Azerbaijan downs another Armenian SU-25 fighter jet

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Kavkaz

Azerbaijan on Sunday shot down another Armenian Su-25 fighter jet, according to the country’s Defense Ministry – the second Su-25 to be downed in as many days, Anadolu Agency reports.

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U.N. nuclear arms ban treaty leaves Japan in a dilemma

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia

The United Nations said Saturday that 50 countries have ratified a U.N. treaty banning nuclear weapons, paving the way for its entry into force on Jan 22, a move praised by anti-nuclear activists but opposed by the United States and other nuclear powers.

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In the Aftermath of Brexit, What Can ‘Global Britain’ Be?

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia

Over the past four years, as the United Kingdom has wrestled with the consequences of its narrow vote to leave the European Union, there has been little to no broader foreign policy debate in the country.

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The US: An Inspirational Leader in the Middle East

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

By taking a robust approach to some of the region’s more intractable issues… such as relocating the American embassy to Jerusalem, the US has produced a number of profound changes to the regional landscape, the consequences of which are likely to be felt for many years to come.

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Pompeo Meets Armenian, Azerbaijani Ministers Amid Fresh Nagorno-Karabakh Clashes

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Kavkaz

Azerbaijani and ethnic Armenian forces continued to clash in and around Nagorno-Karabakh on October 23 as the top diplomats from Armenia and Azerbaijan met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington on the decades-long conflict over the breakaway region.

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Sudan Becomes Fifth Arab State to Agree to Normalise Relations With Israel

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Sudan has become the third Arab country to agree to normalise relations with Israel in the run-up to the US vote.

Israel and Sudan agreed Friday to normalise relations in a deal brokered with the help of the United States, making Sudan the third Arab country to end hostilities with the Jewish state in the past two months.

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Trump Aide Urges Democracies to Reject Chinese Campaign of Global Influence

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia

U.S. President Donald Trump’s top Asia adviser on Friday urged the world’s democracies to call out China’s abuses and reject a campaign of global influence to co-opt nations into a mindset conducive to Beijing’s “grand ambitions.”

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China warns ‘enemies’ of its military might

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, South East Asia

Chinese President Xi Jinping says his country stands ready to fight anyone “creating trouble,” for the mainland, in a clear message to the United States not to misjudge its determination to defend the nation.

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Islamic State Expanding Central Africa Province with Attack in Tanzania

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia

Islamic State in Central Africa Province recently conducted an attack in Tanzania, with violence spilling over from neighboring northern Mozambique.

ISCAP’s attack in Tanzania demonstrates the group is comprised not only of Mozambicans, but also Tanzanians and other fighters from the region.

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Iran Gaining in Battle for Iraq

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran, Middle Orient

Iran has made significant gains in its efforts to reduce U.S. influence in Iraq and drive out U.S. forces.

Secretary of State Pompeo’s threats to close the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad will not prompt Prime Minister al-Kadhimi to rein in Iran-backed militias.

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Iran: Sudan-Israel normalization deal was secured by ‘ransom’

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Iran, Middle Orient

The US-brokered Sudan-Israel deal to normalize ties is “phony” and was secured by a “ransom,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

“Pay enough ransom, close your eyes to the crimes against Palestinians, then you’ll be taken off the so-called ‘terrorism’ blacklist,” the ministry tweeted. “Obviously, the list is as phony as the US fight against terrorism. Shameful.”

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Palestinians condemn ‘shameful’ Israel-Sudan accord

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

The Palestinian Authority said on Friday that it “condemns and rejects” the normalization of relations between Arab countries and Israel.

A statement by the PA presidency in Ramallah said that normalization with Israel is in violation of the Arab summit resolutions and the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.

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Sudanese protesters burn Israeli flag, reject normalization with Israel

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Posted in category Africa, Eurasia

Sudanese protesters marching in Khartoum set the Israeli flag on fire on Wednesday, expressing their rejection of normalizing relations with Israel.
According to the local newspaper Al-Intibaha, the demonstrators chanted slogans against establishing relations with Israel and demanded that political parties who have supported the step revise their position.
Photos and videos of Sudanese protesters burning the Israeli flag have since circulated on social media.

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Israel will not oppose US sale of F-35s to UAE

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz doubled down on his accusation that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knew about the sale of the F-35 to the United Arab Emirates during negotiations but kept it hidden from the defense establishment.

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Jewish politicians, organizations laud Israel-Sudan peace deal

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Jewish and pro-Israel politicians and organizations have praised the US-brokered normalization agreement between Israel and Sudan.

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Sudan becomes third Arab state in weeks to announce ties with Israel

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Posted in category Africa, Eurasia

Sudan and Israel would begin to establish diplomatic ties, US President Donald Trump announced on Friday.

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Lithuania mints first euro coin with Hebrew letters

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia

The Bank of Lithuania minted the first euro piece of currency containing Hebrew letters.

The 10-euro coin was minted on Tuesday and is a limited-edition commemorative collector’s item celebrating the 300th anniversary of the birth of the Vilna Gaon, the 18th-century rabbinical luminary Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, who lived and died in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius.

