Selahattin Demirtas, the arrested co-chair of the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples Democratic Party (HDP), has requested his release from jail in a petition written to the Eighth Heavy Penal Court in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır. Demirtas, who is currently jailed in the northwestern province of Edirne, stated in the petition that he was arrested with “an exaggerated and non-proportional raid aimed at creating a political sensation”. “We have no doubt that the [arrests of HDP lawmakers] are being directed from a center” he said, noting that 31 summaries of proceedings were prepared for him and 11 of the prosecutors who prepared them had themselves been arrested for being members of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), believed to have been behind Turkey’s failed July 2016 coup attempt. “My indictment was increased to 501 pages and the sentence being sought for me was determined as 142 years in order to create a negative perception in the public. They wanted to create the impression that my arrest was necessary” Demirtas added. The HDP co-chair said in his petition that his right to a fair trial was violated and his rights stemming from being a deputy were seized from him through his arrest. At present a total of 11 HDP figures, including Demirtas and the HDP’s other co-chair, Figen Yüksekdag, remain in prison and face hundreds of years in jail.
King Salman and President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim met in Riyadh and dicussed aspects of cooperation between the Kingdom and the World Bank Group. Kim expressed the Bank’s desire to partecipate in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. The President of the World Bank also met with Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman and the two talked about cooperation on reconstruction of Yemen to overcome the current crisis and make available of the basic needs for Yemeni people.
At the opening of an annual student conference in Moscow, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gatilov said the humanitarian disaster in Yemen is a tragic catastrophe. In Yemen there is not only the fight against terrorism, but also the intra-Yemeni conflict, which is a serious humanitarian disaster. As Gatilov said about 80 percent of the population in Yemen is affected by humanitarian crisis, but western countries are more focused on what is happening in Syria. Finally he said that a solution should be found.
During the talks between King Salman and Turkish President Erdogan in Riyadh on Tuesday they focused on political,security and commercial bilateral subjects. As turkish ambassador Yunus Demirer said the two leaders discussed key regional issues like Syria,Yemen,Lybia and Iran besides bilateral security cooperation and terrorism. The turkish President also met the Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the two focused on combating terrorism and cooperation on security issues. Due to the call for a safe zone in northern Syria by Erdogan on Monday, Syria was a key issue during these talks with top Saudi officials and Foreign Minister al-Jubeir said the Kingdom and Turkey have identical positions on that.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres stated there is no alternative solution to the two-state solution in resolving the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis. Guterres statement came during a joint press conference with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Cairo. Guterres met with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi Wednesday to discuss regional developments and cooperation between Egypt and the United Nations. On regional issues, the UN chief underlined the importance of carrying on with the Geneva track on ending the Syrian crisis, as well as providing a suitable atmosphere for reaching national reconciliation in Libya.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei slammed the US rhetoric of military action on Iran as a ploy to distract attention from the real war against the Islamic Republic. The real purpose of the military threats is to disturb the Iranian officials concentration on economic progress.“The enemy is trying to ignore the (Iranian) developments and major achievements in the past 38 years (after the Islamic Revolution) and demoralize the people” he have said in Teheran. Describing the ethnic diversity in Iran as a privilege, the Leader said the adversaries seek every opportunity to create rift in Iran but the Iranian nation remains integrated and united in the face of the enemies.
The Secretary-General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg have said on Wednesday, in Brussels, that the oraganization has started training Iraqi forces in the country as part of the anti-Islamic State coalition efforts against the militant group on the request of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. The training is “in addition to what we do in Jordan, where we also train Iraqi officers” and “Now we have started to train Iraqi officers in Iraq, which is taking place in and around Baghdad. It is a modest start, but it is a scalable activity and of course this is one of the ways that NATO helps and supports the efforts of counter-ISIL coalition” he have said. USA coalition has asked for NATO to become more involved in the ISIS fight in both Iraq and Syria.
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov will discuss the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with the co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group (MG), Hikmat Hajiyev, spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, said. Hajiyev noted that the meeting will be held as part of the Munich Security Conference, scheduled for Feb. 17-19. Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian is also expected to meet within the OSCE MG co-chairs within the Munich Security Conference.
The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said the alliance is firmly committed to its Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan. He said “We are firmly committed to our Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan and the heads of state and government made last year a decision to continue our military presence in Afghanistan, to continue to provide funding for the Afghan National Army and Security Forces and to develop the political partnership with Afghanistan.
Airstrikes on several provinces by the Saudi-led coalition continue. In Hodeida 3 people were killed in Saudi air raid and in Hjjah province the saudi aggression warplanes launched 18 air strikes, damaging public and private properties. In Mokha district in the province of Taiz 6 members of a family were killed by a Saudi air strikes on ther house. There were also used cluster bombs in Mareb province and 3 citizens were killed and 4 wounded in a Saudi air strike in Baqam district of Sa’ada province.