President Donald Trump is suddenly faced on the first day of election year with hot foreign policy crises with Iran and North Korea that put American lives at risk and could weigh heavily on his own political prospects.
Lavrov made the comments on December 30 after meeting in Moscow with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who said that the European signatories to the deal were „not taking any practical steps“ to support it.
he global chemical weapons watchdog is facing renewed questions after fresh details emerged about how it suppressed the findings of its own inspectors who raised serious doubts about an alleged poison gas attack in Syria.
The Mail on Sunday can reveal that a senior official at the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) demanded the ‘removal of all traces’ of a document which undermined claims that gas cylinders had been dropped from the air – a key element of the ‘evidence’ that the Syrian regime was responsible.
27 December, 2019
Today WikiLeaks releases more internal documents from the OPCW regarding the investigation into the alleged chemical attack in Douma in April 2018.
One of the documents is an e-mail exchange dated 27 and 28 February between members of the fact finding mission (FFM) deployed to Douma and the senior officials of the OPCW. It includes an e-mail from Sebastien Braha, Chief of Cabinet at the OPCW, where he instructs that an engineering report from Ian Henderson should be removed from the secure registry of the organisation:
“Please get this document out of DRA [Documents Registry Archive]… And please remove all traces, if any, of its delivery/storage/whatever in DRA”.
The main finding of Henderson, who inspected the sites in Douma and two cylinders that were found on the site of the alleged attack, was that they were more likely manually placed there than dropped from a plane or helicopter from considerable heights. His findings were omitted from the official final OPCW report on the Douma incident.
This is getting really, really, really weird.
WikiLeaks has published yet another set of leaked internal documents from within the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) adding even more material to the mountain of evidence that we’ve been lied to about an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria last year which resulted in airstrikes upon that nation from the US, UK and France.
This new WikiLeaks drop includes an email from the OPCW Chief of Cabinet Sebastien Braha (who is reportedly so detested by organisation inspectors that they code named him “Voldemort”) throwing a fit over the Ian Henderson Engineering Assessment which found that the Douma incident was likely a staged event. Braha is seen ordering OPCW staff to “remove all traces, if any, of its delivery/storage/whatever” from the organisation’s secure registry.
The Russian special presidential envoy for the Middle East and Africa also expressed unease and confusion over the US’s establishment of a maritime security coalition to patrol the Middle East region’s waterways.
“It is absolutely unclear to me what our American colleagues suggest,” Mikhail Bogdanov said in July.
France and Qatar signed an agreement allowing France to deploy and station military forces within Qatar.
The Netherlands said on November 25 that it would join Denmark and France in the European naval mission, reported the NLTimes. The Netherlands said it would deploy a navy ship to the Persian Gulf for six months but said it would play an “observing” role. Belgium, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden are also expected to join the European coalition, the Tehran Times reported.
Col. Abdullah Mohammed Al-Omari, the director of the exercise, earlier said that it is part of the efforts to ensure the Saudi military is fully prepared and ready to face all challenges to maintain security and peace in the region and the world.
“The exercise targets building mutual trust, enhancing cooperation between the Saudi Royal Navy and the Chinese PLA Navy, exchanging experiences, developing the capacity of participants to combat maritime terrorism and piracy, and improving training and combat readiness,” he added.
Iranian military spokesman General Abolfazl Shekarchi said the joint maneuvers, which are aimed at promoting regional security, will extend as far as the Sea of Oman. The drill is seen as a response to recent U.S. maneuvers with its regional ally Saudi Arabia, in which China also participated.
14 December, 2019
Today WikiLeaks releases more documents showing internal disagreement within the OPCW about how facts were misrepresented in a redacted version of a report on an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria in April 2018.
Amongst these is a memorandum written in protest by one of the scientists sent on a fact finding mission (FFM) to investigate the attack. It is dated 14 March 2019 and is addressed to Fernando Arias, Director General of the organisation. This was exactly two weeks after the organisation published its final report on the Douma investigation.
