Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj has shown Kosovo’s readiness to repatriate Kosovars who were recruited and went to the wars in Syria and Iraq alongside terrorist organizations.”Kosovo is the homeland of all and we are ready to repatriate all those willing to return,” he said. “Kosovo takes responsibility to ensure everyone’s life.” Haradinaj made this comment during the presentation of the UNDP report ‘Understanding pull and push factors in Kosovo; primary interviews with returned foreign fighters and their families.’ Haradinaj said the extremist religious ideologies in Kosovo spread as a result of “opening of Kosovo” after the end of the war but now Kosovars have learned the effects of extremist ideologies. The report includes interviews with those convicted by Kosovo courts for participation in foreign wars and their family members. Alessandra Roccasalvo from the UNDP said that Kosovo will face challenges at a time when Kosovar fighters will start returning from wars.
On Wednesday, Qatari al-Samarmad, a commander at Anbar’s mobilization forces, was quoted by IkhNews saying that iraqi army fighter jets pounded an Islamic State hideout in Wadi Hawran, west of the province, and killed 27 Islamic State members, including foreign nationals, in an air raid. He also added that during the airstrikes a number of vehicles belonging to the militants were destroyed. During a weekly press briefing at the cabinet’s building in Baghdad, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared that security forces had cleared “14,000 square kilometers” of al-Jazirah, a desert region surrounded by Anbar, Salahuddin and Nineveh provinces, from Islamic State vestiges. “At a military level, Islamic State in Iraq is over,” Abadi announced, declaring the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence in Iraq with the recapture of Rawa, a city on Anbar’s western borders with Syria, which was the group’s last bastion in Iraq. He also had said that final victory over IS would be proclaimed after al-Jazirah total cleaning.
In a meeting on the sidelines of the 15th Session of Prosecutors General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Member States in Russia, Iranian Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri and his Russian counterpart Yury Chaika signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the prosecutor general offices of the two countries. The two officials signed the cooperation agreement after the meeting. They also discussed extradition of criminals and joint efforts in dealing with crimes connected with new technologies. The SCO is an intergovernmental international organization, established in June 2001 in Shanghai by Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Russia and Uzbekistan: the organization’s purpose is to reinforce mutual trust and good neighborly ties between the member countries, contribute to regional stability and facilitate cooperation in different sectors, including political, trade, economic and energy issues.
Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister under the president Mubarak, a former air force commander and a 2012 presidential candidate, announced in a video declaration sent to Reuters that he will run in the next Egyptian presidential election planned for April. Shafiq placed second in the first presidential elections after the deposition of Hosni Mubarak, in a runoff against Mohamed Mursi , who issued an arrest warrant against him. The former prime minister went to United Arab Emirates and formed a political party, leading it from abroad. In a statement from the UAE he declared: “I‘m honored to announce my will to run in the upcoming presidential elections in Egypt as a choice to be president of the country for the next four years”. In the video he also called for real democracy and “normal” human rights in his country.
U.S. President Donald Trump says “major sanctions” will be imposed on North Korea, after Pyongyang tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that experts say is likely capable of hitting anywhere in the U.S. mainland. In a tweet Wednesday, Trump said he spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping about the “provocative actions” of North Korea. He again vowed that the “situation will be handled,” but did not elaborate. “President Trump underscored the determination of the United States to defend ourselves and our allies from the growing threat posed by the North Korean regime,” the White House said in a statement on the call with Xi. The readout also said Trump “emphasized the need for China to use all available levers to convince North Korea to end its provocations and return to the path of denuclearization.”
North Korea on Wednesday said it tested a Hwasong-15 missile “tipped with a super-large heavy warhead which is capable of striking the whole mainland of the U.S.”
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has accused Saudi Arabia of stoking tensions with his country to distract from its own problems. In an interview with Iranian television on Tuesday, the Iranian leader said his country’s relations had improved with neighbouring states, such as Turkey and Pakistan, but that Saudi Arabia was an exception. “Saudi Arabia is looking for tension with Iran to cover up defeats in the region and internal problems,” Rouhani said, blaming Riyadh for the poor state of relations between the two regional powers. “The second reason is the situation inside Saudi Arabia, the situation is tense and there are internal disputes, so they portray Iran as an enemy to cover up their failure and their internal problems.” Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of arming Houthi rebels in Yemen and blamed it for a missile attack north of its capital earlier in November. Iran rejects the accusation of involvement in the attack. The Saudis were also opposed to the Iran nuclear deal, which saw Iran reduce its nuclear enrichment capability in return for limited sanctions relief from the EU and the US.
Prime Minister Zoran Zaev met with Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban at the sidelines of the Summit of Heads of Government of Central and Eastern European Countries and China in Budapest on Tuesday. Zaev thanked Orban for Hungary’s support to Macedonia’s efforts on the EU and NATO path, the Government said in a press release. The PM presented Plan 3-6-9 and the country’s steps for improvement of the economy and attraction of foreign investments. PM Zaev also highlighted the need for cooperation with the opposition on all issues related to Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic integration.According to him, economic cooperation is on the rise and Hungary would continue to stimulate its companies to invest in the Western Balkans. Furthermore, Orban said next year’s Bulgarian EU Presidency should be utilized for intensification of the Western Balkans’ EU integration process, reads the press release.
The US P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance plane was approaching the Russian state border in the Black Sea, according to Moscow. The Russian military had to scramble a Sukhoi Su-30 fighter aircraft (NATO reporting name: Flanker-C) on November 25 after detecting an aerial target approaching the Russian border, the Russian Southern Military District’s press service said in a statement.In the wake of the incident, CNN reported, citing Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Michelle Baldanza, that Russia’s Su-30 had made an “unsafe” intercept of a US P-8A Poseidon maritime, patrol and reconnaissance aircraft. US European Command Spokesman Juan Martinez explained that the maneuver was dubbed “unsafe” since the Russian jet made a close approach with full afterburners on, while the P-8A was “conducting a routine operation in international airspace”.
On Tuesday, Iraq’s Migration and Displacement Ministry under-secretary Jassem al-Attiya said to Radio Sawa that refugees could not be forced to return to their home areas recaptured from Islamic State militants. “The government will not force anyone to return at present”, the official said, adding that “remains committed to the federal government’s decision which prevents the forced repatriation of refugees”. However, Jassem al-Attiya expressed his “astonishment” over the determination of some refugees to remain in camps despite the liberation of their regions. The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights and the U.S. embassy in Iraq have recently recommended the Iraqi government to ensure that repatriation be run based on the refugees’ will, warning against forcing them to return to Anbar and other regions. Iraqi authorities had revealed plans to repatriate all refugees before this year’s end. According to the United Nations at least five million people have been displaced since Islamic State militant imposed their control over large areas of Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a self-styled “Islamic Caliphate”.
On Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, with a high-ranking delegation of diplomats and businessmen from the country’s private sector, met his Armenian counterpart, Eduard Nalbandyan in the Armenian capital of Yerevan to discuss about a range of issues, including ways to improve bilateral relations between the two countries. Zarif highlighted the necessity for further efforts to expand the ties in political and economic areas and to increase closer Tehran-Yerevan cooperation in the areas of oil, gas, electricity, and transit. He also stressed the need to facilitate transportation and eliminate problems fronting by companies of the two countries for cooperation. The Armenian Foreign Minister, for his part, hailed bilateral relations between Iran and Armenia as increasing and said that his country is ready to boost the relations with the Islamic Republic in all areas, economy in particular. After the meeting, Zarif participated in a joint business forum of the two countries in Yerevan and delivered a speech at the event.