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samedi 26 mai 2018

Hassan Nasrallah: Trump, Netanyahu and Bin Salman want to liquidate the Palestinian cause

Speech of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on May 14, 2018, commemorating the second anniversary of the death of Hezbollah Commander Sayed Moustafa Badreddine.

Translation : unz.com/sayedhasan


Transcript:

[...] (Finally), Palestine, (the most) important question —I will be brief because everything we said before had to do with Palestine. Tomorrow (May 15) is the 70th anniversary of the Nakba ('catastrophe', designating the forced exile of Palestinians in 1948), the Nakba of Palestine, or rather the Nakba of Arabs, Muslims and the (Muslim) Community, and even the Nakba of humanity. What happened 70 years ago and has continued for 70 years is a badge of shame (branded with a hot iron) in History and on the forehead of all mankind, of all States and world leaders, as well as all international organizations in the world. And it continues to this very day: what is happening today in Gaza —tens of martyrs, over a thousand injured— is a continuation of what happened 70 years ago.

The Palestinians, for 70 years, did not abandon their cause. They may have differed on some choices, but none of them has accepted that the Palestinian cause is liquidated or definitively closed, regardless of the minimum (1967 borders), median (1948 borders) and maximum (historic Palestine) terms. And their struggle, their fight, their sacrifices and martyrs have continued until what happens today.

Today we are also facing a great and very dangerous challenge to the Palestinian cause, of which I will talk briefly, ie what is known as (Trump's) 
“Deal of the century” (definitively settling the Palestinian issue), and according to some information —I do not have specific insight about it, but that's what can be read in the media—, Trump will announce in May, in the last remaining two weeks, he will officially announce this Deal. And the US project to solve the Palestinian issue is this, points 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 (which I'm going to detail). 

(What is the position of Trump :) “O Palestinians, O Arabs, O Muslims, if you agree (to the Deal), you're welcome, come and sign it. If you do not agree, so long (we have nothing more to offer), and we will still impose it on you.Because I forgot something in the first part (of my speech) about the consequences (of the American withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal), it's not only that (Trump and the United States) do not respect (the agreements nor the world) but they take (unilateral) decisions that favor their interests and just impose them (forcefully) to the world. And those who do not give in, they subject them to sanctions, even if they are their allies. They are not going to merely propose a settlement (of the conflict), but they will announce it (as a fait accompli). If you accept it, you're welcome. And if you refuse it, they will wage war against you, inflict sanctions on you, impose it to you (by force). Such is the danger facing the Palestinian cause these days.

It started with the recognition of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the capital of Israel, and now it's done, despite the fact that Trump had promised the Arab (leaders) that it would take two or three years and that there was time before its implementation. But no, they chose a modest place of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and rushed to move their embassy (for the inauguration) today. 

Well, what is this project, a clear, known project about which nothing is hidden?

1 / No Quds (Jerusalem), neither East nor West (for Palestine), it will not even be a matter of discussion. And what appears of the holy places, is that neither what is on the surface, nor what is underground (will be given to the Palestinians). No Quds (Jerusalem). Al-Quds is the eternal capital of Israel.  If a Muslim wants to go to the Al-Aqsa Mosque (the third holiest site in Islam), or if a Christian wants to go to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, he has to ask Netanyahu. That's the first point. This is definitely settled for Trump, he announced it.

2 / No return of Palestinian refugees. Nothing at all. Now they're wondering what to do at the Sinai (Egyptian desert), whether they will take them there... Palestinian refugees will either take the nationality of the country in which they reside, or be sent to other places. But there shall be no return of refugees (in Palestine).

3 / The Palestinian State will be Gaza. That is all. The State of
Historic Palestine, which is two or three times larger than Lebanon, will be limited to Gaza.

4 / As for the Palestinian presence in the West Bank, it will take some form: self-governance, regional autonomy, partly linked to the 'State' of Gaza... I do not have details on that.

5 / Treaties of comprehensive peace. And all Arab and Muslim countries will have to stand in rank, recognize Israel, establish relations with Israel, normalize relations with Israel, and those who do not accept will be subject to sanctions, blockade, pressures and plots ready to be implemented.

Such is the “Deal of the century
. What then is the “Deal of the century (if not that)? That is to say, the liquidation of the Palestinian cause. This means that the Palestinian cause will end this way.

In this context, what should be our position? We must not be content to describe and analyze. Let's be realistic. Trump is serious in this choice, and things take their natural course. What is happening, and what does it require from us? From us and others, every Muslim, every Arab, every Christian, every worthy man in this region (and in the world).

What is happening now is that there is a process to impose this outcome. The first step in this process, is the (considerable) pressure exerted on Iran. Currently the pressure on Iran is maximal. Perhaps we who are staying in Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, are not well aware of this. Today, they are exerting maximum pressure on Iran. They work on finances and on the economy (of Iran), to bring down the Iranian currency, and to undermine the economic situation inside the country, in order to create situations of popular demonstrations against the government and against the regime, and therefore lead Iran to a (completely) different location (domestically and regarding its stance on Palestine). The ultimate pressure on Iran consists in the removal of the nuclear deal, the return of US sanctions and the threat of new sanctions. It is not just the old sanctions but also new sanctions against Iran.

Is it only a nuclear issue? They know very well that there is no military nuclear (program) in Iran. The real reason was stated by Trump himself, I do not even need to make an analysis.

He mentioned:

1 / nuclear weapons, knowing that it is a false (charge);

2 / ballistic missiles (owned by Iran) and the fact that Iran manufactures them;

3 / support from Iran to Hezbollah and Hamas. He said so explicitly. That is to say, to Palestine.

This means: “O Iran, my problem with you is not only the nuclear issue, ballistic missiles, their scope, their manufacture and their number. One of my main problems with you is your support for Resistance movements in the region.
”  And when Trump speaks of Hamas, in truth, it is not only Hamas. It is he who says 'Hamas'. But the Islamic Republic stands with the entire Palestinian people and all the Resistance movements in Palestine, and supports all those who believe in the choice of Resistance in Palestine. Such is the (true cause of) the pressure against Iran.
 
“If you want us to go back to the (nuclear) deal, if you want us to waive the sanctions, to quit putting pressure on you with the conversion rate of your currency to the dollar, if you want us to allow European companies to continue investing in Iran and trade with you (O Iran), then leave Palestine aside, detach yourself from it (and toe the line like the others).” That's the first point.

