Footage obtained by POLITICO shows the journalist, Daniël Verlaan of RTL Nieuws, appearing in a large window at the top of the videoconference screen, dressed in a black T-shirt, grinning and waving to the ministers.
„You know that you have been jumping into a secret conference?“ EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told Verlaan, amid laughter from some officials.
„Yes, yes. I’m sorry. I’m a journalist from the Netherlands. I’m sorry for interrupting your conference,“ a smiling Verlaan replied.
The Russian delegation currently is in the Turkish capital for a working visit. A source in the Turkish Foreign Ministry told TASS that Russian envoys will hold talks in the Defense Ministry in the afternoon.
Heading a high-ranking delegation of military commanders, Anad will arrive in the Iranian capital on Saturday upon an official invitation by Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami.
“I am pleased to announce that Christopher C. Miller, the highly respected Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (unanimously confirmed by the Senate), will be Acting Secretary of Defense, effective immediately,” the president said in a post.
Russian Defence Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu held telephone talks with the Defence Ministers of Armenia David Tonoyan and Azerbaijan Zakir Hasanov.
During the talks, General of the Army Sergei Shoigu called on his colleagues to fully fulfill the obligations of the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides in accordance with the agreements reached in Moscow on October 10, 2020.
The memorandum, signed by Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Taran and British Secretary of State for Defense Ben Wallace, stresses cooperation in the defense industry, with Britain providing funding of 1.25 billion pounds (1.61 billion U.S. dollars) to bolster Ukraine’s defense capabilities
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry plans to purchase six to 12 Bayraktar TB2 complexes, each with six to 12 control stations, and three to four UAVs, Defense Express said in a report late Monday.
The agreement was signed in the capital Rabat by Morocco’s Foreign Affairs Minister Nasser Bourita and visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
The command of the Azerbaijani Army decided to launch a counter-offensive operation of Azerbaijani troops along the entire front to suppress the combat activity of the Armenian armed forces and ensure the safety of the civilian population.
A new battalion of US military forces, equipped with tanks and other armored vehicles, is to be deployed to Lithuania in November and will remain there until next June, the country’s defense minister says.
The Russian armed forces have received notice that militants from the Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham group (formerly known as the Nusra Front, banned in Russia), are planning the provocative attacks.
“In the coming days, terrorists plan to stage attacks in the settlements of Ariha and Basames in order to accuse the Syrian government forces of using chemical weapons against civilians. According to the available information, activists of the White Helmets pseudo-human rights organization are directly involved in the preparation of the sites for the attacks, including staging for capturing video,” Rear Adm. Grinkevich remarked.
13.9.2020 President Trump’s recent remarks that top Pentagon officials continue to push for war because they want to keep defense contractors “happy” has drawn a firestorm of criticism by those who would like to conflate the remarks with the allegation that the president is anti-military. What’s actually uncomfortable for many of those commentators, however, is the degree to which the president is speaking the truth.
In his inauguration speech, Suh also vowed to strive for expediting the envisioned transfer of the wartime operational control (OPCON) of South Korean forces from Washington to Seoul based on the strong alliance with the United States.
The French chief of Defense Staff is leading a large military delegation on a working visit to Morocco between September 9-13.
„In the coming period, we will not participate in any exercises or military activities with NATO, the CSTO, Russia, the United States, China, the EU, the East or the West,“ said Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin.
In his turn, the First Deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation R. Tsalikov stressed that our countries, linked by historical roots, are strategic partners. Such meetings also play an important role in the development of Azerbaijani-Russian relations.
A Tel Aviv court has rejected a legal case filed by Amnesty International that attempted to block the Israeli spyware firm NSO Group from selling its cyberweapons internationally.
The rights groups sought to force the Israeli defence ministry to revoke NSO Group’s export licence for its leading phone-hacking software, Pegasus. Amnesty’s lawyers alleged the product had been used by repressive governments to target activists, including one the rights group’s own researchers, as well as journalists.
“Today’s disgraceful ruling is a cruel blow to people put at risk around the world by NSO Group selling its products to notorious human rights abusers. At a moment when NSO and the Israeli MOD should be held accountable for their practices, it is appalling that the court has failed to do so.
“NSO Group continues to profit from human rights abuses with impunity. The ruling of the court flies in the face of the mountains of evidence of NSO Group’s spyware being used to target human rights defenders from Saudi Arabia to Mexico, including the basis of this case – the targeting of one of our own Amnesty employees. We will continue to do all we can to stop NSO Group’s spyware being used to commit human rights abuses.
24.6.2020 Head of Norway’s Joint Operative Headquarters Rune Jakobsen leads the delegation that on the 24th June attends war victory celebrations in the north Russian city.
Israeli Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz commended Friday the UN atomic watchdog’s demand of Iran to grant inspectors “immediate access” to nuclear sites in its territory.
On Monday night, both Mr. McCarthy and the Army’s chief of staff, Gen. James C. McConville, pressed Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, the commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard, to increase his forces’ presence in the city, according to a senior Defense Department official.
An Army official declined to comment, saying that the investigation was continuing.
He initially ordered them home on Wednesday after a night of more peaceful protests in the nation’s capital, but reversed course later in the day and planned to keep them in the area for another 24 hours after further analysis, the official said.