WikiLeaks is also releasing the original preliminary report for the first time along with the redacted version (that was released by the OPCW) for comparison. Additionally, we are publishing a detailed comparison of the original interim report with the redacted interim report and the final report along with relevant comments from a member of the original fact finding mission. These documents should help clarify the series of changes that the report went through, which skewed the facts and introduced bias according to statements made by the members of the FFM.
Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu at the latter’s initiative.
Vladimir Putin and Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the range of current issues on the bilateral agenda, including in the context of the President of Russia’s visit to Israel scheduled for January 2020.
In addition, Russian-Israeli cooperation on Syria was discussed.
China’s thirst for Saudi Arabian oil continues to grow on the back of massive refinery joint ventures, and the nation is also drawing more crude from Russia, as imports from the U.S., Iran and Venezuela dwindle, fresh Chinese customs data for the year to November show.
Die Gewerkschafterin Carmen Foro über den zunehmenden Widerstand gegen die aggressive Politik von Präsident Bolsonaro
Officials in Beijing didn’t immediately acknowledge their decision. Phone calls to the CNPC rang unanswered on Sunday and its website bore no mention of the withdrawal.
However, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif separately complained Sunday about the U.S. campaign against Tehran and its impact on foreign investments.
„China has been closely following the complex and sensitive situation in the Gulf region,“ Geng added. „Safeguarding peace and stability in the region is in the shared interests of the international community. China welcomes all proposals and diplomatic efforts conducive to deescalating the situation in the Gulf region. We would also like to stay in communication with all relevant parties.“
Russia offers to establish an organization with the participation of Russia, the US, EU states and other countries in order to resolve the issues in the Persian Gulf, Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed on Thursday during the plenary session of the Valdai Discussion Club.
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) – The United States wants to build a coalition of European and Arab partners to deter Iran after an attack on Saudi Arabia that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described on Wednesday as „an act of war“ against the world’s top oil exporter.
Guy Verhofstadt’s speech at the conference of the UK Liberal Democrats September 14h, 2019.
US president argues Putin should be included in discussions on Iran, Syria and North Korea
The German government would launch the idea at one of the informal European meetings in Helsinki at the end of August.
For India, the fact that no country agreed to the ChinaPakistan effort to force a formal meeting, the fact that the informal meeting had no minutes, no votes or show of hands, no resolution, no statements, and no outcome, showed the duo was isolated and was cause for satisfaction. Diplomats pointed out that barring China, not one among the 14 other UNSC members came out to speak on the matter.
A 90-minute private debate among Security Council members on Kashmir is notable. Asked whether the Council had left the Kashmir issue alone for too long, Russia’s deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy, told CNN, „Well I was born in 1971.“
„Sometimes it’s best to not touch on every issue,“ he added.
“Thwarted,” said a top UN diplomat in a one-word response about Pakistan’s request for a formal meeting of the Security Council that garnered the support of only one of the body’s 15 members: China.
Soon after the nuclear blasts in 1998, India adopted the “no first use” policy in a bid to address global concerns of an impending nuclear arms race, especially as the Indian tests were followed by tit-for-tat tests by Pakistan.
The promise not to use nuclear weapons first, a policy adopted by several nations including China, addressed the escalation ladder. It also laid to rest apprehensions or misunderstandings about the possible use of nuclear weapons in a conflict.
NEW DELHI: Defence minister Rajnath Singh’s suggestion that India’s no-first-use nuclear posture may not be sacrosanct sparked intense speculation in the midst of heightened India-Pakistan tensions in the wake of the abrogation of special status to Jammu & Kashmir.
The defence minister’s comment, which he also later tweeted, came at Pokhran — the site of India’s nuclear tests.