Second, the continuing pressure on Syria in order to monopolize and exhaust it. Syria is nearing victory. Soon they will resort yet again to the pretext of chemical weapons to come and threaten, intimidate and bomb, and if there were not some fears (for the USA), they would not content themselves with what they hit (the last time). The US wants to ensure that the Syrian leadership, President Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian state, the Syrian Army and the Syrian people continue to be drained in the inner battle, in order to get Syria out of this equation (Palestine).

Third, the continuing pressure on Resistance movements in the region, especially in Lebanon. They had already inflicted banking sanctions on us, and now they threaten us with new sanctions from the Congress, they threaten anyone who has links with Hezbollah, financially, etc., etc. You know the extent of this issue, we have already talked a lot about (in the past). 

But what is even more dangerous, and it had been a while that there was no such thing, is that today, every day we hear threats of launching a war against Lebanon, saying that if such and such happens, they will send back Lebanon to the Stone Age, etc., this kind of intimidation. What does it mean ? This is part of this process (liquidation of the Palestinian cause), this is a way to say “Watch out you Lebanese, watch out Hezbollah, be reasonable, keep aside. Do not stand in our way by trying to help the Palestinians, give them support, backing and assistance, otherwise you'll have all kinds of problems.So there is also the pressure on Lebanon.

And lately, the renewal of the blockade against the Palestinians in Gaza to the point of starvation. Gaza today faces a famine situation. Over time, Gaza gets closer and closer to the situation of the Yemeni people. The situation in Gaza is difficult and (even) terrible at this point. There will come a time when people will not have money to buy food. Already, people have no money to buy food. What does it mean ? “Either we bring Gaza into submission and bend its knee by famine, until they fold and sign, either we lead it to an inner explosion.
And the leaders of the Resistance in Gaza acted (very) wisely, because they turned the threats of internal explosion into an opportunity with the March of Return, which will reach its pinnacle tomorrow. But this project and vision (liquidation of the Palestinian cause) are continuing.

It's the same with the pressure on all Palestinians, on the Palestinian Authority, the Organization for the Liberation of Palestine, inside, outside, with refugees, moral, psychological and financial pressures, blockades, etc. What they ask from the Palestinians today, and we come to the position (required), what they want from the Palestinians today, through the blockade, pressures, famine, their efforts to break them and humiliate them, all this is to obtain their signature. This signature is very expensive, it is (really) expensive. 

In addition to all this, in that process, we always find more support from Arab governments and the Gulf for the US-Israeli project of “Deal of the century” . This is also part of this process. And worse, what some Gulf countries do, is two things.

The first thing, which I have already referred to several years ago, is the religious and (Islamic) Law cover, that is to say the religious justification for surrendering to Israel. You see, when Anwar Sadat went to make a peace agreement (with Israel), it was (as) a political State, a secular President who was making peace with Israel. Sadat did not give any religious cover, nor did he invoke Islamic jurisprudence. He did not claim that he was following the will of God, the Prophet, and the Prophet's companions, no. The most we could hear in the speeches of Anwar Sadat is that he tried to take advantage of a Quranic verse, reciting it in his Egyptian dialect (thus showing a lack of deference to the Quran, which should be recited in an unaltered classical Arabic), “And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also].” (Quran, 8, 61). End of the story.

King Hussein (of Jordan), when he officially made peace with Israel at (the border post of) Wadi Araba, he did not bring with him the religious organizations claiming that it was the will of God, the Prophet, the family of the Prophet, the Companions, nor, since he is a Hashemite King (descendant of the Prophet), did he claim that it was the will of the Banu Hashim, of his ancestors and forefathers, he did not claim that they accepted this, never. It was (only) a State concluding a peace treaty.

The great misfortune, as I said a few years ago, the great calamity is when Saudi Arabia walks this path. This is the great misfortune. This is the great calamity. Because we will then see the Grand Mufti, the Committee of great scholars, great scholars, jurists, muftis, scholars of hadith, commentators of the Qur'an, as it has already begun, (we will see them justify their surrender to Israel in the name of Islam)... 

What have we just seen? It's Mohammad Bin Salman who said it, but he first spoke with the sheikhs. This is what we heard : “O brothers, O Arabs, O Muslims, you are mistaken! Palestine is for them, O people, it is the Jews who are entitled to it. They are the legitimate owners. This is the land of their fathers and ancestors. And it is God who has given it to them. And the Quran says so.”  Look how they want to lead people astray and fool them. “It is the Quran that says that. And they cite verses from the Quran as evidence.

An imbecile from the Gulf claiming to be a strategic thinker
I saw him on television, said: “Israel was mentioned 38 times in the Quran, but the word 'Palestine' is not mentioned in the Quran. So who is within his rights? Palestine belongs to the Jews. You do not have a say. Enough, give back the land to its rightful owners!” 

And now what do we see? Look, now that Saudi Arabia gets (openly) involved, it would be religion, the Quran, History and God's promise that would have granted (Palestine) to the Jews. And therefore, we Muslims, before 1948, and for hundreds of years, would have usurped Palestine, deprived its rightful owners from it, so we should apologize to them and also compensate them. And Mohammad Bin Salman is ready to pay those compensations. This is what is happening.

In an discussion with an important Sunni scholar, I told him: “If anyone has connections to Saudi Arabia, let him ask them 'O my brothers, who came to Palestine and freed Al-Quds (Jerusalem), making it enter the great Islamic state? It is the second caliph Omar Ibn al-Khattab (revered by Sunnis). So be careful (with what you say). Who is it that would have 'occupied' Palestine (according to you), depriving (the Jews) of their rights (on this land) and would have taken away from them this so-called historic right?” But unfortunately, we have now arrived at a point where (we hear that) it would be their historical right.

I heard one of the important (scholars) in Saudi Arabia declare on TV that we must recognize that just as Mecca is a holy city for Muslims, just as Medina is a holy city and belongs to us, Al-Quds (Jerusalem), the House of Holiness, is a holy city for Jews, and so we should leave it to them, with respect, humility, generosity. This Arab 'generosity', which only manifests itself towards the enemy.

This first point is worse (than what was done by Egypt and Jordan).

And the second thing that is worse (than that) is that the Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia, are leading the region against an enemy they have fashioned from scratch, and towards a war that they want to push the world to declare, namely against Iran. These governments are willing to pay the United States hundreds of billions of dollars to come and fight a war against Iran, without (any consideration) for Palestine and the Palestinian cause. This is part of the ongoing process.

(What is) the position (we must take)? To be realistic, and benefit from our experience (in Palestine) from 1948 to date, for 70 years, and from our experience in Lebanon.

