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Showing posts with label International Relations. Show all posts

Moscow rejects Washington concerns about Ukraine as smokescreen

Moscow rejects Washington concerns about Ukraine as smokescreen

President Putin

Russia on Monday  vehemently condemned and rejected the U.S. claims of a Russian troop buildup near Ukraine.


Kremlin added that it could be a ruse intended to cover up what it described as Ukrainian leadership's aggressive intentions.


According to the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov who dismissed U.S. media allegations of Moscow's purported plans to invade Ukraine as part of efforts to discredit Russia. 


Peskov maintained that troop movements on Russia's own territory shouldn't concern anyone.


Ukraine complained earlier this month that Russia has kept tens of thousands of troops not far from the two countries' borders after conducting war games in an attempt to further pressure its ex-Soviet neighbor. Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and has supported a separatist insurgency that broke out that year in eastern Ukraine.


Speaking to Ukraine's foreign minister this month, Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted that Russia's "playbook" was to build up forces near the border and then invade, "claiming falsely that it was provoked."


Peskov sought to turn the tables on Ukraine and the West, arguing that the expressions of concern by the U.S. and its allies may "camouflage aggressive intentions in Kyiv to try to solve the problem of the southeast by force."


He accused the Ukrainian military of increasingly frequent shootings across the tense line of contact in the east and added that Moscow is strongly worried about the U.S. and other NATO countries providing Ukraine with weapons.


"The number of provocations has been growing, and those provocations have been conducted using the weapons that NATO countries sent to Ukraine," Peskov said in a conference call with reporters. "We are watching it with a grave concern."


Russia has cast its weight behind the separatist insurgency in Ukraine's eastern industrial heartland known as Donbas that has left more than 14,000 people dead. But Moscow has repeatedly denied any presence of its troops in eastern Ukraine.


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday also criticized what he described as "bellicose rhetoric" by Ukrainian military officials, charging that it could "reflect a desire to conduct provocations and turn the conflict into a hot phase."


Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba rejected the Russian allegations of Ukraine's plans to launch an attack on Donbas as part of Moscow's "disinformation."


"Let me state it officially: Ukraine does not plan a military offensive in the Donbas," Kuleba said on Twitter. "We are devoted to seeking political & diplomatic solutions to the conflict."


In a strongly-worded statement, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) scathingly criticized the U.S. State Department of spreading "absolute lies" about a purported Russian buildup near Ukraine.


"The Americans are painting a horrible picture of Russian tank armadas crushing Ukrainian cities," it said in Monday's statement. "It's surprising to see a speed at which a formerly respectable foreign policy agency is turning into a mouthpiece of mendacious propaganda."


The SVR alleged that it was Ukraine that was beefing up its forces near Russia and Belarus.


The Russian spy agency also accused the U.S. and the European Union of encouraging "the sense of permissiveness and impunity" in Ukraine, comparing the situation to Western expressions of support to Georgia before the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia.


Russia routed the Georgian army in the brief conflict that erupted when Georgia attempted to reclaim control over a Russia-backed separatist province. Moscow then recognized the independence of Georgia's two separatist provinces after the war.




Source

President Putin

Russia on Monday  vehemently condemned and rejected the U.S. claims of a Russian troop buildup near Ukraine.


Kremlin added that it could be a ruse intended to cover up what it described as Ukrainian leadership's aggressive intentions.


According to the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov who dismissed U.S. media allegations of Moscow's purported plans to invade Ukraine as part of efforts to discredit Russia. 


Peskov maintained that troop movements on Russia's own territory shouldn't concern anyone.


Ukraine complained earlier this month that Russia has kept tens of thousands of troops not far from the two countries' borders after conducting war games in an attempt to further pressure its ex-Soviet neighbor. Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and has supported a separatist insurgency that broke out that year in eastern Ukraine.


Speaking to Ukraine's foreign minister this month, Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted that Russia's "playbook" was to build up forces near the border and then invade, "claiming falsely that it was provoked."


Peskov sought to turn the tables on Ukraine and the West, arguing that the expressions of concern by the U.S. and its allies may "camouflage aggressive intentions in Kyiv to try to solve the problem of the southeast by force."


He accused the Ukrainian military of increasingly frequent shootings across the tense line of contact in the east and added that Moscow is strongly worried about the U.S. and other NATO countries providing Ukraine with weapons.


"The number of provocations has been growing, and those provocations have been conducted using the weapons that NATO countries sent to Ukraine," Peskov said in a conference call with reporters. "We are watching it with a grave concern."


Russia has cast its weight behind the separatist insurgency in Ukraine's eastern industrial heartland known as Donbas that has left more than 14,000 people dead. But Moscow has repeatedly denied any presence of its troops in eastern Ukraine.


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday also criticized what he described as "bellicose rhetoric" by Ukrainian military officials, charging that it could "reflect a desire to conduct provocations and turn the conflict into a hot phase."


Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba rejected the Russian allegations of Ukraine's plans to launch an attack on Donbas as part of Moscow's "disinformation."


"Let me state it officially: Ukraine does not plan a military offensive in the Donbas," Kuleba said on Twitter. "We are devoted to seeking political & diplomatic solutions to the conflict."


In a strongly-worded statement, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) scathingly criticized the U.S. State Department of spreading "absolute lies" about a purported Russian buildup near Ukraine.


"The Americans are painting a horrible picture of Russian tank armadas crushing Ukrainian cities," it said in Monday's statement. "It's surprising to see a speed at which a formerly respectable foreign policy agency is turning into a mouthpiece of mendacious propaganda."


The SVR alleged that it was Ukraine that was beefing up its forces near Russia and Belarus.


The Russian spy agency also accused the U.S. and the European Union of encouraging "the sense of permissiveness and impunity" in Ukraine, comparing the situation to Western expressions of support to Georgia before the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia.


Russia routed the Georgian army in the brief conflict that erupted when Georgia attempted to reclaim control over a Russia-backed separatist province. Moscow then recognized the independence of Georgia's two separatist provinces after the war.




Source

Russia ready to attack Ukraine by end of January/early February says Ukraine defense intelligence agency chief, calling for more US aids

Russia ready to attack Ukraine by end of January/early February says Ukraine defense intelligence agency chief, calling for more US aids








The head of Ukraine’s defense intelligence agency  has alleged that more than 92,000 Russian troops amassed around Ukraine’s borders and is preparing for an attack by the end of January or beginning of February, .


According to him, such an attack would likely involve airstrikes, artillery and armor attacks followed by airborne assaults in the east, amphibious assaults in Odessa and Mariupul and a smaller incursion through neighboring Belarus.


Ukraine Brig. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov told Military Times Saturday morning in an exclusive interview that Russia’s large-scale Zapad 21 military exercise earlier this year proved, for instance, that they can drop upwards of 3,500 airborne and special operations troops at once.

The attack Russia is preparing, said Budanov, would be far more devastating than anything before seen in the conflict that began in 2014 that has seen some 14,000 Ukrainians killed.


Ukraine’s new Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov while speaking to the Washington Post on Friday said it was unclear whether Russian President Vladimir Putin has yet decided to attack.


But Russia is building capacity to do so, increasing troop levels and weapons systems in occupied Crimea and staging systems like Iskandar short-range ballistic missile systems and other weapons elsewhere near the border.


Budanov scoffed at suggestions that the brutal weather conditions during that time of the year would dissuade the Russians from attacking.


“It is no problem for us and the Russians,” Budanov said of fighting in the frigid weather.


Any such attack, however, would first follow a series of psychological operations currently underway designed to destabilize Ukraine and undermine its ability to fight, said Budanov, speaking through an interpreter.


“They want to foment unrest, through protests and meetings, that show the people are against the government,” he said.


Those efforts include ongoing anti-COVID-19 vaccination protests that Budanov said have been organized by Russia, which is also trying to stoke unrest related to the economy and energy supplies.


In addition, Budanov said Russia is trying to whip up anti-government sentiment over an incident dubbed “Wagnergate” — a controversy involving about 30 members of the Russian private military group responsible for attacks inside Ukraine. The Wagner group members, who made their way to Belarus, were supposed to be brought back to Ukraine to be detained, but instead wound up being sent to Russia with the help of the Belarus KGB, Budanov said.


Russian psychological operations are being used to show “our authorities betrayed the people,” said Budanov.


The ongoing border conflict between Poland and Belarus, which is trying to send refugees into Europe through Poland’s border, is part of that effort, he said.


They want to make the situation inside the country more and more dangerous and hard and make a situation where we have to change the government,” said Budanov. “If they can’t do that, then military troops will do their job.”

Budanov said U.S. and Ukraine intelligence assessments about the timing of a Russian attack are very similar.

“Our evaluations are almost the same as our American colleagues,” he said.



While United States has not officially issue such a statement of assessment as to when Russia may attack the Ukraine, the comments made Wednesday and Thursday byDefense Secretary Lloyd Austin indicated that the U.S. continues to see “troubling behavior from Russia."


He said: “We are not sure exactly what Mr. Putin is up to." “But these movements certainly have our attention. And I would urge Russia to be more transparent about what they are up to take steps to live up to the Minsk agreements.


“Our support for Ukraine sovereignty territorial integrity remains unwavering.”


After meeting with Reznikov on Thursday, Austin said the U.S. will “continue to advance our shared priority to counter Russian aggression and to deepen our cooperation in such areas as Black Sea security, cyber defense and intelligence sharing.”


Budanov opined: " ideally, the U.S. would help deter any Russian incursion, through additional military aid and increased diplomatic and economic pressure, including more sanctions against Russia and the seizure and blocking of Russian banking accounts."


Also, in addition to U.S. aid already promised and delivered, including Mark VI patrol boats, Javelin anti-armor systems and AN/TPQ-53 light counter-fire radar systems, Ukraine seeks additional air, missile and drone defense systems and electronic jamming devices, Budonov said. Patriot missile batteries and counter rocket, artillery and mortar systems are on Ukraine’s wish list.


The AN/TPQ-53 systems were used to great effect, Ukraine military officials have previously told Military Times. Budanov said the Javenlin systems have also been used against Russian forces. Those, along with Turkish-manufactured drones, used against Russian-aligned separatist artillery troops, have a significant psychological deterrent value, said Budanov, making Russians think twice about attacking.