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Mossad head: Saudi normalization ties close; post US election could see progress

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

A normalization announcement between Israel and Saudi Arabia is close and there could be major developments following the US presidential elections depending on who wins, Mossad director Yossi Cohen has said in closed conversations, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

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France recalls ambassador from Turkey after Erdogan jibe at Macron

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient, Turkey

France on Saturday said it was recalling its ambassador to Turkey for consultations after comments by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggesting his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, needed a mental health check-up, which Paris condemned as unacceptable.

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US issues more threats to NATO ally Turkey after Erdogan confirms tests of Russian-made S-400 systems

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient, Turkey

Turkey’s tests of its Russian-made S-400 air defense systems violate Ankara’s commitment to NATO and may hamper its security relations with the US, the Pentagon has said, after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed the drills.

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Treasury Targets High-Ranking Hizballah Officials

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia

oday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned two members of Hizballah’s Central Council. The Central Council is responsible for identifying and electing the group’s highest decision-making body, the Shura Council, which formulates policy and asserts control over all aspects of Hizballah’s activities, including its military activities. Specifically, OFAC designated Nabil Qaouk (Qaouk) and Hassan al-Baghdadi (Baghdadi) for being leaders or officials of Hizballah.

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U.S. stresses reform, anti-corruption as Hariri named Lebanese prime minister

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia

Business as usual in Lebanon is unacceptable and any new government must be committed to – and capable of implementing – reforms that bring economic opportunity, good governance and an end to endemic corruption, a top U.S. diplomat said on Thursday.

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IDF strikes Gaza after two rockets fired towards southern Israel

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

The IDF struck sites belonging to Hamas in the Gaza Strip, after two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards Ashkelon on Thursday night.
One rocket fell in an open field, while the second was intercepted by the Iron Dome system.

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Bomb kills Muslim leader for Syria’s capital: state media

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

A prominent Syrian Muslim cleric in charge of the Damascus region was killed Thursday when a bomb planted in his car exploded outside the capital, state news agency SANA said. Adnan al-Afiyuni, the Sunni Muslim mufti for Damascus province, was considered to be close to President Bashar al-Assad who hails from the Alawite offshoot of Shiite Islam. The Syrian Observatory for Human.

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US Embassy in Turkey warns of terror threat against Americans

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Turkey

The statement urged US citizens to avoid crowds and keep a low profile in areas frequented by foreigners.

In a security alert issued Friday, the US Embassy in Turkey warned of a terror threat toward Americans in Istanbul and across the country.

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Israeli technology exposes Gaza attack tunnel, challenges Hamas

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

The Israel Defense Forces know that the uncovering of a large Hamas terror tunnel does not mean that group would abandon its efforts to attack Israel.

This week began with strenuous Israeli military activity all along the border fence with the Gaza Strip, including a troop buildup, Merkava Mark 4 tanks’ deployment and preparation of temporary congregation and parking lots.

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Arab-Israelis unhappy with Joint List for rejecting deals with Gulf states

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Despite reluctance among Arab-Israeli lawmakers, Israel’s Arab public largely supports the normalization deals signed with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

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Turkey’s withdrawal in Idlib may be omen of war

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient, Turkey

Turkey’s decision to evacuate military posts in regime-held areas in Idlib is hardly reassuring when considered against the backdrop of its continued military buildup elsewhere in the region.

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Will Either Macron or Erdogan Back Down in the Eastern Mediterranean?

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

French President Emmanuel Macron has clearly decided to up the ante in a standoff with Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean, where France is backing Greece and Cyprus in their dispute with Ankara over natural gas reserves and maritime boundaries.

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Competition and Cooperation in the Maritime Domain

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

Competition over the world’s maritime resources and territorial disputes over maritime borders are becoming increasingly prominent in international affairs. At the same time, depleted fish stocks and polluted waters make the question of how countries can collectively manage maritime resources a central one, particularly in discussions over climate change.

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Turkish Forces Unleash Powerful Attack in Northern Syria

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia

Turkish forces have attack positions controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces in Hassakeh and Raqqa, despite the existence of a ceasefire reports Al-Masdar.

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Detained Syrian Oil Ship Reveals Russian Dispute with Assad

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

A Syrian ship carrying oil has been stopped by Russia, in what is suspected to be an effort to pressure the Assad regime into accepting certain Russian demands reports Baladi News.

On Monday, sources from the Syrian opposition said that Russia had detained an oil ship belonging to a Syrian businessperson. The ship was heading to Damascus, in what was seen as a measure to alleviate the fuel crisis that has been afflicting the country.

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Unavailability of Fuel, Bread Worsens Suffering of Syrians

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient

With a continuing lack of bread and ever rising fuel prices, Syrians are feeling the strain and becoming increasingly frustrated with long queues and the dire economic situation reports The Levant.

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The International Approach to the Yemen War: Time for a Change?

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 26, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia

The international community has mediated in the Yemen war since its outbreak. Although the efforts have yielded some results, none have resulted in a lasting de-escalation of violence or real progress toward political solutions. A new international approach could change that.

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Russia’s attempts to move closer to Egypt is made possible by US absence

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, October 26, 2020
Posted in category Africa, Eurasia, Kavkaz

An upcoming joint naval exercise involving the Egyptian and Russian navies, announced by the Russian Defense Ministry on October 10, is testimony to the fluid and rapidly changing strategic situation in the Eastern Mediterranean arena and the Middle East more generally.

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