O Palestinian people, O Lebanese people, O Syrian people, O peoples of the region, O Iranian people —as it is now in the heart of the challenge—, O all the peoples of the region. Pinning one's hopes on international law, international institutions, international organizations, for any issue whatsoever, is vain, meaningless, empty talk. More than that. Pinning one's hopes on the Arab regimes, in their great majority, for anything at all, is vain, meaningless, empty talk. I speak from our experience and from the experience of Palestinians. Where to pin our hopes, in short? On the position of our people, the position of some countries and the position of the Resistance movements. This is what brings results, and this is what changes the equation (in our favor). I do not speak to give hope. I only remind what the experiences taught us, that hope is open before us, and in very big way.

Today, a position is needed in two places.

First, with the Palestinians. Currently, it is not necessary that the Palestinian launch a war, or that they launch an armed intifada, or anything like that. This popular uprising expected from them, even if it does not materialize, only one thing is required from them, and that will be enough to dismiss the “Deal of the century”. Of course, now the Palestinians are demonstrating, and they have been demonstrating for weeks, and it destroys and annihilates (completely) the “Deal of the century”. 

But there is one basic thing that will prevent the “Deal of the century” to become effective, even if the whole world is unanimous about it, even if a decision of the UN Security Council (recognizes it): that no Palestinian sign it. That neither the President of the Palestinian Authority nor the PLO Chairman, neither Fatah nor Hamas nor (Islamic) Jihad nor anyone signs it. No Palestinian who claims he is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people must sign this agreement. If they do not sign it, this Deal will have no effect whatsoever (it will be null and void).

Israel occupied Palestine, and in addition the Golan, and parts of Lebanon and the Shebaa farms so far
may God make the best out of it, (but) the cause remained alive, Resistance movements have expanded and have become more powerful and more determined (than ever), and the awareness of the (Muslim) Community grew. As for the Arab leaders, nothing has changed, except that they took off their masks, but their essence and reality have not changed, (treachery) has been their reality for decades.

Therefore, the main position (required), from which derives the second position, is that the Palestinians do not sign. And even if a thousand Trump, a thousand Netanyahu and a thousand Mohammad Bin Salman strove to it, they could never impose on the Palestinian people the liquidation of the Palestinian cause.

And the second place is the Resistance Axis: the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Syrian Arab Republic, Lebanon (Hezbollah), Iraq, Yemen, our peoples in the region, from Bahrain to North Africa, Tunisia, Egypt, etc., etc. The Resistance Axis, with his countries, his parties (movements) and his peoples, must stand firm, enduring, not bow, not bend the knee, not give up, even if it is subjected to sanctions, blockade, even if the price of its currency is brought down, even if the war in Syria and Yemen is extended, even if (its members and supporters) are oppressed and imprisoned. It must remain firmly attached to its rights and yield nothing, and that is all that is required for us to overcome this stage (successfully). And we can overcome this stage.

In 1996, the world met in Sharm el-Sheikh, the whole world, and it was said at the time that the settlement (of the Palestinian cause) was over, that the Palestinian issue was over, and the world had made a final choice. But thanks to the battle that took place in Lebanon and Palestine, and to the endurance of Syria and Iran, (this final settlement) claimed to be “at a distance of but two bow-lengths or (even) nearer” (Qur'an 53: 9), the end of the Palestinian question in 1996, all (this) was shattered, and we are now in 2018.

The current project, as some say —these are not my words, but I borrow them— this project is based on the three vertices of a triangle: Trump, Netanyahu and Mohammad Bin Salman. In all likelihood —in order not to be categorical—, if only one of the three falls, the entire project will fall. Each of these three men, from the standpoint of political realism, (is unstable). Trump is faltering in the US because of the scandals, problems, etc., we do not know where he will lead the world and where he will lead the United States' domestic situation. Netanyahu also because of the corruption cases which weigh (heavily) on him, and he strives to strengthen his position with political successes to save himself from all the corruption cases. As for Muhammad bin Salman, God knows what is happening in Saudi Arabia (dynastic and personal conflicts, rumors of serious injury and/or assassination attempt, etc.). Anyway, may God make the best happen. After King Salman, we'll see what happens. None of these three is firm, solid, stable and rooted in his office.

And I add to this that all their projects in the region have fallen and failed, and they vainly wasted their resources, their allies and their instruments. And today, the Resistance Axis is stronger than ever. And after what happened in Syria several days ago, and what is happening today in Gaza, I tell you this: my brothers and sisters, do not listen to all these... Today my heart is stronger on this point. Do not listen to all the Israeli intimidation and war threats, these (claims that) they will achieve and accomplish (such and such things), strike (us) and swoop down on (us), turn our world upside down. In the vast majority, all (these rantings) are, according to me and to others —we talked about it with my brothers(-in-arms) —, I am convinced that these are empty words, vain threats. This Israel, if someone is more afraid to go to war than anyone else in this region, it is Israel. And although, as it is known, terrified people would scream louder, make threats, bomb the torso, shows muscles and insult, so that nobody approaches them, but as soon as we approach him, he flees for his life. As soon as one approaches him, he will hide in his hole.

We have very high hopes. We have very high hopes. We have (real) men in Lebanon and throughout the region, similar to the martyr Mustafa Badreddine, the (Hezbollah) martyred commander, courageous, determined and lucid. We have many men like Hajj Imad Moghnieh (Hezbollah martyred commander) among his brothers and comrades in arms. We have scholars, leaders, great (men), personalities, entire generations. And I know our new generation. Our new generation has even more enthusiasm, impulse and preparation for martyrdom. There is no loss or deficit in this regard, despite everything they do (to pervert it): social networks, games, numbness, moral corruption, drugs. Our new generation is stronger than that and stronger than previous generations. That's why (we are not pessimistic), and we have high hopes. We just have to sustain our efforts, to stand firm and maintain this position. [...]


See also Part 1 (Trump only cares about US and Israeli interests) and Part 2 (Syrian strikes in Golan frightened Israel and shattered its prestige) of this speech.


jeudi 17 mai 2018

Hassan Nasrallah: Syrian strikes in Golan frightened Israel and shattered its prestige

Speech of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on May 14, 2018, commemorating the second anniversary of the death of Hezbollah Commander Sayed Moustafa Badreddine.

