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Showing posts with label France. Show all posts
Showing posts with label France. Show all posts

Purple Track Considered Fastest in Olympic History Unveiled

Purple Track Considered Fastest in Olympic History Unveiled


First-of-its-kind newly installed Purple Track at the Stade de France, (The France National Stadium), Paris has been unveiled for 2024 Paris Olympic Games. This track has been described as the fastest in Olympic history.


Legendary Carl Lewis had the rare honour of unveiling the colourful tracks which will play host to athletes World over starting from the 1st of August, 202. The beautiful stadium situated in Saint-Denis will be looking to host spectators to its full capacity of 80,698.


The ingenious purple track called the Mondo track is different from the traditional terracotta and engineered to be the fastest surface yet, capable of creating a delightsome and exciting time for athletes who will be gracing the summer games. 



The track adorns two beautiful shades of purple - one for competition areas and another for the technical areas, all designed to enhance the visual experience. This promises a splendid output for TV broadcasts and media coverage, ensuring we all don’t miss out on even the tiniest details of our athlete’s performances.



One more thing – expect record breaking performances, Olympics Record obliterated, World Records smashed with fresh ones ‘installed’.


©Ifeoluwa Leo 

Your Sports Analyst 


Please follow Ifeoluwa Leo-Olagbaye for your precise, in-depth match analysis and detailed sports update.


First-of-its-kind newly installed Purple Track at the Stade de France, (The France National Stadium), Paris has been unveiled for 2024 Paris Olympic Games. This track has been described as the fastest in Olympic history.


Legendary Carl Lewis had the rare honour of unveiling the colourful tracks which will play host to athletes World over starting from the 1st of August, 202. The beautiful stadium situated in Saint-Denis will be looking to host spectators to its full capacity of 80,698.


The ingenious purple track called the Mondo track is different from the traditional terracotta and engineered to be the fastest surface yet, capable of creating a delightsome and exciting time for athletes who will be gracing the summer games. 



The track adorns two beautiful shades of purple - one for competition areas and another for the technical areas, all designed to enhance the visual experience. This promises a splendid output for TV broadcasts and media coverage, ensuring we all don’t miss out on even the tiniest details of our athlete’s performances.



One more thing – expect record breaking performances, Olympics Record obliterated, World Records smashed with fresh ones ‘installed’.


©Ifeoluwa Leo 

Your Sports Analyst 


Please follow Ifeoluwa Leo-Olagbaye for your precise, in-depth match analysis and detailed sports update.

French Women's League: Super Falcons' Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie won the Best Goalkeeper Award

French Women's League: Super Falcons' Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie won the Best Goalkeeper Award

 


Nigeria's Super Falcons Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie has won the Best Goalkeeper Award in the French Women's League.


Nnadozie emerged the first African to win both the National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) Best Goalkeeper Award and French D1 Arkema Goalkeeper of the Year Award.


Congratulations to Naija Girl! Congratulations Agba baller!



 


Nigeria's Super Falcons Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie has won the Best Goalkeeper Award in the French Women's League.


Nnadozie emerged the first African to win both the National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) Best Goalkeeper Award and French D1 Arkema Goalkeeper of the Year Award.


Congratulations to Naija Girl! Congratulations Agba baller!



Russia Influence in Sahel: United States to withdraw her forces from Niger Republic

Russia Influence in Sahel: United States to withdraw her forces from Niger Republic


The United States of America will withdraw its soldiers from Niger as the West African nation is increasingly turning to Russia and away from Western powers.


The US, French and NATO military presence in any region most especially in West Africa have been to further neo-colonialism, unimaginable exploitation and assassination of pro-people/masses leadership.


The new military juntas in the region ate cutting off military relationship with French and NATO leader America in favour of President Vladimir Putin led Russia Federation.


The US military presence in Niger Republic, except for distabilization  and America egos, it has no benefits for the people of West Africa. It was established mainly against the defeating prospect of Nigeria becoming a region power.


With US and French military bases, the region hse witnessed insurgency of ISWAP/BOKO HARAM among many othes wrecking havocs across many counties in the region .The US has the reportd of how these TERRORISTS are been trained and armed.



According to a Latest report, the US Department of State agreed to pull out about 1,000 troops from the country that has been under military rule since July 2023, US media reported late on Friday.


US Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell and Nigerien Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine met on Friday, the reports said, with Washington committing to begin planning an “orderly and responsible” withdrawal of its troops from the country.

The US built a military base in Niger to combat armed groups that pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS) in the Sahel region, which also includes Burkina Faso and Mali.

The major airbase in Agadez, some 920km (572 miles) from the capital Niamey was used for manned and unmanned surveillance flights and other operations.

Known as Air Base 201, it was built at a cost of more than $100m. Since 2018, it has been used to target ISIL fighters and Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen (JNIM), an al-Qaeda affiliate.

While maintaining a line of communication with the military government in Niger, the US military had started preparing for the possibility of having to withdraw, with US General James Hecker saying last year that Washington is probing “several locations” elsewhere in West Africa to station its drones.

Nigerien state television reported that US officials would visit next week. There was no public announcement from the State Department on the withdrawal and officials said no timeline had yet been set.




Niger announced in March that it had suspended a military agreement with the US and would pursue a withdrawal of its soldiers.

The US is being forced to withdraw from Niger as it is not favoured either by the ruling military or by the population that is rejecting post-colonial forces. Protesters took to the streets in the capital earlier this month to demand the departure of US forces.


Like the military rulers in neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso, the West African nation had kicked out French and European troops following the military takeover.

All three countries have now turned to Russia for support, with Moscow confirming earlier this month that it has sent military trainers and an air defence system and other military equipment to Niger as it deepens its security ties.

Along with armed groups, the conflict-ridden Sahel region is also becoming an influential route for drug trafficking, with the United Nations saying 1,466kg (3,232 pounds) of cocaine were seized in Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso and Niger compared with an average of just 13kg (28.7 pounds) between 2013 and 2020.


The United States of America will withdraw its soldiers from Niger as the West African nation is increasingly turning to Russia and away from Western powers.


The US, French and NATO military presence in any region most especially in West Africa have been to further neo-colonialism, unimaginable exploitation and assassination of pro-people/masses leadership.


The new military juntas in the region ate cutting off military relationship with French and NATO leader America in favour of President Vladimir Putin led Russia Federation.


The US military presence in Niger Republic, except for distabilization  and America egos, it has no benefits for the people of West Africa. It was established mainly against the defeating prospect of Nigeria becoming a region power.


With US and French military bases, the region hse witnessed insurgency of ISWAP/BOKO HARAM among many othes wrecking havocs across many counties in the region .The US has the reportd of how these TERRORISTS are been trained and armed.



According to a Latest report, the US Department of State agreed to pull out about 1,000 troops from the country that has been under military rule since July 2023, US media reported late on Friday.


US Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell and Nigerien Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine met on Friday, the reports said, with Washington committing to begin planning an “orderly and responsible” withdrawal of its troops from the country.

The US built a military base in Niger to combat armed groups that pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS) in the Sahel region, which also includes Burkina Faso and Mali.

The major airbase in Agadez, some 920km (572 miles) from the capital Niamey was used for manned and unmanned surveillance flights and other operations.

Known as Air Base 201, it was built at a cost of more than $100m. Since 2018, it has been used to target ISIL fighters and Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen (JNIM), an al-Qaeda affiliate.

While maintaining a line of communication with the military government in Niger, the US military had started preparing for the possibility of having to withdraw, with US General James Hecker saying last year that Washington is probing “several locations” elsewhere in West Africa to station its drones.

Nigerien state television reported that US officials would visit next week. There was no public announcement from the State Department on the withdrawal and officials said no timeline had yet been set.




Niger announced in March that it had suspended a military agreement with the US and would pursue a withdrawal of its soldiers.

The US is being forced to withdraw from Niger as it is not favoured either by the ruling military or by the population that is rejecting post-colonial forces. Protesters took to the streets in the capital earlier this month to demand the departure of US forces.


Like the military rulers in neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso, the West African nation had kicked out French and European troops following the military takeover.

All three countries have now turned to Russia for support, with Moscow confirming earlier this month that it has sent military trainers and an air defence system and other military equipment to Niger as it deepens its security ties.

Along with armed groups, the conflict-ridden Sahel region is also becoming an influential route for drug trafficking, with the United Nations saying 1,466kg (3,232 pounds) of cocaine were seized in Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso and Niger compared with an average of just 13kg (28.7 pounds) between 2013 and 2020.

Armed bandits reportedly enter the Axione telecommunication company near Paris, police op underway

Armed bandits reportedly enter the Axione telecommunication company near Paris, police op underway

Armed men have reportedly enter the Axione telecommunication company near Paris, France.RT reported.

According to the report, Police operations are underway and a perimeter has been established after a man, believed to be armed, broke into an office belonging to the French telecommunications company, Axione, in the Malakoff commune southwest of Paris.


On Tuesday, French police were called to an emergency on Boulevard Camélinat, in the Malakoff district of southern Paris. Reports suggest an armed man broke into an office belonging to the French telecommunications company Axione.

Footage shared online shows heavily armed police, donning body-armor, deployed to the streets around the building. The road appears to be blocked at either end and no traffic is passing through.
Armed men have reportedly enter the Axione telecommunication company near Paris, France.RT reported.

According to the report, Police operations are underway and a perimeter has been established after a man, believed to be armed, broke into an office belonging to the French telecommunications company, Axione, in the Malakoff commune southwest of Paris.