Still, he said, Ukraine needs more help from America.


“I think it’s not enough for us right now,” he said of current and promised U.S. aid to Ukraine. “We need more. No countries except Ukraine have open war with Russia. And we have for seven years. That’s why we’re sure the U.S should give us everything we didn’t get before. And right now. It’s the right time for this. Because after, it could be very late.”


Source









The head of Ukraine’s defense intelligence agency  has alleged that more than 92,000 Russian troops amassed around Ukraine’s borders and is preparing for an attack by the end of January or beginning of February, .


According to him, such an attack would likely involve airstrikes, artillery and armor attacks followed by airborne assaults in the east, amphibious assaults in Odessa and Mariupul and a smaller incursion through neighboring Belarus.


Ukraine Brig. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov told Military Times Saturday morning in an exclusive interview that Russia’s large-scale Zapad 21 military exercise earlier this year proved, for instance, that they can drop upwards of 3,500 airborne and special operations troops at once.

The attack Russia is preparing, said Budanov, would be far more devastating than anything before seen in the conflict that began in 2014 that has seen some 14,000 Ukrainians killed.


Ukraine’s new Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov while speaking to the Washington Post on Friday said it was unclear whether Russian President Vladimir Putin has yet decided to attack.


But Russia is building capacity to do so, increasing troop levels and weapons systems in occupied Crimea and staging systems like Iskandar short-range ballistic missile systems and other weapons elsewhere near the border.


Budanov scoffed at suggestions that the brutal weather conditions during that time of the year would dissuade the Russians from attacking.


“It is no problem for us and the Russians,” Budanov said of fighting in the frigid weather.


Any such attack, however, would first follow a series of psychological operations currently underway designed to destabilize Ukraine and undermine its ability to fight, said Budanov, speaking through an interpreter.


“They want to foment unrest, through protests and meetings, that show the people are against the government,” he said.


Those efforts include ongoing anti-COVID-19 vaccination protests that Budanov said have been organized by Russia, which is also trying to stoke unrest related to the economy and energy supplies.


In addition, Budanov said Russia is trying to whip up anti-government sentiment over an incident dubbed “Wagnergate” — a controversy involving about 30 members of the Russian private military group responsible for attacks inside Ukraine. The Wagner group members, who made their way to Belarus, were supposed to be brought back to Ukraine to be detained, but instead wound up being sent to Russia with the help of the Belarus KGB, Budanov said.


Russian psychological operations are being used to show “our authorities betrayed the people,” said Budanov.


The ongoing border conflict between Poland and Belarus, which is trying to send refugees into Europe through Poland’s border, is part of that effort, he said.


They want to make the situation inside the country more and more dangerous and hard and make a situation where we have to change the government,” said Budanov. “If they can’t do that, then military troops will do their job.”

Budanov said U.S. and Ukraine intelligence assessments about the timing of a Russian attack are very similar.

“Our evaluations are almost the same as our American colleagues,” he said.



While United States has not officially issue such a statement of assessment as to when Russia may attack the Ukraine, the comments made Wednesday and Thursday byDefense Secretary Lloyd Austin indicated that the U.S. continues to see “troubling behavior from Russia."


He said: “We are not sure exactly what Mr. Putin is up to." “But these movements certainly have our attention. And I would urge Russia to be more transparent about what they are up to take steps to live up to the Minsk agreements.


“Our support for Ukraine sovereignty territorial integrity remains unwavering.”


After meeting with Reznikov on Thursday, Austin said the U.S. will “continue to advance our shared priority to counter Russian aggression and to deepen our cooperation in such areas as Black Sea security, cyber defense and intelligence sharing.”


Budanov opined: " ideally, the U.S. would help deter any Russian incursion, through additional military aid and increased diplomatic and economic pressure, including more sanctions against Russia and the seizure and blocking of Russian banking accounts."


Also, in addition to U.S. aid already promised and delivered, including Mark VI patrol boats, Javelin anti-armor systems and AN/TPQ-53 light counter-fire radar systems, Ukraine seeks additional air, missile and drone defense systems and electronic jamming devices, Budonov said. Patriot missile batteries and counter rocket, artillery and mortar systems are on Ukraine’s wish list.


The AN/TPQ-53 systems were used to great effect, Ukraine military officials have previously told Military Times. Budanov said the Javenlin systems have also been used against Russian forces. Those, along with Turkish-manufactured drones, used against Russian-aligned separatist artillery troops, have a significant psychological deterrent value, said Budanov, making Russians think twice about attacking.


Still, he said, Ukraine needs more help from America.


“I think it’s not enough for us right now,” he said of current and promised U.S. aid to Ukraine. “We need more. No countries except Ukraine have open war with Russia. And we have for seven years. That’s why we’re sure the U.S should give us everything we didn’t get before. And right now. It’s the right time for this. Because after, it could be very late.”


Source


Iranian Foreign Ministry Says US, E3, PGCC statement worthless to reply

Iranian Foreign Ministry Says US, E3, PGCC statement worthless to reply


The Iranian Foreign Ministry has said the US, the E3 and the PGCC statement is worthless and deserves no reply.

According to the report by IRNA,  Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh was quoted as saying a recent anti-Iran statement by the United States, the E3 - Britain, France and Germany - as well as the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council is not worth answering.

Khatibzadeh, while addressing reporters said such a meeting and statement is a fake and illegitimate showoff that does not deserve any reaction.


According to him, the US administration who violated UN Resolution 2231 and withdrew the 2015 Iran nuclear deal is responsible for the current situation in respect of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)

 "The United States is the only country in the world that has a dark history of using nuclear weapons and it is also the one that intervenes in other countries internal affairs and now the US is trying to create a crisis and propagate against Iran." He said


While referring to certain Arab states in the region, he noted that these countries, which are responsible for the invasion of Yemen, are not in a position to put forward baseless accusations against other nations in order to get rid of the responsibility of their crimes.

Robert Malley, the US Special Representative for Iran, and representatives of three European powers, as well as envoys from PGCC states, met in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last week to discuss the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The participants issued a statement, attempted to reiterate their unfounded charges on Iran's regional influence, and continued their Iranophobic policy.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Khatibzadeh pointed to comments made by his French counterpart Anne-Claire Legendre, warning that political officials' taking stances with the purpose of affecting the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will definitely tarnish the reputation of the international body and question the legitimacy of the agency's moves.


France has called on the IAEA Board of Governors to convey "a strong message" to the Islamic Republic in their next session on November 24.


The Iranian spokesman further condemned the US's new sanctions on six Iranian individuals and one Iranian entity, underlining that such a failed policy to put more pressure on Iran shows the Americans' dismay.

The United States Department of the Treasury announced on Thursday that it has put names of six Iranian individuals and one Iranian entity into the sanction list, claiming that they have tried to affect the 2020 presidential elections in the United States.

On Saturday, American  Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin vowed to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and to counter its “dangerous use” of suicide drones in the wider Mideast.

This is a pledge coming as negotiations remain stalled over Tehran’s atomic deal with world powers. His comments in Bahrain at the annual Manama Dialogue appeared aimed at reassuring America’s Arab allies in the Gulf as the Biden administration tries to revive the nuclear deal, which limited Iran’s enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.


“The United States remains committed to preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon. And we remain committed to a diplomatic outcome of the nuclear issue,” Austin told attendees at an event put on by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. “But if Iran isn’t willing to engage seriously, then we will look at all of the options necessary to keep the United States secure.”


Authorities in Tehran has long maintained its nuclear program is peaceful, though U.S. intelligence agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency say Tehran had an organized weapons program until 2003. 

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has said the US, the E3 and the PGCC statement is worthless and deserves no reply.

According to the report by IRNA,  Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh was quoted as saying a recent anti-Iran statement by the United States, the E3 - Britain, France and Germany - as well as the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council is not worth answering.

Khatibzadeh, while addressing reporters said such a meeting and statement is a fake and illegitimate showoff that does not deserve any reaction.


According to him, the US administration who violated UN Resolution 2231 and withdrew the 2015 Iran nuclear deal is responsible for the current situation in respect of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)

 "The United States is the only country in the world that has a dark history of using nuclear weapons and it is also the one that intervenes in other countries internal affairs and now the US is trying to create a crisis and propagate against Iran." He said


While referring to certain Arab states in the region, he noted that these countries, which are responsible for the invasion of Yemen, are not in a position to put forward baseless accusations against other nations in order to get rid of the responsibility of their crimes.

Robert Malley, the US Special Representative for Iran, and representatives of three European powers, as well as envoys from PGCC states, met in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last week to discuss the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The participants issued a statement, attempted to reiterate their unfounded charges on Iran's regional influence, and continued their Iranophobic policy.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Khatibzadeh pointed to comments made by his French counterpart Anne-Claire Legendre, warning that political officials' taking stances with the purpose of affecting the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will definitely tarnish the reputation of the international body and question the legitimacy of the agency's moves.


France has called on the IAEA Board of Governors to convey "a strong message" to the Islamic Republic in their next session on November 24.


The Iranian spokesman further condemned the US's new sanctions on six Iranian individuals and one Iranian entity, underlining that such a failed policy to put more pressure on Iran shows the Americans' dismay.

The United States Department of the Treasury announced on Thursday that it has put names of six Iranian individuals and one Iranian entity into the sanction list, claiming that they have tried to affect the 2020 presidential elections in the United States.

On Saturday, American  Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin vowed to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and to counter its “dangerous use” of suicide drones in the wider Mideast.

This is a pledge coming as negotiations remain stalled over Tehran’s atomic deal with world powers. His comments in Bahrain at the annual Manama Dialogue appeared aimed at reassuring America’s Arab allies in the Gulf as the Biden administration tries to revive the nuclear deal, which limited Iran’s enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.


“The United States remains committed to preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon. And we remain committed to a diplomatic outcome of the nuclear issue,” Austin told attendees at an event put on by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. “But if Iran isn’t willing to engage seriously, then we will look at all of the options necessary to keep the United States secure.”


Authorities in Tehran has long maintained its nuclear program is peaceful, though U.S. intelligence agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency say Tehran had an organized weapons program until 2003. 