Though Rajnath Singh didn’t name any country, it is understood the threat was directed at Pakistan. It shows Modi’s growing frustration at his ill-conceived move to strip Occupied Kashmir of its autonomy on August 5.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s greetings to Indians on Independence Day highlighting the „genuine friendship“ between the two countries drew an equally warm and cordial response from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who tweeted on Thursday saying that his wishes have touched all Indians.
The Security Council met on Friday to discuss Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to scrap autonomy for Kashmir, though the body was divided on how to proceed, with the U.S. and France blocking a Chinese attempt to get the 15-member body to publicly urge parties to refrain from actions that exacerbate tensions along the line of control, diplomats said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan talked to US President Donald Trump and briefed him about Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir issue.
The telephonic contact took place on Friday, ahead of the United Nations Security Council meeting on the situation in Indian-occupied Kashmir.
The Security Council met to consider the volatile situation surrounding Kashmir on Friday, addressing the issue directly within the UN body dedicated to resolving matters of international peace and security, for the first time since 1965.
Although the meeting took place behind closed doors in New York, the Chinese Ambassador, Zhang Jun, spoke to reporters outside the chamber following deliberations, urging both India and Pakistan to “refrain from taking any unilateral action which might further aggravate” what was an already “tense and very dangerous” situation.
Israel’s Civil Administration approved the proposed plans this week and construction is currently pending. Among units approved include 537 in Alon Shvut, 18 in Ma’aleh Adumim, 66 in Efrat and 96 in Kiryat Netafim.
“If there happens to be a very unsafe situation we will consider having our navy escort our commercial vessels,” Ni told Reuters, while the Chinese Embassy in the United Arab Emirates said later in a text message to Reuters that China was studying the U.S. proposal on escorting commercial ships in the Gulf.
Saudi Arabia overtook Russia to become the country’s top supplier in June with 7.72 million tonnes, or 1.88 million bpd, up 84.1% from a year earlier and compared with 1.11 million bpd in May.
Arrivals from Russia reached 7.15 million tonnes, or 1.74 million bpd, up 45.5% from a year earlier and compared with 6.36 million bpd in May.
The move was suggested after a summit on Thursday between military chiefs from the US, UK, Europe and the UAE in Florida, where US admirals failed to persuade Britain to join its Sentinel operation.
On July 23, the Russian Foreign Ministry introduced the concept of collective security in the Persian Gulf. It stipulates creating an initiative group to organize an international conference on security and cooperation in the Persian Gulf, which will later lead to creating a security and cooperation organization in the region.
Chinese Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Ni Jian informed Reuters of his country’s positions on regional maritime security in Abu Dhabi on Aug. 6, 2019. China’s embassy in the country subsequently provided additional details to the wire service via text message.
In fact, Turkey is threatening to launch a broad campaign to take over Syrian territory in the area between eastern Syria and the Euphrates River to “cleanse” it from Kurdish militias, which Turkey considers a threat to its national security.
This is precisely what the United States, which sees itself as the protector of the Kurdish allies who fought alongside it against ISIS, is afraid of.
The President of Russia regards the US President’s offer as a sign that it is possible that full-scale bilateral relations will be restored in the future.
The presidents of Russia and the United States agreed to continue contacts in the form of telephone conversations as well as personal meetings.
„So we continue to follow the situation very closely. We exchange intelligence, information about the situation,“ he said and noted that NATO Defense Ministers in Brussels discussed the American imitative in June where touched on the possibility of NATO members contributing assets but not as part of a NATO mission.
On her part, Kramp-Karrenbauer said the situation in Iran and in Hormuz is very sensitive.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass said Wednesday that Germany „will not take part in the sea mission presented and planned by the United States,“ which has sought to develop a „maritime security initiative“ to counter Iran in the world’s top oil chokepoint, the Strait of Hormuz. The top diplomat affirmed that „there is no military solution“ to the ongoing crisis that has seen unrest involving competing commercial and military interests in the strategic region.
