Friday, December 30, 2022

The correspondent of the Danish public service station, Mathilde Kimer, reveals that the Ukrainian intelligence services asked her to carry out propaganda work for Ukraine, in order to prove that she is not pro-Russian

    Friday, December 30, 2022   No comments

Denmark's leading historian of the war in Ukraine, Matilde Kimer, revealed last week that "the Ukrainian secret service has revoked her permission to work in Ukraine and will not return it, unless she agrees to let the spy agency direct its reporting."

“The proposal was made to her by an officer of the Ukrainian Security Service, the intelligence agency known as the SBU, during a meeting this month in Kyiv, which was also attended by two diplomats from the embassy,” Kimer, the award-winning Moscow correspondent, told Danish public service broadcaster DR. Danish".

Kimer added that Cavalli had told her, by phone from Copenhagen, that "a lot of multiple accusations had been made against her, and there was a lot of talk about random photos from her Facebook profile, primarily the photos taken in Donetsk in 2017."

According to Kimer's Facebook account, "an intelligence officer named Oleg told her that the photos she posted on the social network from the Victory Day parade on May 9 in Donetsk were suspicious, because they showed decorated people and vehicles, which the Ukrainians are preparing." Illegal Soviet propaganda.


Kimer said that when she asked the Danish diplomats how to convince the Ukrainian intelligence service that she was not working on Russian propaganda, the Ukrainian official suggested that Kimer agree to produce a series of "good stories" about the war, based entirely on the video and photos he provides her. State Security Apparatus, and published it on its Facebook page, in order to prove that it was not pro-Russian.



Wednesday, December 28, 2022

The first meeting between the defense ministers of Turkey and Syria in Moscow

    Wednesday, December 28, 2022   No comments

  A statement by the Turkish Ministry of Defense confirmed that the meeting of the defense ministers of Russia, Turkey and Syria and the heads of the Syrian and Turkish intelligence services in Moscow took place in a constructive atmosphere.

The statement said that the Turkish Minister of Defense, Hulusi Akar, and the head of Turkish intelligence, Hakan Fidan, held a meeting with the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, Sergei Shoigu, the Syrian Minister of Defense, Ali Mahmoud Abbas, and the heads of Turkish and Syrian intelligence, in Moscow.

Syria confirms the meeting, too. The Syrian Ministry of Defense said in a statement: “Today, a meeting took place between the Minister of Defense and the Director of the Syrian General Intelligence Department with their counterparts, the Minister of Defense and the head of the Turkish Intelligence Service, in the Russian capital, Moscow, with the participation of the Russian party. The two sides discussed many files, and the meeting was positive.”

The meeting discussed the Syrian crisis, the refugee problem, and "joint efforts" to combat all terrorist organizations in Syria.


As a result of the meeting, which "was held in a constructive atmosphere," the Turkish Ministry of Defense statement said, "it was agreed to continue the tripartite meetings, to ensure and maintain stability in Syria and the region as a whole."

And the Russian Ministry of Defense announced this evening, Wednesday, that the defense ministers of the Russian Federation, Syria and Turkey held tripartite talks in Moscow, which dealt with ways to solve the Syrian crisis and the refugee problem, and joint efforts to combat extremist groups in Syria, and they also discussed the continuation of stability in Syria and the region.


The Russian Defense Ministry said that the parties participating in the meeting confirmed "the constructive nature of the dialogue.


The Russian Ministry of Defense said in a statement: “The defense ministers of Russia, Turkey and Syria held a tripartite session of talks in the Russian capital, Moscow, today, Wednesday, to discuss ways to solve the Syrian crisis, and the need to continue dialogue to achieve stability in Syria.”


She added, "They discussed ways to solve the Syrian crisis, the refugee problem, and joint efforts to combat armed groups in Syria."


And the Russian Ministry of Defense continued: “After the meeting, the parties noted the constructive nature of the dialogue that took place in this way and the need for its continuation in order to increase the stability of the situation in Syria and the region.”

Russia offered mediation


It is noteworthy that the Turkish presidency announced, earlier, that Moscow had offered to mediate in order to hold a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Moscow announced that it was "ready to hold a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad."

It is noteworthy that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed on December 15 that he "wants to meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad," noting that "Russian President Vladimir Putin's view is positive on the matter."

This came after the leader of the Justice and Development Party, Orhan Miri Oglu, revealed earlier this month, "Damascus rejected Ankara's request to arrange a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad."

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Saudi Salafi Religious Leaders rebuke Taliban over Women Education Ban

    Saturday, December 24, 2022   No comments

 The largest Saudi religious body calls on the Taliban to reverse the ban on girls from university education and affirms that “preventing women from education is not permissible in Islamic law.” The Afghan government orders civil organizations not to allow women to come to work


Today, Saturday, the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars called on the Afghan government to enable Afghan women the right to education in educational institutions, and to reverse its decision to prevent women from doing so, noting that preventing women from education is not permissible in Islamic law.

And the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars stated in a statement today, Saturday, that “Islam, with its tight legislation and its complete constitution, preserves every human being, male and female, his rights,” and lists his duties, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The commission, which is the largest religious body in the Kingdom, affirmed that “Islam, with its rulings and legislation, preserves the legal rights of women completely and undiminished, so women enjoyed, under this true religion, their rights that preserve their humanity and preserve their dignity. diverse science, and participated in the Muslim community throughout history in its renaissance, leadership and prosperity.

The Council of Senior Scholars noted, “At the forefront of the rights that Islam has preserved for women is the right to education, as the legal texts that encourage and encourage learning tend towards women as well as towards men.”

Last Wednesday, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed the Kingdom's surprise and regret at the decision of the Afghan caretaker government, led by the Taliban movement, to prevent Afghan girls from having the right to university education.

