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Syria: Chemical facility was producing anti-cancer drugs

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Syria: Chemical facility was producing anti-cancer drugs

Condemnation and appreciation pours-in

Responding to Friday’s attack on its soil, Syria has condemned “with the strongest terms” the aggression by US, Britain and France and called on the International community and the UN Security Council to strongly condemn the act which can only lead to further ignite tensions and pose threat to the international peace and security.

According to Syrian official news agency SANA, Ministry of Expatriates and Foreign Affairs has, in its letter to UN Secretary General and Chief of UNSC on Saturday  on the gross violation of International Law and the UN’s Charter committed by US, Britain and France said, “At 03:55 am (at local time) the US, Britain and France launched a ferocious aggression on Syria through firing 110 missiles towards Syrian targets in Damascus and other Syrian cities and areas, the majority of which were shot downed by the Syrian air defense systems.”

“Some of the missiles hit one of the buildings of the Research Center in Barzeh in Damascus, which includes an educational center and scientific laboratories, causing material damage only while other missiles targeted a military position near Homs were forced to deviate from their tracks, meantime their explosions resulted in the injury of 3 civilians,” added the Ministry.

Syria: Chemical facility was producing anti-cancer drugsThe letter further said that “It affirmed that the aggression of western arrogance and hegemony regimes came as a result of the feeling with frustration due to the failure of the conspiratorial project and in response to the defeat of their tools of the terrorist organizations in front of the progress achieved by the Syrian Army”.

Meanwhile Syria’s permanent representative at the UN Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari said that the tripartite US-British-French aggression on Syria came as a revenge for the defeat of these three countries’ terrorist proxies in Ghouta.

Jaafri was speaking during a Security Council session held on Saturday upon Russia’s request to condemn the tripartite aggression. He said that this aggression gives a message to terrorists encouraging them to use chemical weapons again in the future, adding that Syria and its allies and friends will respond to this aggression.

In another interesting development it was revealed that, in contrast to the claim by the western powers of hitting Syria’s chemical weapons program, the facility based in Barzeh district houses “the Institute for Development of Pharmaceutical and Chemical Industries” which is specialised in producing anti-cancer drugs which are direly in short supply amid western sanctions.

According to Tehran based Press TV, Saeed Saeed, head of the institution said the center was previously used by the Organisation of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) but now works on pharmaceutical products.

“Since the Syria crisis broke out, the country has been short of all kinds of medicines due to the sanctions from Western countries. Foreign companies stopped exporting high-quality medicines to Syria, especially anti-cancer medicines. So we have been conducting researches on anti-cancer medicines here, and three cancer drugs have been developed,” he said.

Reacting to the attacks on Syria, Iran’s Supreme Leader ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has condemned the joint airstrikes by the US, UK and France on Syria as “Crime”, describing the leaders of three western countries as “criminals.”

“I clearly declare that the US president, the French president and the UK prime minister are criminals and have committed a crime,” Khamenei said.

Syria: Chemical facility was producing anti-cancer drugsThe three countries, Ayatollah Khamenei said, “will achieve nothing and make no benefit, as they have been in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan in the past few years, and committed such crimes but have not profited from them.”

Ayatollah Khamenei is considered to be most powerful leader in the region against US-Israel-Saudi Arabia and their allies’ designs in the region. Iran’s influence has been growing after defeat of terror groups in Iraq and Syria where Iranian military advisors have played important role.

Iran also supports Hamas and Hizbollah, the two most important resistance groups against Israel. Tehran also claims of morally supporting Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah and the opposition groups in Bahrain.

The Russian military said on Saturday that the three countries fired 103 cruise missiles including Tomahawk missiles at Syria by the Syrian defense systems managed to intercept 71 of them.

Russian President Vladimir Putin severely condemned the attacks saying that the strikes violate the UN Charter and international law. He said that US launched “an aggression against a sovereign state which is at the forefront of the fight against terrorism.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated support to US President Donald Trump’s decision saying, “Israel’s support remains unchanged”. He said “A year ago I gave Israel’s total support for President Donald Trump’s decision to mobilize against the use of chemical weapons.”

Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry issued a statement saying, “Saudi Arabia fully supports the strikes launched by the United States, France and Britain against Syria because they represent a response to the regime’s crimes,”

The statement further said that the strikes were prompted by the “Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians, including women and children.”

Turkey and Qatar have also supported the attack on Syria. The Turkish foreign ministry said, “We welcome this operation which has eased humanity’s conscience in the face of the attack in Douma,”

Qatar was the first country among Arab neighbours to react. An official statement expressed support for strikes to stop attacks by the Syrian regime against civilians.

However, Egypt’s foreign ministry expressed “deep concern” saying the strikes undermined the “safety of our brotherly Syrian people, and threatens the understandings reached regarding the de-escalation zones.”

Algerian Foreign Minister Ahmed Ouyahia said his country regretted that the strikes came “at a time when the international community was waiting for an inquiry team to be sent to verify” the chemical arms claims.

“These strikes will create an atmosphere which will weigh negatively on moves to resolve the Syrian crisis through a political settlement,” he said.

Meanwhile, UN Security Council has failed to adopt Russia’s draft resolution condemning the strikes on Syria. It received three votes in favour, eight votes against and four abstentions.

Syria: Chemical facility was producing anti-cancer drugsThe draft resolution, read by Russia’s Ambassador at the UN Vasily Nevenzya, condemned the military action and called on the three Western countries to “halt the aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic immediately and without any delay” and refrain from further use-of-force actions in violation of the UN Charter.

