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.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said the suspects' vehicle had been targeted and its three occupants were incinerated in the strike.
It said the decision to raise prices was within the cabinet's powers.
The visit comes after months of tension between Cairo and Riyadh
Projects will be carried out in places where terrorists had been eliminated by Turkey-led Operation Euphrates Shield
"We clearly announce that we have not and will not support any candidate in the upcoming elections," he said in a letter, signed by himself and his former deputy and presidential hopeful Hamid Baghaie.
Sinai has remained at the epicenter of a deadly militant insurgency since 2013
The official told AFP that two fighters were also wounded in the attack on the Al-Fawwar camp near Quneitra in southwestern Syria, adding that it was unclear whether the damage was inflicted by an air strike or shelling.
King Salman replaces cabinet members, US ambassador in reshuffle
Assad has said repeatedly that his forces turned over all chemical weapons stockpiles in 2013, under a deal brokered by Russia to avoid threatened US military action.
Some 150 Syrian families seek aid at Atma refugee camp near Turkish border
Dozens of opposition activists are either in jail or are facing trial for insulting the emir, including via social media.
Attack comes 'in response to rocket attacks from Syria'
Influential Guardian Council rejects former president’s application to compete in May 19 polls