Last Tuesday, the Taliban decided to ban university education for women in Afghanistan indefinitely, according to a letter sent by the Ministry of Higher Education to all public and private universities.

The letter, signed by Minister Nada Muhammad Nadeem, said: “I inform you all to implement the aforementioned order to stop female education until further notice.”

The ban on higher education for women comes less than 3 months after thousands of them took university entrance exams across the country.


"Serious complaints have been received regarding non-compliance with the Islamic headscarf and other rules and regulations related to women's work in local and international organisations," the ministry responsible for approving licenses for NGOs operating in Afghanistan said in a letter seen by AFP.

In its letter addressed to international and local non-governmental organizations, the ministry added that “in the event of neglecting the guidance … the organization’s license will be revoked.”

Two non-governmental organizations that spoke to AFP confirmed that they had received the letter from the ministry.

"We are suspending all our activities as of Sunday," a senior official of an international organization involved in humanitarian work in several remote areas of the country told AFP, on condition of anonymity. "We will soon hold a meeting of senior officials from all NGOs to decide how to deal with this issue," he added.

Likewise, another official working for an international non-governmental organization concerned with food distribution said that the ban is “a big blow to female employees.”

"We have a large number of female staff to address concerns about humanitarian assistance to Afghan women," he added, asking, "How do we address their concerns now?"

Dozens of international and local NGOs operate in various sectors in various remote areas of Afghanistan, and many of their employees are women.

In response to the latest decision, the UN Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan, Ramiz Alakbarov, said the ban was "a clear violation of humanitarian principles."


Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Biden: the Iran Nuclear Deal is dead, but we're not gonna announce it

    Wednesday, December 21, 2022   No comments


 A video has emerged of Joe Biden declaring the peaceful nuclear energy deal with Iran "dead" even as talks continue.

The US president made the comments to some woman who claims is Iranian at a campaign rally with fellow Democrat congressman Mike Levin in Oceanside, California on November 4, at a time when protests were going on in Iran with support from Washington.

"President Biden, can you please announce that JCPOA is dead? Can you just announce that?" asks one woman. Biden replied "no", prompting the woman to ask "why not?"

"A lot of reasons. It is dead, but we're not gonna announce it," Biden told her. "Long story, but we're gonna make sure..."



Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Macron reaffirms his position on giving Russia security “guarantees” in the event of peace negotiations at the end of the war in Ukraine

    Tuesday, December 20, 2022   No comments

 French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday stuck to his position on giving Russia security "guarantees" if peace negotiations take place at the end of the war in Ukraine.

Some leaders of Eastern European countries criticized Macron more than once, considering that he had exaggerated expectations from Moscow regarding a future settlement of the conflict.

Macron said in an interview recorded on Monday and broadcast on Tuesday evening on the French “TF1” and “LCE” stations, that “Peace Day requires talks. First of all about guarantees to Ukraine, its territorial integrity and long-term security. But also to Russia, given that it will be a party to an armistice and peace treaty.

And the French president added, “Whoever blames me for thinking about such an issue, let him explain to me what he proposes.”

And Macron warned that “what those who refuse to prepare for this matter and work on it are proposing is an all-out war that will include the entire continent,” stressing his rejection of this option.

In early December, Macron faced criticism from Ukraine and some Eastern European countries, as some voices accused him of being overly open to Moscow.

"Is there anyone who wants to provide security guarantees for a terrorist and murderous state?" Secretary General of the National Security Council of Ukraine Oleksiych Danilov said on Twitter.

The French president was also subjected to implicit criticism from the European Union's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell.

Borrell said at the time that the way out of the Ukrainian conflict is by providing “security guarantees to Ukraine,” adding that “with regard to Russia, we will talk about it later.”

However, the French President confirmed in his television interview that his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, never expressed to him his annoyance or the annoyance of his ministers about his statements, and added, “No one party concludes a peace treaty on its own,” and “lasting peace includes the sitting of the concerned parties, and therefore Russia, around the table.”


Macron did not elaborate while on a visit to the Middle East. Today, he is  in Jordan, in connection with the events of the second session of the Baghdad Conference for Cooperation and Partnership kicks off, at the invitation of the Jordanian King Abdullah II, and in coordination with French President Emmanuel Macron and Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shayaa Al-Sudani, and in their presence.

The French presidency said, "The aim of such a meeting is to bring Iraq's neighbors and partners around the table, in an attempt to move forward by promoting dialogue."

The conference aims, according to the Elysee Palace, to "provide support for Iraq's stability, security and prosperity, and to study the situation in the entire region, given that Iraq is a pivotal country in it."

The meeting is also likely to address common issues, such as climate warming, food security and regional energy cooperation.

On the agenda of Macron, who visited on Monday the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle off the coast of Egypt to celebrate Christmas with the French forces, a meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan; "An ally in the fight against terrorism," according to Paris.

US-Turkish relations: US will not be selling F 16 fighter jets to Turkey

    Tuesday, December 20, 2022   No comments

Turkish leaders will have to make new choices soon in the light of developments in the region and around the world.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had already threatened that Turkey may turn to countries such as Russia if the US fails to follow through a pledge to deliver F-16 fighter jets.
In July, the White House said that Turkey would be excluded from the more sophisticated F-35 stealth fighter jet program after it purchased the Russian S-400 air defense missile system despite warnings from Western allies.

The Pentagon later confirmed that a process is already underway to move the production of Turkey-made F-35 parts – worth at least $9 billion to Turkish manufacturers – to suppliers in the United States and other countries.

