. The collection contains reproductions of paintings by Soviet and Russian artists inspired by Cuba, the Island of Freedom.
The heads of Latin American diplomatic missions accredited in Moscow, activists of the Russian Society of Friendship with Cuba, and representatives of government bodies and business circles cooperating with Havana have been invited to attend the presentation. A number of works included in the album will be on display during the event.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is planning to attend the presentation.

Three Russians die in an air crash in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Among the five crew members of the An-12 plane which crashed on September 30 in a Kinshasa suburb, in addition to Ukrainian and Uzbekistan citizens, there were three Russians, second pilot I.Morozov, flight engineer B.Mironov and navigator A.Chebotarev, who worked in the DRC under private contracts, the Defence Ministry of the Democratic Republic of Congo announced on October 3.
The Congolese authorities will soon send an official letter to the Russian Embassy in Kinshasa with detailed information on the Russian members of the plane’s crew. Measures will be taken to identify the remains and send them back home.
We express deep condolences to the families of those who died in this tragic incident.

Developments in Syria

Positive trends have recently prevailed in the developments in Syria despite the dangerous inroads by ISIS and al-Nusra terrorists that are trying to use the double standards and inconsistency of some of our partners in the fight against international terrorism in order to derail the movement towards peace and political settlement. The situation in de-escalation zones in south-western Syria, in the provinces of Homs and Idlib, and in certain parts of the provinces of Latakia, Hama and Aleppo is generally described as stable. Some provocations are being made, but they are not systemic and do not badly undermine the ceasefire in Syria.
Work is underway to prepare for the regular, seventh, international meeting on Syria in Astana, which is due to take place in late October. The mechanism to adjust the functioning of de-escalation zones is actively working, including the joint working group with the participation of the guarantor countries – Russia, Turkey and Iran. Contacts continue at the Joint Russian-Jordanian-US monitoring centre in Amman.
The Russian Aerospace Forces are dealing effective blows at ISIS terrorists in the east and al-Nusra in the west of Syria, thereby preventing attempts by terrorists to concentrate forces and facilities for new provocations. Several field commanders from al-Nusra were killed by an air strike on October 3. Their leader, Abu Mohammad al-Julani, was severely wounded.
Supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces, the Syrian Army is completing efforts to eliminate the consequences of the dangerous ISIS raid in Al-Qaryatayn where the militants slipped through from the zone that is controlled by US military in the suburbs of al-Tanaf near the Syrian-Jordanian border.
The Russian Federation continues rendering humanitarian relief to the Syrian population. Russian military medical workers deployed an additional hospital in Aleppo. Several full-fledged medical teams work in this new place. Every day over 100 Syrians receive medical aid. We would like to make a note that the medical workers of the Russian Defence Ministry brought seven tonnes of medicines with them because Syria is short of quality medications due to unilateral sanctions of the United States, EU countries and some others.
Russian military completed the restoration of the Hassan Ibrahim secondary school for 700 pupils in the city of Homs. Commissioning operations at one of the two production lines of the Albassel bakery have been completed in the city of Adra near Damascus. It will produce over 10 tonnes of bread products for local people per day.
Specialists of the International Anti-Mine Centre of the Russian Armed Forces have started demining the roads to socially important facilities in the liberated city of Deir ez-Zor. To ensure safe passage of humanitarian convoys, Russian sappers are clearing roads and adjacent buildings.
We are again urging interested members of the international community to facilitate de-escalation and stabilisation in Syria, in particular by increasing relief to its population. Syrians need international assistance for restoring vital social and economic facilities and demining territories freed from terrorists. We are pleased to mention enhanced activities of the UN specialised agencies and the International Committee of the Red Cross. In the past few days they sent humanitarian convoys to different parts of Syria.

To be continued...

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