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Indian’s minister confirms his cooperation in Afghanistan

in ASIA/ECONOMY by

India’s minister for external affairs said in Tashkent his country’s development assistance stands at $3 billion USD, adding that his country will continue to help rebuild Afghanistan and turn it into a stable economy. According to the minister, last year India embarked upon the New Development Partnership, which will support
116 ‘High Impact Community Development Projects’ in Afghanistan according to the priorities of the Afghan government. They include large scale projects such as drinking water for Kabul city and low-cost housing for returning Afghan refugees.

Akbar said that India’s other key priority is helping Afghanistan in building “robust, reliable and year-round connectivity, improving trade and investment relations of Afghanistan with prominent markets in the region and beyond”. He also said that the Indian grant aid of 170,000 tons of wheat supplies to Afghanistan is currently transiting through Chabahar (Port in Iran). Furthermore, the India-Afghanistan air freight corridor helps the connection between the countries. In fact, over 110 flights have carried over 2,000 tons of exports from Afghanistan to India worth over tens of millions of dollars.

 

Iran’s Foreign Ministry calls for end to human tragedy in Yemen

in MIDLE EAST by

In a statement for the third anniversary of the start of the Saudi-led coalition’s devastating war in Yemen, the Foreign Ministry Iranian condemned the military aggression and called for the lifting of the “cruel” blockade on the Arabian country. It further described the humanitarian situation in Yemen as “very regrettable” and said the war has brought nothing but instability and insecurity and led to the deaths and injuries of tens of thousands. The ministry added that the Saudi war on Yemen has also caused the destruction of health and civil infrastructure and the suffering of over one million Yemenis from cholera and an increase in terrorist activities.

MP: Iran, Russia, China must close ranks as US toughens line

in Senza categoria by

The chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy Alaeddin Boroujerdi says the Islamic Republic should strengthen relations with Russia and China to counter tougher US policies expected after President Donald Trump’s appointment of John Bolton as national security adviser. “The use of hardline elements against to the Islamic Republic of Iran shows that the Americans seek to exert more pressure on Iran”, he said. He added that the harsher US stance vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic is mainly aimed at appeasing the Israeli regime and Saudi Arabia to solve Washington’s economic issues: “Therefore, it was predictable that we would witness toughened US policies in this regard”. He pointed out: “China and Russia are two important and influential members of the UN Security Council and the expansion of relations will help neutralize and reduce the impact of US pressure”.

The National Iranian American Council criticizes Bolton pick at Trump’s war gabinet

in MIDLE EAST by

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) on Friday slammed US President Donald Trump’s appointment of John Bolton as National Security Advisor warning that “with Bolton pick, Trump is assembling an Iran war cabinet”. “Donald Trump may have just effectively declared war on Iran. With the appointment of John Bolton, and nomination of Mike Pompeo at State, Trump is clearly putting together a war cabinet. As the world awaits Trump’s May 12 decision as to whether he will abandon the Iran nuclear deal, all of the signs now point to a decision to move to war footing”, president of the National Iranian American Council, Trita Parsi, declared. “Bolton is an unhinged advocate for waging World War III. He has explicitly called for bombing Iran for the past ten years. Bolton’s first order of business will be to convince Trump to exit the Iran nuclear deal and lay the groundwork for the war he has urged over the past decade. Additionally, he has called for supporting the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) terrorist organization and other separatist groups inside of Iran”, he pointed out.

After his appointment, John Bolton tried to distance himself from his past statements. He added: “The important thing is what the President says and the advice I give him, not the past”.

 

Iraqi FM denounces Turkish air raids on Kurdistan region

in MIDLE EAST by

Iraqi Foreign Ministry condemned Turkish air raids on the villages in the Kurdistan Region, which led to the death of a number of unarmed civilians. The ministry’s spokesman Ahmed Mahjoub declared: “We condemn the continuation of these violations against unarmed civilians of our children in Kurdistan”. Mahjoub added Turkish airstrikes on the Kurdistan Region’s areas do not serve the development of relations between Iraq and Turkey, denouncing the strikes. “We insist our position and reject the presence of any troops on Iraqi territory or any attempt to carry out military operation by any neighboring country”, he said.

Iraq will continue to receive electricity supply from Iran for one more year

in MIDLE EAST/PRESS RELEASE by

Iraq will continue to receive from Iran electricity supply for one more year, the Iraqi electricity ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. The agreement came during recent meetings in Baghdad between Iraqi electricity minister Qassem al-Fahdawi and his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Shariatmadari. Both parties agreed to extend the supply contract for one more year through the current four active supply lines. Iraq currently imports 1000 megawatts from Iran. Iran is supplying parts of Iraq electricity for past several years and this caused electricity crisis to be reduced in some cities, specially the neighboring cities of Iran.

12000 Afghans in Pakistan and Iran jails

in MIDLE EAST by

Over 12,000 Afghan nationals are imprisoned in different jails in Pakistan and Iran. The Minister of Refugee and Repatriation said that over 7,000 Afghan nationals are currently suffering in Pakistani jails while 5,124 more in Iranian prisons. However, recently more than 600 Afghan prisoners have been transferred to Afghanistan from Iran. Afghanistan has signed an agreement with Iran to transfer prisoners. At the same time some politicians believe that the government should establish a special court to look after cases of Afghan prisoners after transformation. “A special court should be formed so it could assess cases of the prisoners and then take a decision”, Abdulhadi Arghandiwal, head of a Hezb-e-Islami political party said. But so far, no agreement signed with Pakistan to facilitate exchange of Afghans prisoners.

Lebanese officials and IDF discuss the construction of the border wall

in BUILDINGS/MIDLE EAST/POLITICS by

Lebanese military officials told their Israeli counterparts during a regular tripartite meeting chaired by UN peacekeepers at their UN positions in Ras al-Naqoura, which the wall that the IDF is building along the border between the two countries violate the sovereign territory of Lebanon. There are increasing tensions between the two countries concerning border works, rights challenged to the exploration of natural gas and Israeli warnings that Iran – through its delegate in Lebanon, Hezbollah – is transforming the country into an advanced base for manufacturing missiles and attacking the Jewish state. The construction of the wall has strained tensions, with Hezbollah, which threatens to open fire on Israeli soldiers who build the barrier. The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which hosted the meeting, said in a statement that the talks have attracted attention “due to engineering work south of the Blue Line previously announced by the Israeli side”, referring to the line that marked the Israeli withdrawal recognized by the UN from Lebanon in 2000. Neither side wants to return to a period of growing tensions and a violation of the cessation of hostilities; however, both seem intent on maintaining the line taken.

Saudi-led forces denied that Houthi militias have targeted Riyadh with ballistic missile

in DEFENCE/MIDLE EAST by

Col. Turki Al-Maliki, the spokesman of the Saudi-led coalition, denied rumors circulated by some media release that Houthi militias managed to successfully target Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport. Al-Malki confirmed that it was rather a failed attempt by the Iran-backed militias to fire a ballistic missile toward an uninhabited desert. He pointed out that the terrorist Houthi militias have admitted through their media outlets that they deliberately target civilians, in clear violation of international humanitarian law.

New and old perils threaten Yemen’s territorial integrity

in MIDLE EAST by

On Sunday, in the southern Yemenite port city of Aden, forces loyal to the government of President Hadi exchanged fire with the Southern Transitional Council (STC), an armed and secessionist movement supported by the United Arab Emirates. Until today, both sides were fighting alongside the Saudi-led coalition against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, which are still in control of the capital Saana and of the northern part of the country. However, the cohabitation between the two forces has been precarious since the beginning and difficult to keep in place after almost three years of conflict. In a statement issued on Sunday, the prime minister, Ahmed bin Dagher, accused the STC of staging a “coup” directed towards the internationally recognised Yemenite government. Last week the separatist force has launched an ultimatum to Hadi’s government, blaming it for corruption and mismanagement in southern Yemen. However, announcements have been followed by actions and real confrontation in the city. The Sunday’s conflict in Aden has leave on the battlefield at least 21 dead and more than 130 wounded.  This new open source of confrontation could not only exacerbate the ongoing conflict in Yemen, leading to more destruction and loss of civilian lives but could also threaten the territorial integrity of the country. It is important to go back to the history to explain the ongoing growing secessionist sentiments in southern Yemen. Then, after turning to history, it is also useful to have a look to the current geopolitical situation in the region. Indeed, unification between North and South Yemen is not far, it dates to 1990. Thereafter tensions and secessionist movements have never been totally silenced. The city port of Aden was the only British colony in the entire Arabian Peninsula administered directly by the British government between 1839 and 1967. The British set up their own administrative, trade and educational institutions in the colony. The city was truly a cultural melting pot for many ethnic groups including people of Indian and Somali origins. After the withdrawal of British troops in 1967, Aden joined the rest of the British protectorates in the south to form the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen, with the Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP) eventually taking power. Bloody conflict within the political movement favoured the unification of North and South Yemen in 1990. In Aden, the deterioration of economy and the sentiments of independence even challenged the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s tight grip to power. Less than four years after merging with the north, the south tried to split away in 1994 citing economic and political marginalisation, but it was crushed after a short-lived but bloody civil war. It was then created a mass peaceful pro-independence movement, the “Al-Hirak al-Janoubi” (the southern movement). Since the beginning of the conflict, government’s army and “separatists” fought side by side to defend the city of Aden from the Houthi’s incursions from the North of Yemen. However, since the Houthi’s failed attempts to take control of the city, Aden has witnessed severe security challenges, economic and basic infrastructure problems, and most recently growing support for secession from the North. In April 2017, forces loyal to President Hadi clashed with armed men supporting UAE-backed Aden Governor Aidarous al-Zubaidi at the city airport. Hadi responded to the incident by sacking the governor. Then, in May 2017, al-Zubaidi announced the establishment of the Souther Transitional Council which he claimed would represent “the will of the people of the South”. There are serious chances not only that this movement would undermine the integrity of Yemen’s territory, but also the course of the war against the Houthi placed in the North. The future military responses of president Hadi and its allies would definitely shape the southern question and future country’s alignment.

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