How Irregular movements of Russian troops, equipments near Ukraine border prompt concern in U.S., Europe

How Irregular movements of Russian troops, equipments near Ukraine border prompt concern in U.S., Europe


Washington Post reports at the weekend confirmed that  a renewed buildup of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border has raised concern among some officials in the United States and Europe who are tracking what they consider irregular movements of equipment and personnel on Russia’s western flank.


Meanwhile, Ukraine's defence ministry on Monday denied any media report of a Russian military buildup near its border, saying it had not observed an increase in forces or weaponry, Reuters reported on Monday


"As of November 1, 2021, an additional transfer of Russian units, weapons and military equipment to the state border of Ukraine was not recorded," the Ukrainian defence ministry said in a statement.


However, accordint to the WP reports, the US  officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said the troop movements have reignited concerns that arose in april, when the largest buildup of troops by russia near the ukrainian border in years sparked an international outcry.


The renewed movements of russian forces in the area come as the kremlin embraces a harder line on ukraine. Russian officials from president Vladimir Putin on down have escalated their rhetoric in recent months, attacking kyiv’s western ties and even questioning its sovereignty. 


Putin has warned that any expansion of NATO military infrastructure on ukrainiayn territory represents a “red line” for moscow.


The situation also comes as the simmering 7½-year conflict between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists in the eastern Donbas region enters a new stage. On Oct. 26, Ukraine’s military confirmed it had used a Turkish-made drone against a position in Donbas, the first time Kyiv has employed the technology in combat, prompting an outcry from Moscow.


Relations between Moscow and NATO are especially tense. Russia suspended its mission to NATO in Brussels on Oct. 18 after the alliance expelled eight members of the Russian mission on accusations of espionage.


What the Russian forces gathering near the Ukrainian border are doing is unclear.


Videos have surfaced on social media in recent days showing Russian military trains and convoys moving large quantities of military hardware, including tanks and missiles, in southern and western Russia.

"The point is: It is not a drill. It doesn’t appear to be a training exercise. Something is happening. What is it?” said Michael Kofman, director of the Russia studies program at the Virginia-based nonprofit analysis group CNA.

Officials in the United States and Europe began noticing the movements particularly in recent weeks, after Russia concluded a massive joint military exercise with Belarus known as Zapad 2021 on its western flank in mid-September.

According to Kofman, publicly available satellite imagery shows that forces from Russia’s 41st Combined Arms Army, normally based in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, didn’t return to Siberia after the exercises, and instead linked up with other Russian forces near the Ukrainian border. Kofman also said footage posted online appears to show that Russia’s 1st Guards Tank Army, an elite unit based outside Moscow, is moving personnel and materiel toward Ukraine.


Read more on Washington Post


Washington Post reports at the weekend confirmed that  a renewed buildup of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border has raised concern among some officials in the United States and Europe who are tracking what they consider irregular movements of equipment and personnel on Russia’s western flank.


Meanwhile, Ukraine's defence ministry on Monday denied any media report of a Russian military buildup near its border, saying it had not observed an increase in forces or weaponry, Reuters reported on Monday


"As of November 1, 2021, an additional transfer of Russian units, weapons and military equipment to the state border of Ukraine was not recorded," the Ukrainian defence ministry said in a statement.


However, accordint to the WP reports, the US  officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said the troop movements have reignited concerns that arose in april, when the largest buildup of troops by russia near the ukrainian border in years sparked an international outcry.


The renewed movements of russian forces in the area come as the kremlin embraces a harder line on ukraine. Russian officials from president Vladimir Putin on down have escalated their rhetoric in recent months, attacking kyiv’s western ties and even questioning its sovereignty. 


Putin has warned that any expansion of NATO military infrastructure on ukrainiayn territory represents a “red line” for moscow.


The situation also comes as the simmering 7½-year conflict between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists in the eastern Donbas region enters a new stage. On Oct. 26, Ukraine’s military confirmed it had used a Turkish-made drone against a position in Donbas, the first time Kyiv has employed the technology in combat, prompting an outcry from Moscow.


Relations between Moscow and NATO are especially tense. Russia suspended its mission to NATO in Brussels on Oct. 18 after the alliance expelled eight members of the Russian mission on accusations of espionage.


What the Russian forces gathering near the Ukrainian border are doing is unclear.


Videos have surfaced on social media in recent days showing Russian military trains and convoys moving large quantities of military hardware, including tanks and missiles, in southern and western Russia.

"The point is: It is not a drill. It doesn’t appear to be a training exercise. Something is happening. What is it?” said Michael Kofman, director of the Russia studies program at the Virginia-based nonprofit analysis group CNA.

Officials in the United States and Europe began noticing the movements particularly in recent weeks, after Russia concluded a massive joint military exercise with Belarus known as Zapad 2021 on its western flank in mid-September.

According to Kofman, publicly available satellite imagery shows that forces from Russia’s 41st Combined Arms Army, normally based in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, didn’t return to Siberia after the exercises, and instead linked up with other Russian forces near the Ukrainian border. Kofman also said footage posted online appears to show that Russia’s 1st Guards Tank Army, an elite unit based outside Moscow, is moving personnel and materiel toward Ukraine.


Read more on Washington Post

NIGERIAN ARMY PARTNERS RUSSIA ON ACQUISITION OF MILITARY EQUIPMENT ???

NIGERIAN ARMY PARTNERS RUSSIA ON ACQUISITION OF MILITARY EQUIPMENT ???






The Nigerian army Chief on Thursday confirmed it that the country's military will further explore the cordial and bilateral relations between the Nigeria and Russia for acquisition of more military equipment to enhance its operations across the country.



According to a press release signed by Brigadier General ONYEMA NWACHUKWU who is the Director Army Public Relations confirmed that Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya made the Statement when the Russian Ambassador to Nigeria, Alexey Shebarshin paid him a courtesy call at the Army Headquarters, Abuja.


Nigeria, the most populous Black Nation on earth has been battling the menace of terrorism of Boko Haram, banditry, herdsmen and kidnapping for ransoms in many parts of the country.


The Buhari led regime has been a very soft leadership in favour of the criminals as the government is considered to be protecting the terrorists and their sponsors.


However, the government has maintained a very tougher stances against agitators and peaceful, harmless protesters. Many have been Brutally killed while many are also in detentions. 


The police and the Nigerian army killed peaceful protesters last year as the government initially denied the incidents, especially the lekki toll gate massacre of the protesting youths during the "End SARS protest".


The terrorists which the army claimed to be fighting have overrun military barracks many times without numbers, catching away Military equipments and weapons. 


Terrorists in possession of our military equipment killed, kidnapped and raped more innocent civilians while the military are also illegally deployed to kill citizens at willl. 

Even in the process of fight the so called Boko Haram/ISWA, IDPs have been in many occasions accidentally bombed by the Air Force.


The level of corruption that have been perpetrated and that are still ongoing in the name of prosecuting the endless war knows no bounds. They are the only ones who can actually tell Nigerians.


Country like Russia and others sporting the Nigerian Army under this failed regime must ensure that certain compliance and conditions that guarantee the fundamental rights of the citizens are met.


Read the Full press Statement below:


The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya has stated that Nigerian Army (NA) will further explore the cordial bilateral relations between the NA and Russian government for acquisition of military equipment to enhance its operations across the country.


The COAS stated this today Thursday 14 October 2021, when the Russian Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Alexey Shebarshin paid him a courtesy call at the Army Headquarters, Abuja.


Reminiscing the long existing relationship between the NA and the Russia, the COAS expressed the need to rekindle the relationship for their mutual benefit. He also solicited the support of the Russian government in the provision of sophisticated equipment to shore up NA's combat efficiency in the fight against terrorism, insurgency and other sundry crimes orchestrating insecurity in some parts of the country.


He assured the Ambassador of NA's determination in sustaining the cooperation.


The Russian Ambassador to Nigeria, lauded the contributions of the NA in the stability of the continent and described Nigeria as critical on the African continent in terms of military capability, trade and investment. He indicated interest in supporting the NA through provision of equipment and technical assistance.


Ambassador Alexey also affirmed the significance of the NA Aviation Unit in the enhancement of its operations in the fight against terrorism, insurgency, banditry and other crimes.


ONYEMA NWACHUKWU

Brigadier General

Director Army Public Relations

14 October 2021













The Nigerian army Chief on Thursday confirmed it that the country's military will further explore the cordial and bilateral relations between the Nigeria and Russia for acquisition of more military equipment to enhance its operations across the country.



According to a press release signed by Brigadier General ONYEMA NWACHUKWU who is the Director Army Public Relations confirmed that Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya made the Statement when the Russian Ambassador to Nigeria, Alexey Shebarshin paid him a courtesy call at the Army Headquarters, Abuja.


Nigeria, the most populous Black Nation on earth has been battling the menace of terrorism of Boko Haram, banditry, herdsmen and kidnapping for ransoms in many parts of the country.


The Buhari led regime has been a very soft leadership in favour of the criminals as the government is considered to be protecting the terrorists and their sponsors.


However, the government has maintained a very tougher stances against agitators and peaceful, harmless protesters. Many have been Brutally killed while many are also in detentions. 


The police and the Nigerian army killed peaceful protesters last year as the government initially denied the incidents, especially the lekki toll gate massacre of the protesting youths during the "End SARS protest".


The terrorists which the army claimed to be fighting have overrun military barracks many times without numbers, catching away Military equipments and weapons. 


Terrorists in possession of our military equipment killed, kidnapped and raped more innocent civilians while the military are also illegally deployed to kill citizens at willl. 

Even in the process of fight the so called Boko Haram/ISWA, IDPs have been in many occasions accidentally bombed by the Air Force.


The level of corruption that have been perpetrated and that are still ongoing in the name of prosecuting the endless war knows no bounds. They are the only ones who can actually tell Nigerians.


Country like Russia and others sporting the Nigerian Army under this failed regime must ensure that certain compliance and conditions that guarantee the fundamental rights of the citizens are met.


Read the Full press Statement below:


The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya has stated that Nigerian Army (NA) will further explore the cordial bilateral relations between the NA and Russian government for acquisition of military equipment to enhance its operations across the country.