“Unfortunately, Turkey’s decision to purchase Russian S-400 air defense systems renders its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible,” White House spokesperson Stephanie Grisham said in a Wednesday, July 17 statement.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Jordan: popular protests are escalating, civil disobedience is approaching, and security forces are mobilizing and arresting 44 people

    Saturday, December 17, 2022   No comments

Security authorities in Jordan have arrested 44 people who participated in the riots that erupted during protests over the rise in fuel prices in the kingdom, Jordan's Public Security Directorate announced in a statement published Saturday.

The Directorate said in its statement that it “dealt with riots in a number of regions of the Kingdom, and 44 people who participated in these acts were arrested in various regions,” explaining that “they will be referred to the competent authorities in addition to those who were arrested in the previous days,” without adding anything. details.

The Security Directorate added that it had "intensified its security deployment in the kingdom's governorates to ensure the enforcement of the rule of law and the preservation of citizens' security." At the same time, however, it indicated "a significant decline in the number and unity of riots from Thursday, especially in the southern governorates."

Since the beginning of this month, governorates in southern Jordan have witnessed mostly peaceful strikes, in protest against the rise in fuel prices, starting with truck drivers who were sometimes joined by taxi and public bus drivers.

Markets and shops were closed on Wednesday in Maan and Karak (about 114 km south of Amman) and Madaba Governorate (35 km south of Amman) in solidarity with this movement.

On Friday, the Public Security Directorate announced the death of Colonel Abdul Razzaq al-Dalabeh in southern Jordan, with a gunshot wound to the head while he was dealing with “riots,” during which an officer and a non-commissioned officer were wounded by gunshots, according to the directorate.

In its statement on Saturday, the Public Security Directorate indicated that the riots “were carried out by a group of vandals and outlaws in the Husseiniya area in Ma’an Governorate” (about 218 km south of Amman).

And she emphasized that “the investigations into the martyrdom of Colonel Al-Dalabeh are continuing, and will not stop until the perpetrator is arrested and handed over to the hands of justice so that he receives deterrent punishment, and we will not hesitate to protect lives, honor and property.”

On Friday, Jordan's King Abdullah II condemned the killing of the colonel, stressing that "we will not rest until the criminal receives his punishment before justice for his heinous crime."

In a statement on Friday, the notables and sons of Ma’an mourned Colonel Al-Dalabeh, stressing their “rejection and denunciation of any act outside the law.”

In its statement on Saturday, the Directorate called on "everyone to adhere to and stay away from riot sites and not to participate in them," expressing "thanks to all the citizens who cooperated with the Directorate and gathered around its men in rejection of the attacks and out of concern for the homeland."

Jordan is witnessing difficult economic conditions, which were exacerbated by foreign debts that exceeded fifty billion dollars and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governorates in southern Jordan have recently witnessed mostly peaceful strikes, in protest against the rise in fuel prices, which started with truck drivers a few days ago, leading to the closure of markets and shops, last Wednesday, in Ma’an, Karak and Madaba governorate, in solidarity with the protests.


Likewise, some other areas witnessed road closures with burning tires, in addition to quarrels between security forces and protesters, but they ended peacefully.


Currently, fuel prices in Jordan are nearly double what they were last year, especially diesel, which is the main fuel for trucks and buses, and kerosene, which is the main heating fuel for the poor.


A liter of "90 octane" gasoline is sold for 920 fils (about one and a half dollars), and "95 octane" for 1170 fils (1.6 dollars). As for a liter of diesel or diesel, it costs 895 fils (1.3 dollars), and kerosene costs 860 fils (1.2 dollars).


Jordan suffers from difficult economic conditions, which were exacerbated by the Corona pandemic, so the unemployment rate rose in 2021 to about 25%, according to official figures, while it rose among the youth category to 50%.


The poverty rate rose to 24%, and the public debt exceeded $47 billion, or more than 106% of the GDP.


The Jordanian government offered some solutions, including increasing shipping fees and distributing sums of money to the most affected families, but it seems that they were not sufficiently satisfactory to the protesters.

Gulf rulers signal their fears of similar protests in their countries by signaling to thier people to support the rulers of Jordan

Unlike their unconditional support to the violent protests in Iran, the Saudi rulers and their media platforms are expressing solidarity with the rulers of Jordan instead of supporting the legitimate demands of the protesters.

Gulf platforms interacted with the rapid events in Jordan, and street strikes and protests against the rise in fuel prices. Gulf activists wished Jordan safety, saying: Cool and peace, Jordan.

Saudi tweeters interacted with the incident of the killing of Jordanian Colonel Abd al-Razzaq al-Dalabeh in Ma'an Governorate at the hands of outlaws, and expressed their grief, and called on Jordanians to preserve their country and their monarchy, and to stand up to what they described as saboteurs, the same description used by the official Jordanian public security statement.


Thursday, December 15, 2022

Thousands of Turks are protesting against preventing the mayor of Istanbul from practicing politics

    Thursday, December 15, 2022   No comments

Thousands of Turks gathered in a square in central Istanbul today, Thursday, in solidarity with the opposition mayor of the city, Ekrem Imamoglu, who was issued a judicial decision against him, preventing him from practicing politics, before the presidential elections scheduled for next year.

Yesterday, Wednesday, a criminal court sentenced Ekrem Imamoglu to more than two years in prison, and prevented him from practicing politics for the same period, on charges of "insulting members of the Supreme Election Commission in 2019."


Earlier today, Davutoglu announced his rejection of the judicial decision against him, stressing that he would confront the "coup against the will of the people."


For his part, Oglu's lawyer confirmed that he would appeal the verdict, which means that he would remain in the position of mayor, but he is now excluded from the presidential elections scheduled for next year.

The US State Department expressed its "great alarm and disappointment" at the prospect of excluding one of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's biggest rivals from the political scene.


Germany described the decision as a "harsh blow to democracy," while France urged Turkey to correct "its deviation from the rule of law and democracy, and respect for fundamental rights."