The second reversal comes as White House aides made clear their irritation with Esper for declaring his opposition to deploying active-duty troops to quash recent unrest just two days after President Donald Trump threatened to do so. Officials say the Defense secretary is on thin ice with the president.
We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Square. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution. At the same time, we must remember Lincoln’s “better angels,” and listen to them, as we work to unite.
Only by adopting a new path—which means, in truth, returning to the original path of our founding ideals—will we again be a country admired and respected at home and abroad.
When I joined the Board in early 2014, after leaving government service as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, I again swore an oath of office, one familiar to you, that includes the commitment to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States . . . and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”
You recited that same oath on July 23, 2019, when you were sworn in as Secretary of Defense. On Monday, June 1, 2020, I believe that you violated that oath. Law-abiding protesters just outside the White House were dispersed using tear gas and rubber bullets — not for the sake of safety, but to clear a path for a presidential photo op.
A former top policy official at the Pentagon, James Miller, resigned from his role on the Defense Advisory Board due to what he said was Secretary of Defense Mark Esper’s visible support for law enforcement officers‘ clearing of protesters from Lafayette Square on Monday.
Here it is.
Venezuela’s military will escort Iranian tankers bringing fuel to the gasoline-starved country as soon as they enter its exclusive economic zone, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino said on Wednesday.
Hatamai underlined the need for defense cooperation between Baghdad and Tehran to restore security and stability in the region.
In 2018, it was reported that Greece would lease seven Heron medium-altitude, long endurance (MALE) UAVs as part of a three-year contract worth 35.5 million euros.
Under the cover of the spreading coronavirus, the government is deepening its invasion of the lives of this country’s citizens. Defense Minister Naftali Bennett continues to use his temporary authority in order to promote plans that run roughshod over the right to privacy, while demolishing the distinction, so vital in a democracy, between the army and civil society.
In co-operation with other Nordic intelligence services, the defence minister, Trine Bramsen, has warned that foreign powers are willing to use to the coronavirus crisis to cause damage to Denmark.
In an interview with Jyllands-Posten newspaper, Bramsen said that the pandemic makes Denmark more vulnerable, and there are already examples of negative-impact campaigns being aimed at the Danes.
The key to defeating the global pandemic of coronavirus is isolating the elderly population in the hope that young people who are not in the risk group for complications would develop herd immunity, Israel’s caretaker Defense Minister said Friday in a recorded statement.
#BreakingNews #Syria #Russia #Assad
The delegation also visited the Piraeus Turkish Martyrdom and Turkish Armed Forces Attache’s office in Athens, the ministry added.
Over the last week, Colombia’s Defense Minister has held meetings with the U.S. Southcom Commander and the U.S. Secretary of Defense.
The UAE has opened its new naval base in Fujairah, allowing it to bypass the Strait of Hormuz and enjoy direct access to the Arabian Sea.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, speaking in an interview at the World Economic Forum on Thursday, said that Germany aims to keep its forces in Iraq, but can only do so at the behest of the government in Baghdad.
“We need to keep in mind that in Iraq, IS is not yet defeated,“ Kramp-Karrenbauer told Bloomberg Television in Davos, Switzerland. “If the pressure is reduced, then the danger is great that it resumes its regime of terror.”
The Defense Ministry filed a civil suit this week for about 100,000 shekels ($29,000) against a Bedouin cowherd whose cows entered a firing zone near the Tze’elim army base in the Negev, forcing the army to stop training. According to the Southern District prosecution, which represents the Defense Ministry, this is the first time the state has sued for financial compensation over such an incident.
“Well, I’m worried. And as a United States senator and as a voter and citizen, I have learned not to simply take the federal government’s word at face value. I mean, look, we were lied to about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. We were lied to for a couple of decades about what was happening in Afghanistan. We have been lied to about a lot of things,” Lee said.
Our own sources in Baghdad confirmed that the letter was genuine and that they too had seen it.
One source said their understanding of the US position was that a partial withdrawal or repositioning of some troops to Kuwait was taking place.
Amid rising tensions with Iran, the Navy is scrapping an exercise with Morocco as it redirects amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD-5) and embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit to the Middle East, a defense official confirmed to USNI News on Friday.
„Once we have been forced to reach this situation, we will not hesitate to employ the full force of the IDF, even in the urban sphere where the enemy has chosen to act,” he said.
Israel’s aim is to deter potential enemies, he said. The “ultimate goal is to instill in our enemies the feeling of despair and doubt in their ability to achieve their aggressive aims.”
Lt.-Gen. Kochavi acknowledges in public for the first time that Israel has struck Iranian targets in Iraq.
Der Vorsitzende der Generalstabschefs General Mark Milley versuchte am Freitag, den Krieg gegen Afghanistan zu verteidigen, obwohl die Afghanistan-Papiere systematische offizielle Lügen über den gescheiterten Konflikt zeigen, indem er darauf bestand, dass die Dokumente eine „Fehlcharakterisierung“ des Krieges sind und dass es keine einheitliche Entscheidung zur Täuschung der Öffentlichkeit gab.
According to Harel, Israel is afraid that the US will desert the Iran issue while America is worried Israel may carry out a unilateral attack against Tehran, forcing Washington into a war.