The COAS stated this today Thursday 14 October 2021, when the Russian Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Alexey Shebarshin paid him a courtesy call at the Army Headquarters, Abuja.


Reminiscing the long existing relationship between the NA and the Russia, the COAS expressed the need to rekindle the relationship for their mutual benefit. He also solicited the support of the Russian government in the provision of sophisticated equipment to shore up NA's combat efficiency in the fight against terrorism, insurgency and other sundry crimes orchestrating insecurity in some parts of the country.


He assured the Ambassador of NA's determination in sustaining the cooperation.


The Russian Ambassador to Nigeria, lauded the contributions of the NA in the stability of the continent and described Nigeria as critical on the African continent in terms of military capability, trade and investment. He indicated interest in supporting the NA through provision of equipment and technical assistance.


Ambassador Alexey also affirmed the significance of the NA Aviation Unit in the enhancement of its operations in the fight against terrorism, insurgency, banditry and other crimes.


ONYEMA NWACHUKWU

Brigadier General

Director Army Public Relations

14 October 2021








#EndBlockadeAgainstCuba: We must not tire, we cannot be defeated says NMSC

#EndBlockadeAgainstCuba: We must not tire, we cannot be defeated says NMSC







PRESENTATION BY THE NIGERIA MOVEMENT TO THE AFRICA 2021 VIRTUAL CONTINENTAL CONFERENCE OF SOLIDARITY WITH CUBA  FACILITATED BY THE CUBAN INSTITUTE OF FRIENDSHIP WITH THE PEOPLES, HAVANA, HOLDING  ON OCTOBER 7, 2021.

We must not tire, we cannot be defeated!

1. Revolutionary greetings to all delegates of the African Solidarity Movements and Friendship Associations with Cuba participating at this special virtual conference facilitated by the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) We note with regret that due to the COVID-19 pandemic which made large physical gatherings unsafe, the 7th African Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba scheduled for Mozambique, could not hold.


2. We salute President Fernando Gonzalez and the entire team of dutiful and committed members of ICAP for their sacrifices and faithfulness to the ideals of the Cuban Revolution in sustaining the commendable tradition of solidarity and friendship with us the African people and our organisations in the defence of humanity.


3. The Nigeria Movement speaks here with painful feelings but fond memories of two unforgettable comrades who departed after our 2019 conference. We lost in May 2020 Comrade AbdulKareem Aka-Motajo – who at his demise was the President of the Nigeria-Cuba Friendship and Cultural Association and a leader of the Nigeria Movement of Solidarity with Cuba. Then in September, 2021 we lost the immediate past Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria – Companero Carlos Trejo Sosa. Both comrade Motajo and Ambassador Trejo were instrumental to the successful hosting of the 6th African Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba which held in Nigeria from September 23 – 25, 2019. In a part of the tribute to Ambassador Trejo by the Nigeria Movement, we had said: Ambassador Trejo meant everything to us in the Nigeria Movement of Solidarity with Cuba. He was the initiator of uniting the various groups in Nigeria with relations or association with Cuba under the banner of a single solidarity movement. He was also central to the inauguration of the Nigeria Movement of Solidarity with Cuba. Companero Trejo was a lively, resourceful, highly knowledgeable, widely experienced and friendly personality with whom we shared pleasantries and confidence! These comrades are unforgettable.


4. We should at this virtual Conference affirm that the relationship between Nigeria and Cuba is symbiotic and deeply rooted in shared historical and cultural heritage. It is not possible to speak of Cuba and the Cuban without reference to the tremendous influences of African, especially, Nigerian cultures. Hence, at these times of the tightening of the criminal US Blockade against Cuba with over 243 punitive economic, financial and commercial measures, targeted at crippling the Cuban people, we the Nigeria Movement cannot be indifferent. We are resolved to stand with Cuba as a DUTY to defend the Cuban people and the unparalleled gains of the Cuban Revolution. We declare to the whole world that Cuba is never, and will never be alone!


5. We acknowledge that despite the hardship that Cuba is facing as a result of the blockade, the sudden outbreak of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 and the ill-fated US plot of insidious protest and campaigns of internal destabilisation aimed at collapsing the Revolution, the Cuban people have remained firm and resolute in the defence of truth, principles and ideals of Humanity! Cuba’s role and the sacrifices of her medical brigades in saving lives in over 57 countries, remains an exemplary and unparalleled achievement, for which the Cuban White Shirts deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.


6. \At this point in addressing solidarity with Cuba and facing the future together in the defence of Humanity, permit me to reiterate the ACTION PLAN FOR THE AFRICAN MOVEMENT OF FRIENDSHIP AND SOLIDARITY WITH CUBA as adopted at the 6th AFRICAN CONTINENTAL MEETING OF SOLIDARITY WITH CUBA.

The plan which as a result of the pandemic has largely not been implemented,   is to:


Promote the legacy of Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro Ruz and the Cuban People in Africa, in the form of conferences, commemorative activities, panels, political events in different countries.


Expand the solidarity movement in Africa to include amongst others, all graduates of Cuba and their families.


Strengthen and increase the relationship between political forces, trade unions, youth organizations, women's organizations and friendship associations with Cuba.


Strengthen the links amongst the solidarity organizations with Cuba in the different countries of the continent by encouraging the exchange of experiences.


Address the people and Congress of the United States with requests to end the illegal and inhuman blockade against Cuba, the Helms Burton Act, the activation of its Title III and the illegal occupation of Guantanamo by the United States.


Perform, on the 17th of each month, actions demanding the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States government, the end of the aggressive escalation and the return of the territory occupied by the illegal Naval Base in Guantanamo. These should include sending letters to the US government, marches in front of US Embassies/ Consulates, among others.


Engage the Parliament in every African country and the African Union to approve Resolutions demanding that America ends its illegal and inhuman blockade against Cuba and its illegal occupation of Guantanamo.


Reinforce actions of solidarity, information dissemination and support for the cause of the Palestine and Saharawi peoples and solidarity with former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and the Bolivarian Revolution.


Promote brigades, caravans, and socio-political groups in all countries through Amistur, on the 60th anniversary of ICAP and the Cuban Revolution.


Build International Volunteer and Solidarity Work Brigades with Cuba.


Develop communication strategies including television, radio, social networks, and other platforms for the dissemination of the Cuban reality.


Intensify the use of social networks as platform to denounce hostile policies against Cuba and in response to disinformation campaigns against the Cuban people.


Support Cuban collaborators, especially doctors, in different countries and popularize the impact of their work in various communities.


Draw up strategies for the creation of solidarity organizations with Cuba in those African countries where they are not yet established.


Prioritize the rejuvenation of the structures that make up the Solidarity Movement with Cuba in a creative and comprehensive way.


CONCLUSION:

The solidarity actions with Cuba, is like a marathon race in which we must not tire so long as imperialism does not tire   or is defeated. As you know, a people united by noble ideas and whose hearts beat in unison for the development of humanity, can never be defeated! There is victory for us!!  Solidarity, forever!!!


Cuba Will Outlive the US Criminal Blockade!

Ever Onward to the Cuban Revolution!

 

Comrade ABIODUN AREMU

For and on behalf of the Nigerian Movement of Solidarity with Cuba


NIGERIA MOVEMENT OF SOLIDARITY WITH CUBA

c/o Pascal Bafyau Labour House, NLC Headquarters, FCT Abuja

E-mail: [email protected]


*Members of the Nigeria
 Movement of Solidarity with
Cuba @ the African Continental
Virtual Conference of Solidarity
with Cuba held yestday
October 7, 2021*












PRESENTATION BY THE NIGERIA MOVEMENT TO THE AFRICA 2021 VIRTUAL CONTINENTAL CONFERENCE OF SOLIDARITY WITH CUBA  FACILITATED BY THE CUBAN INSTITUTE OF FRIENDSHIP WITH THE PEOPLES, HAVANA, HOLDING  ON OCTOBER 7, 2021.

We must not tire, we cannot be defeated!

1. Revolutionary greetings to all delegates of the African Solidarity Movements and Friendship Associations with Cuba participating at this special virtual conference facilitated by the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) We note with regret that due to the COVID-19 pandemic which made large physical gatherings unsafe, the 7th African Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba scheduled for Mozambique, could not hold.


2. We salute President Fernando Gonzalez and the entire team of dutiful and committed members of ICAP for their sacrifices and faithfulness to the ideals of the Cuban Revolution in sustaining the commendable tradition of solidarity and friendship with us the African people and our organisations in the defence of humanity.


3. The Nigeria Movement speaks here with painful feelings but fond memories of two unforgettable comrades who departed after our 2019 conference. We lost in May 2020 Comrade AbdulKareem Aka-Motajo – who at his demise was the President of the Nigeria-Cuba Friendship and Cultural Association and a leader of the Nigeria Movement of Solidarity with Cuba. Then in September, 2021 we lost the immediate past Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria – Companero Carlos Trejo Sosa. Both comrade Motajo and Ambassador Trejo were instrumental to the successful hosting of the 6th African Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba which held in Nigeria from September 23 – 25, 2019. In a part of the tribute to Ambassador Trejo by the Nigeria Movement, we had said: Ambassador Trejo meant everything to us in the Nigeria Movement of Solidarity with Cuba. He was the initiator of uniting the various groups in Nigeria with relations or association with Cuba under the banner of a single solidarity movement. He was also central to the inauguration of the Nigeria Movement of Solidarity with Cuba. Companero Trejo was a lively, resourceful, highly knowledgeable, widely experienced and friendly personality with whom we shared pleasantries and confidence! These comrades are unforgettable.


4. We should at this virtual Conference affirm that the relationship between Nigeria and Cuba is symbiotic and deeply rooted in shared historical and cultural heritage. It is not possible to speak of Cuba and the Cuban without reference to the tremendous influences of African, especially, Nigerian cultures. Hence, at these times of the tightening of the criminal US Blockade against Cuba with over 243 punitive economic, financial and commercial measures, targeted at crippling the Cuban people, we the Nigeria Movement cannot be indifferent. We are resolved to stand with Cuba as a DUTY to defend the Cuban people and the unparalleled gains of the Cuban Revolution. We declare to the whole world that Cuba is never, and will never be alone!