Translation : unz.com/sayedhasan


Transcript: 

[...] The second point I want to mention, and which will also lead us to Palestine, is the recent confrontation in Syria which occurred a few days ago in the Golan Heights against the Israeli enemy. A few days earlier, there was a confrontation of the utmost importance in Syria. It is referred to (in the media) as ‘the night of the missiles. Okay, so let us call it the night of the missiles.

What happened that night and until dawn was of the utmost importance, and its implications in the Arab-Israeli struggle, the struggle against the enemy and developments in the region (are huge). The issue is quite important, and I want to talk about it a little, because what we have witnessed in recent days is an Israeli effort to distort the truth, and (prodigious) efforts in the Gulf media to present what happened as a great victory for Israel. With lies, some can turn defeat or failure into victory, through falsification, which has unfortunately become a specialty of some Arab media and especially of certain media in the Gulf. I give you a single example.

The Israelis themselves have not mentioned such a figure, but the Gulf media rushed to say that in this confrontation, 23 people were martyred, Syrians and Iranians, half of them being Iranian. And that is completely wrong. These are gross lies. Even the Israelis did not say that. But Gulf satellite channels and newspapers picked up this (wrong) information for 3 or 4 days, as well as some Lebanese channels who mentioned these (alleged) 23 martyrs in their scrolling news bar, though it is completely false. The truth is that the result of the confrontation, thanks to the Syrian air defenses, is that there were 3 martyrs of the Syrian Arab Army, and it was officially announced in Syria.

Let us return to the heart of the subject and the event itself, in order to briefly describe and outline its implications. For if we add this event, this confrontation of the night of the missiles to the night when the (F-16) Israeli warplane was shot down a few months ago, we come to absolutely major developments.

That night, for the first time in history since the cease-fire in the Golan Heights, since the 1973 war, the positions of the Israeli occupation forces in the occupied Golan — we must keep this fact in mind: it is not (only) the Syrian Golan, but the occupied Syrian Golan, and Israelis have been striving day and night for years, because of the events in Syria, to obtain an international recognition and attribution of the Golan to the Israeli entity. For the first time in history, the positions of the army of occupation in the occupied Syrian Golan have suffered a missile strike of this magnitude, in quantity and quality. 

What exactly happened ? I will be very specific. The Israelis speak of 20 missiles fired, saying they intercepted most of them. But the truth is that 55 missiles were fired, some of which were heavy. Some were heavy. These missiles have targeted a number of military positions, positions of the occupation army in the Golan, causing very strong explosions in the Golan region that lead and forced all of the settlers in the Golan (over 20 000) and in a portion of northern Palestine to rush to shelters. And this is the first time since 1973 that they get down to hide in shelters, frightened, scared and terrified.

The enemy has concealed his losses in case he would have suffered any. Anyway, that's usual for him. He imposed silence on the targets of the missiles, where they fell, and he tried to diminish the importance of the event. When he spoke of 20 missiles, he did not give the real number. And his response to this missile attack was to hit a certain number of positions, most of which had been previously evacuated. The Syrian defense, anti-aircraft defense forces have faced (this aggression) with heroism and remarkable know-how, as was the case during the ‘night of Trump
, during the tripartite aggression against Syria, and a large number of Israeli air force missiles have been intercepted. The missile air defenses reached Tiberias and Safad [Israeli cities north of Galilee], which forced Israel to use the Patriot batteries to intercept them. Some fell over Safed, Tiberias and Metula, as well as (South Lebanon town of) Habariyé, and there was a real confrontation. 

And of course, even the targets hit by Israel in response to the Syrian missiles were carefully selected and limited, and they avoided civilian, government and political targets — I'll explain why I specify that. They chose to strike targets knowing that they were empty. Because after making these strikes, they contacted the UNDOF (United Nations Disengagement Observer Force), the observation forces on the Golan and asked them to contact the Syrians to tell them that if their operation was over, they were also done. It reminded me — because we followed the images all night — what was going on with Israel before 2000 [Israel tried to contact Hezbollah to obtain a cease-fire].

Such is the event, those are the facts. Let us now say a few words about the implications because they are very important, extremely important.

First, this missile attack is one way — this is not the only one — to respond to the continuous Israeli aggression against Syria. This is one way to respond to the continuous Israeli aggression against Syria and against those in Syria (Hezbollah, Iran), against the Syrian army, the Iranian presence — whether it be advisers or military bases, as there is a debate about it — or any of the allies. This is a form of response among many. The message that this missile attack conveyed to the Israelis and the enemy government, and that was well received — because we follow (closely) the Israeli media, the statements of the ministers, deputies, of the Knesset, the media and even the street. And I think that now, the inhabitants of the Golan, that is to say the Golan settlers and settlements groups north of occupied Palestine, will also have a word with the Israeli government.

So what is the message? Here it is: ‘If you think (O Israel) that you can go on, come in Syria, bomb, kill, destroy, without facing the slightest reaction, and to threaten and intimidate with impunity and see everyone bow, you're delusional.
This is the message. And on the contrary, we will retaliate, as appropriate, at the appropriate time, in the appropriate place, in the proper manner — because it is one of the possible forms of retaliation, and it is not sure that the response always take that form. You cannot go on, you Israel, the enemy, acting as you please and constantly violating Syrian sovereignty and attacking it and those in Syria (its allies), and the Resistance Axis in Syria, without suffering retaliation and punishment. We arrived to a completely new stage, inaugurated by this strategic missile attack.

Therefore, even within the (Zionist) entity, they begin to protest: ‘Where do you lead us? We are not ready for war, and if you take action that will provoke a response, and then retaliate to the responses, etc., this can lead to war, and it is not our interest to wage a war. Calm down, calculate well, etc.
 
We have arrived at a new stage. This is the major change that has occurred. We are at a new stage in which Israel must weigh with great care its actions in Syria. Maybe before, they did not do a lot of calculations. After the (Israeli fighter) aircraft was shot down, we who follow military affairs closely, we have clearly seen that the movements of the Israeli air force towards Syria have introduced new protocols and (precaution) measures, new calculations. After the missile attack, Israeli decision-making, this trigger-happy behaviour so to speak, it will disappear. I'm not saying that they will not do anything. But I say they will carefully calculate their movements. And I also say to you that this is the message of this strategic missile attack, which must be taken into account in these calculations.