Harel warned that it is impossible to separate the internal Israeli chaos from the Iran issue; in particular with regards to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s indictment and his failure to form a government.
On Sunday, leaders, foreign ministers and defense officials from around the world gathered in Bahrain to attend the Manama Dialogue organized by the International Institute of Strategic Studies. At the meeting, French Defense Minister Florence Parly said France intends to fill the void created by a “deliberate, gradual U.S. disengagement” from the Middle East.
Jerusalem Post Middle East analyst Seth Frantzman called Parly’s speech a “shot across the bow of U.S. policy” and a “signal” that France is seeking “a deeper role” in Middle East security.
“The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin,” Trump wrote. “This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!”
The ICC said it took the findings very seriously. The MoD has said the allegations are unsubstantiated.
Speaking to the top-selling Bild newspaper, Wong said: “It makes me furious that the German Bundeswehr is apparently helping to train Chinese soldiers. Given the riots in Hong Kong, the defence ministry should have ended this programme long ago.”
Stopping violence and restoring order ‘most urgent task’ for the city, China’s defence ministry says
Chinese and US defence ministers discuss Hong Kong at Bangkok Asean meeting while clashes continue between police and radicals
The year-long investigation claims to have found evidence of murders by an SAS soldier, as well as deaths in custody, beatings, torture and sexual abuse of detainees by members of the Black Watch.
A senior SAS commander was referred to prosecutors for attempting to pervert the course of justice, the investigation claims.
Operation Northmoor was set up by the government in 2014 and looked into 52 alleged illegal killings.
Its closure was announced by the government before Royal Military Police detectives even had a chance to interview the key Afghan witnesses.
Lady Emma Arbuthnot, the Westminster chief magistrate enmeshed in a conflict of interest, will no longer be presiding over the extradition proceedings of imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, said WikiLeaks lawyer Jen Robinson, at an event in Sydney on Friday night .
Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom, a former defence minister, is a paid chair of the advisory board of military corporation Thales Group, and was until earlier this year an adviser to arms company Babcock International. Both companies have major contracts with the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD).
The revelations highlight concerns about conflicts of interest. Lady Arbuthnot began presiding over Assange’s legal case in 2017 and ruled this June that a full hearing would begin next February to consider the request for extradition from the UK made by the Trump administration.
A senior commander with the Gaza-based terror organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) was killed overnight Thursday in an IDF strike, leaving dead eight members of the same family.
A spokesperson for the Israeli military said that Rasmi Abu Malhous, apparently the head of Islamic Jihad’s rocket unit, was killed in a targeted attack on his home in Deir al-Balah, located the central Gaza Strip.
The prime minister’s assault kills minority government option and undercuts Joint List efforts to ally with the Jewish center-left
Until now, it seemed the entire political system was fumbling all the way to another election, and that perhaps this was our new system of government – elections and yet more elections, devoid of either victory or significance. But on Tuesday, Israelis woke up to a historic moment. A “crisis government” led by Netanyahu, with the participation of Benny Gantz and his Kahol Lavan party, now seems like the most probable outcome.
We’ve gotten used to the racist aroma that wafts from the written and oral statements of Israel’s prime minister about the Arab minority. The same goes for the naked cynicism of the man who is willing to kiss the feet of racist messianic politicians, Kahanists, xenophobes and persecutors of children, just so they’ll support his government. But it wouldn’t be too much to expect for him to calm down his campaign, knowing that in a few short hours, hundreds of missiles would rain down on people in the Gaza border communities and points north.
Ben Wallace travelled to NATO HQ to discuss emerging technologies and non-conventional warfighting with fellow defence ministers, and agreed plans to ensure that NATO forces are ready to respond at short notice.
The event will be attended by Azerbaijan’s Defense Minister Colonel General Zakir Hasanov, Russian Defense Minister, General of the Army Sergey Shoigu, Belarussian Defense Minister Lieutenant General Andrei Ravkov, Kazakhstan’s Defense Minister Major General Nurlan Yermekbayev, Uzbekistan’s Defense Minister Major General Bakhodir Kurbanov, Tajikistan’s Defense Minister Colonel General Mirzo Sherali and Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Kyrgyz Republic, Major General Rayimberdi Duishenbiev.
The photos were taken, uncredited, from various media organizations. French media AFP said Defense ministry called and apologized for using their photos which were not from Venezuela but Catatumbo, Colombia.
STUTTGART, Germany — When the new U.S. and German defense chiefs held high-level talks in Washington this week, Defense Secretary Mark Esper wasted no time getting to his main point — the dollars and cents of defense spending.
Mr. Ashkenazi and Meir Dagan, who was the head of the Israeli intelligence service, the Mossad, at the time, would later say that this was an attempt at “stealing a war,” Ms. Dayan reported, because in their view such an order required a decision of the full cabinet, not the smaller group in the meeting, who were then known as the forum of seven.
Both Mr. Ashkenazi, who is now retired, and Mr. Dagan, who stepped down after the meeting, have become vocal critics of plans for a unilateral Israeli attack on Iran, and of Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Barak’s aggressive approach.