Turkish opposition

It comes six months before an election in which the Turkish opposition is putting its best foot forward to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has ruled the country for 20 years, while a jail sentence against Davutoglu has raised the risk of a presidential struggle between opposition poles.

Turkey's fractious opposition is struggling to unite behind a single candidate to challenge Erdogan, who has ruled Turkey for two decades, in the upcoming elections.

However, the leader of the "Republican People's" party, Kamal Kilicdaroglu, is still pressing hard for the candidacy, and the shares of Meral Aksener, the leader of the "Good Party", rose to run for the competition.


Imamoglu and six opposition party leaders marched side by side in a crowd of supporters in a rally meant to show defiance to Erdogan.


Imamoglu addressed the crowd, saying, "I am not at all afraid of their illegitimate rule," adding, "I do not have judges to protect me, but behind me are 16 million Istanbulites and our nation."


A Metropoll poll showed that even voters of Erdogan's Justice and Development Party believe the case against the Istanbul mayor is "politically motivated".

The poll found that 28.3% of AKP voters believe that "the issue is politicized," while 24.2% believe that it is related to "defamation."


How the West Brought War to Ukraine

    Thursday, December 15, 2022   No comments

Recently, a member of the European Parliament from Ireland, Claire Daly, reminded the world of what the West avoids talking about, remembering, or even referring to: NATO’s attack on Libya and the murder of Muammar Gaddafi. The European politician described Libya after NATO's intervention making it a country "torn by conflicts, its economy is ruined, and its population, which was once the richest in Africa, has been dragged into poverty and drowned in it." Immigrants are bought and sold in slave markets. One million people hope for humanitarian aid. This is a country of mass graves and crimes against humanity. This is NATO's legacy, this is NATO's strategy for human rights and democracy,” She concluded.

Here, another essay describing NATO’s role in the current dangerous crisis in Ukraine.


For almost 200 years, starting with the framing of the Monroe Doctrine in 1823, the United States has asserted security claims over virtually the whole Western hemisphere. Any foreign power that places military forces near U.S. territory knows it is crossing a red line. U.S. policy thus embodies a conviction that where a potential opponent places its forces is crucially important. In fact, this conviction is the cornerstone of American foreign and military policy, and its violation is considered reason for war.

Yet when it comes to Russia, the United States and its NATO allies have acted for decades in disregard of this same principle. They have progressively advanced the placement of their military forces toward Russia, even to its borders. They have done this with inadequate attention to, and sometimes blithe disregard for, how Russian leaders might perceive this advance. Had Russia taken equivalent actions with respect to U.S. territory — say, placing its military forces in Canada or Mexico — Washington would have gone to war and explained that war as a defensive response to the military encroachment of a foreign power.


When viewed through this lens, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is seen not as the unbridled expansionism of a malevolent Russian leader but as a violent and destructive reaction to misguided Western policies: an attempt to reestablish a zone around Russia’s western border that is free of offensive threats from the United States and its allies. Having misunderstood why Russia invaded Ukraine, the West is now basing existential decisions on false premises. In doing so, it is deepening the crisis and may be sleepwalking toward nuclear war.


This argument, which I now present in detail, is based on the analyses of a number of scholars, government officials, and military observers, all of whom I introduce and quote from in the course of the presentation. These include John Mearsheimer, Stephen F. Cohen, Richard Sakwa, Gilbert Doctorow, George F. Kennan, Chas Freeman, Douglas Macgregor, and Brennan Deveraux.


...read this essay as on author's medium page.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

China: Our investments and aid to Africa are not a trap, but a benefit

    Wednesday, December 14, 2022   No comments

Chinese Ambassador to the United States, Chen Gang, has criticized allegations that China is creating a "debt trap" in Africa.

 "The continent should be a place for international cooperation, rather than an arena in which major powers compete for geopolitical gains," Gang said, on the sidelines of the US-Africa leaders' summit in Washington, which brings together leaders of 49 African countries and the African Union.

 The Chinese ambassador added, "Chinese investments and financial aid to Africa are not a trap, but rather a benefit."

 "Over the past decades, China has provided loans to help Africa's economic and social development," Gang said. "You can see hospitals, highways, airports, stadiums. It's clear, it's not a trap, it's not a conspiracy, it's transparent and honest."

 

The Chinese ambassador to the United States referred to a study published last July by the British charitable foundation "Deep Justice", which showed that the volume of African countries' debts to Western private lenders represents 3 times the size of their debts to China, pointing out that the interest rate on Private loans are twice the rate of Chinese loans.

 

"These results prove that China is not the largest creditor in African loans, and that Chinese loans are only a small part," he stressed.

 

And yesterday, a spokesman for the US Department of Defense (Pentagon), Patrick Ryder, warned, that the development of the relationship between African countries and China will have negative repercussions on the relationship of these countries with the United States.

"We will be keen to issue statements for the ongoing discussions, and we continue to consult with our African partners, as any engagement in certain activities with the People's Republic of China may have some negative repercussions on their relations with us," Ryder said.

 

Earlier, US Deputy Commerce Secretary Don Graves acknowledged that the United States had fallen behind after China overtook US foreign investment in Africa.

 

And before the start of the summit of the leaders of the United States and Africa yesterday, the White House announced President Joe Biden's support for the African Union to become a permanent member of the Group of Twenty.

 

It is noteworthy that the US National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, said earlier that the United States will pledge, during the US-Africa summit, to support Africa with an amount of $ 55 billion over the next three years.

 

It is worth noting that the volume of trade between China and Africa exceeded $254 billion in 2021, compared to $64.33 billion between the United States and Africa.

