Officials from around the Middle East began arriving in Baghdad, Iraq, on Friday ahead of a summit aiming to promote peace and reconciliation in the region, including improving ties between arch rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia.
The delegation will visit the Al Udeid Air Base, home of U.S. central command in the Middle East, where members will assess the Iranian threat, U.S. regional security posture and meet with deployed U.S. military personnel.
On the first of the year the North Atlantic Treaty Organization transferred command of the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) to Turkey.
On March 30 NATO turned over its current mission in Afghanistan to Turkish Brigadier General Selçuk Yurtsizoglu.
By every reasonable measure, the Iraq war was – and remains – a debacle. This anniversary provides an opportunity to examine the roles that the architects of the military intervention and their collaborators in the news media and the foreign policy community played.
This could require sending more strike aircraft to operate in the Middle East or ensuring that an aircraft carrier with its strike wing is operating in the Persian Gulf region.
The incoming Biden administration has pledged to do even more to partner with allies on the China challenge.
In another step in that direction, on December 2, the foreign ministers of the NATO members, along with delegations from Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea, gathered virtually to discuss the rise of China and the implications for the global balance of power.
Kushner hopes to mend the divide between Qatar and other Gulf nations, according to the Journal, which noted that his visit follows U.S.-brokered pacts between Israel and Bahrain, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates. White House aide Avi Berkowitz, who was heavily involved in brokering the earlier deals, will accompany Kushner, the newspaper reported, adding that the negotiations will primarily involve Saudi-Qatari relations.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also attended part of the meeting with the visiting Kushner.
„The Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary were clear about their commitment to a negotiated two-state solution,” the spokesman said.
The UAE and Israel wish to express their gratitude for the overwhelmingly positive response to this historic accord from governments around the world. They are especially grateful to President Donald J. Trump for his leadership and to his administration for the critical role it has played in achieving this diplomatic breakthrough. They are also greatly encouraged by the broad bipartisan support for this breakthrough from the United States Congress.
The first official flight from Israel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) landed Monday in Abu Dhabi, carrying an Israeli-American delegation to advance the landmark peace agreement between the two Middle Eastern states.
Leading the historic occasion, special White House advisor Jared Kushner addressed reporters at the airport promptly after landing, as Arab media televised the event under the title “Message of Peace.”
Lebanon’s Ambassador to Germany Mustapha Adib looks set to become the new Lebanese prime minister-designate.
Kushner, O’Brien, US Special Representative for International Negotiations Avi Berkowitz and US Iran envoy Brian Hook, together with an Israeli delegation led by National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, are set to take the first-ever direct flight from Israel to the UAE on Monday, on an El Al plane bearing the word “peace” in Arabic, Hebrew and English in honor of the historic moment.
British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab is also expected to visit Israel this week, on Tuesday, and meet with his Israeli counterpart Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.
“We’re glad that there is a now fully formed government in Israel,” Pompeo said ahead of the trip. “As for the annexation in the West Bank, the Israelis will ultimately make those decisions.”
The hastily arranged meeting last week between Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had the hallmarks of a war-plan summit amid a peak in renewed media provocation against Iran.
In the last weeks there has been a flurry of US media reports claiming that Iran is secretly moving ballistic missiles into Iraq and elsewhere across the region. As usual the media credulously cite anonymous intelligence and Pentagon officials on those claims.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has concluded after three hours, the PMO says.
The slight change in its name means the ship can legally carry out offensive military operations such as allowing Marines or Navy SEALs to launch attacks directly from the ship. A USNS ship under the command of a civilian can engage in combat only if it is defending itself.
President Trump has argued that prohibiting funds for military action against Iran actually makes war more likely, as he would be restricted from the kinds of military-strikes-short-of-war like his attack on Syria after the alleged chemical attack in Douma in 2018 (claims which have recently fallen apart). The logic is faulty and reflects again the danger of believing one’s own propaganda.
US President Donald Trump will host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House next week to discuss his long-awaited plans for Middle East peace, the White House said.
“Rule of law is extremely important for Japan. (The government) should not accept what the U.S. argues just because it is the U.S. that says so,” Gemba said.
“The aircraft carrier will support Chammal operations (in the Middle East) from January to April 2020 before deploying to the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea,” Macron said at a New Year speech to the French military.
The United States has about 5,000 troops in Iraq leading the fight against ISIS. There are also about 800 U.S. troops fighting ISIS in Syria. Meanwhile, about 14,000 U.S. troops are in Afghanistan helping Afghan forces fight the Taliban and conducting counterterrorism operations against groups such as ISIS.