5. We acknowledge that despite the hardship that Cuba is facing as a result of the blockade, the sudden outbreak of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 and the ill-fated US plot of insidious protest and campaigns of internal destabilisation aimed at collapsing the Revolution, the Cuban people have remained firm and resolute in the defence of truth, principles and ideals of Humanity! Cuba’s role and the sacrifices of her medical brigades in saving lives in over 57 countries, remains an exemplary and unparalleled achievement, for which the Cuban White Shirts deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.


6. \At this point in addressing solidarity with Cuba and facing the future together in the defence of Humanity, permit me to reiterate the ACTION PLAN FOR THE AFRICAN MOVEMENT OF FRIENDSHIP AND SOLIDARITY WITH CUBA as adopted at the 6th AFRICAN CONTINENTAL MEETING OF SOLIDARITY WITH CUBA.

The plan which as a result of the pandemic has largely not been implemented,   is to:


Promote the legacy of Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro Ruz and the Cuban People in Africa, in the form of conferences, commemorative activities, panels, political events in different countries.


Expand the solidarity movement in Africa to include amongst others, all graduates of Cuba and their families.


Strengthen and increase the relationship between political forces, trade unions, youth organizations, women's organizations and friendship associations with Cuba.


Strengthen the links amongst the solidarity organizations with Cuba in the different countries of the continent by encouraging the exchange of experiences.


Address the people and Congress of the United States with requests to end the illegal and inhuman blockade against Cuba, the Helms Burton Act, the activation of its Title III and the illegal occupation of Guantanamo by the United States.


Perform, on the 17th of each month, actions demanding the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States government, the end of the aggressive escalation and the return of the territory occupied by the illegal Naval Base in Guantanamo. These should include sending letters to the US government, marches in front of US Embassies/ Consulates, among others.


Engage the Parliament in every African country and the African Union to approve Resolutions demanding that America ends its illegal and inhuman blockade against Cuba and its illegal occupation of Guantanamo.


Reinforce actions of solidarity, information dissemination and support for the cause of the Palestine and Saharawi peoples and solidarity with former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and the Bolivarian Revolution.


Promote brigades, caravans, and socio-political groups in all countries through Amistur, on the 60th anniversary of ICAP and the Cuban Revolution.


Build International Volunteer and Solidarity Work Brigades with Cuba.


Develop communication strategies including television, radio, social networks, and other platforms for the dissemination of the Cuban reality.


Intensify the use of social networks as platform to denounce hostile policies against Cuba and in response to disinformation campaigns against the Cuban people.


Support Cuban collaborators, especially doctors, in different countries and popularize the impact of their work in various communities.


Draw up strategies for the creation of solidarity organizations with Cuba in those African countries where they are not yet established.


Prioritize the rejuvenation of the structures that make up the Solidarity Movement with Cuba in a creative and comprehensive way.


CONCLUSION:

The solidarity actions with Cuba, is like a marathon race in which we must not tire so long as imperialism does not tire   or is defeated. As you know, a people united by noble ideas and whose hearts beat in unison for the development of humanity, can never be defeated! There is victory for us!!  Solidarity, forever!!!


Cuba Will Outlive the US Criminal Blockade!

Ever Onward to the Cuban Revolution!

 

Comrade ABIODUN AREMU

For and on behalf of the Nigerian Movement of Solidarity with Cuba


NIGERIA MOVEMENT OF SOLIDARITY WITH CUBA

c/o Pascal Bafyau Labour House, NLC Headquarters, FCT Abuja

E-mail: [email protected]


*Members of the Nigeria
 Movement of Solidarity with
Cuba @ the African Continental
Virtual Conference of Solidarity
with Cuba held yestday
October 7, 2021*






United States to spend $319 million on new Consulate General in Lagos, Nigeria

United States to spend $319 million on new Consulate General in Lagos, Nigeria






The American government (US Department Of States) has approved a $319 million contract for the building of a new U.S. Consulate General in the Eko Atlantic, developed by South Energyx Nigeria Limited in collaboration with Lagos State government.


According to a report from the US Department of State on Tuesday, the 12.2-acre site for the new Consulate General would be handled by the awardee of the contract, Pernix Federal, LLC of Lombard, Illinois.


The US Department of State’s Capital Security Construction Program, known as the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, which was established in 1999 awarded the contract while the design architect for the project is Ennead Architects of New York. 


The aim of the new Consulate General is to “provide a modern, resilient platform for diplomacy in Nigeria and is expected to be completed in 2027.”


 The report indicated that the Eko Atlantic as “the location will provide the future diplomatic campus and its neighbors with access to sustainable, modern infrastructure, including an 8.5 km seawall designed to protect the city from rising sea levels and coastal erosion.”


Since its establishment, the OBO has completed up to 168 new diplomatic facilities and currently has more than 50 active projects, either in design or under construction worldwide.






The American government (US Department Of States) has approved a $319 million contract for the building of a new U.S. Consulate General in the Eko Atlantic, developed by South Energyx Nigeria Limited in collaboration with Lagos State government.


According to a report from the US Department of State on Tuesday, the 12.2-acre site for the new Consulate General would be handled by the awardee of the contract, Pernix Federal, LLC of Lombard, Illinois.


The US Department of State’s Capital Security Construction Program, known as the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, which was established in 1999 awarded the contract while the design architect for the project is Ennead Architects of New York. 


The aim of the new Consulate General is to “provide a modern, resilient platform for diplomacy in Nigeria and is expected to be completed in 2027.”


 The report indicated that the Eko Atlantic as “the location will provide the future diplomatic campus and its neighbors with access to sustainable, modern infrastructure, including an 8.5 km seawall designed to protect the city from rising sea levels and coastal erosion.”


Since its establishment, the OBO has completed up to 168 new diplomatic facilities and currently has more than 50 active projects, either in design or under construction worldwide.

Incase talks fail, More sanctions are coming against Tehran as Israel, US hold secret meeting over ‘Plan B’ on Iran

Incase talks fail, More sanctions are coming against Tehran as Israel, US hold secret meeting over ‘Plan B’ on Iran


Tel Aviv and Washington have been secretly meeting over a possible imposition of additional sanctions against Tehran.


According to the report by Axios, Israel and the U.S. have held secret discussions in the past week over a “Plan B” in case talks with Iran over its nuclear program fail.


The report indicated that one of these meetings was held between U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan and his Israeli counterpart, Eyal Hulata, via a secure video conference callwhere  the Israeli side noted the importance of developing a “Plan B” regarding the Iranian threat as diplomatic talks with Tehran have reached a stalemate and the regime’s nuclear program only seems to be accelerating.


According to an Israeli official cited by Axois, the U.S. said it was also concerned about Iran and would impose additional sanctions on Tehran if the talks do not resume soon.


 

The U.S. “remains engaged in ongoing consultations with the Israeli government on a range of issues related to the challenge posed by Iran,” a White House spokesperson told Axios.


On Tuesday, Iran signaled that negotiations would resume in the upcoming weeks but did not specify an actual date, Iranian news agency IRNA reported.


Negotiations held in Vienna over Iran’s nuclear agreement were cut short following the election of Ebrahim Raisi as president in mid-June and have not resumed since.


Months later, Western powers have expressed concern that the time for negotiations is running out, as Iran’s nuclear program is expanding beyond the limits set by the original deal.


German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned on Thursday that the West was losing its patience. “The clock is ticking. We’re not going to wait two or three months for the Iranian delegation to come back to the table in Vienna,” he said, according to France24.


Washington indicated on Thursday that it was prepared to be patient, while considering other contingency plans in case Tehran does not cooperate, Reuters reported.


“We’re still interested. We still want to come back to the table,” a senior U.S. State Department official was cited by Reuters as saying. “The window of opportunity is open. It won’t be open forever if Iran takes a different course,” he added.


“The ‘Plan B’ that we’re concerned about is the one that Iran may be contemplating, where they want to continue to build their nuclear program and not be seriously engaged in talks to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”


Tel Aviv and Washington have been secretly meeting over a possible imposition of additional sanctions against Tehran.


According to the report by Axios, Israel and the U.S. have held secret discussions in the past week over a “Plan B” in case talks with Iran over its nuclear program fail.


The report indicated that one of these meetings was held between U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan and his Israeli counterpart, Eyal Hulata, via a secure video conference callwhere  the Israeli side noted the importance of developing a “Plan B” regarding the Iranian threat as diplomatic talks with Tehran have reached a stalemate and the regime’s nuclear program only seems to be accelerating.


According to an Israeli official cited by Axois, the U.S. said it was also concerned about Iran and would impose additional sanctions on Tehran if the talks do not resume soon.


 

The U.S. “remains engaged in ongoing consultations with the Israeli government on a range of issues related to the challenge posed by Iran,” a White House spokesperson told Axios.


On Tuesday, Iran signaled that negotiations would resume in the upcoming weeks but did not specify an actual date, Iranian news agency IRNA reported.


Negotiations held in Vienna over Iran’s nuclear agreement were cut short following the election of Ebrahim Raisi as president in mid-June and have not resumed since.


Months later, Western powers have expressed concern that the time for negotiations is running out, as Iran’s nuclear program is expanding beyond the limits set by the original deal.


German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned on Thursday that the West was losing its patience. “The clock is ticking. We’re not going to wait two or three months for the Iranian delegation to come back to the table in Vienna,” he said, according to France24.


Washington indicated on Thursday that it was prepared to be patient, while considering other contingency plans in case Tehran does not cooperate, Reuters reported.


“We’re still interested. We still want to come back to the table,” a senior U.S. State Department official was cited by Reuters as saying. “The window of opportunity is open. It won’t be open forever if Iran takes a different course,” he added.


“The ‘Plan B’ that we’re concerned about is the one that Iran may be contemplating, where they want to continue to build their nuclear program and not be seriously engaged in talks to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”

US House passes bill allocating $1 BILLION to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome system after its battering during recent Gaza conflict

US House passes bill allocating $1 BILLION to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome system after its battering during recent Gaza conflict







The US House of Representatives has passed legislation allocating around $1 billion to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome air-defense system. The massive funding package received overwhelming bipartisan support.

