Final goodbye: Recalling influential people who died in 2020
The world also said goodbye to U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a lion of the civil rights movement who died in July. Other former political figures who died this year include Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, New York Mayor David Dinkins, Arizona Gov. Here is a roll call of some influential figures who died in 2020 (cause of death cited for younger people, if available):___JANUARY___David Stern, 77. The guitarist who supplied the scratching, seething sound that fueled the highly influential British punk band Gang of Four. He fused African rhythms with funk to become one of the most influential musicians in world dance music.
Syria’s longtime Foreign Minister al-Moallem dies at age 79
BEIRUT – Syria’s longtime Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, a career diplomat who became one of the country’s most prominent faces to the outside world during the uprising against President Bashar Assad, died on Monday. During a news conference a year after the conflict began, al-Moallem was asked to comment about then French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe’s comment that the regime’s days were numbered. Al-Moallem was widely criticized for a rambling speech he gave at the start of Syria’s peace conference in Montreux, Switzerland. In Tehran, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed his condolences, praising al-Moallem for his “important role” in defending Syria’s national interests and security, the official IRNA news agency reported. ___Associated Press writers Albert Aji in Damascus, Syria, and Nasser Karimi in Tehran, Iran, contributed to this report.
Russian delegation in Syria to expand trade, economic ties
In this photo released by Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, second left, walk after their talks in Damascus, Syria, Monday, Sept. 7, 2020. Russia's foreign minister has met with Syrian President Bashar Assad shortly after landing in the Syrian capital on his first visit since 2012. Borisov spoke at a joint press conference with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem in Damascus after the delegation met with Syrian President Bashar Assad. Syria faces an unprecedented economic crisis after nearly a decade of civil war and Western sanctions. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who is visiting Damascus for the first time since 2012, also attended the news conference.