To contextualize Western  aid to African country, the $55 billion pledged by the US to Africa’s 50+ countries over three years is less than the amount actually given to Ukraine by the US in just one year. In this context, the West should be encouraging other countries to invest more in Africa not ask African countries to reject Chinese investment.

 

 

The mayor of Istanbul was imprisoned for two years and 7 months for "insulting officials"

    Wednesday, December 14, 2022   No comments

On Wednesday, a Turkish court sentenced the mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu, to more than two years in prison on charges of insulting members of the Supreme Electoral Commission, which effectively prevents him from practicing politics.

Turkish media said that the judiciary sentenced Oglu to two years and 7 months in prison for insulting members of the Supreme Electoral Commission.

And imposed a political ban on him for insulting public officials, in a ruling that is expected to be appealed.

Ekrem Imamoglu, a popular rival of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was prosecuted from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) for a speech he gave in 2019 in which he said those who canceled Istanbul's local elections at the time were "foolish".

It should be noted that the maximum penalty for this charge is four years imprisonment.


For his part, Oglu's lawyer confirmed that he would appeal the ruling, which means that he will remain in the position of mayor, but he is now excluded from the presidential elections scheduled for next year.


The case dates back to a statement issued by Imamoglu, after he defeated the candidate of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamist party in the controversial 2019 municipal elections.


Persons sentenced to less than four years' imprisonment are rarely sent to prison in Turkey.


"This is an unfortunate approach to democracy and the rule of law," his lawyer, Kemal Polat, told AFP.


Imamoglu (52 years old) defeated Erdogan's party in March 2019, by winning the mayoralty of Istanbul, which was led by the ruling Justice and Development Party for 25 years.


The government canceled Imamoglu's election, but he returned and won by a large margin in the run-off elections after about three months.


A few months later, Ekrem Imamoglu considered those who canceled his election victory "stupid," echoing a phrase that Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu had used against him a few hours earlier.


This description exposed the mayor of Istanbul to prosecution for "insulting" members of the Supreme Electoral Council.



After the statement of the Chinese-Gulf summit.. Beijing confirms its support for Iran's territorial sovereignty

    Wednesday, December 14, 2022   No comments

Chinese Vice Prime Minister Hu Chunhua stressed on Tuesday that "China supports Iran's national sovereignty, territorial integrity and national honor, and combats foreign interference."

"Beijing's will to develop comprehensive strategic relations with Tehran has never changed," Hu Chunhua said during his meeting with Mohammad Mokhber, Iran's first vice president.

For his part, Mokhbar saw that Beijing and Tehran have a common view against unilateralism and hegemony, noting that "respecting Iran's territorial integrity is a sensitive matter for us, and everyone must respect this point."

Mokhber also pointed out that the bilateral negotiations between the two countries are progressing well, thanking China for its support for Iran's presence in the Shanghai and BRICS organizations.


Tehran had summoned the Chinese ambassador to it, to protest against the statement of the Gulf-Chinese summit, which touched on the status of the Abu Musa, Greater and Lesser Tunbs islands, which are disputed by Iran and the UAE.


These steps came after the Gulf states and China issued, a few days ago, a joint statement, in which they touched on the support of the UAE in reaching a negotiated and peaceful solution to the issue of the three islands that Iran considers part of its territory, as well as calling on Iran to seriously engage in negotiations to return to the nuclear agreement.


Iran considered the statement an interference in its internal affairs, and stressed at the same time that the status of the three islands would not change and that they would remain Iranian forever.

During the meeting, Wu Chun Hua's informant reviewed the latest developments regarding the implementation of the joint cooperation program between the two countries, which extends to 25 years, and stressed the need to accelerate the implementation of this program.

It should be noted that the Chinese president also delivered a speech while attending the Arab-China summit.


In a related context, the Iranian Oil Minister, Javad Awji, announced on Wednesday, that Tehran and Beijing, during the visit of the Chinese Deputy Prime Minister to Iran, signed a number of agreements on the joint development of oil and gas fields.


"During Hu's visit, good agreements and memorandums were concluded with China on joint development of oil and gas fields," Oji said.


In April of last year, Iran and China signed a document on the comprehensive cooperation plan between the two countries for a period of 25 years.




Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Demonstrations in Bangladesh calling for the resignation of the Prime Minister and the dissolution of Parliament

    Tuesday, December 13, 2022   No comments

Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, demanding the dissolution of parliament in order to make room for new elections, and also the resignation of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina Wajid.

The mass protest in the capital on Saturday was organized by the opposition Bangladesh National Party, which accuses Hasina of failing to tackle soaring fuel prices and the cost of living.

The demonstration comes amid a wave of protests calling for Hasina to step down and calling for new elections.

Hasina responded by calling the opposition leaders "terrorists" and warning people not to allow the largest opposition party, the Bangladesh National Party, to return to power.

Several people were arrested in the run-up to Saturday's protest.


Police arrested two senior BNP leaders, including the party's general secretary, Mirza Alamgir, last Friday.


Authorities said Alamgir faces charges, without giving further information. At least one man was killed during clashes between protesters and police last Wednesday, when security forces fired tear gas to disperse people gathered in front of the National Party office in the capital.


What is the prospect of negotiation with Russia after Merkel's recognition? The erosion of Western credibility

    Tuesday, December 13, 2022   No comments

Former German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, in an interview with the German newspaper "Zeit" recently, considered the Minsk agreement of 2014 as an attempt to give Ukraine enough time to prepare for war against Russia. She expressed doubt that the then NATO countries could have done everything they are doing now to help Ukraine.

The Minsk Agreement is a series of international agreements signed between 2014 and 2015 by the Tripartite Contact Group on Ukraine, which consists of Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, mediated by the leaders of France and Germany, with the aim of ending the war in the Donbas region of Ukraine.