The UN Secretary General Antonia Guterres had earlier said “I urge all member states to show restraint in these dangerous circumstances and to avoid any acts that could escalate the situation and worsen the suffering of the Syrian people.”

CNN on Sunday uploaded a video showing the damages incurred on the alleged facility producing chemical weapons. However, Press TV video shows the same damaged structure claiming it to be a pharmaceutical plant producing anti-cancer drugs.

The airstrikes by US, Britain and France on Syria has also triggered wave of protests in several countries including US, Britain and France. Participants in the protests included Syrian refugees and the local citizens.

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Nawaz Sharif, Bilawal Bhutto’s parties strike deal on Pakistan coalition Govt, Shehbaz Sharif to be PM

The PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari, 68, is set to assume the role of the President of Pakistan again.

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Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have agreed on a power-sharing deal to form a new coalition government after days of intense negotiations, as per the senior party leaders.

On Tuesday night, in a joint conference, the PPP Chairman Bhutto announced that PML-N president, 72-year-old Shehbaz Sharif will be the Prime Minister of Pakistan once again and the PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari, 68, is set to assume the role of the President of Pakistan again.

Speaking to reports, Bhutto said the PPP and PML-N have achieved the required number, and now they were in a position to form the government.

He said the former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party-backed candidates and Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) could not achieve a simple majority in Parliament to form government in the Centre.

Bilawal hoped that the political alliance with PML-N to form a coalition government would result in a positive market response since the cash-strapped country faced a hung Parliament after the February 8 elections.

Independent candidates, who were supported by the 71-year-old Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, managed to secure 93 seats in the National Assembly.

Shehbaz Sharif, in his speech, expressed confidence that his PML-N party, along with the PPP, now has the necessary numbers to form the next government. He also thanked the leadership of both parties for successfully concluding the talks.

According to the reports, the former prime minister highlighted the unity between the two political parties and their strong position to form the government at the Centre.

The PML-N secured 75 seats in the election, while the PPP came in third with 54 seats. Additionally, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) has agreed to support the two parties with their 17 seats.

To form a government, a party must win 133 out of 265 contested seats in the 266-member National Assembly or the lower house of Parliament.

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Poland Minister Wladyslaw T Bartoszewski says India is a superpower, should play role in World affairs

The Polish Minister said it is time to take the relations between the the two countries to a higher level. He said India has developed into a phenomenal country and is the 5th largest economy in the world. The minister said the Polish economy has also developed and both the countries have much more to offer each other.

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Secretary of state at the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Poland Wladyslaw T. Bartoszewski on Monday said that India should play a bigger role in global politics. He said India is a superpower now and hence India should play a role that fits superpower at the global scale. He said the relations between Poland and India have been extremely good. He said they have not had any problems.

The Polish Minister said it is time to take the relations between the the two countries to a higher level. He said India has developed into a phenomenal country and is the 5th largest economy in the world. The minister said the Polish economy has also developed and both the countries have much more to offer each other.

He said the Polish government wants India to play a more active role in World Politics. He said India is the largest democracy in the world and shares values with Poland as to how the world should be organised. The Polish Minister said he is looking to partner with India. He said Poland is looking at potentially creating the India-Central Eastern European Forum to discuss amongst a few countries.

He said there are a lot of topics and Poland wants to partner with India to play its role in the world affairs. Bartoszewski highlighted the remarkable economic growth India has made under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said Warsaw would like to work in closer co-operation with New Delhi. India and Poland share strong bilateral ties.

After the Ukraine war began, Poland helped in India’s Operation Ganga by aiding in the evacuation of Indian students from the war struck country in 2022.The Polish minister commented on the Russia-Ukraine war which has been going on since the last two years. He said the war will end if immediately if Russian President Vladimir Putin withdraws his forces from neighbouring Ukraine.

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71st Miss World contestants visit Raj Ghat and pay respects to Mahatma Gandhi

The 71st Miss World will take place between February 18 and March 9 which will unfold across various venues, including the Bharat Manadapam in New Delhi. 120 contestants from countries around the world will participate in various competitions and charitable initiatives, serving as ambassadors of change.

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Miss World contestants, accompanied by Julia Morley, chairman and CEO of the Miss world Organisation, visited the Raj Ghat, also known as the Gandhi memorial, on Monday, where they paid their respects to Mahatma Gandhi. The 71st Miss World participants also visited the Gandhi Museum.

The 71st Miss World will take place between February 18 and March 9 which will unfold across various venues, including the Bharat Manadapam in New Delhi. 120 contestants from countries around the world will participate in various competitions and charitable initiatives, serving as ambassadors of change.

Julia Morley, chairman and CEO of the Miss World Organisation said in a statement that her love of India is no secret and having the 71st Miss World Festival in this country means a lot to her. She thanked Jamil Saidi for his herculean efforts to make the return of the event to India a reality. She said the Miss World Organization has assembled the best team for the 71st edition.

The 71st Miss World will end with a dazzling grand finale at the Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai. India last hosted the international pageant in 1996. Manushi Chhillar was the most recent Indian to win the pageant, having bagged the crown in 2017. Previously, Reita Faria Powell, Aishwarya Rai, Diana Hayden, Yukta Mookhey, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas have also won the competition.

India is currently hosting Miss World 2024 in Delhi and Mumbai after 28 years. The competition will begin on  Februray 18, with the grand finale scheduled  on March 9, the 71st Miss World Pageant will feature 120 contestants from 120 countries and territories, which includes India and will feature various competitions and charitable initiatives. The 21-day fashion and beauty event will feature a variety of events that will empower young women as change agents and future leaders.  

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