The bill was passed by 420 votes to 9 on Thursday, a day after the legislation was introduced. The measure needed a minimum of 260 votes to become law.

The $1 billion in funding to replenish the reserves of the defense system was initially incorporated into a must-pass bill that the House considered earlier this week. That legislation – on government funding and the suspension of the debt limit – was threatened by a group of progressives who vowed to sink it over the Israeli funding.

The bill’s opponents reiterated their arguments during debates on Thursday, with Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) giving a fiery speech on the House floor.

“I will not support an effort to enable war crimes and human rights abuses and violence. We cannot be talking only about Israelis need for safety at a time when Palestinians are living under a violent apartheid system, and are dying from what Human Rights Watch has said are war crimes,” Tlaib told fellow lawmakers.

The speech immediately drew objections from Tlaib’s opponents, who accused the Democrat of “anti-Semitism” and alleged she was seeking to destroy Israel altogether.

“To advocate for the dismantling of the one Jewish state in the world, when there’s no place on the map for one Jewish state, that’s anti-Semitism and I reject that,” Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) said.

The funding’s approval was welcomed by Israel, with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett expressing his gratitude to US lawmakers.

“Thanks to all members of the US House of Representatives, Democratic and Republican alike, for their sweeping support for Israel and the commitment to its security. Those who try to challenge this support got a resounding response today,” Bennett said in a statement.

Israel’s Iron Dome, which is designed to intercept rockets and other projectiles, was depleted during the conflict with Palestinian militants in May. According to Israel’s tally, some 4,350 rockets were fired from Gaza during the escalation, with the vast majority being intercepted by the mobile all-weather air defense system.

Source: RT






The US House of Representatives has passed legislation allocating around $1 billion to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome air-defense system. The massive funding package received overwhelming bipartisan support.

The bill was passed by 420 votes to 9 on Thursday, a day after the legislation was introduced. The measure needed a minimum of 260 votes to become law.

The $1 billion in funding to replenish the reserves of the defense system was initially incorporated into a must-pass bill that the House considered earlier this week. That legislation – on government funding and the suspension of the debt limit – was threatened by a group of progressives who vowed to sink it over the Israeli funding.

The bill’s opponents reiterated their arguments during debates on Thursday, with Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) giving a fiery speech on the House floor.

“I will not support an effort to enable war crimes and human rights abuses and violence. We cannot be talking only about Israelis need for safety at a time when Palestinians are living under a violent apartheid system, and are dying from what Human Rights Watch has said are war crimes,” Tlaib told fellow lawmakers.

The speech immediately drew objections from Tlaib’s opponents, who accused the Democrat of “anti-Semitism” and alleged she was seeking to destroy Israel altogether.

“To advocate for the dismantling of the one Jewish state in the world, when there’s no place on the map for one Jewish state, that’s anti-Semitism and I reject that,” Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) said.

The funding’s approval was welcomed by Israel, with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett expressing his gratitude to US lawmakers.

“Thanks to all members of the US House of Representatives, Democratic and Republican alike, for their sweeping support for Israel and the commitment to its security. Those who try to challenge this support got a resounding response today,” Bennett said in a statement.

Israel’s Iron Dome, which is designed to intercept rockets and other projectiles, was depleted during the conflict with Palestinian militants in May. According to Israel’s tally, some 4,350 rockets were fired from Gaza during the escalation, with the vast majority being intercepted by the mobile all-weather air defense system.

Source: RT

Erdogan says US-Turkey relations ‘not healthy’ and failed to ‘start well with Biden'

Erdogan says US-Turkey relations ‘not healthy’ and failed to ‘start well with Biden'






Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Ankara’s ties with Washington remain “not healthy.”

US continues to act towards Turkey in a manner that’s not “honest,” Erdogan has said, urging the US to “sort out” the non-delivery of F-35 jets.

He said America did not act honestly, and it [still] isn’t acting so. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday, Turkey’s president touched on the frosty relations between his government and the US, signaling it was up to the latter to fix the situation.

The ongoing F-35 debacle remains the main problem in bilateral ties, according to Erdogan, with Turkey kicked out of the 5th-gen fighter program by Washington after Ankara opted to purchase Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft systems. For Turkey, “the S-400 business is over,” and it’s not possible to somehow revert the purchase.

“We bought F-35s, we paid $1.4 billion, and these F-35s were not given to us. The United States needs to first sort this out,” the president said.

I cannot say that a healthy process is running in Turkish-American ties.

The change of US administration, with President Joe Biden taking over early this year, has apparently done little to warm up Turkish-US relations.

“I can’t say we started well with Mr. Biden,” Erdogan said. “We, Turkey, act honestly. Our stance is honest, but unfortunately America did not act honestly, and it [still] isn’t acting so.”

I worked well with George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, but I cannot say we started well with Joe Biden,"  Erdo─čan said, expressing discontent with the incumbent United States President.

"After 19 years in office, I can’t say that we have reached a good position with the U.S.," he added.

"The U.S. must understand that Turkey won’t step back from the S-400 deal," Erdo─čan further said, referring to the Russian missile defense system that led to a row between Turkey and the U.S.

Answering a question about Turkey’s stance on the latest developments in Afghanistan, Erdo─čan also pointed out the U.S.’s failure and indifference to the situation.

He underlined that the U.S. made their decision without input from Turkey, and thus could not expect Turkey to pay the price for the country’s irresponsible behavior.

Erdo─čan said: "It is unthinkable for Turkey to open doors and accept them (Afghan migrants). Our country is not an open-air corridor. It is not easy to accept such a thing. This action has a price and cost."

"The United States cannot say, 'Open the doors and let the Afghan people enter Turkey.' It is the U.S. that has to pay the price here. The U.S. needs to take steps in this regard," he added.

"Biden is transporting weapons to YPG terrorists operating in Syria," he also added, referring to the U.S. support to the PKK-linked terrorist group.


Turkey and Russia signed the S-400 contract back in late 2017, following years of Ankara’s failed attempts to procure modern anti-aircraft systems from its NATO allies. The $2.5-billion deal encompassed delivery of four full S-400 batteries, including various vehicles and launchers, and a cache of missiles. The deliveries began back in 2019 and have already been completed.

Ankara’s move invoked a furious reaction in Washington, with senior US officials repeatedly trying to press Turkey into abandoning the deal. Ankara has not bowed to the pressure, however, and has ended up being kicked out of the F-35 program, while the country’s defense sector has been targeted by US sanctions.

Moscow and Ankara have been in talks over procuring a second batch of the S-400 system. Back in August, Erdogan said his nation had “no hesitations” about the purchase, while Russia’s state-owned arms company Rosoboronexport indicated that the new contract would likely be signed by the end of this year.






Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Ankara’s ties with Washington remain “not healthy.”

US continues to act towards Turkey in a manner that’s not “honest,” Erdogan has said, urging the US to “sort out” the non-delivery of F-35 jets.

He said America did not act honestly, and it [still] isn’t acting so. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday, Turkey’s president touched on the frosty relations between his government and the US, signaling it was up to the latter to fix the situation.

The ongoing F-35 debacle remains the main problem in bilateral ties, according to Erdogan, with Turkey kicked out of the 5th-gen fighter program by Washington after Ankara opted to purchase Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft systems. For Turkey, “the S-400 business is over,” and it’s not possible to somehow revert the purchase.

“We bought F-35s, we paid $1.4 billion, and these F-35s were not given to us. The United States needs to first sort this out,” the president said.

I cannot say that a healthy process is running in Turkish-American ties.

The change of US administration, with President Joe Biden taking over early this year, has apparently done little to warm up Turkish-US relations.

“I can’t say we started well with Mr. Biden,” Erdogan said. “We, Turkey, act honestly. Our stance is honest, but unfortunately America did not act honestly, and it [still] isn’t acting so.”

I worked well with George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, but I cannot say we started well with Joe Biden,"  Erdo─čan said, expressing discontent with the incumbent United States President.

"After 19 years in office, I can’t say that we have reached a good position with the U.S.," he added.

"The U.S. must understand that Turkey won’t step back from the S-400 deal," Erdo─čan further said, referring to the Russian missile defense system that led to a row between Turkey and the U.S.

Answering a question about Turkey’s stance on the latest developments in Afghanistan, Erdo─čan also pointed out the U.S.’s failure and indifference to the situation.

He underlined that the U.S. made their decision without input from Turkey, and thus could not expect Turkey to pay the price for the country’s irresponsible behavior.

Erdo─čan said: "It is unthinkable for Turkey to open doors and accept them (Afghan migrants). Our country is not an open-air corridor. It is not easy to accept such a thing. This action has a price and cost."

"The United States cannot say, 'Open the doors and let the Afghan people enter Turkey.' It is the U.S. that has to pay the price here. The U.S. needs to take steps in this regard," he added.

"Biden is transporting weapons to YPG terrorists operating in Syria," he also added, referring to the U.S. support to the PKK-linked terrorist group.


Turkey and Russia signed the S-400 contract back in late 2017, following years of Ankara’s failed attempts to procure modern anti-aircraft systems from its NATO allies. The $2.5-billion deal encompassed delivery of four full S-400 batteries, including various vehicles and launchers, and a cache of missiles. The deliveries began back in 2019 and have already been completed.

Ankara’s move invoked a furious reaction in Washington, with senior US officials repeatedly trying to press Turkey into abandoning the deal. Ankara has not bowed to the pressure, however, and has ended up being kicked out of the F-35 program, while the country’s defense sector has been targeted by US sanctions.

Moscow and Ankara have been in talks over procuring a second batch of the S-400 system. Back in August, Erdogan said his nation had “no hesitations” about the purchase, while Russia’s state-owned arms company Rosoboronexport indicated that the new contract would likely be signed by the end of this year.

NIGERIAN ARMY EXPLORES MUTUAL COLLABORATION WITH INDIAN MILITARY

NIGERIAN ARMY EXPLORES MUTUAL COLLABORATION WITH INDIAN MILITARY


The Nigerian Army (NA) has expressed its readiness for effective collaboration with her Indian counterpart on capacity development. The bilateral collaboration would be in the areas of military training, health, technology among others. The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya made this known when he received in audience, a delegation from Defence Scoping of India at Army Headquarters, today Thursday 16, 2021.