China reacted to the Merkel's revelation by issuing statements contending that the "Real intention behind Minsk agreements further destroys credibility of the West".

China's international media outlet, GT, which is aimed at communicating Chinese point of view to the West concluded that "They were just a stopgap to buy time for Ukraine and the West, and Western countries have never put real effort into resolving the differences with Russia over the Ukraine crisis."

The daily added:

What the former German leader stated tears down the last remaining bit of the "friendly" mask some Western countries put on with Russia. In the eyes of some Western countries, Russia is just a diplomatic and political "alien." Moreover, under the influence of Washington, some view Moscow as a so-called threat due to its huge military power and political system that does not meet the "Western standard." As a result, these countries have never stopped suppressing Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Merkel's confession about the Minsk agreements also showed that some Western countries, particularly the US, do not honor contractual obligations at all. They can go back on their words so easily. 

After Merkel's statements, Putin said that her statements were "disappointing," pointing out that "trust at the present time is almost non-existent, but after Merkel's statements it became unclear how to negotiate."

He explained that "it turned out that no one intended to implement the Minsk agreements," according to the recent German statements, and the statements of former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, stressing, "Only we were working sincerely."

 

Likewise, Putin considered Merkel's remarks to mean that "we were right to initiate the special military operation."

The Russian president said, "We are ready and open to negotiation, but the statements prompt us to think about guarantees and confidence-building measures," adding that "there is no general military mobilization, but rather some formations that can be replaced."

It is noteworthy that Merkel said, earlier, that she does not see a reason for her participation in the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, and stressed that it "will be resolved through negotiations one day."

This came in response to a question put to her by the German newspaper "Zeit" about the possibility of resolving the Ukrainian crisis, noting that "all conflicts end at the negotiating table."

Merkel indicated that her previous attempts to settle the crisis between Russia and Ukraine "were aimed at preventing a clash between the two countries," pointing out that "the failure of these attempts does not mean that they were wrong."

Other Russian officials are now less motivated to negotiate any deals with Ukraine. Russian Senator Olga Kovidetti commented on Merkel's statements by saying: "The geopolitical collusion of Britain and the United States and their obedient vassal Ukraine on the deliberate delay in implementing the Minsk agreements with the aim of preparing Ukraine for conflict with Russia undermines the credibility of any subsequent negotiations and any agreements with these personalities Western politics.”

In turn, the State Duma Speaker said that Merkel's confession holds Germany and France, the guarantors of the Minsk Agreement, responsible for what is happening in Ukraine, morally and materially.

Even some European leaders were taken aback by Merkel’s revelations. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic expressed his surprise at the statements of former German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The Serbian president said that these are statements that change the position on what happened in Ukraine since 2014, adding that former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko previously indicated that they never intended to implement the agreements.

This European position is not limited to the Minsk Agreement. Rather, it is a repeat of what happened with the nuclear agreement with Iran. When US withdrew from the agreement, which was backed by the UNSC, European states essentially joined the US, in practice, and denied Iran all the rights given to it by the terms of the agreement.

   


Monday, December 12, 2022

China is trying to mend relations with Iran after It president signed a GCC countries Statement that contained reference to Iranian islands being part of UAE

    Monday, December 12, 2022   No comments

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at Monday emphasized that China and Iran enjoy traditional friendship. 

“China and Iran jointly decided to cement and grow a comprehensive strategic partnership. China stands ready to enhance communication and coordination with Iran to make new progress in bilateral relations. The two sides have signed a plan for China-Iran comprehensive cooperation, which started implementation early this year. China will work with Iran for the sound and steady growth of practical cooperation.” He noted in the statement.

The comments are in response to a question over whether China will not neglect its relations with Iran by developing relations with GCC countries.

During the recently held China-GCC Summit, a joint statement by China and the GCC was issued and a 2023-2027 action plan for strategic dialogue between China and the GCC was adopted.

Iran objected to parts of the statement that suggested that three islands now part of Iran should be returned to UAE through talks. In a strongly worded statement followed by the summoning of Chinese diplomat in Tehran, the Iranian foreign minister made it clear that Iran is prepared to reduce its ties with China should the latter adopt statements that question the territorial integrity of the Iran.  "in all frankness and transparency, Iran will not flatter anyone regarding its territorial integrity."

Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua’s visit to Iran starts on Monday, which China believes will play a positive role in deepening China-Iran comprehensive strategic partnership, Wang said. 

China and Iran have a traditional friendship, and the consolidation and development of the China-Iran comprehensive strategic partnership are the common choices of both sides, Wang pointed out. China is ready to strengthen communication and coordination with Iran to push forward new progress in bilateral relations.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Islam in Russia: The 1100th anniversary of the adoption of Islam by the Volga Bulgaria

    Sunday, December 11, 2022   No comments

Russian leaders have been systemically integrating Islam and the Muslim communities in the Russian federation since the end of the Chechen war. The participation of the Chechen armed forces in the war in Ukraine have propelled that trend to new levels. The celebration of this pivotal Islamic event, therefore, takes special place. 

Chechen Muslims participated in the anniversary of the adoption of Islam in the region formally and informally. Officially, the Chechen government sent a delegate and the following statement from the Chechen Republic about the the 1100th anniversary of the adoption of Islam by the Volga Bulgaria was released:

A truly significant date was celebrated in Russia - the 1100th anniversary of the adoption of Islam by the Volga Bulgaria.

On the occasion of this memorable event, a solemn event was held in Moscow, which was attended by guests from all over the country, as well as authoritative political and public figures. On my instructions, dear BROTHERS, Chairman of the Parliament of the Chechen Republic Magomed Daudov and Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Chechen Republic - Plenipotentiary Representative of the Chechen Republic under the President of the Russian Federation Bekhan Taymaskhanov, at the head of the Chechen delegation, attended the celebration and conveyed my sincere congratulations to those present.