„Practical work on launching the process of creating a security system in the Persian Gulf may be started by holding bilateral and multilateral consultations between interested parties, including countries both within the region and outside of it, UN Security Council, LAS [League of Arab States], OIC [Organization of Islamic Cooperation], GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council],“ the document added.
The UK has invited military representatives of the US, France and other European countries to a meeting in Bahrain on Wednesday in an attempt to create an international mission to safeguard shipping through the strait of Hormuz.
Britain hopes it can act as bridge between the US – which has the largest military presence of a western nation in the region – and countries such as Germany, which is reluctant to getting involved in any mission led by Washington.
Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China will hold an unprecedented meeting with Iran in Vienna on Sunday to discuss how to save the 2015 nuclear deal.
„Trump’s trip to Panmunjom didn’t have its desired effect,“ Vipin Narang, an associate professor of political science at MIT told CNN. „There’s no date for working level talks. Instead, they’re still testing — Kim is touring potentially nuclear capable submarines and firing“ missiles.
Nominally, US policy is made in Washington. Substantively, it is framed in Riyadh and Jerusalem, with the interests of the United States figuring only minimally in determining the result.
The SCO is bound to significantly expand by 2020, with possible full membership for both Turkey and Iran. It will then feature all major players of Eurasia integration. Considering the current incandescence in the geopolitical chessboard, it’s hardly an accident a crucial protagonist in Bishkek was the ‘observer’ state Iran.
Shin pointed out that the submarine was revealed just in time for U.S. national security adviser John Bolton’s Seoul visit.
„The United States strongly supports our ROK and Japanese allies and their responses to airspace incursions by Chinese and Russian aircraft,“ Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Dave Eastburn said in response to a query from Yonhap News Agency, referring to South Korea by its official name, the Republic of Korea.
Moscow and Beijing have been steadily ramping up what he described as a „quasi-alliance,“ said Artyom Lukin, an international relations scholar at Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok. He described the incident as one designed to showcase their shared power, „sending a message to Tokyo, Seoul and Washington.“
„Frankly speaking, I was surprised when I read this news,“ Lukin said. „I didn’t expect this action would be so bold and provocative.“
The bloc, which expanded out of the original G7 rich-country club, has faced criticism over the years for lacking a charter, a clear mandate, or enforcement power, and holding hugely expensive yet inconclusive summits while excluding most of the developing world.
But while pressure on the bloc previously came from anti-globalisation protesters, this weekend’s summit in Osaka showed that the greatest challenges to its legitimacy may come from within.
China always stands on the side of peace and opposes war, Xi said when meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres ahead of a summit of the Group of 20 major economies in the Japanese city of Osaka.
This is the fourth time in more than 10 years Việt Nam has been invited to the G20 summit (the latest attendance was in July 2017 in Germany), an important multilateral forum.
PM Phúc said this showcases the international recognition of Việt Nam as a reliable partner for regional peace, security and growth, as well as an expectation that the country will continue making responsible contributions to global economic affairs.
The EU and Vietnam reportedly agreed to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) and an investment protection agreement (IPA) on Sunday in Hanoi, a development that can be seen as a response to US trade protectionism.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in met his Indian, Indonesian and French counterparts on the first day of this year’s G20 summit in this western Japanese city, Friday, and discussed various bilateral and global issues with each of them.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd L) meets with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (C), Russian President Vladimir Putin (1st L), Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (1st R) and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (2nd R) at a BRICS leaders meeting on the sidelines of a summit of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies in Osaka, Japan, June 28, 2019
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much everybody. We’re with a gentleman who had one of the greatest election wins anywhere in the world, as far as I’m concerned, and he was very proud of his relationship with President Trump — President of Brazil. And he’s a special man — doing very well, very much loved by the people of Brazil.
The five-party meeting was attended by President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, President of China Xi Jinping and President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa.
Vladimir Putin met with President of the United States of America Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka.