NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reiterated support for Ukraine, an UNIAN correspondent in Brussels reported from a press conference at the start of the meetings of NATO Defense Ministers Wednesday. He recalled that Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman had visited NATO last week where the two officials had a meeting. Stoltenberg added that he had regular meetings with President Poroshenko and other representatives of the Ukrainian leadership. “So we will continue to work, we will continue to provide support, and also many NATO Allies provide support on a bilateral level, so we will continue to support Ukraine” Jens Stoltenberg said.
NATO would continue supporting NUG in 2017 too, said a NATO representative adding that it would extend its political, economic and financial assistance to ANSF until 2020. The main goal of NATO, he continued, is to not allow Afghanistan once again to be changed into a terrorist sanctuary and to achieve this goal, NATO will continue its mission in Afghanistan. Although the Afghan government claims that in 2016 war on corruption has been successfully carried out with good outcomes. The Afghan government said that it has established the counter-corruption Legal and Judicial Center (CCLJC) to investigate corruption cases and the CCLJC had proven effective in preventing of corruption. But the NATO emphasizes that the NUG should strongly supervise the Reforms and good government because NUG has pledged to the world community to prevent and take firm steps for restoration of peace. NATO believes that diplomatic channels should be used for settlement of current Afghanistan problems, because war is not a solution. And for this purpose NATO supports Afghan peace program and NATO has asked the region and payers to take effective role in restoration of peace.
Director of the Office of the Directorate General of Programmes (ODGP) at the Council of Europe Verena Taylor asserted the council’s willingness to support the Ministry of Relations with the Constitutional Authorities, Civil Society and Human Rights in adapting laws to the Constitution. At her meeting Tuesday in Tunis with Minister of Relations with the Constitutional Authorities, Civil Society and Human Rights Mehdi Ben Gharbia, she expressed the Council’s commitment to support conducting studies on the reality of parties and minorities in Tunisia. “The Venice Commission is also willing to give its opinion on draft laws on constitutional authorities under preparation,” she added.
Support for the creation of income sources was given in kind to eleven families in need in Medenine on Saturday, at the initiative of the Kuwaiti Association “Direct Assistance” in Tunisia, in coordination with the Women’s Association Ayadi Rahima. The projects concern sheep farming, sewing, embroidery, trade and handicrafts. Some 45 beneficiaries (men and women) from several regions (Medenine, Kebili, Gafsa, Siliana, Béja) benefit from this assistance programme initiated by the Kuwaiti Association active in Tunisia since 2012. Last year the association undertook maintenance work for eleven schools and plans to provide a similar programme in eight other schools throughout the regions. In Sfax, the association launched a programme for the distribution of microcredits to 3,000 families, mainly women.
Prime Minister Youssef Chahed met, on Wednesday in Paris, with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. In a statement to TAP, the French FM said that during the meeting they discussed the ways to provide the conditions for success of the International Conference on Investment “Tunisia 2020” scheduled for November 29 and 30. Emphasis was also placed on security co-operation between the two countries and the means and mechanisms that should be put in place to encourage the rapid return of French tourists to Tunisia. “France is actively encouraging tourists to visit Tunisia,” he said, adding that whoever believes in the Tunisian democracy should not hesitate to visit this country. Jean-Marc Ayrault also stressed that France is already very committed to Tunisia through the mobilisation of a EUR 1 billion fund over five years and contributes significantly to the doubling of European financial support to Tunisia.
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) disbursed over $1.6 million for reconstruction and severe repair works to 244 refugee families across Gaza. A statement said emergency shelter – including support for home repairs, reconstruction and interim shelter solutions – is a top priority for UNRWA. European Union Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah, meanwhile, visited Gaza on Tuesday to get first-hand impression of reconstruction efforts. The group of more than 20 senior European diplomats met with UNRWA officials, Palestinian ministers and representatives of Palestinian civil society.
Secretary General of the Arab League, Ahmed Abul-Gheit, arrived on Wednesday in Ramallah ahead of the opening ceremony of Yasser Arafat Museum, and later met with President Mahmoud Abbas at the presidential headquarters in Ramallah where they discussed the situation in Palestine in addition to Arab support for the Palestinian people. Abbas stressed the importance of coordination between the Arab League and the Palestinian leadership on future steps to protect Palestinian rights and to work towards ending the Israeli occupation. Abbas also said that it was important that there should be Arab backing to the French initiative to convene an international conference on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict before the end of this year to resume the peace process.
The Republican People’s Party (CHP) will continue to “stand by all the oppressed” in Turkey, despite growing pressure from the government, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has vowed, refuting accusations that his party supported terrorism.
On Monday, the Foreign Minister of Kurdistan’s Regional Government, Falah Mustafa Bakir, had a meeting in Moscow with Mikhail Bogdanov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and Representative for the Middle East and North Africa, to discuss the current situation in Iraq. In an interview realesed to russian newspaper, Izvestia, Bakir outlined the issues that have been addressed, namely; request to support the Peshmerga forces, who have been fighting against terrorism; relations between Iraqi Kurdistan and Russia; fight against terrorism; refugees in Iraq; perspective of russian mediation through the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Erbin and further strenghtening of economic, political, cultural ties between Russian Federation and Iraqi Kurdistan; current state of affairs in Syria. Russia declared is avaible to provide the necessary support to the fight against terrorism. Moreover, the Government of Iraqi Kurdistan is confident about the approval of Russia, as one of their allies, in the event of Iraqi Kurdistan reaching indipendence from Iraq, since negotiations have already been opened on that issue with Baghdad.