For all of us, this holiday is of great importance. Today Islam is an integral part of Russia. Here, side by side with other religious denominations, almost 15 million Muslims peacefully coexist. Of course, this phenomenon can be called unique, and Russia is a rare example of a true legal state.

Thanks to the competent and far-sighted policy of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, the rights of every Muslim are strictly guarded and protected at all levels. At the same time, Vladimir Vladimirovich repeatedly noted the contribution of Muslims to the comprehensive development of the country, as well as to strengthening state sovereignty. It is our active civic position, true patriotism and moral principles based on the canons of Islam that earned us honor and respect among followers of other religions and nationalities.

With all my heart I congratulate dear BROTHER, President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov, and all Muslims of Russia on this holiday! I sincerely wish you health, prosperity, happiness and a peaceful sky above your head!

Full text of Xi Jinping's keynote speech at China-Arab States Summit

    Sunday, December 11, 2022   No comments

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech here Friday at the first China-Arab States Summit. The following is the full text of the speech:

_________

Carrying Forward the Spirit of China-Arab Friendship and Jointly Building a China-Arab Community with a Shared Future in the New Era

Riyadh, 9 December 2022

Distinguished Colleagues,

Friends,

Good afternoon!

At the outset, I wish to thank Saudi Arabia for the warm hospitality and thoughtful arrangement. I am very pleased to join you for the first China-Arab States Summit. The Summit is a milestone in the history of China-Arab relations, and will take us to a more promising future of friendship and cooperation.

China and Arab states enjoy a long history of friendly exchanges. We have come to know and befriend each other through the ancient Silk Road. We have shared weal and woe in our respective struggles for national liberation. We have conducted win-win cooperation in the tide of economic globalization. And we have upheld fairness and justice in the changing international environment. Together, China and Arab states have nurtured the spirit of friendship featuring "solidarity and mutual assistance, equality and mutual benefit, and inclusiveness and mutual learning."


Solidarity and mutual assistance is a distinct feature of China-Arab friendship. We trust each other, and have forged a brotherly friendship. We firmly support each other on issues involving our respective core interests. We work hand in hand and make progress together to realize the dream of national rejuvenation. We brave wind and storms together in fighting the COVID pandemic. The China-Arab future-oriented strategic partnership of comprehensive cooperation and common development is unbreakable.


Equality and mutual benefit is a constant driver for our friendship. China and Arab states have set an example for South-South cooperation in pursuing mutually beneficial collaboration. The two sides have established 17 cooperation mechanisms under the framework of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum. Over the past decade, our trade has grown by 100 billion U.S. dollars, with the total volume exceeding 300 billion dollars; China's direct investment in Arab states was up by 2.6 times, with the stock of investment reaching 23 billion dollars; over 200 Belt and Road projects have been carried out, benefiting nearly two billion people of the two sides.


Inclusiveness and mutual learning is a key value inherent in our friendship. We appreciate each other's civilizations, and have written a splendid history of mutual learning. We keep drawing wisdom from each other's time-honored civilizations, and jointly promote "peace, harmony, integrity, and truth", the very essence of civilization. We stay true to our principles despite the clamour for "clash of civilizations", advocate together inter-civilizational dialogue, oppose discrimination against particular civilizations, and endeavor to safeguard the diversity of world civilizations.


Colleagues,


Friends,


The world today is in a new period of turbulence and transformation. The Middle East is undergoing new and profound changes. The aspiration of the Arab people for peace and development is much more compelling, and their call for equity and justice is stronger than ever. As strategic partners, China and Arab states should carry forward the spirit of China-Arab friendship, strengthen solidarity and cooperation, and foster a closer China-Arab community with a shared future, so as to deliver greater benefits to our peoples and advance the cause of human progress.


- We should stay independent and defend our common interests. China supports Arab states in independently exploring development paths suited to their national conditions and holding their future firmly in their own hands. China is ready to deepen strategic mutual trust with Arab states, and firmly support each other in safeguarding sovereignty, territorial integrity and national dignity. Our two sides should jointly uphold the principle of non-interference in other countries' internal affairs, practice true multilateralism, and defend the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries.


- We should focus on economic development and promote win-win cooperation. We should strengthen synergy between our development strategies, and promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. We should consolidate cooperation in traditional areas including economy and trade, energy and infrastructure development. In the meantime, we should strengthen new sources of growth such as green and low-carbon development, health and medical services, and investment and finance, and expand new frontiers including aviation and aerospace, digital economy and peaceful use of nuclear energy. We should also tackle major challenges like food security and energy security. China will work with the Arab side to implement the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and drive sustainable development of South-South cooperation.


- We should uphold regional peace and strive for common security. China supports the Arab side in promoting political settlement of hotspot and challenging issues with Arab wisdom, and build a common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security architecture in the Middle East. China urges the international community to respect the role of the Middle East people as masters of their own affairs, and add positive energy to the security and stability of the region. China welcomes the Arab side to participate in the Global Security Initiative (GSI), and will continue to contribute Chinese wisdom to promoting peace and tranquility in the Middle East.


- We should increase exchanges among civilizations to enhance mutual understanding and trust. We need to increase personnel exchange, deepen people-to-people cooperation, and promote the exchange of governance experience. We need to jointly oppose Islamophobia, carry out cooperation on deradicalization, and reject association of terrorism with any particular ethnic group or religion. We need to advocate humanity's common values of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, and set an example of inter-civilizational exchanges and mutual learning in the new era.