Diskin’s remarks followed a furore over comments made on Wednesday by Israel’s serving military chief, Benny Gantz, which starkly contrasted with Netanyahu’s rhetoric on Iran. Gantz said he did not believe the Iranian leadership was prepared to „go the extra mile“ to acquire nuclear weapons because it was „composed of very rational people“ who understood the consequences.
The Israeli military chief described the Iranian government as “rational” in interviews published Wednesday and said he did not believe it would build a nuclear bomb, appearing to put some distance between himself and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
“I believe he would be making an enormous mistake, and I don’t think he will want to go the extra mile,” the chief of staff of the Israeli Defense Force, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, told the left-leaning newspaper Haaretz, referring to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper will visit London on Friday for meetings with top British officials, the country’s ambassador in London said on Wednesday.
The foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany — the three European parties to the deal — were joined by EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini for talks on the sidelines of an EU meeting in Helsinki.
Germany’s Heiko Maas said the trio wanted to build on momentum from last weekend’s G7 summit, where Trump indicated willingness to talk to Iran.
A pilot project will take place targeting piracy in the Gulf of Guinea area in Africa, EU foreign relations chief Federica Mogherini said after the talks in Helsinki Thursday.
The meeting will start on Thursday 29 August with a discussion held jointly with the EU defence ministers. Countering hybrid and cyber threats is one of the priorities of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Mr Pompeo and newly appointed US Defense Secretary Mark Esper were greeted by US Ambassador to Australia Arthur Culvahouse and US Consul General in Sydney Sharon Hudson-Dean at Sydney Airport on Saturday evening.
„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.
In 2011, Netanyahu and then Defense Minister Ehud Barak pushed for a strike on Iran but met fierce resistance from the Israeli defense and intelligence establishment, according to a report by Channel 10 in 2012, not to mention from then US President Barack Obama whose administration sought a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear program.
In the end Netanyahu shelved his plan,
– Boris Johnson launches mass clear out of Cabinet and sacks Jeremy Hunt
– Jeremy Hunt and Penny Mordaunt among those sacked in brutal two-hour cull
– Greg Clark and Liam Fox also leave the government as new PM wields the axe
– Damian Hinds, James Brokenshire, David Mundell and Karen Bradley ousted
– Philip Hammond, David Gauke and Rory Stewart all resigned earlier today
– Priti Patel makes a remarkable Cabinet return as the new Home Secretary
– Sajid Javid has been promoted to crucial role of Chancellor under Mr Johnson
– Brexiteer Dominic Raab was installed as Foreign Secretary replacing Mr Hunt
Defence secretary Penny Mordaunt has said the UK-registered oil tanker seized by Iran was intercepted in Omani waters, describing the incident as a “hostile act”.
The Stena Impero, a British-flagged ship carrying crude oil, was boarded and captured by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards on Friday.
The missiles were intended for the “protection of a French military unit deployed to carry out counter-terrorism operations”, the ministry added.
In its statement, the French ministry of defence also denied the Javelins had been given to Haftar’s forces, and it further reiterated that the arms were not subject to import restrictions because they were intended for the protection of French troops.
HÀ NỘI – Deputy Minister of Defence, Senior Lieutenant General Nguyễn Chí Vịnh and Secretary General of the Indonesian Ministry of Defence Vice Admiral Agus Setiadji co-chaired the first Việt Nam – Indonesia Defence Policy Dialogue in Hà Nội yesterday.
The two shared information on defence policies, while discussing the security situation in the Asia-Pacific region, the cooperation within the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and ADMM Plus, and preparations for Việt Nam’s ASEAN chairmanship in 2020.
U.S. Army Secretary Mark Esper, who becomes the acting defense secretary on Monday, will travel to Brussels next week for a meeting of NATO defense ministers, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Friday said the U.K. would make its own assessment, but believed the U.S. claim that Tehran was behind the incident.
One hundred Royal Marines are expected to be deployed “within weeks” to join naval ships operating from the U.K.’s new naval base in Bahrain, the Times reported, citing unnamed military sources.
An RAF source told The Express: This situation obviously has to be rectified before the plane enters operational service.‘
The source also told the paper that defence secretary Gavin Williamson and RAF Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen have always known about the issue.
The former defence secretary is being urged by friends to table a Parliamentary motion demanding a new investigation, which would almost certainly be backed by opposition parties and a number of Tory MPs.
He is also weighing up whether to engineer his own “Geoffrey Howe moment” by making a speech in the Commons that could hasten Theresa May’s downfall, in the same way that the former deputy PM triggered the leadership contest that ended Margaret Thatcher’s premiership.
He said that police had not been provided with evidence by the Cabinet Office that a crime has been committed and no crime had been alleged by the “owner of the material”.
According to various reports citing government sources, Mr Williamson had told fellow Tories Mrs May’s health makes her unfit to be prime minister.
A Downing Street source said the briefings did not come from No 10.
Meanwhile, there will be no criminal investigation into the affair – after the government refused to refer it to the police, despite experts warning of a breach of the Official Secrets Act.
Ms May was asked three times if she would bow to Mr Williamson’s request to be handed a copy of the conclusions reached by Mark Sedwill, the national security adviser, but refused to budge.
As the latest scandal to rock Theresa May’s government engulfed Westminster for a second day;
– Labour chiefs united with some Tory MPs to demand a police probe is mounted to get to the bottom of what happened.