Lieutenant General Yahaya noted that India has enormous potentials that the NA could explore in support of its training and operations. He further stated that Nigeria and India have historical ties that are mutually beneficial. While commending the delegation for the visit, he reiterated

that the collaboration would facilitate information sharing and exchange of experiences in military development.


He noted that the NA could further develop the capacity of its medical personnel and enhance technological capacity in aid of military operations.







The leader of the delegation, Lieutenant General Vinod Khandare (rtd), who is the Military Adviser to National Council of India, stated that he was at Army Headquarters to explore frontiers for effective collaboration between both countries. He assured the COAS of India's desire to continually assist and cooperate with the NA in the areas of training, human capacity development and other viable areas.


The Military Adviser to National Council of India, said the visit would equally enhance the historical ties between the two countries. He added that the envisaged areas of training would sharpen the skills of NA personnel.


Lt Gen Khandare assured that the Government of India will continue to support the NA in providing the necessary skills that would enhance troops' capacity in ongoing military operations.


ONYEMA NWACHUKWU

Brigadier General

Director Army Public Relations

16 September 2021


The Nigerian Army (NA) has expressed its readiness for effective collaboration with her Indian counterpart on capacity development. The bilateral collaboration would be in the areas of military training, health, technology among others. The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya made this known when he received in audience, a delegation from Defence Scoping of India at Army Headquarters, today Thursday 16, 2021.


Lieutenant General Yahaya noted that India has enormous potentials that the NA could explore in support of its training and operations. He further stated that Nigeria and India have historical ties that are mutually beneficial. While commending the delegation for the visit, he reiterated

that the collaboration would facilitate information sharing and exchange of experiences in military development.


He noted that the NA could further develop the capacity of its medical personnel and enhance technological capacity in aid of military operations.







The leader of the delegation, Lieutenant General Vinod Khandare (rtd), who is the Military Adviser to National Council of India, stated that he was at Army Headquarters to explore frontiers for effective collaboration between both countries. He assured the COAS of India's desire to continually assist and cooperate with the NA in the areas of training, human capacity development and other viable areas.


The Military Adviser to National Council of India, said the visit would equally enhance the historical ties between the two countries. He added that the envisaged areas of training would sharpen the skills of NA personnel.


Lt Gen Khandare assured that the Government of India will continue to support the NA in providing the necessary skills that would enhance troops' capacity in ongoing military operations.


ONYEMA NWACHUKWU

Brigadier General

Director Army Public Relations

16 September 2021

In UK, Bawa Calls on World Leaders to Rise to the Challenge of Fighting Corruption

In UK, Bawa Calls on World Leaders to Rise to the Challenge of Fighting Corruption













The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, has called on leaders across the world to rise to the challenge of fighting corruption to enhance global economic development and security.

He made the appeal on Friday September 10, 2021, while presenting a paper entitled, “Combating of Crime, Corruption and implication for Development and Security”, at the 38th Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime, organized by the Center for International Documentation on Organized and Economic Crime (CIDOEC), Jesus College, University of Cambridge,, United Kingdom.

According to the EFCC boss who was represented by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Sambo Mayana, economic and financial crimes including corruption, which manifest in various forms in different nations, are at the core of global development and security challenges. Citing a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD, he noted that, “Resources that could support a country’s development are lost through criminal acts like corruption, tax evasion, money laundering, and others.

“The “spoiler” effects on countries’ development processes are diverse, and particularly severe for fragile states: economic crime, including illicit financial flows, diverts much needed resources needed to rebuild countries’ public services, from security and justice to basic social services such as health and education”.

The EFCC chair said the absence of substantial improving in the living condition of the people in Africa and the rest of the developing countries, in spite of their natural resources endowment, can be blamed on pervasive economic crimes taking place in these countries.

“The incidence of illegal mining, smuggling of goods, tax evasion, illegal oil bunkering, illegal arms deals just to mention but a few does not allow the government to receive the full accruals from the continent’s vast resources that are needed for development. The revenue generated are embezzled by government officials and their collaborators in the private sector. This does not allow for economic growth and by extension a hindrance to development”, he said.

Speaking on the Nigerian experience, Bawa disclosed that over N 6 Trillion has been expended so far on the war against terrorism in Nigeria since 2008 while about N5.4 Trillion was lost to tax evasion by multi-nationals corporations operating in the country from 2011 – 2021. This is aside the theft of resources in the nation’s oil and gas sector.

The EFCC chair however noted that all hope was not lost as the country, under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, has demonstrated commitment and political will in dealing with the issue of economic crimes through a number of legislative and institutional reforms.

At the level of the EFCC as the central agency coordinating the fight against economic crime in Nigeria, Bawa said the agency has been up front.in tackling the malaise with tremendous successes. According to him, records show that as at August 2021, the EFCC has well over 3408 convictions

“From the time I took over as the Executive Chairman, on the 5th of March 2021, we have recovered over N6 billion, over $161 million, over £13,000, €1,730, 200 Canadian dollars, CFA 373,000, ¥8,430 and 30 Real Estates. We have arrested over 1500 internet fraudsters, many of whom are being prosecuted,” he added.


Source: EFCC












The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, has called on leaders across the world to rise to the challenge of fighting corruption to enhance global economic development and security.

He made the appeal on Friday September 10, 2021, while presenting a paper entitled, “Combating of Crime, Corruption and implication for Development and Security”, at the 38th Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime, organized by the Center for International Documentation on Organized and Economic Crime (CIDOEC), Jesus College, University of Cambridge,, United Kingdom.

According to the EFCC boss who was represented by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Sambo Mayana, economic and financial crimes including corruption, which manifest in various forms in different nations, are at the core of global development and security challenges. Citing a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD, he noted that, “Resources that could support a country’s development are lost through criminal acts like corruption, tax evasion, money laundering, and others.

“The “spoiler” effects on countries’ development processes are diverse, and particularly severe for fragile states: economic crime, including illicit financial flows, diverts much needed resources needed to rebuild countries’ public services, from security and justice to basic social services such as health and education”.

The EFCC chair said the absence of substantial improving in the living condition of the people in Africa and the rest of the developing countries, in spite of their natural resources endowment, can be blamed on pervasive economic crimes taking place in these countries.

“The incidence of illegal mining, smuggling of goods, tax evasion, illegal oil bunkering, illegal arms deals just to mention but a few does not allow the government to receive the full accruals from the continent’s vast resources that are needed for development. The revenue generated are embezzled by government officials and their collaborators in the private sector. This does not allow for economic growth and by extension a hindrance to development”, he said.

Speaking on the Nigerian experience, Bawa disclosed that over N 6 Trillion has been expended so far on the war against terrorism in Nigeria since 2008 while about N5.4 Trillion was lost to tax evasion by multi-nationals corporations operating in the country from 2011 – 2021. This is aside the theft of resources in the nation’s oil and gas sector.

The EFCC chair however noted that all hope was not lost as the country, under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, has demonstrated commitment and political will in dealing with the issue of economic crimes through a number of legislative and institutional reforms.

At the level of the EFCC as the central agency coordinating the fight against economic crime in Nigeria, Bawa said the agency has been up front.in tackling the malaise with tremendous successes. According to him, records show that as at August 2021, the EFCC has well over 3408 convictions

“From the time I took over as the Executive Chairman, on the 5th of March 2021, we have recovered over N6 billion, over $161 million, over £13,000, €1,730, 200 Canadian dollars, CFA 373,000, ¥8,430 and 30 Real Estates. We have arrested over 1500 internet fraudsters, many of whom are being prosecuted,” he added.


Source: EFCC

ACIS-M: THE BATTLE OF IDEAS IS ON & THE US CRIMINAL BLOCKADE AGAINST CUBA WILL FALL! (VIDEO)

ACIS-M: THE BATTLE OF IDEAS IS ON & THE US CRIMINAL BLOCKADE AGAINST CUBA WILL FALL! (VIDEO)


Cuban ambassador to Nigeria denounces the impact of the US blockade





Cuban ambassador to Nigeria denounces the impact of the US blockade




Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez hallows EU to temporarily host some evacuated Afghan nationals in Spain

Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez hallows EU to temporarily host some evacuated Afghan nationals in Spain


Spanish Prime Minister Pedro S├ínchez has expressed his government’s intention to temporarily host evacuated Afghan nationals who have worked for the European Union.

“Spain offers the high representative of the EU Josep Borrell to temporarily host Afghans who have worked for the European Union, before they are distributed among the member states,” S├ínchez tweeted Tuesday.

The Prime Minister’s remarks come after a virtual meeting of EU foreign ministers to discuss the current situation in Afghanistan.

In an earlier statement, EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said Member States would make “every possible effort” to ensure the security of all Afghan nationals who have worked with the EU, including offering them shelter within Europe.


Spanish Prime Minister Pedro S├ínchez has expressed his government’s intention to temporarily host evacuated Afghan nationals who have worked for the European Union.

“Spain offers the high representative of the EU Josep Borrell to temporarily host Afghans who have worked for the European Union, before they are distributed among the member states,” S├ínchez tweeted Tuesday.

The Prime Minister’s remarks come after a virtual meeting of EU foreign ministers to discuss the current situation in Afghanistan.

In an earlier statement, EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said Member States would make “every possible effort” to ensure the security of all Afghan nationals who have worked with the EU, including offering them shelter within Europe.

Top US general met with Taliban senior leaders in Doha Sunday ahead of Kabul airport visit today

Top US general met with Taliban senior leaders in Doha Sunday ahead of Kabul airport visit today


According to CNN reports Tuesday, citing a release from US Central Comman, Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of US Central Command, visited Hamid Karzai International Airport.

According to the release: Ahead of his visit today, the US general met with Taliban senior leaders in Doha Sunday and cautioned the leaders “against interference in our evacuation, and made it clear to them that any attack would be met with overwhelming force in the defense of our forces."

McKenzie engaged with “US military leaders on the ground” at HKIA today, the release said. “I saw firsthand our defensive lay down and the work our forces are doing to efficiently operate the airfield while ensuring the safe movement of civilians and diplomats who are leaving Kabul,” McKenzie said in the release.

