World Bulletin / News Desk
Russia is not considering changing its stance on Syria and any attempts to apply pressure on Moscow are "hardly appropriate", President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said on Wednesday.
"It would make sense to expect a continuation of the Russian Federation's consistent and well-argued line" on Syria during Putin's visit to Germany and France on Friday, Dmitry Peskov told Reuters.
Putin will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande in brief visits to Berlin and Paris, part of his first foreign trip since he returned to Russia's presidency for a six-year term on May 7.
Russia, which has blunted efforts to condemn President Bashar al-Assad and push him from power over 15 months of bloodshed, has been urged to stop supporting the government after a massacre Western nations blame on Assad's forces.
"Russia is a country with a consistent foreign policy and any pressure is hardly appropriate," Peskov said when asked whether Arab and Western countries were pressing Moscow to change its position.
"Nobody has unambiguous information" about the massacre in the Syrian town of Houla and Russia believes "one should not give in to emotions at such an important moment," he said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said both the Syrian government and its opponents were to blame for the killings, and Moscow has called for an investigation under the aegis of the U.N. observer mission in Syria.
Russia says it supports envoy Kofi Annan's U.N.-backed peace plan, not Assad or his government, and that nations with influence over government opponents must use it more effectively to get them to abide by a ceasefire.
Speaking in France almost a year ago, Putin said Russia has no special relationship with Syria and did "not intend to give anybody cover" but emphasized Moscow's opposition to foreign interference in sovereign states.
The mosque is adjacent to the palace of the emir of Kano, the second highest Islamic authority in the country, although the emir himself, former central bank governor Lamido Sanusi, was not present at the time.
It criticised what it called a continued U.S. failure to fully investigate allegations of torture and ill-treatment of terrorism suspects held in U.S. custody abroad
Friday marks two months since police first fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators from the main protest site
Israel has conducted several limited incursions into the strip since August 26, when a cease-fire was reached between Palestinian factions and the self-proclaimed Jewish state
Government supporters demonstrated, waving flags and pictures of President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi
The Friday protests were called for by the pro-Morsi National Alliance and Egypt's Salafist Front, a component of the alliance.
Al-Nusra captured 18 Lebanese troops in total, while the ISIL captured seven during clashes with the Lebanese army.
Albanians celebrate founding of the country in 1912 under leadership of national hero, Ismail Qemal Bej.
Abbas arrived in Cairo for a three-day visit in which he will also attend a meeting of the Arab League's peace-monitoring committee
President of Dagestan said he seeks to increase trading volume with Turkey to $1 billion.
Prior to decison virtually all TV stations owned or influenced by ruling party.
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President Dervis Eroglu becomes first candidate to put his name forward to fight April 2015 election
The trip by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan was the first since the United Arab Emirates along with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar in March
The election commission is using about 4,000 voting machines for the presidential and parliamentary vote instead of paper ballots.
The warning by Omar al-Hassi, prime minister of the rival government, came after Thinni's government claimed air strikes on Tripoli's Mitigate airport this week
Countries hiding behind the Cyprus issue need to actually begin working on it, says Turkey’s Chief EU negotiator