– Mr Williamson said he would personally welcome a criminal investigation as the only was to “clear” his name.
FT Whitehall correspondent Sebastian Payne on the reasons why Gavin Williamson became the first UK cabinet minister in a generation to be fired following a leak inquiry.
Gavin Williamson has been refused a copy of the report of the investigation which claimed he leaked secrets from the National Security Council, The Independent has learnt.
The former defence secretary believes that the release of the report will prove the weakness of the case against him which led to his firing.
The British government needed to investigate the disclosure of secret information relating to Chinese telecoms company Huawei because it came from a classified intelligence briefing, the prime minister’s spokesman said on Thursday.
On Monday, the U.S. sent a stark message across the Atlantic: „It is the United States’ position that putting Huawei or any other untrustworthy vendor in any part of the 5G telecommunications network is a risk,” said Robert Strayer, as reported by Reuters. This can hardly come as a surprise to the U.K. Washington has made no secret of its binary view of Huawei’s equipment, and the U.K. is its closest ally, even within the Five Eyes.
Mike Pompeo will say in a face-to-face meeting next Wednesday that the Chinese technology company poses a risk to British citizens and could breach privacy protections when he meets the Prime Minister and Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, in London.
The former head of the CIA will make clear that giving Huawei access could throw US-UK technology partnerships into doubt, according to a senior US State Department official, who said spelling out the risks was „imperative“.
Scotland Yard are on standby to launch a probe into claims the ex-Defence Secretary leaked spy secrets.
But they can’t start their investigation unless they get the green light from No10 – and Theresa May is reluctant to get the cops involved.
Responding to a question from the Press Association during a visit to Ethiopia, Mr Hunt said: “Let me say that, when it comes to issues like whether there should be a police investigation or not, there’s a very, very important principle of our system that those decisions are not made by politicians, they are made independently by police.
“And that has to be the correct way forward in this situation.”
„The Prime Minister has said she now considers that this matter has been closed and the Cabinet Secretary does not consider it necessary to refer it to the police, but we would of course cooperate fully should the police themselves consider that an investigation were necessary.“
Lidington’s remarks were echoed by Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill – the most senior civil servant in the UK – who said he did not believe it necessary to refer the matter to the police.
„I am sorry that you feel recent leaks from the National Security Council originated in my Department. I emphatically believe this was not the case. I strenuously deny that I was in any way involved in this leak and I am confident that a thorough and formal inquiry would have vindicated my position.
I have always trusted my civil servants, military advisers and staff. I believe the assurances they have given me.
I appreciate you offering me the option to resign, but to resign would have been to accept that I, my civil servants, my military advisers or my staff were responsible: this was not the case.“
– The PM sacked Gavin Williamson as Defence Secretary following a leak of secret information last week
– Is alleged he revealed National Security Council discussions about Huawei’s involvement in UK’s 5G network
– He has ’strenuously‘ denied being involved in the leak, despite claims of ‚compelling evidence‘ against him
– Speaking to the Daily Mail, he said it was a ’shame she didn’t recognise‘ how he had kept her as the PM in past
– Williamson also suggests that Mrs May’s investigator Sir Mark Sedwill was settling a vendetta against him
– Growing calls were made for him to face police action, including from Labour deputy leader Tom Watson
May was told of what she called “compelling” evidence of Williamson’s involvement before she was due to face a grilling from the backbench liaison committee. The defence secretary was later summoned to May’s House of Commons office, where she confronted him with the evidence, offered him the opportunity to resign – and when he refused, immediately fired him.
Dominic Grieve said the disclosure to a newspaper of an NSC discussion about Chinese telecoms giant Huawei’s potential involvement in the development of the UK’s 5G mobile network was „corrosive and undesirable“.
Gavin Williamson’s sacking as defence secretary leads the papers on Thursday.
The Cabinet minister was fired by Theresa May on Wednesday after an inquiry into an unprecedented leak of information from the National Security Council (NSC).
May’s surprise decision followed an inquiry into how the Daily Telegraph newspaper discovered that the UK government was preparing to give Huawei access to parts of the country’s 5G mobile network.
Mr Parker said that his staff were doing “extraordinary things” to keep the country safe in the face of such dangers, thwarting plots and saving lives. But he cautioned that the increasingly “vast amounts” of material on smartphones and the scale of social media output meant that more data than ever was being created at the same time as encryption was making it harder for MI5 to access it.
Sky’s foreign affairs editor, Deborah Haynes, said: „Investigators are looking in detail at how the attackers, captured on CCTV, seem to be looking at their mobile phones – potentially receiving instructions.“
President Sirisena explained that authorities are aware of „a small group“ of Sri Lankans who have travelled abroad to receive training from IS over the past decade.
The group’s suggestion of the establishment of a single source of communication regarding national security matters (NSC Media Centre) is to ensure the Government does not let Ministers make ad hoc and often poorly-informed statements, likely with the desired goal of gaining local political mileage and international visibility. “This is confusing Sri Lankans, and embarrassing Sri Lanka on the international stage. It causes anguish among different communities, and also deteriorates trust in the Government,” they opined.