On Tuesday, French police were called to an emergency on Boulevard Camélinat, in the Malakoff district of southern Paris. Reports suggest an armed man broke into an office belonging to the French telecommunications company Axione.

Footage shared online shows heavily armed police, donning body-armor, deployed to the streets around the building. The road appears to be blocked at either end and no traffic is passing through.

PSG sack Tuchel, Pochettino favourite to take over

PSG sack Tuchel, Pochettino favourite to take over

Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday confirmed the sacking of coach Thomas Tuchel, who had been at the club since July 2018, but did not name his successor.



"After an in-depth analysis of its sporting situation, Paris Saint-Germain decided to terminate Thomas Tuchel's contract," the French giants announced in a statement.

Argentinian Mauricio Pochettino, the ex-Tottenham coach and a former PSG player, is widely reported to be the favourite to take over.

Tuchel, whose axing was widely reported but unconfirmed last week, managed PSG 127 times in all competitions, with 95 wins, 12 draws and 20 defeats.

His trophy haul featured two Ligue 1 titles (2019, 2020) as well as the French Cup and French League Cup in 2020.

The 47-year-old German also led the Parisian club to their first ever Champions League final last August, which they lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich.

Despite appearing to be adept at man-managing PSG's squad of superstar players such as Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, Tuchel reportedly upset the Qatari-backed club after complaining about an apparent lack of recognition at leading PSG to the Champions League final.

"I would like to thank Thomas Tuchel and his staff for all they have contributed to the club," said PSG chairman Nasser al-Khelaifi.

"Thomas has put a lot of energy and passion into the job, and we will of course remember the good moments we shared together. I wish him all the best for the future."

Less than three months on from the final defeat to Bayern Munich in Lisbon, Tuchel has become the first PSG coach to leave mid-season since Antoine Kombouare was replaced by Carlo Ancelotti in December 2011.

- Barca date looms -

Tuchel departs the Parc des Princes having secured a last 16 Champions League clash with Barcelona and PSG sitting third in Ligue 1 -- a point shy of leaders Lyon -- despite being plagued by injuries, suspensions and coronavirus infections.

Should Pochettino take over, his opening match in charge will be January 6's trip to Saint-Etienne on Ligue 1's resumption after the winter break.

Then, on February 16, the Argentinian could face his first massive test against his compatriot Lionel Messi's Barcelona, with the return leg on March 6.

Pochettino was let go after five and a half years at Tottenham in the aftermath of leading the north London side to their first ever appearance in a Champions League final against Liverpool in 2019.

Although he has yet to win any silverware the former PSG defender's stock is high in managerial circles.

The Parisians will be keen to complete his signing and avoid missing their man who has been linked to the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United and Barca in recent months.

Importantly, Pochettino, like Tuchel, is at ease in man-managing a dressing room crammed with a galaxy of stars.

Neymar has been at the centre of new controversy this week after Brazilian media reported that he is organising a huge New Year's Eve party despite the coronavirus pandemic -- claims his lawyers have denied.

Pochettino is the son of a farmer from Murphy, in the north of Argentina.

He is known as a stickler for detail, which coupled with his tactical acumen, devotion to an attractive style of play and his popularity amongst Parisian fans, makes him a potentially ideal fit as the new occupant of the PSG dugout.

He would have under his wing several compatriots such as Mauro Icardi, Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes.

His anticipated arrival before the winter transfer window will allow him to bring in new faces, potentially one former Spurs charge, Inter Milan's attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen.

And looking further ahead, given their Argentine ties, Pochettino may be the catalyst for six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi to start regarding PSG as potential new employers when he is free to move from the Camp Nou at the end of the season.


Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday confirmed the sacking of coach Thomas Tuchel, who had been at the club since July 2018, but did not name his successor.



"After an in-depth analysis of its sporting situation, Paris Saint-Germain decided to terminate Thomas Tuchel's contract," the French giants announced in a statement.

Argentinian Mauricio Pochettino, the ex-Tottenham coach and a former PSG player, is widely reported to be the favourite to take over.

Tuchel, whose axing was widely reported but unconfirmed last week, managed PSG 127 times in all competitions, with 95 wins, 12 draws and 20 defeats.

His trophy haul featured two Ligue 1 titles (2019, 2020) as well as the French Cup and French League Cup in 2020.

The 47-year-old German also led the Parisian club to their first ever Champions League final last August, which they lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich.

Despite appearing to be adept at man-managing PSG's squad of superstar players such as Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, Tuchel reportedly upset the Qatari-backed club after complaining about an apparent lack of recognition at leading PSG to the Champions League final.

"I would like to thank Thomas Tuchel and his staff for all they have contributed to the club," said PSG chairman Nasser al-Khelaifi.

"Thomas has put a lot of energy and passion into the job, and we will of course remember the good moments we shared together. I wish him all the best for the future."

Less than three months on from the final defeat to Bayern Munich in Lisbon, Tuchel has become the first PSG coach to leave mid-season since Antoine Kombouare was replaced by Carlo Ancelotti in December 2011.

- Barca date looms -

Tuchel departs the Parc des Princes having secured a last 16 Champions League clash with Barcelona and PSG sitting third in Ligue 1 -- a point shy of leaders Lyon -- despite being plagued by injuries, suspensions and coronavirus infections.

Should Pochettino take over, his opening match in charge will be January 6's trip to Saint-Etienne on Ligue 1's resumption after the winter break.

Then, on February 16, the Argentinian could face his first massive test against his compatriot Lionel Messi's Barcelona, with the return leg on March 6.

Pochettino was let go after five and a half years at Tottenham in the aftermath of leading the north London side to their first ever appearance in a Champions League final against Liverpool in 2019.

Although he has yet to win any silverware the former PSG defender's stock is high in managerial circles.

The Parisians will be keen to complete his signing and avoid missing their man who has been linked to the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United and Barca in recent months.

Importantly, Pochettino, like Tuchel, is at ease in man-managing a dressing room crammed with a galaxy of stars.

Neymar has been at the centre of new controversy this week after Brazilian media reported that he is organising a huge New Year's Eve party despite the coronavirus pandemic -- claims his lawyers have denied.

Pochettino is the son of a farmer from Murphy, in the north of Argentina.

He is known as a stickler for detail, which coupled with his tactical acumen, devotion to an attractive style of play and his popularity amongst Parisian fans, makes him a potentially ideal fit as the new occupant of the PSG dugout.

He would have under his wing several compatriots such as Mauro Icardi, Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes.

His anticipated arrival before the winter transfer window will allow him to bring in new faces, potentially one former Spurs charge, Inter Milan's attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen.

And looking further ahead, given their Argentine ties, Pochettino may be the catalyst for six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi to start regarding PSG as potential new employers when he is free to move from the Camp Nou at the end of the season.


French fashion designer Pierre Cardin dies aged 98

French fashion designer Pierre Cardin dies aged 98


Legendary designer and fashion icon Pierre Cardin has passed away at 98 on Tuesday, his family confirmed to AFP. He passed away in a hospital in Neuilly, outside Paris.

The designer was born as Pietro Constante Cardin in Italy in 1924. His family soon relocated to France to escape Mussolini’s fascist regime.

Cardin first rose to prominence in the 1960s with his futuristic and avant-garde designs, and has since become one of the household names in high fashion. During the period, Cardin's simple, high-collared suits were a hit with the Beatles. It was one of many ways his work extended past fashion-show runways — he also designed uniforms for nurses and for Pakistan International Airlines.

Apart from creating clothes for women, Cardin spurred what Vogue magazine called a “revolution” in menswear, one of the highpoints of which was making the suits worn by the Beatles.

The French Académie des Beaux-Arts also issued several statements mourning his passing. "Immense sadness," the academy's secretary general Cyril Barthalois said via Twitter, adding, "Equally great joy of having known him" through the academy.

In the business world, Cardin is known for his eager embrace of brand licensing, putting his name on products that had nothing to do with high fashion – including frying pans, as NPR has reported.

Legendary designer and fashion icon Pierre Cardin has passed away at 98 on Tuesday, his family confirmed to AFP. He passed away in a hospital in Neuilly, outside Paris.

The designer was born as Pietro Constante Cardin in Italy in 1924. His family soon relocated to France to escape Mussolini’s fascist regime.

Cardin first rose to prominence in the 1960s with his futuristic and avant-garde designs, and has since become one of the household names in high fashion. During the period, Cardin's simple, high-collared suits were a hit with the Beatles. It was one of many ways his work extended past fashion-show runways — he also designed uniforms for nurses and for Pakistan International Airlines.

Apart from creating clothes for women, Cardin spurred what Vogue magazine called a “revolution” in menswear, one of the highpoints of which was making the suits worn by the Beatles.

The French Académie des Beaux-Arts also issued several statements mourning his passing. "Immense sadness," the academy's secretary general Cyril Barthalois said via Twitter, adding, "Equally great joy of having known him" through the academy.

In the business world, Cardin is known for his eager embrace of brand licensing, putting his name on products that had nothing to do with high fashion – including frying pans, as NPR has reported.

Vatican says 'terrorism, violence never acceptable' after Nice attack

Vatican says 'terrorism, violence never acceptable' after Nice attack

The attack leaves at least three killed, several injured


Catholic Pope Francis prayed for the victims of an attack by a knifeman in a Nice church Thursday, as the Vatican said "terrorism and violence can never be accepted".

"Today's attack has sown death in a place of love and consolation. The Pope is aware of the situation and is close to the mourning Catholic community," Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement.

"He prays for the victims and their loved ones, so that the violence may cease, so that we may return to look upon ourselves as brothers and sisters and not as enemies, so that the beloved French people may unite to combat evil with good", he said.