Second, this missile response occurred despite Israeli threats and intimidation. If you remember, during two or three weeks (before the attack), the Israelis said they expected a response, but that if it came up, they would destroy, bomb, kill, put everything upside down, etc. Well, the response took place, and they expected it, and they knew that the nature of (their opponents) would lead to a response of this magnitude, but they haven't turned
anything upside down, and they haven't dared to touch some red lines in Syria. Because — and I am going to reveal a secret — the enemy government was warned by international intermediaries that if the Israeli response in Syria exceeded the red lines, the second bombing would target the heart of occupied Palestine (Tel Aviv), not the Golan. This is one reason why they panicked during that night, contacted UNDOF, and said that if Syria's operation was over, they too (would stop there). Despite all the (Israeli) intimidation and threats, (Syria) has made this decision and launched this response. And that means that we're done with threats, intimidation, terror, and so forth, it's all over.

Third, despite efforts in the collection of information and actions of the Israelis all the days that preceded the missile attack to prevent missiles being launched from Syria, the missiles were launched, and it is an Israeli military defeat and a victory for those who fired the missiles. 

Fourth, despite the fact that they knew through their analysts and perhaps through their information, that the target was the Golan, that they have deployed the Iron Dome and all systems responsible for intercepting missiles, and that they considered all possibilities and were at a level of maximum alert, they have not managed to prevent most of the missiles from striking Israeli military positions in the Golan, and this is also a military failure for Israel.

Fifth — where are we, in the 4th or 5th point? Whatever. This experience demonstrated the lies of the Israeli leadership, and we Lebanese, Syrians, Palestinians and the whole region need to know to not be brainwashed by the Israelis as they will not stop threatening of war, saying their home front is ready for war. One of the most important implications of this event was to prove that the (Israeli) home front is not ready for war. Their population is not ready psychologically and morally, nor their shelters nor their home front. The scandal (of their unpreparedness) was exposed to the whole world with this event. And it is also one of the reasons for their precipitation to end the confrontation and prevent it from escalating.

One of the other implications that was rich in lessons is the need for Israel to conceal the magnitude of what happened by resorting to lies when they spoke of 20 missiles (instead of 55), when they claimed to have intercepted them (while most hit their target), when Liberman said that their response to the missile attack in the Golan destroyed all Iranian bases in Syria and finished them off. These are lies, absolute lies. They have no basis of truth.

And of course, the second day, Israeli officials have spoken to say that if anything happened, they would destroy the Iranian bases in Syria. But don't you already claimed you destroyed them? This regardless of whether there are (really) Iranian bases in Syria, or if there are only places where Iranian advisers are, we'll talk about it later. The exaggeration of what was achieved by Israelis and smothering of the implications of what they suffered are Israeli attempts to conceal and overcome this development. 

The last point about the implications of this issue prior to dedicate ourselves to our last part, Palestine, is the humiliating and shameful position of some Gulf countries. For example, when the Foreign Minister of Bahrain declares that Israel has the right to defend itself, it is a development... How to say... There is no longer any shame, no honor, no values, no morals, no religion, I do not know what to say (to describe such an act). Impudence? I say myself that this is hideousness. There is nothing more hideous, worse, more awful (than that). Can you imagine that this is an Arab stance? That Israel has the right to retaliate against Syria, to bomb, destroy, kill in ‘self-defense? So you also recognize the Golan as belonging to Israel? The operation took place in the (occupied) Golan Heights, you idiot, moron, pervert, traitor!

Nevertheless, the presence of this minister, of these rulers in Bahrain is one of the greatest oppression of history against the Bahraini people. And those who express the true position of Bahrain are the people of Bahrain, the people of Bahrain who went down (in the streets) and demonstrated to denounce the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain. This level of vice, imbecility, stupidity, submission, flattery towards the Americans and Israelis is truly staggering. In truth, we have experienced and we have seen (many things), and perhaps there were many people who were expecting that some Arabs would be traitors, without honor, vile and hideous, but (not) to the level that we see these days...

The most important in this event is the following message: we are at a new stage in Syria. Syria and the entire Resistance Axis alongside Syria reached a new stage. 

The most important achievement that has occurred is to break Israel's prestige, just like shooting down the Israeli aircraft broke the prestige of their air force. (Previously), Israel was puffed up with pride and haughtiness, let us say things as they are. If anyone dared to put his hand on the Golan, advancing only a finger towards the Golan, Israel was willing to cut off his head. But it's over. It's all over now.

Today, the message to Israel during the night of missiles is that neither Syria nor the leaders of Syria, nor its army, nor its people nor its allies will tolerate that Syria remains defenseless to all these Israeli violations and aggression. And they are willing to go as far as needed. What happened in Syria during the night of missiles is first and primarily an act of defense of Syria and its sovereignty, before being a revenge for such or such martyrs. And our collective responsibility is to establish firmly, to work to firmly establish this new equation in the struggle, because it is a very important equation that has an an impact on (our) protection. [...]


Third part on Palestine will be translated soon.

Hassan Nasrallah: Trump only cares about US and Israeli interests

Speech of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on May 14, 2018, commemorating the second anniversary of the death of Hezbollah Commander Sayed Moustafa Badreddine.

Translation : unz.com/sayedhasan


Translation:

[...] After this introduction devoted to our beloved commander [the martyr Sayed Moustafa Badreddine, killed in Syria on 05.13.2016], let us talk about the files which, incidentally, he was responsible of.
 

The first point — I'll be as brief as possible [with the 3 points I want to address, namely the US withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal, the confrontation between Syria and Israel and the events in occupied Palestine].

The first point is what the US administration is currently doing in our region, the main topic being the announcement by Trump of the (US) withdrawal from the (Iran) nuclear deal. I begin with this point because all my comments will lead us to (the issue of) Palestine, which constitute the essential part of this second part of my speech.

I will not analyze or discuss the nuclear deal itself, its causes, the causes of Trump's withdrawal or its implications and consequences. I'll go directly to the teachings and lessons we must draw (from this decision), because that's what we will benefit from, as Lebanese people, as Palestinian people in the first place, the peoples of the region, the governments of the region and also the whole world. We must learn to know, in our political line and in life in general, how the US administration, which sees itself as the leading world power, behaves, what it is (in reality). And in truth, it touches on their (general) political culture and political consciousness, more than it concerns this political development (in particular).

Well, today, the US administration again demonstrates, with the evidence that we will discuss, that it is a State, a government 
because it is not merely a Trump decision, it's not President Trump's own decision only, it is a decision of the US government, the American ruling establishment.

Today, the United States once again demonstrate that the only thing they care about in the world are their interests first, and secondly the interests of Israel. Final point.

That is to say, for successive US governments, humanitarian considerations or moral values ​​have no place. The humanitarian considerations or moral values ​​never had any place.