Outside of combat zones, the United States has also deployed about 14,000 more troops throughout the Middle East since the summer in an effort to deter Iran.
On Thursday Iraqi Prime Minister Mahdi phoned Pompeo to urgently request that Washington enact a US troop “withdrawal mechanism” in Iraq. American troops are in Iraq by invitation of the Iraqi government and the Iraqi government had just voted to revoke that invitation.
The State Department responded with a statement titled “The US Continued Partnership with Iraq,” in which it essentially said that the US would not abide by the request of its Iraqi partners because the US military is a “force for good” in the Middle East and that as such it is „our right“ to maintain „appropriate force posture” in the region.
State-funded broadcaster RIK News aired Thursday morning video footage of a C130 airplane and 5 or 6 Chinook helicopters over Paphos, saying the aircraft landed and were on stand-by at Andreas Papandreou AFB, an active air base adjacent to Paphos International Airport.
The situation is not a war, and what is happening now should not be exaggerated, Suhail Al-Mazrouei said on the sidelines of a conference in Abu Dhabi, capital of the UAE, an OPEC producer.
“We will not see a war,” he added. “This is definitely an escalation between the US, which is an ally, and Iran, which is a neighbor, and the last thing we want is more tension in the Middle East.”
The North Atlantic Council at Ambassadorial level will meet this afternoon at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.
After the meeting, the NATO Secretary General will briefly address the Press in the Agora Podium. (Estimated time: ±16:30)
The event will be available live on the NATO Website.
MSNBC’s Richard Engel discusses a speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah following the death of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleiamni. Nasrallah said the „appropriate response“ would be to not attack American civilians in the region, but instead called for the ousting of the U.S. military.
NATO ambassadors will gather on Monday in Brussels for an urgent meeting convened by the head of the military alliance to discuss the situation in the Middle East after a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad killed a top Iranian general, a NATO official said.
“I oppose the dispatch of SDF troops based on vague legal grounds,” Tamaki said.
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.
The United States has already dispatched about 14,000 additional troops to the Middle East since May.
Live from UN headquarters in New York on Friday, January 3 as UN Security Council holds a closed-door meeting on the situation in Syria and the Middle East. The meeting, which had been requested by France and the UK in order to discuss the humanitarian situation in Idlib, is expected to be overshadowed by the news of the targeted assassination of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Pompeo postponed his trip to Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Cyprus “due to the need for the Secretary to be in Washington, D.C., to continue monitoring the ongoing situation in Iraq and ensure the safety and security of Americans in the Middle East,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
Last week, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe briefed visiting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tokyo’s plan to send naval forces to the Gulf.
The UAE was the first Arab nation to open an embassy at the military alliance’s headquarters in Belgium and has been a member since 2004.
Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar are also members. Oman and Saudi Arabia are yet to join but the alliance has said it would welcome them with open arms if they should choose to take the step. Both countries will attend the anniversary on Monday.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley met with Iraqi Joint Headquarters Chief of Staff Gen. Othman Al-Ghanimi today in Baghdad, Iraq.
The senior leaders discussed the vital strategic partnership between the U.S. and Iraq and the current security environment throughout the Middle East.
Background: The Bahrain maritime security meeting is a follow-up to the U.S.-led anti-Iran conference held in Warsaw in February. Around 60 countries attended that conference and have participated in ongoing meetings since.
The state of play: According to the State Department, the Bahrain meeting on Oct. 21-22 will focus on maintaining maritime and aviation security in the Middle East and promote steps to interdict and prevent shipments of illicit weapons of mass destruction.
The Russian president, accompanied by his energy minister and head of Russia’s wealth fund, met King Salman at his palace along with de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, with whom Putin says he has friendly relations.
Jordan is a major partner of Russia in the Middle East, President Vladimir Putin said at talks with King Abdullah II of Jordan on Thursday.
As a result, the Combined Air and Space Operations Center at al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar was left empty on Saturday and Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina was put in charge of controlling US operations from 7,000 miles away.
The history of the invasion of Iraq should weigh heavily on the minds of Australians as we once again send troops into harm’s way in the Middle East.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday that before making a decision on joining the United States, Japan wants to fulfill what it sees as a unique role it has to play in reducing tension.
Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday, both pledging to boost comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.
A Spanish and a Pakistani navy ship are assisting two U.S. navy ships in the search operation.
And US Central Command’s Forward headquarters is still located in Qatar despite the fact that two years earlier on May 23, 2017, the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, was accused by Saudi Arabia and the UAE of collaborating with Iran. It is unclear who gave the order to impose the embargo on Qatar. Saudi Arabia would not have taken that decision without consulting Washington. Visibly, Washington’s intent was to create an Arab NATO Alliance (An Arab Block) directed against Iran “to do the dirty work for us”.
Oman Projects provides you with the latest business information on Projects, Tenders, Enquiries and Business Deals from Sultanate of Oman.
Special Representative Hook will then travel to Europe for consultations with the E3 on June 27. He will meet in Paris, France, with counterparts from the United Kingdom, Germany, and France to discuss a range of issues concerning the Iranian regime.
Safadi said that the Palestinian cause was at the forefront of their discussion on regional developments, expressing appreciation for Poland’s support of a two-state solution that guarantees the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, to guarantee its people’s rights and ensure lasting and encompassing peace.
Saudi Arabia’s crown prince discussed regional developments, including efforts to strengthen security and stability, in a phone call with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the Saudi Media Ministry tweeted on Sunday.
A U.S. team that includes special operations personnel were part of a group sent to determine the origin of the attacks.
Andrew Murrison in the UK’s new minister for the Middle East.
„It is almost impossible to imagine that after the horror of the war in Iraq when we were lied to by the Bush administration and one of the leading architects was this very same, John Bolton,“ Sanders said.
The Israeli delegation, led by national security adviser Meir Ben Shabbat, met with Bolton and other unnamed officials in the White House, according to Ravid, to discuss possible Iranian plans. Bolton himself tweeted on April 15 about his meeting with Shabbat:
Great meeting with Israeli National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat today. The close United States-Israel strategic partnership reflects the tremendous strength of the ties between our governments and the citizens of our two allied countries.
President Trump: „I think it’s fake news. Okay? Now, would I do that? Absolutely. But, we have not planned for that. Hopefully we’re not going to have to plan for that.“
While Justin Trudeau’s government embraces repressive Middle East monarchies, they want us to believe their campaign to oust Venezuela’s government is motivated by support for democracy and human rights.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit eight Middle East countries in the following weeks, discussing issues of Syria, Iran and Yemen among others, said the U.S. State Department on Friday, Xinhua reports… Pompeo’s trip, which also covers Jordan, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait, came amid lingering tension in the region over the U.S. decision to withdraw troops from Syria, escalating confrontation with Iran among others.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2450 (2018), the 15‑member Council renewed UNDOF’s mandate until 30 June 2019, while stressing the obligation of the parties to scrupulously and fully respect the terms of the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement. Calling upon them to immediately implement resolution 338 (1973) — which obliges them to cease all firing and terminate all military activity — Council members underlined that there should be no military activity by armed opposition groups in the area of separation, including by the Syrian Arab Armed Forces.
Insisting on thinking outside the box, Jared Kushner pushed Trump to build his Mideast strategy on M.B.S. and the Saudis. Now the West Wing is left with few good options. And some are joking that Kushner is probably going to take off soon for a well-timed vacation.
Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, was meant to be the linchpin of the plan, providing key diplomatic cover to both Israelis and Palestinians. But with the Saudi prince’s credibility facing serious questions following Khashoggi’s death, US President Donald Trump may soon have to rethink his Mideast strategy.
“It definitely complicates their plans to release their proposal, if indeed they have one,” said Dan Shapiro, who served as former US president Barack Obama’s ambassador to Israel.
The American legacy in Iraq and the Middle East is one of blood, oil & endless tyranny.
(5.April) The national security ‚blob‘ who warn departure would be a disaster are wrong.(…)
This hubris about military force is our own worst enemy — the notion that if we can just think it through, get the number right, put U.S. forces in the middle, then we will stabilize regions, rebuild countries, and enforce stability. Having lived through the Vietnam War, this the very definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over hoping for a different outcome.
(8.3.2018) In remarks reportedly made this week in a meeting with Egyptian newspaper editors, he pointed to a “triangle of evil” in the Middle East made up of Iran — Riyadh’s perennial foe — Islamist extremist groups and Turkey. His rhetoric seemed to echo the notorious „axis of evil“ bluster of the George W. Bush administration.
The inclusion of Turkey raised eyebrows and sparked an angry backlash on Turkish social media.