Questions are being raised about how much President Maithripala Sirisena knew about warnings provided by foreign intelligence agencies ahead of the Easter Sunday bombings that left at least 253 people dead and injured more than 450.
State Intelligence Service (SIS) Director Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police Nilantha Jayawardena provided detailed reports to the President on at least three occasions, authoritative and multiple sources with close knowledge of the inner workings of the Defence establishment confirmed to Daily FT.
But many officials and lawmakers have said, publicly and privately, that they doubted the president was unaware of the intelligence on an imminent threat.
In addition to being president, Mr. Sirisena also leads the Defense Ministry, which oversees the work of much of the intelligence agencies. The officials say it is impossible that he would not have been briefed on a memo about threats that others at much lower levels had heard about.
“The government from the very beginning wanted to keep the minority vote with them, so they didn’t take any action,” Rajapaksa said.
The violent attacks, the ensuing political uncertainty and an upsurge in nationalism is almost certainly going to strengthen the Rajapaksa family, according to Alan Keenan, a London-based senior Sri Lanka analyst for the International Crisis Group who has lived on and off in the country for nearly two decades.
(26. April 2019)
A police spokesman said Friday that police forces had raided a house in Sammanthurai, a town on the east coast, and that after a gun battle they seized an Islamic State flag, explosives and clothes they said may have belonged to some of the Easter suicide attackers. It was not immediately clear who had been inside the house or whether any occupant had been killed. Police said the clothes matched those worn in a video that the attackers posted online before the bombings.
(7. März 2019)
It said the government will seek an extension of the timeline of the UHRC resolution 30/1 of October 01, 2015, through a co-sponsored roll-over resolution at the ongoing 40th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
The statement stands in contrast with President Sirisena’s comments on Wednesday that he would send his own team to the UNHRC session later this month to seek a reprieve. He said the UN must allow Sri Lanka to resolve its own issues without digging into past.
(6. März 2019)
However, at the 30th session, the UNHRC relaxed its call for an international inquiry by opting for a hybrid court that included both international and local judges and prosecutors to conduct the probe into war crimes. At the UNHRC’s 34th Session in March 2017, the Sri Lankan government was allowed by way of Resolution 34/1 a period of two years to meet the requirements outlined in the 30/1 Resolution.
(16. September 2018)
This debate has been in progress since Lanka was granted independence by the British in 1948. It involves the disfranchisement of plantation Tamils in 1948, the passing of the Official Language Bill (better known as the Sinhala Only Bill) in 1956, the 1958 riots against the Tamil community and those in 1977, the two insurrections by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (Peoples Liberation Front – JVP) which were brutally suppressed, and the 1972 and 1977 constitutions, both of which stated that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala Buddhist country. These are matters which the country’s elite have consistently downplayed.
1983 was a pivotal year in the history of post-independence Sri Lanka. It was in July of that year a pogrom against Tamils in the south and east of Sri Lanka was instigated. Their possessions and business were looted, their houses burnt, many women were raped and probably 2,000 people were killed. This resulted in an exodus of around 100,000 Tamils from the south. It is not surprising that the civil war began in earnest in its bloody aftermath. It ended only with the complete victory of the Lankan state and the annihilation of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) twenty-six years later. During the conduct of the long civil war there were countless human rights violations by both sides, with the civilian population being caught in the middle. The conduct of the last phase of the war, known as Eelam War IV, came under particular scrutiny by the international community. It is this scrutiny that has angered that section of the Sinhala community that refuses to admit any fault on their own side.
(5. März 2017)
Mr. Sirisena himself addressing troops in the northern Jaffna peninsula on Sunday said he would not subject the Sri Lankan military personnel to any probe.
“I have clearly said that I am not prepared to serve charge sheets to our soldiers or to have foreign judges to try our security forces,” Mr. Sirisena said.
“It is my duty to protect the troops,” he said.
(17. Februar 2017)
Sri Lanka must employ international judges and prosecutors to ensure accountability during trials of those responsible for alleged war crimes against mostly Tamils, Human Rights Watch Australia’s director Elaine Pearson told SBS News.
Ms Pearson’s call, which echoes a recommendation in a 2015 UN Human Rights Council report of the OHCHR investigation of Sri Lanka, comes as Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesingh this week visited Canberra.
(16. September 2015)
Among the most serious crimes documented in the report are numerous unlawful killings, sexual and gender-based violence, enforced disappearances, torture, child recruitment, attacks on civilians, denial of humanitarian assistance, and violation of the rights of internally displaced persons in closed camps.
The report also documents “years of denials and cover-ups, failure to carry out prompt investigations, stalled investigations and reprisals against the family members of victims and others who have pushed for justice,” states the news release issued by the UN human rights office (OHCHR).
(16. September 2015)
In May 2009, the army recaptured the last area controlled by the LTTE, putting an end to a war that claimed the lives of up to 100,000 people, according to the UN. Nearly 40,000 of them are believed to have been killed in the last five months of the conflict.
Although the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) paper names no suspects, stating it was a „human rights investigation, not a criminal investigation,“ it does say that Tamil politicians, humanitarian workers, journalists and ordinary civilians were among the alleged victims of Sri Lankan security forces and associated paramilitaries.
Bilateral military cooperation between the United States and Ecuador has strengthened by several high-level visits, including a visit from hospital ship USNS COMFORT and reopening of the U.S. military cooperation office in Ecuador, the statement declared.
Israel has been selling military equipment to Ukraine for over two decades, and with the election of Jewish comedian and novice politician Volodymyr Zelensky, there is a good chance to increase defense ties between the two countries.
Three of the explosions this morning – as Christians attended Easter mass – were carried out by suicide bombers, according to a security official.
Sri Lanka’s minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene said in a press conference: „We believe that all the culprits who have been involved in this unfortunate terrorist incident will be taken into custody as soon as possible. They have been identified, and they will be taken into custody as soon as possible.“
General Vladimir Padrino said that the United States and other governments are executing a war against Venezuela.
Former head of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff admiral Evangelos Apostolakis was sworn in on Monday as the country’s new Defense Minister ahead of a confidence vote to the government which is scheduled for Wednesday evening, Greek national news agency AMNA reported.
Eric Chewning, the head of the Pentagon’s industrial policy office, has been named chief of staff to acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan.
Charles E. „Charlie“ Summers, Jr., a former Maine Republican politician and Navy reserve captain, has been named as the new chief spokesman for the Pentagon, replacing Dana White, who held the post under outgoing Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
A former defence contractor with no foreign policy experience has assumed the top job at the Pentagon.
Mattis, a retired Marine general who has often shied from the spotlight, did not have any sort of departure ceremony when he left the Pentagon, leaving his farewell memo as his final public remarks as defense secretary. Historically, departing secretaries have had a major ceremony.
The minister’s last-minute trip to Jordan comes on the heels of US President Donald Trump’s surprise decision in mid-December to pull out all 2,000 American troops stationed in Syria, saying „we’ve won“ against IS.
Azerbaijan’s defense minister, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov and the leadership of the ministry recently took part in the opening of a new Training Center for drone specialists.
The minister was informed that the primary purpose of the center is to conduct training, making professionals for various types of drones used by the Azerbaijani army.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi and the Sudanese Defence Minister Awad Ibn Ouf on Tuesday have discussed the current security challenges in the region.
The Defense Ministry is moving to expand the Self-Defense Forces‘ base in the strategically important eastern African nation of Djibouti for a wider range of missions other than anti-piracy operations.
Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced early Wednesday that he was resigning from the conservative coalition government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after a disagreement over the Gaza ceasefire deal, reports AP.
BRITAIN needs new tools to counteract the „escalating“ risk Russia poses on the country as 1945 institutions no longer provide security against the modern world threats, warned Defence Chief Sir Nick Carter.
Defence minister Tobias Ellwood revealed contingency plans are being made in case Government negotiations with the European Union collapse.
His comments came after the head of the British Army, chief of the defence staff General Sir Nick Carter, told yesterday’s Andrew Marr Show that the military was ‚thinking hard‘ about what no deal might involve.
According to the action plan between the ministries of defense of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia, a working meeting was held in Baku to exchange experience in the field of cybersecurity, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said in a message on Nov. 6.
The Italian Ministry of Defense may use two satellites to replace a single existing satellite so that it can use the Italian-led Vega C or Vega E rocket, according to a defense official.
Lt. Col. Luigi Mauro, head of the Italian Ministry of Defence’s Satcom Systems Section, said the Italian government approved last year a replacement for Sicral-1B, a 3,000-kilogram military communications satellite that launched on a Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket to geostationary-transfer orbit in 2009.
During Air Force Space Command’s recently concluded Schriever Wargame 2018 at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, the U.K. was put in charge of the so-called Special Capabilities Integration Cell. This cell is where commanders simulated how the U.S., U.K., Australia and Canada would combine their space capabilities to fend off attacks in a potential conflict.
“In this game, we had the first ever high-level coalition cell,” Air Force Brig. Gen. DeAnna Burt, director of operations and communications at U.S. Air Force Space Command, said last week in Washington. “Partners brought future capabilities they’d like to build at the SAP [special access program] level,” she said. “Britain ran the cell.”
Acting Armenia’s Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan has arrived in Lebanon on a working visit, spokesperson for the ministry Artsrun Hovhannisyan wrote on Facebook.
“Strategic competition does not imply hostility. I have met with my counterpart in Beijing a month ago, I met with him again in Singapore a week ago, he is coming to Washington next week to continue our discussions,” Mattis said during a speech in Bahrain. uter
“We want to reiterate that Turkey will continue to support Venezuela. … We oppose measures to isolate the country, we are against the sanctions, and we favor dialogue between individuals,” Cavusoglu said.
In recent times, Venezuela has also been participating in stronger trade relations with Turkey having signed a series of bilateral trade and economic agreements.
The recovery, without any arrests or named suspects, triggered an investigation by prosecutors, who last month ordered the arrest of the head of the military police and several army officers.
The United States, Sweden and Italy have offered to sell jet fighters to Bulgaria at its request, the Bulgarian defense ministry said Monday in a statement on its website, … The ministry has also sent requests to France for new and used Rafales, Germany for new and used Eurofighters, Portugal for used F-16s and Israel for used F-16s, the statement said.
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will hold talks with India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for the so-called two-plus-two discussions.