Today, Palestinians demonstrate peacefully in Gaza and the West Bank. In Gaza, there are dozens of martyrs so far, and more than 1,000 injured so far. In recent weeks, there have been dozens of martyrs and thousands of wounded. And for the US administration, it does not change anything, it has no importance whatsoever and no influence on their actions. And if someone dares to call for a condemnation in the Security Council, the US veto is ready.

Any evocation of humanitarian considerations, moral values ​​or human rights is empty talk, and has no place behind the scenes of American decision-making.

Second, international resolutions, international law, international organizations and the international community — in Lebanon, we are always asked to ‘respect international resolutions’, ‘implement international resolutions’ [pushing for the disarmament of Hezbollah]. Tomorrow you will see it again, just read the ministerial statement's exhortations to ‘implement international resolutions’, ‘respect international resolutions’.

But as for the United States, the leading world power, they do not respect international resolutions, international law or international institutions, not even international resolutions in which they participated, those they have shaped and approved. When they no longer fit their interests, they abandon them and throw them off.

Third, all agreements, conventions and charters have no value, nor moral nor legal, for successive US governments. They make and cancel agreements at will. They (don't respect) any agreement, any commitment, any charter. And I'm not even talking about climate agreements and trade agreements. I only talk about what just happened in our region. This means that no one in the world can have confidence in the commitments of the United States, in their agreements and promises.

Today, they are leading the President of North Korea up the garden path, telling him that if he destroys his nuclear weapons, they will allow American companies to come and invest in North Korea. If the North Koreans trust the US and destroy (their arsenal), as did Libya, for example, the United States will then say that for US companies to come, North Korea must organize such elections, meet such human rights criteria, etc., etc. And the blackmail process will continue (indefinitely).

O Lebanese, O Palestinians, O peoples of the region, we can not trust the United States... After all these experiences, it would be an act of stupidity (to trust them). A (prophetic) tradition says that the believer does not fall twice in the same trap. O my brother, this is not the second time but the hundredth and the thousandth time that these Americans stab the world in the back. This administration and these leaders can not be trusted at all in their agreements, commitments and promises. And this (new) experience before our eyes demonstrates it once more. I do not speak of (ancient) history, it takes place (live) before our eyes.

And likewise, experience shows that the US administration does not even respect its allies, not even their interests: they just don't care about them. The economic, political and even security interests of Europeans were to maintain the nuclear deal with Iran. But the US has not even consulted them. Who are we talking about ? European allies, not their collaborators in the Third World. European allies, powerful States, which have veto power in the Security Council! But the United States didn't consult any of them nor in substance, nor about their interests, nor in form.

Hence, how could they take into account the interests of those they see as mere instruments, subordinates, including States about which Trump said that without the American presence, they would not even survive seven days? The interests of the Arab and Gulf countries, and of some countries of the Muslim world, are they even present in the calculations, mind, head of the Americans when they make their decisions? They have no place whatsoever.

Such is the fundamental lesson we should learn today after the
Trump's withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal. I will not mention its impact, its consequences, its causes, what will happen next, it is not the topic of my speech today. But this aspect is in our opinion very important for anyone in our region and in the world, but especially for those in our region who link their destiny, plan their future, shape their region or take (strategic) decisions based on the United States and counting on them and on their promises and commitments, on any topic, major or minor.

And therefore, since today is the day of Palestine, let me also draw a conclusion on this point: when Trump announced his recognition of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as Israel's capital, the [Palestinian] Authority, or rather the Palestinian side responsible for negotiations, not to say his name [Mahmoud Abbas], said they would not agree to further negotiations or settlement of the conflict in which the mediator is the United States because it is not a neutral intermediary. What do you want instead? He said ‘I want the P5 + 1 [5 members of the Security Council + Germany], just like the agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue. This is the process that will give me guarantees and enables me to succeed.’

We declare to him today, after the Trump withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal, which was concluded by the P5 + 1 and on which a unanimous decision was taken at the UN Security Council, that all this was erased. Even this path leads nowhere and does not guarantee anything. (Despite) P5 + 1, Trump did not consult Europe, nor Russia, nor China, nor the Security Council nor the international community, he got up and went out (of this agreement). If anyone in Palestine, whomever he might be, counts on a resolution involving the United States, either as a single intermediary, as an international intermediary or as part of a P5 + 1, he is deluded, he is disconnected from reality and relies on mirages that will lead to no result. This experiment proves you, O Palestinians, that it is not the way to go in any case. It leads nowhere. [...]

dimanche 13 mai 2018

Hassan Nasrallah: Is Israel heading towards a regional war?

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on May 7, 2018, after the legislative elections in Lebanon (won by Hezbollah and its allies).

Translation: unz.com/sayedhasan


Transcript: 
 
[...] We believe that the composition of the new Parliament [following the May 6 elections] is a guarantee and a great force for the protection of this strategic choice [Resistance] and for the protection of the gold equation Army-People-Resistance, which we believe is the only one that, under current conditions, given the situation in the region, the balance of forces and developments, it is so far the only one that can protect the country, especially now that we are going back to the new challenges, the question of oil and gas, the maritime boundary, etc. And according to reports, Israel has threatened to start building the wall on Lebanese territory, on land which we consider Lebanese, even if the United Nations considers it disputed. Ultimately, it is this equation that can protect the country in such circumstances.


[...] We now have a new Parliament, and we must elect its Speaker, its Office, the Parliament must start working in order not to fall behind. It should appoint a Head of Government, form the government, and now, discussions about it should start, we must not waste time. It is true that the former Parliament and the former government will still operate for a few days but we must not waste time and we should seize every opportunity (to go forward). Because we do not know (what can happen), and even the situation in the region (is unpredictable).

