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Bulgaria Sets Priority on EU Membership for All Western Balkan Countries

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Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva Saturday said that one of Bulgaria’s key foreign policy priorities is to see all countries of the Western Balkans join the EU when they are ready because the region is not stable yet. Zaharieva is in Varna for the 10th Summer University of GERB’s Youth organization. Her recent visit to Montenegro gave her grounds to believe that Bulgaria and Montenegro can set a good example to the Balkans. The Foreign Minister said she was glad the Balkans are one of the key priorities of the European External Action Service. Zaharieva also said there is no way only a certain group of countries can bear the brunt of the migrant crisis. “We should not close our eyes to the fact that those are not refugees but illegal immigrants. If we are to stem their flow, we should not only show solidarity with one another, we should mount a concerted effort. The situation now is worst in the Mediterranean and we should show solidarity with Italy”, she said.

 

Pakistan will play its due role for peace in Afghanistan: Asif responds to Ghani’s overture

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Yesterday President Ghani stated that “We are ready for comprehensive political talks: peace with Pakistan is in our national agenda”, going over the last diplomatic difficulties between the two countries. Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said on Saturday that Islamabad is willing to join hands with Kabul to see peace and stability in the region. Diplomatic ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan have been rocky in the past few months. The relationship between the two hyphenated neighbours has been on downward slide since an uptick in Taliban violence in Afghanistan. In July last year, President Ghani had said that the peace initiatives taken by Kabul with Islamabad were not successful as the latter differentiated between good and bad terrorists “in practice”.

Taliban insurgents suffer casualties in Kandahar and Paktika operations: MoD

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In the Afghan operations against the Taliban it is reported that the insurgents in southern Kandahar and southeastern Paktika provinces have suffered casualties. The Ministry of Defense (MoD) in a statement said at least 9 insurgents were killed and 4 others were wounded in Kandahar. Always according to MoD, at least 3 insurgents were killed and 2 others were wounded during another operation conducted in Paktika province. This operations are conducted with a view of clearance and counter-terrorism to suppress the insurgency of the anti-government armed militant groups.The anti-government armed militant groups including the Taliban insurgents have not commented regarding the reports so far.

Yemen’s Houthis, Saleh loyalists continue to rally despite their calls for calm

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Former President Ali Abdullah Saleh called for committing to his partnership with Houthi militias in managing the government in Sanaa as per the terms of their alliance. Saleh recall the importance to empower military and security institutions. The General People’s Congress has tried to reassure its supporters and the capital’s residents and called on them not to allow the situation to deteriorate towards more violence. Futhermore, The party said that the last week clashes between Houthis and Saleh loyalist are dangerous and recall the importance of maintaining unity. Houthi militias and Saleh loyalist stay in Sanaa as each party is willing to confront the other in a state of caution. Saleh loyalists have taken measures to fortify themselves in south of the capital, meanwhile Houthi militias stationed their members in offensive posts north of the capital as they are on high security alert across Sanaa.

Ukraine tightens control over entry/departure of foreigners.

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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed Decree No. 256/2017 to enact a decision taken by the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) on July 10 to strengthen control over entry into Ukraine, departure of foreigners and stateless persons from Ukraine, their compliance with the rules of stay in Ukrainian territory, the presidential press service has reported. In order to ensure national security, the strengthening of control over entry into Ukraine, the departure of foreigners and stateless persons from Ukraine, their compliance with the rules of stay in Ukrainian territory, the NSDC instructed the Cabinet of Ministers, within a month’s time, to implement comprehensive measures with the participation of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine to tighten control over entry into Ukraine, the departure of foreigners from Ukraine, including citizens of the Russian Federation, and stateless persons, their compliance with the rules of stay in Ukraine. The government was also instructed to take measures to improve the legislation on the procedure for registration of residence/stay of foreigners in the territory of Ukraine, including Russian citizens, and stateless persons who come from migration risk countries or enter Ukraine from the territory of such states.

Turkey tells Bangladesh: Open your doors to Rohingya

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu tells Bangladesh government to recognize the humanitarian crisis undergoing in Myanmar where the Muslim minority Rohingya is under attack. In order to help this community the Turkish government has already donated 70 million dollars in humanitarian aids and it has declared that it’s going to cover to expenses to Bangladesh if they are going to open their doors and welcome the refugees. Violence erupted in Myanmar’s Rakhine state on Aug. 25 when the country’s security forces launched an operation against the Rohingya Muslim community. It triggered a fresh influx of refugees towards neighboring Bangladesh, though the country sealed off its border to refugees.The region has seen simmering tension between its Buddhist and Muslim populations since communal violence broke out in 2012.

