Archive for November, 2014
NATO’s top military commander jetted into Ukraine for high-level talks on Wednesday as fighting rumbled on between government forces and Kremlin-backed rebels in the east. US General Philip Breedlove was set to meet with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko as Kiev stirred further Russian ire by stating it hoped to join the Western security alliance.
Turkey should impose sanctions on Russia and follow the examples of European countries, Crimean Tatar leader and member of Ukraine’s parliament said Tuesday. Mustafa Abdulcemil Kirimoglu said before his scheduled meetings with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Ankara.
France suspended the planned delivery of a warship to Russia on Tuesday, after months of growing speculation about what would be the biggest arms sale ever by a Nato country to the Kremlin. The French president’s office announced the suspension “until further notice” after growing pressure from allies to suspend the sale because of tensions […]
NATO’s top military commander said during a visit to Kiev on Wednesday that Russian forces were still operating in eastern Ukraine, providing the “backbone” to separatist rebels fighting government forces. NATO’s top military commander has also warned that Russia’s “militarisation” of the annexed Crimea region could be used by Moscow to exert control across the whole […]
Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz and his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak approved a final memorandum agreement which will be signed by heads of states on Dec. 1. Natural gas talks with Russia to secure price discounts for increased supplies from Gazprom to Turkey are in progress, said Turkey’s energy minister on Wednesday in Moscow.
Turkey on Wednesday condemned air strikes claimed by the Libyan government on an airport in Tripoli controlled by a rival administration, setting it at odds with the country’s internationally recognized authorities. Turkey appointed a special representative to Libya last month, who became the first envoy publicly to meet with the parallel government in Tripoli, fueling […]
NATO is not considering establishing a no-fly zone in northern Syria, something Turkey has been calling for to alleviate security and humanitarian pressure on its southern border, one of the alliance’s top generals said. “A no-fly zone is a resource-intensive undertaking,” Lt.-Gen. John Nicholson, the new head of LANDCOM, said at his headquarters in the Aegean province […]
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will arrive in India on a three-day visit later this month to hold talks with his counterpart Manohar Parrikar during which the issue of the multi-billion dollar deal for Rafale combat aircraft is likely to come up. He will arrive in India on November 30 and hold a series […]
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and his French Counterpart Francois Hollande agreed to cooperate in efforts to counter terrorism, resolve the Palestinian situation and support the current Iraqi government. In a joint press conference held in Paris, Al-Sisi noted his discussions with Hollande were “fruitful” and reflected unified opinions regarding bilateral, regional and international relations.
Egypt and Emirati military officials have finalised preparations for a joint training exercise between the two countries ongoing for the last few days in Sheik Zayed city in the United Arab Emirates. The joint exercise, dubbed “Righteous Arrows”, aims to “support and strengthen the areas of military cooperation and coordination”. It also aims to “measure […]
US Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday wrapped up a key visit to Turkey without a breakthrough on military co-operation in the Syrian crisis but with officials confident the talks brought their positions closer. During his three-day trip to Istanbul, Biden held several hours of talks with both Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime […]
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko held talks with Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti and Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski as part of his official visit to Moldova on Thursday, the presidential press service has reported. “The Ukrainian president thanked the Moldovan president for hospitality and the organization of a trilateral meeting and said that Moldova, as an Eastern […]
US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, Nisha Desai Biswal, on Monday said that President Barack Obama was looking forward to attend the Republic Day function in New Delhi next year. “He is very much looking forward to it,” Biswal announced.
The US-led coalition continued attacks targeting the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) over the period Friday through Monday, US Central Command (CENTCOM) announced on Monday. In Syria over the four days, seven airstrikes near Kobani hit many ISIL fighting positions and staging areas, while other two struck an ISIL headquarters building near […]
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Monday called on Allies to stop defence cuts and invest more money on defence. “The time has come to stop defence cuts. We must invest more in defence and spend our money better,” he said in a keynote speech at the 60th Plenary Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in […]
Fighters loyal to Libya’s internationally recognised government have seized control of the key western town of Kekla after more than 40 days of clashes with Islamists, both sides said on Monday. A diverse coalition of mainly Islamist militias drove fighters allied with the government from Tripoli in August, after weeks of fighting that killed more […]
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has resigned, U.S. officials said on Nov. 25, ending nearly two years in the Pentagon’s top job after a bruising mid-term election that undermined President Barack Obama’s Democrats in Congress. Hagel, who had struggled to improve his ties with Congress after a contentious 2013 confirmation hearing, submitted his resignation letter after […]
Some 230 Peshmerga forces of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have been trained by Turkish soldiers so far in northern Iraq, a senior Turkish Foreign Ministry official said. Turkey has been providing “subsidiary” military training for the Peshmerga forces and the process will continue for as long as necessary, according to the official.
Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi will start a European tour on Monday, with Italy as his first destination, followed by the Vatican and France. In Italy, El-Sisi has a packed schedule, according to presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef.
The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Thursday started a trip to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to underline the 28-member Alliance’s support to the three Baltic states. According to a NATO statement, he began his visit today with a visit to Estonia’s Amari Airbase where he said “NATO’s greatest responsibility is to protect and defend our […]
Russia continues to have “postured, ready and capable battalion tactical groups” along the border with Ukraine, particularly in the southeast between Ukraine and western Russia, Rear Admiral John Kirby, Pentagon spokesman, said on Thursday. “These units have remained ready,” Kirby said during a briefing. “They have remained close, in some cases very close to the […]
US Vice-President Joe Biden landed in Ukraine today, US diplomats in Kiev said, ahead of talks with the country’s president and prime minister over possible increased assistance amid conflict in the east. Biden will meet President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk tomorrow, the one-year anniversary of the Maidan protests. Yatsenyuk said earlier today […]
President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan left Thursday Algiers after a two-day official visit to Algeria, at the invitation of President of the Republic, Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
NATO said Thursday there have been around 400 intercepts of Russian military flights near its member countries this year, amid heightened tension between Moscow and the West over the Ukraine crisis. “If you look at the number of intercepts around NATO, we can talk about 400 intercepts, 50 percent more than last year,” NATO Secretary […]
Two French jets, backed by US-led coalition planes, have targeted ISIL trenches near Iraq’s northern city of Kirkuk as operations continue against the terrorist group’s frontlines. Two Dassault-built (AVMD.PA) Rafale fighters hit trenches, used by ISIL militants to capture the northern Iraqi oil city, at around 0330 GMT, French Defense Ministry said in a statement on […]
Turkey and Iraq have reinforced their pledge to mend ties during the Turkish prime minister’s visit to the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, agreeing on closer cooperation against Islamist jihadists’ threat and revive economic ties with a greater momentum than before. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s visit to the country, a vast part of which has […]
Pakistan and Russia on Thursday signed a military cooperation agreement to deepen their defence ties and vowed to translate their relationship in “tangible” terms during the first visit of a Russian Defence Minister in 45 years. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu’s visit to Pakistan comes at a very critical juncture as U.S.-led NATO forces are […]
Ignoring India’s opposition, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday said Pakistan would hold a dialogue with Kashmiri separatists to take them into confidence before engaging in peace talks with India. “It is our fundamental belief that the Kashmir issue should be resolved through dialogue. My government started dialogue with India but it cancelled the scheduled […]
Germany’s foreign minister jetted to Kiev and Moscow yesterday in a bid to revive a failing peace plan in east Ukraine, as deadly fighting pushed EU-Russia relations to breaking point. Berlin’s top diplomat Frank-Walter Steinmeier was set to hold key talks with Ukraine’s pro-Western leaders before heading to Moscow for a crunch sit-down with his […]
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has warned of a new refugee influx Turkey may face if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime or Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants advance on Aleppo. Addressing a joint press meeting with Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja on Tuesday, Çavuşoğlu said the Free Syrian Army (FSA) is […]
Biden will meet Nov. 21 with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Istanbul. He will then participate in an extended meeting with Erdogan the next day, following a diplomatic gaffe earlier this year. During an Oct. 2 speech at Harvard University, Biden said that Turkey and other U.S. allies in the region supplied or facilitated […]
Syrian Kurds fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the flashpoint town of Kobane made new gains Nov. 18, expelling the jihadists from several central buildings and seizing weapons, a monitor said. The advance came hours after the US-led coalition launched four strikes against ISIL positions in central Kobane, according to […]
Pakistan’s army chief General Raheel Sharif held talks with US officials at the Central Command (CENTCOM) headquarters in Florida on a host of issues like the situation in North Waziristan and border security. Sharif, making his first visit to the US as chief of the army staff, has “been having productive and positive meetings. They’ve […]
The new NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is holding Tuesday his first meeting with EU defence ministers to boost defence cooperation between the two organisations and discuss the situation in Ukraine and Syria. “I am looking very much forward to this meeting because it is the first meeting as NATO Secretary General with EU defence […]
Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry met in London with US Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in light of the escalating tensions in Jerusalem. The two discussed on Tuesday ways of working to contain the situation and “prevent the region from sliding into a vicious cycle of violence”, said […]