McKenzie said US military air traffic controllers and “ground handlers are rapidly scaling up operations to ensure the smooth flow of military reinforcements to the airport and the evacuation of US and partner civilians in coordination” with the State Department, the release said.

The airfield is currently secure and “open to civilian air traffic,” the release said.

US Central Command oversees US military operations in the Middle East.

Source: CNN

According to CNN reports Tuesday, citing a release from US Central Comman, Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of US Central Command, visited Hamid Karzai International Airport.

According to the release: Ahead of his visit today, the US general met with Taliban senior leaders in Doha Sunday and cautioned the leaders “against interference in our evacuation, and made it clear to them that any attack would be met with overwhelming force in the defense of our forces."

McKenzie engaged with “US military leaders on the ground” at HKIA today, the release said. “I saw firsthand our defensive lay down and the work our forces are doing to efficiently operate the airfield while ensuring the safe movement of civilians and diplomats who are leaving Kabul,” McKenzie said in the release.

McKenzie said US military air traffic controllers and “ground handlers are rapidly scaling up operations to ensure the smooth flow of military reinforcements to the airport and the evacuation of US and partner civilians in coordination” with the State Department, the release said.

The airfield is currently secure and “open to civilian air traffic,” the release said.

US Central Command oversees US military operations in the Middle East.

Source: CNN

UK Prime Minister: "It's clear" there will be a new government in Kabul "very shortly'

UK Prime Minister: "It's clear" there will be a new government in Kabul "very shortly'


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says it is clear there will be a new government in place in Afghanistan "very shortly."

“It’s clear there is going to be very shortly a new government in Kabul, or a new political dispensation, however you want to put it,” he said in an interview on Sunday.

Johnson went on to call on the UK’s allies in the West to “work together” to make sure Afghanistan does not become the breeding ground for terrorism that it once was.


“I think it’s very important that the west, collectively, should work together to get over to that new government, be it by the Taliban or anybody else, that nobody wants Afghanistan once again to be a breeding ground for terror,” he said. “We don’t think that it’s in the interests of the people of Afghanistan that it should lapse back into that.”

“We don’t want anybody bilaterally recognizing the Taliban, we want a united position amongst all the like-minded, as far as we can get one,” he added.

Johnson described the situation in Afghanistan as “extremely difficult” and worsening, adding that, in his view, the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan was expected.

“I think it’s fair to say the US decision to pull out has accelerated things,” he explained. “We’ve known for a long time this was the way things were going.”

The British prime minister added that his government’s priority was first and foremost to UK citizens and Afghan support staff that helped the UK over the past two decades.

“Our priority is to make sure we deliver on obligations to UK nationals in Afghanistan, to all those who have helped the British effort in Afghanistan over 20 years and to get them out as fast as we can,” he said, adding that the UK ambassador was working around the clock.

“Two thousand have left, we’re going to get as many as we can in the next few days,” he concluded.




From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says it is clear there will be a new government in place in Afghanistan "very shortly."

“It’s clear there is going to be very shortly a new government in Kabul, or a new political dispensation, however you want to put it,” he said in an interview on Sunday.

Johnson went on to call on the UK’s allies in the West to “work together” to make sure Afghanistan does not become the breeding ground for terrorism that it once was.


“I think it’s very important that the west, collectively, should work together to get over to that new government, be it by the Taliban or anybody else, that nobody wants Afghanistan once again to be a breeding ground for terror,” he said. “We don’t think that it’s in the interests of the people of Afghanistan that it should lapse back into that.”

“We don’t want anybody bilaterally recognizing the Taliban, we want a united position amongst all the like-minded, as far as we can get one,” he added.

Johnson described the situation in Afghanistan as “extremely difficult” and worsening, adding that, in his view, the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan was expected.

“I think it’s fair to say the US decision to pull out has accelerated things,” he explained. “We’ve known for a long time this was the way things were going.”

The British prime minister added that his government’s priority was first and foremost to UK citizens and Afghan support staff that helped the UK over the past two decades.

“Our priority is to make sure we deliver on obligations to UK nationals in Afghanistan, to all those who have helped the British effort in Afghanistan over 20 years and to get them out as fast as we can,” he said, adding that the UK ambassador was working around the clock.

“Two thousand have left, we’re going to get as many as we can in the next few days,” he concluded.




From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio

"U.S. Prepares Airlift as Cities Fall to Taliban With Stunning Speed, UN calls on Talibans to Halt the offensive

"U.S. Prepares Airlift as Cities Fall to Taliban With Stunning Speed, UN calls on Talibans to Halt the offensive


The Taliban forces continued to rout Afghan forces, amid calls for President Ashraf Ghani to step down, and Joe Biden administration has dispatched more than 3,000 troops to help evacuate American and Afghan civilians.

The Taliban seek to isolate Kabul, the Pentagon says as four more major cities are under Taliban control and the government’s forces near collapse."

The Taliban has made rapid gains and now controls half of Afghanistan's provincial capitals, leaving the capital city of Kabul increasingly isolated.
Four more cities fell to the Taliban overnight including the country's second-biggest city, Kandahar, which is of particular strategic importance and was formerly a major hub for US military operations.



According the CNN, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby was directly asked if the war in Afghanistan could conclude with a Taliban takeover done with US-made weapons:


"What's it going to say for a 20-year war in Afghanistan if it ends with the Taliban rolling into Kabul in US-made MRAPs and Humvees and carrying weapons that our allies turned over to them?" a reporter asked him during a press briefing on the security situation in Afghanistan.


"I can't see the future," Kirby said. "And what I can tell you is our troops who deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11 did what they were sent there to do, which is to prevent Afghanistan from being a safe haven for terrorist attacks upon the homeland and to severely degrade the capabilities of groups like al Qaeda."

"In the process of that effort, a lot of progress was made in Afghanistan, progress which we obviously don't want to see put at greater risk. Going forward, we're going to do a couple of things: We're going to make sure that a terrorist threat can't emanate from Afghanistan again by maintaining robust over the horizon counterterrorism capabilities in the region. And we're going to continue to support our Afghan partners, bilaterally, through maintenance support, through financial support, and we're going to continue to want to see a stable, secure Afghanistan. The other thing I would say is that we want to continue to see that there's a negotiated political settlement here for governance going forward, so that's what our focus is on right now," Kirby continued.


He was then asked if the Taliban is actually interested in any sort of negotiations.


"I think that's a question for Taliban leaders to speak to. They have a team in Doha. They have participated in the past in negotiations. Now, whether they're still interested in that or not, I think it's for them to speak to. We are still interested in seeing that outcome, and so should the rest of the international community," Kirby said.


United Nations Secretary-General Ant├│nio Guterres has called on the Taliban to halt their offensive in Afghanistan.

“I call on the Taliban to immediately halt the offensive, negotiate in good faith in the interest of Afghanistan and its people," he told reporters Friday.

"I hope that discussions in Doha, Qatar between representatives of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Taliban — supported by the region and the wider international community — will restore the pathway to a negotiated settlement to the conflict. Only an Afghan-led negotiated political settlement can ensure peace,” he added.


At least 241,000 people have been forced to leave their homes due to the Afghan conflict, and in the last month alone, more than 1,000 people have “been killed or injured from indiscriminate attacks against civilians, notably in Helmand, Kandahar and Herat provinces,” he said.

The Taliban forces continued to rout Afghan forces, amid calls for President Ashraf Ghani to step down, and Joe Biden administration has dispatched more than 3,000 troops to help evacuate American and Afghan civilians.

The Taliban seek to isolate Kabul, the Pentagon says as four more major cities are under Taliban control and the government’s forces near collapse."

The Taliban has made rapid gains and now controls half of Afghanistan's provincial capitals, leaving the capital city of Kabul increasingly isolated.
Four more cities fell to the Taliban overnight including the country's second-biggest city, Kandahar, which is of particular strategic importance and was formerly a major hub for US military operations.



According the CNN, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby was directly asked if the war in Afghanistan could conclude with a Taliban takeover done with US-made weapons:


"What's it going to say for a 20-year war in Afghanistan if it ends with the Taliban rolling into Kabul in US-made MRAPs and Humvees and carrying weapons that our allies turned over to them?" a reporter asked him during a press briefing on the security situation in Afghanistan.


"I can't see the future," Kirby said. "And what I can tell you is our troops who deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11 did what they were sent there to do, which is to prevent Afghanistan from being a safe haven for terrorist attacks upon the homeland and to severely degrade the capabilities of groups like al Qaeda."

"In the process of that effort, a lot of progress was made in Afghanistan, progress which we obviously don't want to see put at greater risk. Going forward, we're going to do a couple of things: We're going to make sure that a terrorist threat can't emanate from Afghanistan again by maintaining robust over the horizon counterterrorism capabilities in the region. And we're going to continue to support our Afghan partners, bilaterally, through maintenance support, through financial support, and we're going to continue to want to see a stable, secure Afghanistan. The other thing I would say is that we want to continue to see that there's a negotiated political settlement here for governance going forward, so that's what our focus is on right now," Kirby continued.


He was then asked if the Taliban is actually interested in any sort of negotiations.


"I think that's a question for Taliban leaders to speak to. They have a team in Doha. They have participated in the past in negotiations. Now, whether they're still interested in that or not, I think it's for them to speak to. We are still interested in seeing that outcome, and so should the rest of the international community," Kirby said.


United Nations Secretary-General Ant├│nio Guterres has called on the Taliban to halt their offensive in Afghanistan.

“I call on the Taliban to immediately halt the offensive, negotiate in good faith in the interest of Afghanistan and its people," he told reporters Friday.

"I hope that discussions in Doha, Qatar between representatives of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Taliban — supported by the region and the wider international community — will restore the pathway to a negotiated settlement to the conflict. Only an Afghan-led negotiated political settlement can ensure peace,” he added.


At least 241,000 people have been forced to leave their homes due to the Afghan conflict, and in the last month alone, more than 1,000 people have “been killed or injured from indiscriminate attacks against civilians, notably in Helmand, Kandahar and Herat provinces,” he said.

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