Russia voices concerns over Ukraine-Croatia contacts

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Moscow is concerned over contacts between officials of Ukraine and Croatia on “returning uncontrolled territories,” which run counter to the Minsk peace agreements, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday. In late August, Kiev hosted contacts of Ukraine’s authorities with Croatia’s Former Justice Minister Vesna Skare-Ozbolt, Former Deputy Interior Minister Yoshko Moric and ex-chairman of the government’s committee for refugees and displaced persons Lovre Peykovich. “Judging on the current information from mass media, the meetings discussed issues of “returning uncontrolled territories” based on Croatia’s experience in the 1990s,” the ministry said. This was “negative experience” as Zagreb’s military operations in 1995 resulted in 250,000 Serbian refugees and numerous deaths, it noted. “Any mentioning of “military scenarios” towards Donbass looks especially flawed and immoral now, in the first days of the school ceasefire approved in the Normandy format”, the ministry said. Russia seeks to foster friendly ties with Croatia and calls on Zagreb to “use all possibilities to encourage Kiev to consistently and fully comply with the Minsk agreements for the soonest settlement of the domestic Ukrainian crisis by peaceful means and ensuring sustainable stabilization of situation in Ukraine’s southeast”.

Parliament Opens New Session

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The five parliamentary groups read out declarations at the opening of Parliament’s new session on Friday. GERB Floor Leader Tsvetan Tsvetanov said the new session is of key importance in view of Bulgaria’s EU Council Presidency in the first half of 2018. The National Assembly will play a very important role as it will host six events. He stressed that it was on Bulgaria’s insistence that the Western Balkans became one of the priorities of the EU Presidency Trio of Estonia, Bulgaria, Austria. He stated that GERB will firmly counter any attempts to denigrate the state bodies for political purposes. “The opposition should realize that [spreading] fake news about the political opponent is not the way to win popular approval”, he said. BSP for Bulgaria Floor Leader Kornelia Ninova noted that the new session was opening on the eve of two important events: Bulgaria’s EU Council Presidency and the drafting of the national budget for 2018. She pledged her group’s support for the policies of Bulgaria’s EU Presidency because this is in the national interest. BSP for Bulgaria will propose a new Bulgarian Development Bank Bill to refocus it to SMEs. Ninova also stressed that her group sets a high priority on anti-corruption legislation. Addressing the legislature on behalf of the United Patriots Parliamentary Group, its Floor Leader Volen Siderov cited the border fence against illegal migrants and the increase of the minimum pension as examples of constructive and effective thinking with a tangible result. Siderov insisted on acknowledgment of the coalition Government’s achievements, citing the easing of administrative burden for companies. “The Presidency of the EU Council requires a new vision and a new governance formula based on fundamental consensus”, Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) Floor Leader Mustafa Karadayi said, reading a declaration on behalf of his parliamentary group. According to the MRF leader, the new parliamentary session has a serious law-making agenda, and the last stage of preparations for the Presidency of the EU Council is forthcoming. Volya calls on Parliament to focus on two essential things during the present session: improving people’s living standards and curbing corruption, Plamen Hristov MP said in a statement on behalf of the Volya Parliamentary Group.

Heavy rains trigger deadly floods in Yemen

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15 people have died in Yemen after heavy rains triggered flash flooding, hitting cars and wrecking homes. Torrential rains destroyed several homes in Jibla with five people confirmed dead and several others still unaccounted. Rains flooded a vital road linking the city of Taiz with al-Maqatira district. Aid agencies have only been able to deliver food and medical supplies to Taiz via small side roads after Houthi fighters laid siege to the city of more than 200,000 people. Futhermore Large parts of Yemen are destroyed after a Saudi-led coalition of Arab countries launched a military campaign against Houthi rebels in march 2015.

Turkey reiterates its readiness for cross-border offensive against all terror threats

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Ankara says it’s ready to make another operation ‘Euphrates Shield’ in order to put an end to the experiment of PKK in Syria. Erdogan complains about his own allies in the country.

 

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