Recently, we were all busy with the elections, but a number of us, and myself, followed daily Israeli declarations, their threats, promises, against Lebanon, Syria, the problem between Israel and Iran, and what is happening in Palestine, in Gaza in particular, where great things happen, developments in Palestine are very important. So we do not know where the region is heading. This is why in Lebanon, we have no time to lose. We have no right to spend 8 months, a year or more to form the next government. Neither the domestic situation allows it, nor our presence in such turmoil in the regions, and nor the expectations of the Lebanese people. [...]

vendredi 11 mai 2018

Syria Imposes New Rules of Engagement on Israel

By Sayed Hasan

 

On Thursday 10th May 2018, an unprecedented exchange of strikes happened between Israel and Syria. The mainstream media, as well as some “alternative” media like Russia Today, were quick to relay the Israeli army version, according to which the Zionist entity “retaliated” to an “Iranian attack by Revolutionary Guards’ Al-Quds Force” consisting of “twenty rockets” fired at Israeli positions in the occupied Golan, four of which were “intercepted by the Iron Dome” and the others “crashed into Syrian territory”, no damage being recorded in Israel. Israel has reportedly responded to this unprecedented “act of aggression” by a “large-scale operation” that would have destroyed “the entire Iranian infrastructure in Syria”, in order to deter the Islamic Republic from any stray impulse of future strikes.

mercredi 9 mai 2018

Vladimir Putin on Victory Day: USSR defeated the Nazis

Vladimir Putin Speech at the military parade marking the 73rd anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945. May 9, 2018.
Sourcehttp://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/57436 (Subtitled by Russia Insight)


Transcript:
Citizens of Russia,
Veterans, soldiers and seamen, sergeants and master sergeants, warrant officers and chief warrant officers, officers, generals and admirals,
Congratulations on Victory Day!
This holiday has always been and will always be the dearest, most sacred day for each family, for all our huge country, a day of national pride and eternal unfailing memory.
Seventy-three years ago, the Great Patriotic War ended, Nazism was crushed and its atrocities, outrages and barbarity were tebrminated, and plans for world domination were defeated.
We must cherish the memory of the courage of the warriors who gave their lives, of all our soldiers and the brave fighters of the Second Front, of the contribution made by the anti-Hitler coalition countries, of the brotherhood-in-arms of those who stood up against Nazism.
The defeat of the Nazis was a tremendous triumphant Victory. This long-awaited word immediately circled the planet. All countries, all people back then understood that the outcome of World War II was determined by the Soviet Union, that this great sacrificial feat was achieved by our soldiers and our people.
It gained Victory at the cost of the hardest, irreplaceable losses; it defended the honour and independence of our homeland thanks to unparalleled courage on the frontlines and on the home front. However, attempts are made today to cross out this deed of the people who saved Europe and the world from slavery, from the horrors of the Holocaust, to distort the events of the war, to bury the true heroes in oblivion, to forge, rewrite and corrupt history itself.
We will never let this happen. We must cherish the memory of the courage of the warriors who gave their lives, of all our soldiers and the brave fighters of the Second Front, of the contribution made by the anti-Hitler coalition countries, of the brotherhood-in-arms of those who stood up against Nazism.
We will always take pride in the fact that the Soviet people stood its ground and did not yield to the cruel enemy, while some countries preferred the disgrace of capitulation, hypocritical compromise or direct cooperation with the Nazis.
Our people fought to the death. No other country repelled such an invasion, evacuated under enemy fire millions of people and thousands of factories, which practically off the wheels started manufacturing equipment and munitions for the front.
The impossible was achieved. Nobody thought of themselves and everyone worked heroically, including women and children. For the Motherland, for Victory. For those who were defending our country, their families in the thick of the war.
May 9 unites generations through a history of courage. Each family has its own heroes, who live on in our hearts. They are with us in the ranks of the Immortal Regiment.
The courage of our warriors is immeasurable. All of them, from a private to a general, fought in the cold and the heat, in small and large battlefields. Each military line was part of the Fatherland, and for that reason, every one of them was the most important.
Our troops won great victories in the decisive Battles of Moscow and Stalingrad, in the battles near Kursk and on the Dnieper, broke the siege of Leningrad and liberated European capitals. They took Berlin in the conclusive assault.
Their background did not matter throughout that time: where they came from, what their ethnicity or religion was, which region of the vast country they lived in before the war, and whether they were drafted to join the army or volunteered for the front.
Everyone had one Motherland. Everyone fought as much as they could, until the last round, until the last drop of blood.
May 9 unites generations through a history of courage. Each family has its own heroes, who live on in our hearts. They are with us in the ranks of the Immortal Regiment.
We bow to the cherished memory of all those who did not come back from the war, to the sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, grandfathers, husbands, wives, sisters, fellow-soldiers, relatives and friends. We mourn the veterans who passed away.
Let us observe a minute of silence.
(A minute of silence.)
Friends,
In June 1941, war entered every home, separating loved ones, many of them – forever. It orphaned and bereaved hundreds of thousands of children, destroying hopes and plans, incinerating towns and villages.
Russia is open for dialogue on all issues related to ensuring global security; it is ready for a constructive equal partnership for the sake of agreement, peace and progress on the planet.
War is always a challenge to life itself and to all the best it offers.
We remember the tragedies of the two world wars; the lessons of history do not let us ‘go blind.’ New threats bear the same old ugly features: selfishness and intolerance, aggressive nationalism and claims to exclusiveness.
We are aware of the seriousness of these threats. It is important for all countries, all humankind to realise that peace is very fragile, and its stability is enhanced by our common commitment to hear, trust and respect each other.
Russia is open for dialogue on all issues related to ensuring global security; it is ready for a constructive equal partnership for the sake of agreement, peace and progress on the planet.
Esteemed veterans,
Our gratitude to you knows no limits; our hearts speak about it now. A military parade will be held in honour of your services to the Fatherland.
Your lives, scorched by the war, are an eternal example for all generations. We bow to your fierce loyalty to the Motherland.
We are honoured to be your heirs. We understand the extent of this responsibility and we will never let you down.
Pride in your deed makes us stronger. Now a new generation of victors is in the ranks, and they will march through the country’s main square.
We will always follow your testament, your traditions. We will continue to work hard, to achieve success for the sake of Russia’s prosperity and power. The light of your victories, your bravery and your words will encourage us along this road.
Happy holiday! Congratulations on the day of the Great Victory! Hooray!

lundi 7 mai 2018

Vladimir Putin's Inauguration Address as President of Russia

Vladimir Putin has been inaugurated as President of Russia in a ceremony that took place on May 7, 2018 at the Grand Kremlin Palace. 


Activate English subtitles in the upper right menu

Transcript: 

Citizens of Russia, ladies and gentlemen, friends,

I salute all the citizens of our great nation and compatriots living abroad, all those who are watching the broadcast of this ceremony and all those present here today, in the historic halls of the Kremlin and on the ancient Cathedral Square.

As I am about to take office as the President of Russia, I am keenly aware of the immense responsibility towards each and every one of you, and towards our entire multi-ethnic nation. I am aware of my responsibility towards Russia, a country of magnificent victories and accomplishments, towards the history of the Russian state that goes back centuries and towards our ancestors. Their courage, relentless work, undefeatable unity, and the way they sanctified their homeland are eternal examples of their dedication to their Fatherland.