We are pleased to see the decision by the Summit to build a China-Arab community with a shared future in the new era and to formulate the Outline of the Comprehensive Cooperation Plan Between China and Arab States, laying out the blueprint for future China-Arab relations. As the first follow-up step of that decision, China will, in the next three to five years, work with the Arab side to advance eight major cooperation initiatives in areas including development support, food security, public health, green innovation, energy security, inter-civilizational dialogue, youth development, and security and stability. China has briefed the Arab side on the details of the eight initiatives, and will work with the Arab side to promote their early implementation and strive for early harvest.


Colleagues,


Friends,


The Palestinian issue bears on peace and stability in the Middle East. The historical injustices done to the Palestinian people should not be left unattended indefinitely. The legitimate rights and interests of a nation are not up for trade, and the demand to establish an independent state shall not be denied. The international community should stay firm in its commitment to the two-state solution and the principle of "land for peace", make resolute efforts to promote peace talks, provide more humanitarian and development assistance to Palestine, and strive for a just settlement of the Palestinian issue at an early date. Recently, through the efforts of Arab states, important progress has been made in Intra-Palestinian reconciliation. China welcomes these developments. I would like to reiterate that China firmly supports the establishment of an independent State of Palestine that enjoys full sovereignty based on the 1967 border and with East Jerusalem as its capital. China supports Palestine in becoming a full member of the United Nations, and will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to Palestine, support livelihood projects in the country, and increase donations to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).


Colleagues,


Friends,


Recently, the Communist Party of China successfully convened its 20th National Congress. The Congress laid out the tasks and path of advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through Chinese modernization, and provided a blueprint for China's future development. China will stay committed to upholding world peace, promoting common development, and building a community with a shared future for mankind. China remains firm in pursuing an independent foreign policy of peace and upholding international fairness and justice. China is committed to promoting friendship and cooperation with other countries based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, and will work to deepen and expand global partnerships. Acting on a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up, China will continue to promote high-standard opening up and advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. By doing so, we wish to create new opportunities for Arab states and all other countries with China's new development.


Colleagues,


Friends,


A great cause begins with a dream and turns into reality through hard work. Let us carry forward the spirit of China-Arab friendship, jointly build a China-Arab community with a shared future in the new era, and usher in an even brighter future for our relations.


Thank you!  


___________

Translation provided by Xinhua

______________________________________________________


In related news; the Chinese president signed the GCC statement which included a reference to Iranina islands UAE wants to annex. Iranian foreign minister issued immediately a statement saying "in all frankness and transparency, Iran will not flatter anyone regarding its territorial integrity." His office then summoned the Chinese ambassador to Tehran, during which Iran expressed its "strong dissatisfaction and protested against China's involvement in the issue of Iran's territorial integrity."

Responding to this objection, China will be sending the Chinese Deputy Prime Minister for a visit to Iran this week perhaps to address what Iran sees as "mistake made by the Chinese president in Riyadh."





Saturday, December 10, 2022

French Police Violently Disperse Celebrating Morocco's Win Over Portugal

    Saturday, December 10, 2022   No comments

The European handling of and reactions to a worldcup hosted by the first Arab and first Muslim country continues; now they are reacting the historic milestone set by an Arab and African nation.

French police violently disperse celebrating Morocco’s win over Portugal:



Friday, December 09, 2022

The United States warns of the formation of a "full defense partnership" between Russia and Iran, describing it as causing "harm" to Ukraine, Iran's neighbors and the world

    Friday, December 09, 2022   No comments

On Friday, the United States expressed concern about the formation of a "full defense partnership" between Russia and Iran, which it described as causing "harm" to Ukraine, Iran's neighbors and the world. Western powers accuse Iran of providing Russia with drones to use in its war against Ukraine, where it bombs energy infrastructure to gain advantage in the bloody conflict.

Washington has previously condemned military cooperation between Iran and Russia, but on Friday it spoke of a broad relationship that includes equipment such as drones, helicopters and combat aircraft.

"Russia seeks cooperation with Iran in areas such as weapons development and training," White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

He added that Moscow "provides Iran with an unprecedented level of military and technical support," which "transforms their relationship into a full defense partnership."

He continued, “We have also seen reports that Moscow and Tehran are considering establishing a joint production line for deadly drones in Russia. We urge Iran to reverse course and not take these steps.”

Kirby stated that the United States will impose sanctions on “three entities centered in Russia” that are particularly active in “possessing and using Iranian drones.”



The spokesman also said the United States was concerned that Russia "intends to provide Iran with advanced military equipment," including helicopters and air defense systems.

John Kirby referred to reports of training Iranian pilots to fly advanced Sukhoi Su-35 fighters in Russia, and Tehran may obtain this type of aircraft within the next year, which "will greatly enhance the Iranian Air Force compared to its neighbors."

He said the United States also believed Iran was considering selling "hundreds of ballistic missiles" to Russia.

In turn, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly criticized Friday the "dirty deals" between Moscow and Tehran, saying in a statement that Iran had sent drones to Russia in exchange for "military and technical support" from Moscow.

Cleverly added that this "will increase the risks it poses to our partners in the Middle East and international security," pledging that "the United Kingdom will continue to expose this desperate alliance and hold the two countries accountable."

In parallel, John Kirby announced on Friday a new aid package to Ukraine worth $275 million to help it strengthen its air defenses, especially against drones.

"New military aid worth $275 million will be sent soon to give Ukraine new capabilities to strengthen its air defenses and enable it to deal with drone threats," Kirby said.

The Pentagon released details of the package, saying it included anti-drone equipment, ammunition for HIMARS precision missile systems, 80,000 155mm artillery shells, about 150 generators, and other equipment.

The United States said earlier that generators had been provided to Kiev to help it meet its electricity needs in light of repeated Russian strikes on energy infrastructure.

This package, consisting of equipment sourced from US stockpiles, brings the value of military assistance that Washington has provided to Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24 to more than $19.3 billion.











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