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Here’s a summary of Sergey Lavrov’s speech to the UN General Assembly

Using measured but uncompromising language Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reaffirmed to the UN General Assembly the main directions of Russia’s foreign policy: alliance with China, Eurasian integration, the defence of international law and opposition to regime change. Lavrov also set out Russian positions in respect of the crises in Syria and Ukraine.

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On Friday 23rd September 2016 Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov addressed the 71st Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in a speech that was calm, serious and dignified but also uncompromising, clear and cohesive.

The speech provided further confirmation that Lavrov is the most capable foreign minister of this age, and one who will be remembered as one of the great foreign statesmen of the late modern period.

Here is a summary of main points of his speech:

–The speech opened with a reminder of President Putin’s words describing a world that is transitioning from a uni-polar world to a more democratic multi-polar world. Implicit in this statement is the fact that Russia does not rank states on a league table of usefulness. Instead Russia prefers to engage with all nations in a manner that respects their dignity and sovereignty.

–Lavrov then emphasised the need for nations to refrain from imposing their ‘attitudes and opinions on others’.  However he warned that some countries have become ‘too accustomed to doing this’. Without naming the obvious culprits, Lavrov said that interventions in sovereign states have caused swathes of instability throughout the world, particularly in the Middle East and in North Africa.

–Turning to Syria, Lavrov made it clear that without Russia assisting the legitimate government of Syria – recognised as such by the United Nations, Syria would have fractured and turned into a failed state. The clear referencing point here is Libya. Lavrov repeatedly called for independent inquiries into the attacks on Syrian troops fighting ISIS near Deir Ezzor and the relief convoy near Aleppo. He then said that if any accord is to be reached in Syria, and for a ceasefire to be established, it must clearly distinguish between legitimate political opposition groups and terrorists. In a clear challenge to the US he said Jabhat Al-Nusra cannot be classed as anything but terrorists.  (The US has been trying to have this Al Qaeda affiliate rebranded as something of a ‘moderate opposition group’ even though this is of course the same Al Qaeda that George Bush declared endless war upon).

In all instances Lavrov said that international law must be adhered to, and that regime change cannot be an option since it is contrary to the basic principles of international law.

–Lavrov then turned to Ukraine, condemning the violence which has shattered the country and calling for the quick reimplementation of the Minsk II agreement. He compared the destruction of Syria at the hands of meddling forces to what is continuing to happen in Ukraine.

–Lavrov then addressed the controversial witch hunt against Russian athletes saying that sport must never be used as a political instrument. Comparing the treatment of Russian athletes to the leniency extended to Western athletes, he pointedly referred to Orwell’s famous expression in Animal Farm that ‘all animals are equal but some are more equal than others’. The irony of a book hostile to Soviet Communism being quoted by a modern Russian Foreign Minister in criticism of Western actions should have been lost on no-one in the room, though I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for Samantha Power and her ilk to understand this.

–The speech went on to address the Anniversary of the Nuremberg trials, which Lavrov said serve as a reminder of what happens when the rights of peoples and nations are violated. He said that the world must come together to condemn all those who glorify fascism. No prizes for guessing who that was directed at.

–When talking about the need to curtail the proliferation of weapons on an international level, he said this cannot be done whilst Europe remains weaponised. He called on NATO to shift its priorities from provocation to dialogue, and repeated Donald Trump’s proposals for the organisation to focus on collective security against the threat of terrorism and instability.

–Turning to the Asia-Pacific region, the Russian Foreign Minister called for increased cooperation between all states and said that it is possible for the region to be integrated in the Eurasian Union which President Putin has spearheaded. He said that in the future, this zone could even form a cooperation agreement with the EU under WTO rules (NB: this was a reference to the ‘Greater Eurasia Project’). Staying with the Asia-Pacific region he called for North Korea to disarm but warned that there cannot be a regional arms race due to North Korean actions.

–Where much of his speech indirectly criticised the policies of the US and her allies, Lavrov ended by praising China, a country which is becoming more and more of a key Russian ally. He thanked China for hosting a successful G20 summit and affirmed that this is now the world’s most important economic forum.

The speech contained few surprises but it made Russia’s goal for a world based on respect for sovereign states and its opposition to ideologically driven intervention crystal clear.

The ball is now in the court of those in the audience to whom it was primarily directed, though when it comes to those whom Lavrov cautioned most directly, one is reminded of a line from the Don McLean song Vincent: “They would not listen, they’re not listening still, perhaps they never will”.

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Trump Has Gifted “No More Wars” Policy Position To Bernie Sanders (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 148.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou discuss how US President Donald Tump appears to have ceded his popular 2016 ‘no more wars’ campaign message and policy position to Bernie Sanders and any other US 2020 candidate willing to grad onto a non-interventionist approach to the upcoming Democrat primaries.

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“Is Bernie Stealing Trump’s ‘No More Wars’ Issue?” by Patrick J. Buchanan…


The center of gravity of U.S. politics is shifting toward the Trump position of 2016.

“The president has said that he does not want to see this country involved in endless wars… I agree with that,” Bernie Sanders told the Fox News audience at Monday’s town hall meeting in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Then turning and staring straight into the camera, Bernie added:

“Mr. President, tonight you have the opportunity to do something extraordinary: Sign that resolution. Saudi Arabia should not be determining the military or foreign policy of this country.”

Sanders was talking about a War Powers Act resolution that would have ended U.S. involvement in the five-year civil war in Yemen that has created one of the great humanitarian crises of our time, with thousands of dead children amidst an epidemic of cholera and a famine.

Supported by a united Democratic Party on the Hill, and an anti-interventionist faction of the GOP led by Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee of Utah, the War Powers resolution had passed both houses of Congress.

But 24 hours after Sanders urged him to sign it, Trump, heeding the hawks in his Cabinet and National Security Council, vetoed S.J.Res.7, calling it a “dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities.”

With sufficient Republican votes in both houses to sustain Trump’s veto, that should be the end of the matter.

It is not: Trump may have just ceded the peace issue in 2020 to the Democrats. If Sanders emerges as the nominee, we will have an election with a Democrat running on the “no-more-wars” theme Trump touted in 2016. And Trump will be left defending the bombing of Yemeni rebels and civilians by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.

Does Trump really want to go into 2020 as a war party president?

Does he want to go into 2020 with Democrats denouncing “Trump’s endless wars” in the Middle East? Because that is where he is headed.

In 2008, John McCain, leading hawk in the Senate, was routed by a left-wing first-term senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, who had won his nomination by defeating the more hawkish Hillary Clinton, who had voted to authorize the war in Iraq.

In 2012, the Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who was far more hawkish than Obama on Russia, lost.

Yet, in 2016, Trump ran as a different kind of Republican, an opponent of the Iraq War and an anti-interventionist who wanted to get along with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and get out of these Middle East wars.

Looking closely at the front-running candidates for the Democratic nomination of 2020 — Joe Biden, Sanders, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker — not one appears to be as hawkish as Trump has become.

Trump pulled us out of the nuclear deal with Iran negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry and reimposed severe sanctions.

He declared Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, to which Iran has responded by declaring U.S. Central Command a terrorist organization. Ominously, the IRGC and its trained Shiite militias in Iraq are in close proximity to U.S. troops.

Trump has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moved the U.S. Embassy there, closed the consulate that dealt with Palestinian affairs, cut off aid to the Palestinians, recognized Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights seized from Syria in 1967, and gone silent on Bibi Netanyahu’s threat to annex Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

Sanders, however, though he stands by Israel, is supporting a two-state solution and castigating the “right-wing” Netanyahu regime.

Trump has talked of pulling all U.S. troops out of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet the troops are still there.

Though Trump came into office promising to get along with the Russians, he sent Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine and announced a pullout from Ronald Reagan’s 1987 INF treaty that outlawed all land-based intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

When Putin provocatively sent 100 Russian troops to Caracas — ostensibly to repair the S-400 anti-aircraft and anti-missile system that was damaged in recent blackouts — Trump, drawing a red line, ordered the Russians to “get out.”

Biden is expected to announce next week. If the stands he takes on Russia, China, Israel and the Middle East are more hawkish than the rest of the field, he will be challenged by the left wing of his party, and by Sanders, who voted “no” on the Iraq War that Biden supported.

The center of gravity of U.S. politics is shifting toward the Trump position of 2016. And the anti-interventionist wing of the GOP is growing.

And when added to the anti-interventionist and anti-war wing of the Democratic Party on the Hill, together, they are able, as on the Yemen War Powers resolution, to produce a new bipartisan majority.

Prediction: By the primaries of 2020, foreign policy will be front and center, and the Democratic Party will have captured the “no-more-wars” political high ground that Candidate Donald Trump occupied in 2016.

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Over 200 killed, hundreds injured in series of blasts at Sri Lankan hotels & churches

A series of bombings hit churches and hotels across Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing more than 200 people.

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Via RT…


A series of eight explosions rocked Catholic churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka as Christians began Easter Sunday celebrations, with over 200 killed and hundreds injured, media reported, citing police.

The blasts started at around 8:45am local time at St. Anthony’s Church in Colombo and St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, a Catholic-majority town outside of the capital. The Zion Church in Batticaloa on the eastern coast was also targeted. At around the same time, the Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury five-star hotels were also hit, police confirmed.

Two more explosions happened later in the day, targeting two more locations in Colombo. All attacks appear to have been coordinated.

At least 207 people were killed, Reuters reported, citing police. More than 450 were injured in the attacks.

Alleged footage of the aftermath, shared on social media, showed chaos and large-scale destruction inside at least one of the churches.

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Mike Pompeo reveals true motto of CIA: ‘We lied, we cheated, we stole’ (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 147.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at a Texas A&M University speech, and subsequent interview, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The former CIA Director admitted, ‘as an aside’ to the question asked, that the Intelligence agency he headed up before being appointed as the top US Diplomat had a motto “we lied, we cheated, we stole”…which, according to Pompeo, contained entire CIA training courses based on ‘lying, cheating and stealing.’

Pompeo finally speaks some truth.

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