I believe that it is my duty and the meaning of my entire life to do everything for Russia, its present and future, to ensure that it is peaceful and prosperous, to preserve and perpetuate our great people, and bring prosperity to every household in Russia. Let me assure you that just as before I will devote my life and my work to serving the people and our Fatherland. This is my outmost aspiration.

I would like to thank the citizens of Russia for their unity, for believing that together we can change many things for the better. Let me extend my gratitude to you one more time. Thank you for the sincere support I received from the citizens of Russia at the presidential election. I view this support as a huge political asset and a reliable moral backing. This support is a sign of faith and a sign of hope that Russia will continue to build up its strength while its people will live better. This support is also essential for asserting our positions on the international stage and for taking resolute action for promoting far-reaching, positive change within the country.

Russia must be a modern and vibrant country ready to take up the challenges of time and respond to them with all its energy in order to consistently build up its leadership in areas where our positions have been traditionally strong. At the same time, we need to work with confidence and diligence and to harness all our willpower in areas where we have yet to achieve the results we aspire to, where a lot has yet to be done.

The way forward is never easy. It is always a challenging journey. But there is only one thing history never forgives: indifference and inconsistency, slackness and complacency, which rings especially true today, at this turning point in history, as the entire world is undergoing rapid change.

The objectives we face and the decisions we will be called upon to take are without exaggeration historic in their scale. They will determine the future of our Fatherland for decades to come. We have a lot of hard work ahead of us that will require the entire Russian society to come together. Every one of us, all responsible political forces and civil society movements, united by the fact that they sincerely care for Russia, must be proactive in these efforts.

We need breakthroughs in all areas of life. I strongly believe that only a free society that is open to all new and cutting-edge advances, while rejecting injustice, ignorance, crass conservatism and bureaucratic red tape, is callable of achieving these breakthroughs. We must cast aside everything that constrains people, prevents them from fully unleashing their potential and their talents, becoming a barrier for the development of the entire nation.

Friends, this year we will be marking the 25th anniversary of the Russian Constitution. It stresses the unconditional primacy and priority of the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens. It is the harmony between free individuals, responsible civil society and a strong, active and democratic state that creates a solid foundation for the development of Russia.

We have coped with the most difficult economic and social problems. We have realised that, while changing with the world, we should not break away from our own roots, our own history and multinational culture. We have understood that all our beauty and strength are in our distinctness and unity. We have learned to uphold our interests and revived pride in our homeland and our traditional values. Experience shows that today, too, we must cherish what has been achieved and, based on this to move only forward.

Of course, we should keep pace with the global changes and organise our breakthrough development agenda so that no obstacles or circumstances could prevent us from determining our future on our own and only on our own and from implementing our boldest plans and dreams. But at the same time, we are open to dialogue. Along with our partners, we will actively promote our integration projects and build up business, humanitarian, cultural and scientific ties.

We are in favour of equitable and mutually beneficial cooperation with all states in the interests of peace and stability on our planet.

Russia is a strong, active and influential participant in international life; the country’s security and defence capability are reliably assured. We will continue to pay the necessary, close attention to these issues.

But now, we must use all the opportunities available to us primarily to address the most vital domestic development objectives, to achieve an economic and technological breakthrough, and to enhance competitiveness in the spheres that determine the future. A new quality of life, wellbeing, security and health are what constitutes our main goals and the focus of our policies. Our reference point is Russia for the people, a country of opportunities for self-fulfilment for each person.

I strongly believe that everyday challenges people face and demands they have are directly linked to the goals we have as a nation. In fact, this is the only way to put in place the needed conditions for promoting creativity and development, and creating an atmosphere of shared responsibility, support and trust in society, which is essential.

Every person must understand that only our proactive engagement in the country’s affairs can add new momentum to renewal. No one will do it for us, since all of us, the citizens of Russia, are the main force of change.

The more people in all walks of life, professions and authority realise the importance of the role they must play in improving how we live, the more effective and rapid will our progress be.

State and municipal authorities have a special responsibility. People have every right to expect matters that cause them concern to be resolved without delay, to have their proposals, observations and demands treated with due attention, so that such things as reputation, honour, generosity and openness become a norm of life for the officials at all levels of government.

We must give more freedom to entrepreneurs and researchers, to creative and active people who care, and to all who want to reinvent the world. For me, this is a guarantee of continuity in our strategy and efforts to promote steady development in Russia. I look forward to novel ideas and approaches, to the audacity of young people and their ability to lead the change.

I hope that young people will remain true to the values of truth and justice that guided the older generation, and that the knowledge, experience and wisdom of the preceding generations will be relevant for today’s young.

By having all people who care for their country and its future work together we will definitely deliver on our objectives and achieve breakthroughs in research and technology. Together, we can bring to fruition large-scale initiatives to upgrade and improve cities and villages and develop regions across Russia. We will be proactive in conducting a modern social policy that caters to the needs of every individual and every Russian household, improves the quality of education and healthcare. We will pay special attention to supporting the traditional family values, motherhood and childhood, so that more and more wanted and healthy babies are born in Russia who go on to become smart and talented people. It will be they, our children, who will take up our efforts to develop the country, and achieve even greater success than their parents, while respecting the history of our Fatherland.

Friends,

As head of state I will do everything to build up Russia’s might, prosperity and glory, and to live up to the expectations and hopes of the country’s citizens.

We know that in the 1990s and early 2000s, apart from the far-reaching and necessary historical changes, our homeland and its people went through harsh challenges. Much, though far from all has been restored. Not all the wounds of the past have been healed yet, not all challenges have been overcome. There are new complex tasks ahead of us, and we will have to work hard to deliver on them. We have to act without delay.

That said, we remember all too well that throughout its history, which reaches back centuries, Russia faced a number of dark periods and challenges, and rose like a phoenix from the ashes every time, achieving heights that seemed unattainable to others. Those challenges served as a stepping stone for Russia, setting the stage for the next major breakthrough.

I am confident that we will achieve a breakthrough this time as well, since we are a powerful team that can deliver on any tasks, even the most daunting ones. Let the love for the Fatherland and all the best there is in people inspire each and every one of us to improve ourselves in order to succeed as individuals and for the benefit of our families, and to work hard for the benefit of our homeland.

There is no doubt that we will succeed! This is what I believe. I will do everything in my power to achieve this.

Thank you.