(12.4.2018) Spain’s King Felipe VI met with Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who serves as defence minister and also controls economic policy for the world’s top oil exporter, at the Zarzuela Palace on the outskirts of Madrid, before hosting a luncheon in his honour attended by senior Spanish officials and businessmen. The Saudi prince then held talks behind closed doors with Defence Minister Maria Dolores Cospedal and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
Meanwhile, Xu Qiliang will hold meetings and talks with Emomali Rahmon, the Minister of Defense Colonel-General Sherali Mirzo, and will visit one of military units of the Defense Ministry of Tajikistan, the Ministry of Defense of Tajikistan told Asia-Plus.
This visit will help to strengthen the strategic trust between Beijing and Dushanbe, contributing to the promotion of pragmatic cooperation in the military sphere, the Defense Ministry of the country said in a statement.
The commanders from the four countries, which have joint operation rooms to coordinate the fight against the Daesh terror group, attended the conference on Saturday.
The Iraqi Defense Ministry said it had received delegations led by deputy chiefs of staff to „strengthen cooperation and coordination in terms of security and intelligence among these countries.“
(25.8.2018) „To carry out the alleged ‚chemical attack‘ in the city of Jisr al-Shughur in the province of Idlib, militants from the Tahrir al-Sham group (affiliated with the Jabhat Nusra* terror organization) had delivered 8 tankers with chlorine… to a village a few kilometers from Jisr al-Shughur,“ the general stated.
For this purpose, the destroyer USS The Sullivans armed with 56 cruise missiles had arrived in the Persian Gulf several days ago, while a US В-1В bomber carrying 24 air-to-surface AGM-158 JASSM cruise missiles has been deployed at Al Udeid air base in Qatar, the spokesman suggested.
(25.8.2018) The attack would be used as a pretext for US, UK and French airstrikes on Syrian targets, Konashenkov added. USS ‘The Sullivans,’ an Arleigh Burke-class Aegis guided missile destroyer, has already been deployed in the Persian Gulf a couple of days ago, he said.
The destroyer has 56 cruise missiles on board, according to data from the Russian Defence Ministry.
Heading a high-ranking military delegation, General Hatami arrived at Damascus airport on Sunday morning and was received by top Syrian military commanders as well as the Iranian ambassador to Syria,
Ri formerly held the four-star position before he was briefly demoted deputy chief and three stars for an unspecified reason in 2016.
His return adds the recent appointments of No Kwang Chol, first vice defense minister, as the defense chief, and Army General Kim Su Gil as director of the military’s powerful General Political Bureau.
The South Korean foreign ministry summoned a senior Russian diplomat and “expressed regrets and urged the incident not to happen again”, it said in a statement.
South Korea’s defense ministry called in a Russian military official and lodged a protest about the incursion.
“The suggestion that the rise and fall of productivity growth is associated with the availability of physical resources such as energy and minerals is clearly one that merits further attention. The similarity between the rise and fall in labour productivity shown… and some recent studies of the energy return on energy invested (EROI) in fossil fuels is striking.”
All of North Korea’s three top military officials are believed to have been replaced, an intelligence source said Sunday, in a move that could be aimed at taming the military ahead of a denuclearization deal with the U.S. No Kwang-chol, first vice minister of the Ministry of People’s Armed Forces, replaced Pak Yong-sik as defense chief, while Ri Myong-su, chief of the KPA’s general staff, was replaced by his deputy, Ri Yong-gil, according to the source.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman plans to travel to Moscow to meet with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on May 31.
Israel’s Defense Ministry announced the meeting on May 28 but did not give details about the scheduled talks.
Azerbaijani Defense Minister Colonel-General Zakir Hasanov has met with Major General Odd Egil Pedersen, Head of NATO’s Military Partnerships Directorate, and Major General Erhan Uzun, Chief of the Staff of NATO Allied Land Command, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said in a message May 23.
“Every day that Ayman Odeh is not in prison is a failure of law enforcement,” Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said of the chairman of the Joint List, the third largest bloc in the Knesset. Interior Minister Gilad Erdan — who lost no haste in pronouncing Yakub Abu al-Kian, who was shot dead by police in Umm al-Hiran, a terrorist — quickly joined in. He announced that he would ask the attorney general to launch a criminal investigation against Odeh, who cursed out a police officer at the hospital where Jafar Farah, the director of Mossawa Center, the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel, was being treated while under arrest in connection to a protest in Haifa.
SCL Elections briefed Foreign Office officials in 2017 on how use of data for US presidential elections could be applied for UK diplomatic and foreign policy interests
Mattis, Dunford, Brief Press Regarding Syria Strike DC, UNITED STATES 04.13.2018 Courtesy Video DoD News
PARIS — French defense minister says Russia was warned ahead of joint US, UK, French military attacks on Syria.
Trump agreed that the military, as fighting continued against remaining militant pockets, could train local security forces.
But officials said he stressed that U.S. strategic goals in Syria do not include longer-term stability or reconstruction efforts. He said he did not want to be having the same conversation about withdrawal six months or more from now.
The Foreign Secretary was urged to explain the answer he gave when asked why he was certain the novichok nerve agent originated in Russia.
On Tuesday, Britain’s military research unit revealed to Sky News it was not yet able to establish where the substance used to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal was made.