At least three people have been confirmed killed while several reportedly injured.

Three people, two women and a man, have been killed, including one woman who was decapitated. 

The man is reportedly the sexton of the church.

Nice mayor Christian Estrosi said it was a terrorist attack, and that the "Islamo-fascist" assailant "didn't stop shouting Allahu Akhbar even under medication" after being shot and arrested.
France raises its alert status to "terror attack emergency" - PM Castex
The police believe the attacker, who has been named as 'Brahim', was acting alone.
A suspect with a knife reportedly shouting "Allahu Akbar" has been fatally shot during an attack on police officers in Avignon.
A Saudi citizen has also been arrested in Jeddah for stabbing a security guard outside the French consulate with "a sharp tool".


The attack leaves at least three killed, several injured


Catholic Pope Francis prayed for the victims of an attack by a knifeman in a Nice church Thursday, as the Vatican said "terrorism and violence can never be accepted".

"Today's attack has sown death in a place of love and consolation. The Pope is aware of the situation and is close to the mourning Catholic community," Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement.

"He prays for the victims and their loved ones, so that the violence may cease, so that we may return to look upon ourselves as brothers and sisters and not as enemies, so that the beloved French people may unite to combat evil with good", he said.

At least three people have been confirmed killed while several reportedly injured.

Three people, two women and a man, have been killed, including one woman who was decapitated. 

The man is reportedly the sexton of the church.

Nice mayor Christian Estrosi said it was a terrorist attack, and that the "Islamo-fascist" assailant "didn't stop shouting Allahu Akhbar even under medication" after being shot and arrested.
France raises its alert status to "terror attack emergency" - PM Castex
The police believe the attacker, who has been named as 'Brahim', was acting alone.
A suspect with a knife reportedly shouting "Allahu Akbar" has been fatally shot during an attack on police officers in Avignon.
A Saudi citizen has also been arrested in Jeddah for stabbing a security guard outside the French consulate with "a sharp tool".


Accusations range on between Armenia, Azerbaijan as German Merkel calls for 'immediate ceasefire' in Karabakh fighting

Accusations range on between Armenia, Azerbaijan as German Merkel calls for 'immediate ceasefire' in Karabakh fighting

France urges international talks on Armenia-Azerbaijan clashes





Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other on Tuesday of firing into each other’s territory, far from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, as the worst spate of fighting since the 1990s raged for a third day and the civilian death toll mounted.

The forces of the two countries pounded each other with long range rockets and artillery in a new round of the decades-old conflict in the disputed region.

The fierce fighting, which continued for a third day on Tuesday, has killed dozens of soldiers and at least 11 civilians so far.

Dozens have been reported killed and hundreds wounded since the fierce clashes between Azerbaijan and its ethnic Armenian mountain enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh broke out on Sunday in a new eruption of a decades-old conflict.

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said 10 civilians had been killed by Armenian shelling since Sunday. There was no official information about casualties among Azeri servicemen.

The Armenian defense ministry said an Armenian civilian bus in Vardenis — a town in Armenia at the border with Azerbaijan and far from Nagorno-Karabakh — caught fire after being hit by an Azeri drone, but no one appeared to be hurt. It said it was making further checks.

Nagorno-Karabakh is a breakaway region that is inside Azerbaijan but is run by ethnic Armenians and is supported by Armenia. It broke away from Azerbaijan in a war in the 1990s, but is not recognized by any country as an independent republic.

Any move to all-out war could drag in major regional powers Russia and Turkey. Moscow has a defense alliance with Armenia, which provides vital support to the enclave and is its lifeline to the outside world, while Ankara backs its own ethnic Turkic kin in Azerbaijan.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged an immediate end to the fighting in the region of Nagorny Karabakh in phone calls with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan, her spokesman said Tuesday. “The chancellor urgently called for an immediate cease-fire and a return to the negotiating table,” Steffen Seibert said.

Merkel spoke with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Monday and with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Tuesday, he added.

The so-called Minsk Group of mediators, led by France, Russia and the United States, “offers an appropriate forum” for dialogue, Merkel said in the calls.

The UN Security Council is due to hold emergency talks Tuesday behind closed doors on Nagorny Karabakh, diplomats said.

France has also said that it would call for talks among the ‘Minsk Group’ and mediates between Armenia and Azerbaijan – to try to resolve an escalating conflict between the two South Caucasus countries.

“We will trigger in the coming days a co-ordination of the Minsk Group to clear up what happened, who is responsible and find a way out,” an official at Macron’s office told Reuters on Tuesday.

Yerevan and Baku have been locked in a territorial dispute over the ethnic Armenian region of Nagorny Karabakh for decades, with deadly fighting flaring up last July and in 2016.


France urges international talks on Armenia-Azerbaijan clashes





Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other on Tuesday of firing into each other’s territory, far from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, as the worst spate of fighting since the 1990s raged for a third day and the civilian death toll mounted.

The forces of the two countries pounded each other with long range rockets and artillery in a new round of the decades-old conflict in the disputed region.

The fierce fighting, which continued for a third day on Tuesday, has killed dozens of soldiers and at least 11 civilians so far.

Dozens have been reported killed and hundreds wounded since the fierce clashes between Azerbaijan and its ethnic Armenian mountain enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh broke out on Sunday in a new eruption of a decades-old conflict.

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said 10 civilians had been killed by Armenian shelling since Sunday. There was no official information about casualties among Azeri servicemen.

The Armenian defense ministry said an Armenian civilian bus in Vardenis — a town in Armenia at the border with Azerbaijan and far from Nagorno-Karabakh — caught fire after being hit by an Azeri drone, but no one appeared to be hurt. It said it was making further checks.

Nagorno-Karabakh is a breakaway region that is inside Azerbaijan but is run by ethnic Armenians and is supported by Armenia. It broke away from Azerbaijan in a war in the 1990s, but is not recognized by any country as an independent republic.

Any move to all-out war could drag in major regional powers Russia and Turkey. Moscow has a defense alliance with Armenia, which provides vital support to the enclave and is its lifeline to the outside world, while Ankara backs its own ethnic Turkic kin in Azerbaijan.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged an immediate end to the fighting in the region of Nagorny Karabakh in phone calls with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan, her spokesman said Tuesday. “The chancellor urgently called for an immediate cease-fire and a return to the negotiating table,” Steffen Seibert said.

Merkel spoke with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Monday and with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Tuesday, he added.

The so-called Minsk Group of mediators, led by France, Russia and the United States, “offers an appropriate forum” for dialogue, Merkel said in the calls.

The UN Security Council is due to hold emergency talks Tuesday behind closed doors on Nagorny Karabakh, diplomats said.

France has also said that it would call for talks among the ‘Minsk Group’ and mediates between Armenia and Azerbaijan – to try to resolve an escalating conflict between the two South Caucasus countries.

“We will trigger in the coming days a co-ordination of the Minsk Group to clear up what happened, who is responsible and find a way out,” an official at Macron’s office told Reuters on Tuesday.

Yerevan and Baku have been locked in a territorial dispute over the ethnic Armenian region of Nagorny Karabakh for decades, with deadly fighting flaring up last July and in 2016.


Russian President Putin says Belarus facing 'unprecedented external pressure', in televised remarks

Russian President Putin says Belarus facing 'unprecedented external pressure', in televised remarks

Belarus opposition leader says will address French parliament following invitation by Macron

President Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that neighbouring Belarus was under unprecedented external pressure, as the Kremlin's ex-Soviet ally faces a historic political crisis over disputed elections, AFP reported. 

Putin in televised remarks said, Belarus is in a "difficult situation" and facing "unprecedented external pressure", following a presidential election that sparked ongoing protests and was not recognised by Western countries.

However, Belarus's main opposition leader on Tuesday said she would address France's parliament after talks with President Emmanuel Macron in which he promised to help mediate in the political crisis. "We have received an invitation to speak before the French parliament and we have accepted it," Svetlana Tikhanovskaya told AFP after meeting with Macron during his visit to Lithuania.

The meeting with Macron was her most high-profile one so far since a disputed election last month in which she has claimed victory against President Alexander Lukashenko. Tikhanovskaya has previously addressed the UN Human Rights Council and the European Parliament and has met with EU foreign ministers and the leaders of neighbouring Poland and Lithuania.

After the meeting in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, Macron said: "We will do our best as Europeans to help mediate and we will come back to OSCE mediation in order to progress".

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has offered to help broker a negotiated end to the crisis in Belarus.

"He supports the idea of mediation because he understands that powerful countries need to be involved to begin negotiations with Lukashenko. He is ready to help with this," she said.

Belarus opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya
"I think he will speak with the Russian side about Belarus and he will do everything possible to involve Russia in these negotiations."

She said the crisis should be resolved "as soon as possible" and new free and fair elections should be held before the end of the year.

Mass protests that have continued since the election have been met with a violent crackdown and Tikhanovskaya's husband Sergei is in prison accused of trying to overthrow the government.

Macron promised to "do everything he can to release all the political prisoners", she said.

"For Mr Macron this is not just a political interest, it is interest above all as a human being because our rights are being trampled, we have a dictatorship. He understands people who are fighting for their rights," she added.

© 2020 AFP

Belarus opposition leader says will address French parliament following invitation by Macron

President Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that neighbouring Belarus was under unprecedented external pressure, as the Kremlin's ex-Soviet ally faces a historic political crisis over disputed elections, AFP reported. 

Putin in televised remarks said, Belarus is in a "difficult situation" and facing "unprecedented external pressure", following a presidential election that sparked ongoing protests and was not recognised by Western countries.

However, Belarus's main opposition leader on Tuesday said she would address France's parliament after talks with President Emmanuel Macron in which he promised to help mediate in the political crisis. "We have received an invitation to speak before the French parliament and we have accepted it," Svetlana Tikhanovskaya told AFP after meeting with Macron during his visit to Lithuania.

The meeting with Macron was her most high-profile one so far since a disputed election last month in which she has claimed victory against President Alexander Lukashenko. Tikhanovskaya has previously addressed the UN Human Rights Council and the European Parliament and has met with EU foreign ministers and the leaders of neighbouring Poland and Lithuania.

After the meeting in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, Macron said: "We will do our best as Europeans to help mediate and we will come back to OSCE mediation in order to progress".

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has offered to help broker a negotiated end to the crisis in Belarus.

"He supports the idea of mediation because he understands that powerful countries need to be involved to begin negotiations with Lukashenko. He is ready to help with this," she said.

Belarus opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya
"I think he will speak with the Russian side about Belarus and he will do everything possible to involve Russia in these negotiations."

She said the crisis should be resolved "as soon as possible" and new free and fair elections should be held before the end of the year.

Mass protests that have continued since the election have been met with a violent crackdown and Tikhanovskaya's husband Sergei is in prison accused of trying to overthrow the government.

Macron promised to "do everything he can to release all the political prisoners", she said.

"For Mr Macron this is not just a political interest, it is interest above all as a human being because our rights are being trampled, we have a dictatorship. He understands people who are fighting for their rights," she added.

© 2020 AFP

France, Sweden confirm Novichok poisoning in Navalny case: Germany

France, Sweden confirm Novichok poisoning in Navalny case: Germany

The German government said Monday that laboratories in France and Sweden have confirmed its own findings that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement that Germany had asked France and Sweden "for an independent review of the German evidence (of Novichok poisoning) on the basis of new samples from Mr Navalny," who is receiving treatment in Berlin.

"The results of this review at specialised laboratories in France and Sweden are now available and confirm the German evidence (of Novichok poisoning)," Seibert said.

He said Germany was still waiting for the outcome of a separate evaluation by the OPCW global chemical weapons watchdog.

On the basis of the findings by the three European laboratories, however, Seibert said Germany was "renewing its call for Russia to make a declaration on the events" of the Navalny case.

"We are in close contact with our European partners about further steps," he added.

The 44-year-old Kremlin critic and anti-corruption campaigner fell ill after boarding a plane in Siberia last month and was hospitalised there before being flown to Berlin.


Germany said two weeks ago there was "unequivocal evidence" that he was poisoned with Novichok but Russia has angrily dismissed the findings, saying its doctors found no trace of poison.
Absurd

Navalny has now emerged from a medically induced coma and is reacting to speech, Berlin's Charite hospital has said.

The Kremlin has denounced attempts to blame the Russian state for the poisoning as "absurd" and said it wants to know what happened.

Western politicians have said the incident appears likely to have been state-ordered and urged Moscow to prove its lack of involvement.

Navalny's associates believe the use of Novichok shows only the Russian state could be responsible.

The case has prompted international calls for Russia to carry out a transparent investigation or risk sanctions, but the country has not opened a criminal investigation.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday that Russia rejected "when other countries dictate to us what legal procedures we should start and when".

He insisted Russia "de facto" is probing the incident, but cannot open a criminal case "on the basis of tests by the German side, especially when carried out in German military labs."


Russian authorities want to question Navalny at his Berlin hospital, with Siberian transport police, who have been retracing Navalny's movements, saying Friday that Russia would be preparing a request for its officers and an "expert" to shadow German investigators.
This story was produced by AFP. For more information go to AFP.com.
© Agence France-Presse
The German government said Monday that laboratories in France and Sweden have confirmed its own findings that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement that Germany had asked France and Sweden "for an independent review of the German evidence (of Novichok poisoning) on the basis of new samples from Mr Navalny," who is receiving treatment in Berlin.

"The results of this review at specialised laboratories in France and Sweden are now available and confirm the German evidence (of Novichok poisoning)," Seibert said.

He said Germany was still waiting for the outcome of a separate evaluation by the OPCW global chemical weapons watchdog.

On the basis of the findings by the three European laboratories, however, Seibert said Germany was "renewing its call for Russia to make a declaration on the events" of the Navalny case.

"We are in close contact with our European partners about further steps," he added.

The 44-year-old Kremlin critic and anti-corruption campaigner fell ill after boarding a plane in Siberia last month and was hospitalised there before being flown to Berlin.


Germany said two weeks ago there was "unequivocal evidence" that he was poisoned with Novichok but Russia has angrily dismissed the findings, saying its doctors found no trace of poison.
Absurd

Navalny has now emerged from a medically induced coma and is reacting to speech, Berlin's Charite hospital has said.

The Kremlin has denounced attempts to blame the Russian state for the poisoning as "absurd" and said it wants to know what happened.

Western politicians have said the incident appears likely to have been state-ordered and urged Moscow to prove its lack of involvement.

Navalny's associates believe the use of Novichok shows only the Russian state could be responsible.

The case has prompted international calls for Russia to carry out a transparent investigation or risk sanctions, but the country has not opened a criminal investigation.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday that Russia rejected "when other countries dictate to us what legal procedures we should start and when".

He insisted Russia "de facto" is probing the incident, but cannot open a criminal case "on the basis of tests by the German side, especially when carried out in German military labs."


Russian authorities want to question Navalny at his Berlin hospital, with Siberian transport police, who have been retracing Navalny's movements, saying Friday that Russia would be preparing a request for its officers and an "expert" to shadow German investigators.
This story was produced by AFP. For more information go to AFP.com.
© Agence France-Presse

Iran cries victory after UN rejects US bid to extend arms embargo, says United States failed in this conspiracy with humiliation

Iran cries victory after UN rejects US bid to extend arms embargo, says United States failed in this conspiracy with humiliation

Iranian Hassan Rouhani
(AFP) Iran on Saturday hailed a UN Security Council vote rejecting a US bid to extend an arms embargo on the Islamic republic, saying its foe has "never been so isolated". President Hassan Rouhani said the United States had failed to kill off what he called the "half alive" 2015 deal with major powers that gave Iran relief from sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme.

"The United States failed in this conspiracy with humiliation," Rouhani told a televised news conference. "In my opinion, this day will go down in the history of our Iran and in the history of fighting global arrogance."

Only two of the Council's 15 members voted in favour of the US resolution seeking to extend the embargo, highlighting the division between Washington and its European allies since President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear accord in May 2018.

Washington's European allies all abstained, and Iran mocked the Trump administration for only winning the support of one other country, the Dominican Republic.

"In the 75 years of United Nations history, America has never been so isolated," said foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi.

"Despite all the trips, pressure and the hawking, the United States could only mobilise a small country (to vote) with them," he tweeted. The result increases the likelihood that the US will try to unilaterally force a return of UN sanctions, which experts say threatens to plunge the Council into one of its worst-ever diplomatic crises.


- 'Inexcusable' -


"The Security Council's failure to act decisively in defence of international peace and security is inexcusable," said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The embargo on conventional arms is due to expire on October 18 under the terms of a resolution that blessed the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Since Trump pulled out of the JCPOA and slapped unilateral sanctions on Iran under a campaign of "maximum pressure", Tehran has since taken small but escalating steps away from compliance with the nuclear accord as it presses for sanctions relief.

European allies of the United States -- who, along with Russia and China, signed the deal with Iran -- have voiced support for extending the 13-year-long conventional arms embargo, saying an expiry threatens stability in the Middle East.

However, their priority is to preserve the JCPOA.

The US text, seen by AFP, effectively called for an indefinite extension of the embargo on Iran, which diplomats said would threaten the nuclear agreement.

Iran says it has the right to self-defence and that a continuation of the ban would mean an end to the nuclear deal.

Pompeo announced that members had failed to back the proposal around 30 minutes before Indonesia, the current president of the Security Council, announced that the official results included two votes against and 11 abstentions.

Russia and China opposed the resolution.

"The result shows again that unilateralism enjoys no support, and bullying will fail," China's UN mission tweeted.


- 'Snapback' -


Ambassador Gunter Sautter of Germany, which abstained, said "more consultations are needed" to find a solution that is acceptable to all council members.

During a call between Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron, the leaders "discussed the urgent need for UN action to extend the arms embargo on Iran".

Hours earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin called on China, France, Russia, Britain, the US, Germany and Iran to convene an emergency video summit to avoid an escalation of tensions in the Gulf.

Washington has threatened to try to force a return of UN sanctions if it is not extended by using a controversial technique called "snapback".

Pompeo has offered the contested argument that the US remains a "participant" in the nuclear accord as it was listed in the 2015 resolution -- and therefore can force a return to sanctions if it sees Iran as being in violation of its terms.

European allies have been sceptical on whether Washington can force sanctions and warn that the attempt may delegitimise the Security Council.

Nevertheless, the US is expected to deliver the snapback letter next week, AFP understands.

Analysts suspect that Washington purposefully put forward a hardline draft that it knew Council members would not be able to accept.

"The fact is that everybody at the UN believes this (resolution) is just a prelude to a US effort to trigger snapback and sink the Iranian nuclear deal," Richard Gowan, a UN expert at the International Crisis Group, told AFP.

pdh-fff/ap/dv/kir
Iranian Hassan Rouhani
(AFP) Iran on Saturday hailed a UN Security Council vote rejecting a US bid to extend an arms embargo on the Islamic republic, saying its foe has "never been so isolated". President Hassan Rouhani said the United States had failed to kill off what he called the "half alive" 2015 deal with major powers that gave Iran relief from sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme.

"The United States failed in this conspiracy with humiliation," Rouhani told a televised news conference. "In my opinion, this day will go down in the history of our Iran and in the history of fighting global arrogance."

Only two of the Council's 15 members voted in favour of the US resolution seeking to extend the embargo, highlighting the division between Washington and its European allies since President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear accord in May 2018.

Washington's European allies all abstained, and Iran mocked the Trump administration for only winning the support of one other country, the Dominican Republic.

"In the 75 years of United Nations history, America has never been so isolated," said foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi.

"Despite all the trips, pressure and the hawking, the United States could only mobilise a small country (to vote) with them," he tweeted. The result increases the likelihood that the US will try to unilaterally force a return of UN sanctions, which experts say threatens to plunge the Council into one of its worst-ever diplomatic crises.


- 'Inexcusable' -


"The Security Council's failure to act decisively in defence of international peace and security is inexcusable," said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The embargo on conventional arms is due to expire on October 18 under the terms of a resolution that blessed the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Since Trump pulled out of the JCPOA and slapped unilateral sanctions on Iran under a campaign of "maximum pressure", Tehran has since taken small but escalating steps away from compliance with the nuclear accord as it presses for sanctions relief.

European allies of the United States -- who, along with Russia and China, signed the deal with Iran -- have voiced support for extending the 13-year-long conventional arms embargo, saying an expiry threatens stability in the Middle East.

However, their priority is to preserve the JCPOA.

The US text, seen by AFP, effectively called for an indefinite extension of the embargo on Iran, which diplomats said would threaten the nuclear agreement.

Iran says it has the right to self-defence and that a continuation of the ban would mean an end to the nuclear deal.

Pompeo announced that members had failed to back the proposal around 30 minutes before Indonesia, the current president of the Security Council, announced that the official results included two votes against and 11 abstentions.

Russia and China opposed the resolution.

"The result shows again that unilateralism enjoys no support, and bullying will fail," China's UN mission tweeted.


- 'Snapback' -


Ambassador Gunter Sautter of Germany, which abstained, said "more consultations are needed" to find a solution that is acceptable to all council members.

During a call between Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron, the leaders "discussed the urgent need for UN action to extend the arms embargo on Iran".

Hours earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin called on China, France, Russia, Britain, the US, Germany and Iran to convene an emergency video summit to avoid an escalation of tensions in the Gulf.

Washington has threatened to try to force a return of UN sanctions if it is not extended by using a controversial technique called "snapback".

Pompeo has offered the contested argument that the US remains a "participant" in the nuclear accord as it was listed in the 2015 resolution -- and therefore can force a return to sanctions if it sees Iran as being in violation of its terms.

European allies have been sceptical on whether Washington can force sanctions and warn that the attempt may delegitimise the Security Council.

Nevertheless, the US is expected to deliver the snapback letter next week, AFP understands.

Analysts suspect that Washington purposefully put forward a hardline draft that it knew Council members would not be able to accept.

"The fact is that everybody at the UN believes this (resolution) is just a prelude to a US effort to trigger snapback and sink the Iranian nuclear deal," Richard Gowan, a UN expert at the International Crisis Group, told AFP.

pdh-fff/ap/dv/kir

France deploys warship, fighter jets to Mediterranean amid growing tensions with Turkey

France deploys warship, fighter jets to Mediterranean amid growing tensions with Turkey

Greece got the "first response" from Turkey in the ongoing Mediterranean Row, Erdogan Says


France announced Thursday that it will deploy two warplanes, and reinforce its presence in the eastern Mediterranean with one of its warships.

The French Ministry of Defense said that France will send two Rafale fighter jets and the naval frigate Lafayette to the eastern Mediterranean as part of plans to increase its military presence in the region, amid indications of tension with Turkey, the Reuters News Agency reported.

Earlier in the week, French President Emmanuel Macron called on Turkey to stop drilling for oil and gas in disputed waters in that region, which led to an escalation of tensions with Greece.

Macron had rejected Turkey’s “dangerous and unilateral” steps, expressing his grave concern about the tensions caused by the “unilateral” Turkish decision to drill in the eastern Mediterranean region.

A statement by the French presidency stated that Paris decided to temporarily reinforce its military presence in the eastern Mediterranean, in order to respect international law.

Macron called for the opening of a “peaceful dialogue” between Turkey, its neighboring countries and NATO partners.


Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Greece got the "first response" from Turkey in the ongoing Mediterranean crisis, hinting at the recent incident between Russian and Greek frigates.

"We said that if you attack Oruc Reis, the consequences would be great. And today, they received the first response", Erdogan said, speaking in Ankara.

The Turkish-Greek tensions escalated this week after Turkey's Oruc Reis research vessel began exploration drilling in Greek-claimed waters in the Mediterranean on Monday.

Earlier in the day, the Greek Armyvoice.gr news portal reported, citing sources, that Greek naval frigate Limnos and Turkish frigate Kemalreis (F-247) "touched" each other in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The incident happened in close proximity to Oruc Reis. The area is heavily patrolled by both Turkish and Greek vessels.

Tensions between two NATO allies increased again earlier in August, after Greece and Egypt signed a maritime deal on an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the eastern Mediterranean. Ankara then slammed the agreement as "null and void," saying that Athens and Cairo share no sea border, and claimed that the area of the EEZ was in fact located on Turkey’s continental shelf. The Greece-Egypt deal prompted Turkey to resume seismic research in the eastern Mediterranean.

Greece got the "first response" from Turkey in the ongoing Mediterranean Row, Erdogan Says


France announced Thursday that it will deploy two warplanes, and reinforce its presence in the eastern Mediterranean with one of its warships.

The French Ministry of Defense said that France will send two Rafale fighter jets and the naval frigate Lafayette to the eastern Mediterranean as part of plans to increase its military presence in the region, amid indications of tension with Turkey, the Reuters News Agency reported.

Earlier in the week, French President Emmanuel Macron called on Turkey to stop drilling for oil and gas in disputed waters in that region, which led to an escalation of tensions with Greece.

Macron had rejected Turkey’s “dangerous and unilateral” steps, expressing his grave concern about the tensions caused by the “unilateral” Turkish decision to drill in the eastern Mediterranean region.

A statement by the French presidency stated that Paris decided to temporarily reinforce its military presence in the eastern Mediterranean, in order to respect international law.

Macron called for the opening of a “peaceful dialogue” between Turkey, its neighboring countries and NATO partners.


Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Greece got the "first response" from Turkey in the ongoing Mediterranean crisis, hinting at the recent incident between Russian and Greek frigates.

"We said that if you attack Oruc Reis, the consequences would be great. And today, they received the first response", Erdogan said, speaking in Ankara.

The Turkish-Greek tensions escalated this week after Turkey's Oruc Reis research vessel began exploration drilling in Greek-claimed waters in the Mediterranean on Monday.

Earlier in the day, the Greek Armyvoice.gr news portal reported, citing sources, that Greek naval frigate Limnos and Turkish frigate Kemalreis (F-247) "touched" each other in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The incident happened in close proximity to Oruc Reis. The area is heavily patrolled by both Turkish and Greek vessels.

Tensions between two NATO allies increased again earlier in August, after Greece and Egypt signed a maritime deal on an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the eastern Mediterranean. Ankara then slammed the agreement as "null and void," saying that Athens and Cairo share no sea border, and claimed that the area of the EEZ was in fact located on Turkey’s continental shelf. The Greece-Egypt deal prompted Turkey to resume seismic research in the eastern Mediterranean.

Military expert says ‘mother of all battles’ in Libya is close

Military expert says ‘mother of all battles’ in Libya is close

Egyptian military expert Major General Samir Ragheb has said ‘mother of all battles’ in Libya is close.

His Commenting cameas the  Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and his chief of staff made a surprise visit to the Libyan capital, Tripoli, Ragheb said that the matter suggests that the battle in Sirte is approaching.

Ragheb said in statements to the RT Arabic that there are several indicators that suggest that the battle for Sirte is approaching. According to him, the upcoming Turkish-backed operation is one the most important battles in the Libyan conflict, as he called it “the mother of all battles”.

He added that the nature of international reactions against the Turkish military presence in Libya increased significantly during the past week, especially the French response to withdraw from the NATO mission in the eastern Mediterranean, which perhaps reflects the presence of French intelligence information about a possible clash with the Turkish side as a result of a military escalation along the southern Mediterranean, especially in Sirte.

He continued: “The Qatari-Turkish media coverage of the Libyan National Army’s military buildup on the front lines west of Sirte, and anonymous and false conversations about Egyptian military movements, sends a message that the military build-up of Al-Wefaq militias comes in response to the mobilization of the other side.”

He said: “The movement of the C-130 Turkish aircraft tracking sites and ships in the direction of the Al-Wefaq airports and air bases coming from Turkish airports reflects a crowd of mercenaries in the thousands, in addition to the numbers that have participated in the operations around Tripoli last month.”

Ragheb added that the Turkish Defense Minister’s visit reveals preparations have been made for the Sirte offensive.

The upcoming battle for Sirte is considered incredibly important because of the foreign players involved.

Egypt has warned that should Sirte and nearby Al-Jafra fall to the Turkish-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) forces, then Cairo has the “international legitimacy” to intervene in Libya.


Egyptian military expert Major General Samir Ragheb has said ‘mother of all battles’ in Libya is close.

His Commenting cameas the  Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and his chief of staff made a surprise visit to the Libyan capital, Tripoli, Ragheb said that the matter suggests that the battle in Sirte is approaching.

Ragheb said in statements to the RT Arabic that there are several indicators that suggest that the battle for Sirte is approaching. According to him, the upcoming Turkish-backed operation is one the most important battles in the Libyan conflict, as he called it “the mother of all battles”.

He added that the nature of international reactions against the Turkish military presence in Libya increased significantly during the past week, especially the French response to withdraw from the NATO mission in the eastern Mediterranean, which perhaps reflects the presence of French intelligence information about a possible clash with the Turkish side as a result of a military escalation along the southern Mediterranean, especially in Sirte.

He continued: “The Qatari-Turkish media coverage of the Libyan National Army’s military buildup on the front lines west of Sirte, and anonymous and false conversations about Egyptian military movements, sends a message that the military build-up of Al-Wefaq militias comes in response to the mobilization of the other side.”

He said: “The movement of the C-130 Turkish aircraft tracking sites and ships in the direction of the Al-Wefaq airports and air bases coming from Turkish airports reflects a crowd of mercenaries in the thousands, in addition to the numbers that have participated in the operations around Tripoli last month.”

Ragheb added that the Turkish Defense Minister’s visit reveals preparations have been made for the Sirte offensive.

The upcoming battle for Sirte is considered incredibly important because of the foreign players involved.

Egypt has warned that should Sirte and nearby Al-Jafra fall to the Turkish-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) forces, then Cairo has the “international legitimacy” to intervene in Libya.


JCPOA: Hassan Rouhani says US was ‘politically defeated by Iran in a UNSC meeting

JCPOA: Hassan Rouhani says US was ‘politically defeated by Iran in a UNSC meeting

Hassan Rouhani
The Persian President Hassan Rouhani said the United States was defeated in the UN Security Council on Tuesday when participants expressed support for the nuclear deal.

Iranian Rouhani affirmed that the US, despite its economic pressure against Tehran, was “politically defeated by Iran,” according to the Iranian channel Al- Alam. The Iranian President indicated that his country is ready to cooperate with the 4 + 1 group if it abides by its pledges within the framework of the nuclear agreement.

Rouhani pointed out that his country would respond firmly if the United States tried to attack the nuclear agreement politically.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) also known commonly as the Iran nuclear deal or Iran deal, is an agreement on the Iranian nuclear program reached in Vienna on July 14, 2015, between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany).

On 8 May 2018, Trump announced United States withdrawal from JCPOA.  Following the U.S.'s withdrawal, the EU enacted an updated blocking statute on 7 August 2018 to nullify US sanctions on countries trading with Iran

In November 2018 U.S. sanctions came back into effect intended to force Iran to dramatically alter its policies, including its support for militant groups in the region and its development of ballistic missiles. 

In the aftermath of the Baghdad Airport Airstrike  and assassination of the top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, Iran declared that it would no longer abide by the limitations of the deal but would continue to coordinate with the IAEA, leaving open the possibility of resuming compliance.

The U.S. is currently focused on reimposing the arms embargo against Iran, which the Islamic Republic has already said they will fight at the United Nations.

Hassan Rouhani
The Persian President Hassan Rouhani said the United States was defeated in the UN Security Council on Tuesday when participants expressed support for the nuclear deal.

Iranian Rouhani affirmed that the US, despite its economic pressure against Tehran, was “politically defeated by Iran,” according to the Iranian channel Al- Alam. The Iranian President indicated that his country is ready to cooperate with the 4 + 1 group if it abides by its pledges within the framework of the nuclear agreement.

Rouhani pointed out that his country would respond firmly if the United States tried to attack the nuclear agreement politically.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) also known commonly as the Iran nuclear deal or Iran deal, is an agreement on the Iranian nuclear program reached in Vienna on July 14, 2015, between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany).

On 8 May 2018, Trump announced United States withdrawal from JCPOA.  Following the U.S.'s withdrawal, the EU enacted an updated blocking statute on 7 August 2018 to nullify US sanctions on countries trading with Iran

In November 2018 U.S. sanctions came back into effect intended to force Iran to dramatically alter its policies, including its support for militant groups in the region and its development of ballistic missiles. 

In the aftermath of the Baghdad Airport Airstrike  and assassination of the top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, Iran declared that it would no longer abide by the limitations of the deal but would continue to coordinate with the IAEA, leaving open the possibility of resuming compliance.

The U.S. is currently focused on reimposing the arms embargo against Iran, which the Islamic Republic has already said they will fight at the United Nations.

France pulls out of NATO Mediterranean operation after Turkey tensions

France pulls out of NATO Mediterranean operation after Turkey tensions

According to AFP citing a French defence official France on  Wednesday said is pulling out of a NATO Mediterranean maritime security operation until it gets a response to its concerns over the behaviour of fellow member Turkey, a French defence official said Wednesday.

"We have decided to temporarily withdraw our assets from the operation Sea Guardian" until France's concerns are addressed, the official, who asked not to be named, told reporters. 
The decision follows an escalation in tensions with Turkey over the Libya conflict.

According to AP reports, following the France decision suspending its involvement in a NATO naval operation in the Mediterranean Sea ,France’s Defense Ministry said that the government sent a letter Tuesday to NATO saying it is suspending its participation in Sea Guardian “temporarily.”

 It came after NATO investigators submitted their report into the June 10 incident. A ministry official said France wants NATO allies to “solemnly reaffirm their attachment” to the arms embargo on Libya, which is being policed in part by a European Union naval operation.

France has accused Turkey of repeated violations of the U.N. arms embargo on Libya and branded the Turkish government as an obstacle to securing a ceasefire in the North African nation, which Turkey firmly denies.

France is also calling for a crisis mechanism to prevent a repeat of an incident earlier this month between Turkish warships and a French naval vessel in the Mediterranean. NATO is investigating what happened.

France says its frigate Courbet was “lit up” three times by Turkish naval targeting radar when it tried to approach a Tanzanian-flagged civilian ship suspected of involvement in arms trafficking. The ship was being escorted by three Turkish warships. The Courbet backed off after the confrontation.

France claims that under NATO's rules of engagement such conduct is considered a hostile act. At the time, the French frigate was part of the Sea Guardian mission, which is helping to provide maritime security in the Mediterranean.

Turkey has denied harassing the Courbet. Turkey's ambassador to France was questioned in the French Senate on Wednesday and defended Turkey's actions as peaceful and crucial to restoring stability to Libya.

Ambassador Ismail Hakki Musa said he thinks NATO has completed its investigation and that the findings were inconclusive. NATO confirmed that investigators had submitted their report on the incident, but declined to discuss it as the findings are “classified.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel described the incident as a “very serious.” 

“We should do everything to ensure that such incidents aren’t repeated among NATO allies,” Merkel said Wednesday during a question-and-answer session in the German parliament.

Merkel met with French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday; Turkey’s foreign minister is expected to visit Berlin on Thursday.

Libya has been in turmoil since 2011, when a NATO-backed uprising toppled leader Moammar Gadhafi, who was later killed. The country has since been split between rival administrations in the east and the west, each backed by armed groups and different foreign governments.

The government in Tripoli led by Fayez Sarraj is backed not just by Turkey, which sent troops and mercenaries to protect the capital in January, but also Italy and Qatar. 

Rival forces under the command of Gen. Khalifa Hifter, who launched an offensive on Tripoli last year, are supported by France, Russia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and other key Arab countries.

Just as Syria was used as a testing ground for world and nuclear power nations, Libya is a new ground to deploy and test new weapons for merciless killing of all sorts,
According to AFP citing a French defence official France on  Wednesday said is pulling out of a NATO Mediterranean maritime security operation until it gets a response to its concerns over the behaviour of fellow member Turkey, a French defence official said Wednesday.

"We have decided to temporarily withdraw our assets from the operation Sea Guardian" until France's concerns are addressed, the official, who asked not to be named, told reporters. 
The decision follows an escalation in tensions with Turkey over the Libya conflict.

According to AP reports, following the France decision suspending its involvement in a NATO naval operation in the Mediterranean Sea ,France’s Defense Ministry said that the government sent a letter Tuesday to NATO saying it is suspending its participation in Sea Guardian “temporarily.”

 It came after NATO investigators submitted their report into the June 10 incident. A ministry official said France wants NATO allies to “solemnly reaffirm their attachment” to the arms embargo on Libya, which is being policed in part by a European Union naval operation.

France has accused Turkey of repeated violations of the U.N. arms embargo on Libya and branded the Turkish government as an obstacle to securing a ceasefire in the North African nation, which Turkey firmly denies.

France is also calling for a crisis mechanism to prevent a repeat of an incident earlier this month between Turkish warships and a French naval vessel in the Mediterranean. NATO is investigating what happened.

France says its frigate Courbet was “lit up” three times by Turkish naval targeting radar when it tried to approach a Tanzanian-flagged civilian ship suspected of involvement in arms trafficking. The ship was being escorted by three Turkish warships. The Courbet backed off after the confrontation.

France claims that under NATO's rules of engagement such conduct is considered a hostile act. At the time, the French frigate was part of the Sea Guardian mission, which is helping to provide maritime security in the Mediterranean.

Turkey has denied harassing the Courbet. Turkey's ambassador to France was questioned in the French Senate on Wednesday and defended Turkey's actions as peaceful and crucial to restoring stability to Libya.

Ambassador Ismail Hakki Musa said he thinks NATO has completed its investigation and that the findings were inconclusive. NATO confirmed that investigators had submitted their report on the incident, but declined to discuss it as the findings are “classified.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel described the incident as a “very serious.” 

“We should do everything to ensure that such incidents aren’t repeated among NATO allies,” Merkel said Wednesday during a question-and-answer session in the German parliament.

Merkel met with French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday; Turkey’s foreign minister is expected to visit Berlin on Thursday.

Libya has been in turmoil since 2011, when a NATO-backed uprising toppled leader Moammar Gadhafi, who was later killed. The country has since been split between rival administrations in the east and the west, each backed by armed groups and different foreign governments.

The government in Tripoli led by Fayez Sarraj is backed not just by Turkey, which sent troops and mercenaries to protect the capital in January, but also Italy and Qatar. 

Rival forces under the command of Gen. Khalifa Hifter, who launched an offensive on Tripoli last year, are supported by France, Russia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and other key Arab countries.

Just as Syria was used as a testing ground for world and nuclear power nations, Libya is a new ground to deploy and test new weapons for merciless killing of all sorts,

Ex-French PM Fillon, wife found guilty in fake job trial

Ex-French PM Fillon, wife found guilty in fake job trial



On Monday, a French court has found former prime minister François Fillon guilty of paying his wife over €1 million in public funds for a "fake job".

He was sentenced to five years in prison - three of which can be served in the community.

Ex-French PM Fillon and his wife 
Fillon will also have to pay a €375,000 fine and will be barred from running in elections for 10 years.

His wife Penelope received a three-year suspended sentence, a €375,000 fine and a two-year election ban.

Their lawyers said they'll appeal the sentence.

Prosecutors had pointed to the lack of actual evidence of her work, including the absence of declarations for any paid vacations or maternity leave. Her wages reached up to nine times France’s minimum salary.

The judicial case was prompted by an investigation of a French satirical weekly, the Canard Enchainé published in January 2017. The paper alleged Fillon's wife, Penelope, had been his parliamentary assistant for 15 years—except there was no evidence she did any work.

The case ruined Fillon's 2017 presidential bid, at a time when he was widely tipped to result as the winner, paving the way for Emmanuel Macron's election.

He did not even get through the first round of the election in April 2017.

Fillon, 66-year-old, has insisted his wife earned the money honestly, saying "there is not the slightest doubt" about the nature of her wife's collaboration.

He was indicted in March 2017 for "embezzlement of public funds", "concealment and complicity in the abuse of corporate property" and "breach in reporting obligations to the HATVP (France's high authority for the transparency of civil servants.)"

Fillon had previously served as prime minister in Nicolas Sarkozy's centre-right government between 2007 and 2012.


On Monday, a French court has found former prime minister François Fillon guilty of paying his wife over €1 million in public funds for a "fake job".

He was sentenced to five years in prison - three of which can be served in the community.

Ex-French PM Fillon and his wife 
Fillon will also have to pay a €375,000 fine and will be barred from running in elections for 10 years.

His wife Penelope received a three-year suspended sentence, a €375,000 fine and a two-year election ban.

Their lawyers said they'll appeal the sentence.

Prosecutors had pointed to the lack of actual evidence of her work, including the absence of declarations for any paid vacations or maternity leave. Her wages reached up to nine times France’s minimum salary.

The judicial case was prompted by an investigation of a French satirical weekly, the Canard Enchainé published in January 2017. The paper alleged Fillon's wife, Penelope, had been his parliamentary assistant for 15 years—except there was no evidence she did any work.

The case ruined Fillon's 2017 presidential bid, at a time when he was widely tipped to result as the winner, paving the way for Emmanuel Macron's election.

He did not even get through the first round of the election in April 2017.

Fillon, 66-year-old, has insisted his wife earned the money honestly, saying "there is not the slightest doubt" about the nature of her wife's collaboration.

He was indicted in March 2017 for "embezzlement of public funds", "concealment and complicity in the abuse of corporate property" and "breach in reporting obligations to the HATVP (France's high authority for the transparency of civil servants.)"

Fillon had previously served as prime minister in Nicolas Sarkozy's centre-right government between 2007 and 2012.

French President Macron says Turkey is ‘playing a dangerous game’ in Libya

French President Macron says Turkey is ‘playing a dangerous game’ in Libya

French President Emmanuel Macron said this week that Turkey was “playing a dangerous game” in Libya, noting that he had conveyed this position to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier, Reuters News Agency reported.

 “I had an opportunity to clearly say to President Erdogan that I believe that Turkey is playing a dangerous game in Libya,” noting that this “contradicts its commitments made during the Berlin conference,”  Macron said.

French leader added that he discussed the Libyan crisis with U.S. President Donald Trump.

It is noteworthy to mention that the participants in the Berlin International Conference on Libya agreed last January to a nationwide ceasefire and launch negotiations through the “5 + 5” committee, but the situation in Libya witnessed an escalation in recent months with the intensification of hostilities between the Libyan National Army LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, and the Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Fayez Al-Sarraj.

Turkey has been the main backer of the Government of National Accord, as they have provided military and logistical support to the latter in their fight against the Libyan National Army.

Air support and weapons from Turkey over recent months have helped change the tide in Libya's civil war.

The UN-recognised Fayez Al-Sarraj Tripoli government pushed back a year-long siege on the capital Tripoli at the beginning of June and has secured much of the west of the country against Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA).

Turkey's military support — and the allied fighters it has transported from Syria — contributed to the Tripoli government's gains over the LNA, which is backed by Egypt, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has in several occasions  said Russian state is not in Libya and not ready to involve in Libyan war. The Position that has also been echoed by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavorov

But Wagner, a Russian military contractor has been identified of given logistic and military supports to LNA. 
Macron said Turkey's actions went against commitments it made during Berlin peace talks in January.

France has previously given military support to Haftar to fight Islamist militants and denies supporting his side in the civil war.

But Macron has not criticised countries allied to the LNA, even though he has often rebuked Turkey.

Last week France accused Turkey of harassing a French ship off the coast of Libya while it carried out checks on a Turkish ship that it suspected of breaking a UN arms embargo to Libya.

A French defence ministry account of the encounter — which occurred several weeks ago — said that Turkish frigates carried out radar targeting on a French ship, suggesting a missile strike was imminent.

Turkey denies this happened.

But Macron said on Monday that the incident between two NATO allies was an indication of the military alliance's weaknesses.

"When I see what is being done last week under NATO's command off the coast of Libya, I consider it unacceptable," he said. "And I'll take you back to my statement last year on NATO being brain dead. I think this is the best example of it."

The French president first made the "brain dead" remark last November, criticising what he considers the military alliance's failure to treat seriously the external threats to southern Europe and the Baltic states.

Libya has not known peace since 2011 NATO military operations that put an end to the long reign of Col. Muhamma Quadaffi. The North African Nation will now again play host to the demonstrations of fists of the world powers.
French President Emmanuel Macron said this week that Turkey was “playing a dangerous game” in Libya, noting that he had conveyed this position to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier, Reuters News Agency reported.

 “I had an opportunity to clearly say to President Erdogan that I believe that Turkey is playing a dangerous game in Libya,” noting that this “contradicts its commitments made during the Berlin conference,”  Macron said.

French leader added that he discussed the Libyan crisis with U.S. President Donald Trump.

It is noteworthy to mention that the participants in the Berlin International Conference on Libya agreed last January to a nationwide ceasefire and launch negotiations through the “5 + 5” committee, but the situation in Libya witnessed an escalation in recent months with the intensification of hostilities between the Libyan National Army LNA), led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, and the Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Fayez Al-Sarraj.

Turkey has been the main backer of the Government of National Accord, as they have provided military and logistical support to the latter in their fight against the Libyan National Army.

Air support and weapons from Turkey over recent months have helped change the tide in Libya's civil war.

The UN-recognised Fayez Al-Sarraj Tripoli government pushed back a year-long siege on the capital Tripoli at the beginning of June and has secured much of the west of the country against Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA).

Turkey's military support — and the allied fighters it has transported from Syria — contributed to the Tripoli government's gains over the LNA, which is backed by Egypt, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has in several occasions  said Russian state is not in Libya and not ready to involve in Libyan war. The Position that has also been echoed by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavorov

But Wagner, a Russian military contractor has been identified of given logistic and military supports to LNA. 
Macron said Turkey's actions went against commitments it made during Berlin peace talks in January.

France has previously given military support to Haftar to fight Islamist militants and denies supporting his side in the civil war.

But Macron has not criticised countries allied to the LNA, even though he has often rebuked Turkey.

Last week France accused Turkey of harassing a French ship off the coast of Libya while it carried out checks on a Turkish ship that it suspected of breaking a UN arms embargo to Libya.

A French defence ministry account of the encounter — which occurred several weeks ago — said that Turkish frigates carried out radar targeting on a French ship, suggesting a missile strike was imminent.

Turkey denies this happened.

But Macron said on Monday that the incident between two NATO allies was an indication of the military alliance's weaknesses.

"When I see what is being done last week under NATO's command off the coast of Libya, I consider it unacceptable," he said. "And I'll take you back to my statement last year on NATO being brain dead. I think this is the best example of it."

The French president first made the "brain dead" remark last November, criticising what he considers the military alliance's failure to treat seriously the external threats to southern Europe and the Baltic states.

Libya has not known peace since 2011 NATO military operations that put an end to the long reign of Col. Muhamma Quadaffi. The North African Nation will now again play host to the demonstrations of fists of the world powers.

NATO sets to investigate Turkey’s interception of French warships in Mediterranean amid increased tensions

NATO sets to investigate Turkey’s interception of French warships in Mediterranean amid increased tensions

FRANCE: Alliance should not bury its head in the sand regarding Turkey’s recent behavior 

"NATO", The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has announced an investigation into Paris’s allegations of a Turkish naval ship’s harassment of a French frigate in the Mediterranean.

The Secretary-General of the Alliance Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday, according to Reuters news agency: “The alliance will conduct an investigation into French allegations that the Turkish navy did not respond to a call from a member country requesting inspection of a ship in the Mediterranean earlier this month.”

Stoltenberg said: “A number of allies touched on the incident (at sea) in the Mediterranean during the meeting,” Stoltenberg said at a news conference after a meeting of NATO defense ministers.

The French Ministry of Defense said on Wednesday that “a French ship participating in a NATO mission in the Mediterranean, has recently been subjected to a ‘very violent’ maneuver by the Turkish frigates.”

The French official accused the Turkish navy of harassing a French warship carrying out an alliance mission. A Ministry official said that NATO “should not bury its head in the sand regarding Turkey’s recent behavior towards its members.”

France and Turkey have been at odds over a number of issues in the last eight months, including Ankara’s military operations in Syria and Libya.

FRANCE: Alliance should not bury its head in the sand regarding Turkey’s recent behavior 

"NATO", The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has announced an investigation into Paris’s allegations of a Turkish naval ship’s harassment of a French frigate in the Mediterranean.

The Secretary-General of the Alliance Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday, according to Reuters news agency: “The alliance will conduct an investigation into French allegations that the Turkish navy did not respond to a call from a member country requesting inspection of a ship in the Mediterranean earlier this month.”

Stoltenberg said: “A number of allies touched on the incident (at sea) in the Mediterranean during the meeting,” Stoltenberg said at a news conference after a meeting of NATO defense ministers.

The French Ministry of Defense said on Wednesday that “a French ship participating in a NATO mission in the Mediterranean, has recently been subjected to a ‘very violent’ maneuver by the Turkish frigates.”

The French official accused the Turkish navy of harassing a French warship carrying out an alliance mission. A Ministry official said that NATO “should not bury its head in the sand regarding Turkey’s recent behavior towards its members.”

France and Turkey have been at odds over a number of issues in the last eight months, including Ankara’s military operations in Syria and Libya.

Ankara accuses 5 countries of forming ‘alliance of evil’

Ankara accuses 5 countries of forming ‘alliance of evil’

Turkish Erdogan
Ankara has alleged five countries of creating “regional chaos” in the eastern Mediterranean, saying they are trying to  form the “alliance of evil”, Sputnik reported.


Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy accused five countries, Greece, Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and France, of creating “regional chaos” in the eastern Mediterranean, while trying to form the “alliance of evil”, after the foreign ministers of these states jointly slammed Turkey’s activities in the region, Associated Press reported.

“We call on these countries to act in line with common sense, international laws and practices”, the spokesman said on Tuesday, as quoted by AP. “Peace and stability in the region can be established with sincere and genuine dialogue, not through alliances of evil”.

Aksoy also accused France of “patronising” the purported alliance, while slamming the UAE for “hostility” against Turkey and insisting that both Greece and Cyprus were undermining Ankara’s attempts to have a constructive dialogue.

The spokesman’s comments came following the teleconference between the foreign ministers of five states on Monday, during which they discussed Turkey’s drilling activities in the disputed offshore area near Cyprus, as well as its military activities in Libya.

Ankara does not recognise the government of the Republic of Cyprus and is the only state in the world to recognise the existence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, following the island’s split in 1974.

Last year, it signed a deal on maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea and agreement on military cooperation with the internationally-recognised and UN-backed Libyan government.

The border delineation agreement was deemed “illegal” by some nations, including Egypt, as Turkey moved forward with gas drilling activities in the disputed zone of eastern Mediterranean, something which is strongly objected to by Greece and Cyprus, as the latter argues that it has exclusive economic rights in the area.

(Sputnik) 
Turkish Erdogan
Ankara has alleged five countries of creating “regional chaos” in the eastern Mediterranean, saying they are trying to  form the “alliance of evil”, Sputnik reported.


Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy accused five countries, Greece, Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and France, of creating “regional chaos” in the eastern Mediterranean, while trying to form the “alliance of evil”, after the foreign ministers of these states jointly slammed Turkey’s activities in the region, Associated Press reported.

“We call on these countries to act in line with common sense, international laws and practices”, the spokesman said on Tuesday, as quoted by AP. “Peace and stability in the region can be established with sincere and genuine dialogue, not through alliances of evil”.

Aksoy also accused France of “patronising” the purported alliance, while slamming the UAE for “hostility” against Turkey and insisting that both Greece and Cyprus were undermining Ankara’s attempts to have a constructive dialogue.

The spokesman’s comments came following the teleconference between the foreign ministers of five states on Monday, during which they discussed Turkey’s drilling activities in the disputed offshore area near Cyprus, as well as its military activities in Libya.

Ankara does not recognise the government of the Republic of Cyprus and is the only state in the world to recognise the existence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, following the island’s split in 1974.

Last year, it signed a deal on maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea and agreement on military cooperation with the internationally-recognised and UN-backed Libyan government.

The border delineation agreement was deemed “illegal” by some nations, including Egypt, as Turkey moved forward with gas drilling activities in the disputed zone of eastern Mediterranean, something which is strongly objected to by Greece and Cyprus, as the latter argues that it has exclusive economic rights in the area.

(Sputnik) 

5 countries slam Turkey’s ‘illegal’ military intervention in Libya, movements in the Mediterranean

5 countries slam Turkey’s ‘illegal’ military intervention in Libya, movements in the Mediterranean

Five Nations comprising Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, France, and the United Arab Emirates in a joint statement have strongly condemned what they described as “Turkey’s military intervention in Libya” and Turkey’s ‘illegal’ movements in the Mediterranean.

According to the report, the foreign ministers of Egypt, Greece, Cyprus and France held on Monday the building of prior consultations and periodic coordination within the framework of the “3 + 1” formula, a remote meeting joined by their counterparts from the Emirates, to “discuss the latest developments of concern in the Eastern Mediterranean, in addition to a number of regional crises that threaten peace and stability in that region. ”

According to a joint statement issued after the meeting and published on the Egyptian Foreign Ministry website, They stressed that, “the strategic importance of strengthening and intensifying their political consultations, and praised the results of the Cairo meeting on January 8, 2020, to enhance security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, and expressed their deep concern over the current escalation and provocative moves.” Continuing in the Eastern Mediterranean. ”

The five ministers condemned the “illegal Turkish moves taking place in the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus and its territorial waters, for the apparent violation of international law in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” considering that it represented “the sixth attempt by Turkey, in less than a year, to conduct illegal excavations inside the maritime areas of Cyprus.”

The ministers also condemned “the escalation of violations by Turkey of the Greek airspace, including the flight over populated areas and territorial waters in violation of international law,” in addition to “the systematic exploitation of civilians by Turkey and the endeavor to push them towards crossing the Greek land and sea borders illegally.”

They demanded that Turkey “fully respect the sovereignty of all countries and their sovereign rights in their maritime areas in the eastern Mediterranean.”

They considered that the Memorandum of Understanding on the delineation of maritime borders in the Mediterranean and the Memorandum of Understanding on security and military cooperation between Ankara and Tripoli contravened international law and the arms embargo imposed by the United Nations on Libya, and also undermined regional stability.

The ministers also strongly condemned Turkish military intervention in Libya, and urged Turkey to fully respect the UN arms embargo and stop the flow of foreign fighters from Syria to Libya, as this poses a threat to the stability of neighboring countries in Africa as well as in Europe.
Five Nations comprising Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, France, and the United Arab Emirates in a joint statement have strongly condemned what they described as “Turkey’s military intervention in Libya” and Turkey’s ‘illegal’ movements in the Mediterranean.

According to the report, the foreign ministers of Egypt, Greece, Cyprus and France held on Monday the building of prior consultations and periodic coordination within the framework of the “3 + 1” formula, a remote meeting joined by their counterparts from the Emirates, to “discuss the latest developments of concern in the Eastern Mediterranean, in addition to a number of regional crises that threaten peace and stability in that region. ”

According to a joint statement issued after the meeting and published on the Egyptian Foreign Ministry website, They stressed that, “the strategic importance of strengthening and intensifying their political consultations, and praised the results of the Cairo meeting on January 8, 2020, to enhance security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, and expressed their deep concern over the current escalation and provocative moves.” Continuing in the Eastern Mediterranean. ”

The five ministers condemned the “illegal Turkish moves taking place in the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus and its territorial waters, for the apparent violation of international law in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” considering that it represented “the sixth attempt by Turkey, in less than a year, to conduct illegal excavations inside the maritime areas of Cyprus.”

The ministers also condemned “the escalation of violations by Turkey of the Greek airspace, including the flight over populated areas and territorial waters in violation of international law,” in addition to “the systematic exploitation of civilians by Turkey and the endeavor to push them towards crossing the Greek land and sea borders illegally.”

They demanded that Turkey “fully respect the sovereignty of all countries and their sovereign rights in their maritime areas in the eastern Mediterranean.”

They considered that the Memorandum of Understanding on the delineation of maritime borders in the Mediterranean and the Memorandum of Understanding on security and military cooperation between Ankara and Tripoli contravened international law and the arms embargo imposed by the United Nations on Libya, and also undermined regional stability.

The ministers also strongly condemned Turkish military intervention in Libya, and urged Turkey to fully respect the UN arms embargo and stop the flow of foreign fighters from Syria to Libya, as this poses a threat to the stability of neighboring countries in Africa as well as in Europe.

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