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Queen Elizabeth II has died after a reign of seventy years

Queen Elizabeth II has died after a reign of seventy years

Queen Elizabeth II, Monarch of the United Kingdom and 14 other countries, including Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and Head of the British Commonwealth died this afternoon at Balmoral Castle in Scotland at the age of 96. She had been on the throne for seventy years. Her last official act was to swear in a new British Prime Minister on Tuesday. The Queen came to the throne in 1952 and oversaw the end of the British Empire. She witnessed enormous social change in the country. But she remained enormously popular and respected with all strata of British society and across the world. With her death, her eldest son Prince Charles, the former Prince of Wales, immediately filled her place as King.  In a statement, Buckingham Palace said: "The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. "The King and the Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow."
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Albania cuts diplomatic relations with Iran accusing it of a massive cyberattack

Albania cuts diplomatic relations with Iran accusing it of a massive cyberattack

Albania broke diplomatic relations with Iran on Wednesday. Announcing the decision, Prime Minister Edi Rama said Iran had launched a massive cyberattack against the country during the summer. “The Council of Ministers has decided on the severance of diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran with immediate effect,” he said. The prime minister accused Iran of targeting the computer networks of Albanian institutions on July 15 in an attempt to “paralyze public services and hack data and electronic communications from the government systems.” He said: “The said attack failed its purpose. Damages may be considered minimal compared to the goals of the aggressor. All systems came back fully operational and there was no irreversible wiping of data.” He added that Iranian diplomats and support staff would be given 24 hours to leave the country.
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EU tells Georgia the door for membership is still ajar

EU tells Georgia the door for membership is still ajar

Relations between Georgia and the European Union  have been passing through a difficult patch recently. Whilst both sides profess eternal love and loyalty, tensions over ongoing domestic Georgian political processes have marred what was once a good example of a harmonious relationship. Georgian prime minister, Irakli Garibashvili is currently in Brussels where he is co-chairing, with EU High Representative, Josep Borrell, a session of the EU-Georgia Council, the body that oversees the relationship. At the heart of the current state of relations is the EU's refusal to grant candidate status to Georgia, as it did recently with Ukraine and Moldova. The Georgian government is still reeling from the snub, and the Georgian opposition continues to use this as a stick to beat the government. At a press conference yesterday both sides tried to downplay differences, and the EU made it clear that the door for Georgian EU membership, whilst not exactly wide-open, was still ajar.
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Opinion: The role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation goes beyond managing Russia-China relations in Central Asia

Opinion: The role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation goes beyond managing Russia-China relations in Central Asia

"As the world comes closer to multi-polarity, the role of such organizations as SCO will grow further. Russia and China will seek to use them as a counterbalance to western dominated international political and economic organizations, such as G7, the EU, the World Bank and IMF", writes Benyamin Poghosyan in this op-ed. He argues that in the present context of emerging great power competition, the SCO started to be viewed less as a tool to manage Russia – China relations in Central Asia, or counter terrorist threats from Afghanistan, and more as a significant grouping of non-western powers in the emerging multipolar world.
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Vostok-2022 military exercises are meant to show that Russia is not isolated

Vostok-2022 military exercises are meant to show that Russia is not isolated

For the last few days Russia has been conducting military exercises in the Far East, with the participation of tens of thousands of soldiers, and multiple military hardware. But apart from the limited military value, Vostok-2022 are meant to show that Russia is far from being isolated in the international community, despite the sanctions and pressure of the west, following its invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. Commonspace.eu political editor said in a comment that "it is to be noted that in recent military exercises, the Russian Ministry of Defence invited contingents from the unrecognised Russian protectorates of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. This allowed a number of countries to refuse to participate, citing  the Abkhaz and South Ossetian presence as diplomatically problematic. This year the Russians decided to take no chances. Participation of countries such as India was of much more political importance than that of Moscow's South Caucasus proxies." "Regardless however, Vostok-2022 has exposed once again a weakness in the diplomatic war that Ukraine is waging against Russia with the support of western countries. The response in the Middle East, Africa and Asia against the blatant aggressive invasion has been lukewarm."
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The world waits whilst Tehran and Washington haggle about nuclear deal

The world waits whilst Tehran and Washington haggle about nuclear deal

After years of tension and months of negotiations, it appeared in August that the process of reviving the Iran nuclear, known as JCPOA, was coming to a successful close. The EU negotiators, who had been leading the difficult discussions, made what they said was the "final offer", and early indications from both Tehran and Washington appeared to be positive. In Brussels, officials were cautiously optimistic that a deal was in the bag. But the process dragged on and reports in some Middle East media sources appear to suggest that it has now grinded again back to a halt.  The US said Iran’s latest response was “not constructive”.