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NATO-Russia Council meets for a "not an easy discussion"

NATO-Russia Council meets for a "not an easy discussion"

Speaking at a press conference after the meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussles, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who chaired the meeting, said: “This was not an easy discussion, but that is exactly why it was so important.” He noted that NATO Allies are ready to meet again with Russia to discuss a number of topics in greater detail and to put concrete proposals on the table. “There are opportunities for constructive engagement which should not be missed, in the interest of security in Europe,” he said.
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A week of intensive diplomacy as the west engages with Russia on Ukraine and disarmament issues

A week of intensive diplomacy as the west engages with Russia on Ukraine and disarmament issues

NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, warned that the buildup of Russian military forces and equipment along the Ukrainian border is continuing and that Russia has failed to respond to international appeals and pressure for de-escalation in recent weeks. Stoltenberg was speaking after an extraordinary virtual meeting with all NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs, held on Friday, 7 January.

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Iran prepares to start process to join the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation

Iran prepares to start process to join the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation

During the upcoming summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Tajikistan, it will be announced that Iran is launching the procedure on joining the organisation. The Russian newspaper Kommersant wrote on 9 September that earlier, the process was hindered by international sanctions, and later, by the objections of one of the members.
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Commentary: The West needs more than a charm offensive if it wants to maintain its relevance in the GCC space

Commentary: The West needs more than a charm offensive if it wants to maintain its relevance in the GCC space

Throughout the oil boom in the last quarter of the 20th century and since, the GCC countries were seen in the United States, Britain, France and elsewhere in Europe through the prism of being major oil exporters and arms importers. Western countries and the Arab Gulf monarchies need each other. But for their friendship to last it needs to be rebuilt on a different basis than has been the case so far.
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Top US officials visit Arab Gulf states

Top US officials visit Arab Gulf states

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken are visiting Arab Gulf states where they will meet several leaders. The two US officials are travelling on a separate itinerary which also includes Europe, hoping to build some support after the aftermath of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. The trip will also serve to reassure allies of US support and the rejection of extremism. 
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Biden: The time of nation-building is over, we must focus on Russia and China

Biden: The time of nation-building is over, we must focus on Russia and China

"We’re engaged in a serious competition with China. We’re dealing with the challenges on multiple fronts with Russia. We’re confronted with cyberattacks, and nuclear proliferation. We have to shore up America’s competitiveness to meet these new challenges in the competition for the 21st century."
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International community divided on Afghanistan after last US soldier leaves

International community divided on Afghanistan after last US soldier leaves

The last US soldier has now left Afghanistan ending a costly and controversial two-decade presence in the country. But for the people of Afghanistan the future is very uncertain. It is also now clear that there are deep divisions in the international community with regard to how to engage further with the situation that has resulted from the swift Taliban take-over of the country.
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Friends and rivals meet in Baghdad amidst a changing regional dynamic

Friends and rivals meet in Baghdad amidst a changing regional dynamic

The Baghdad Conference for Cooperation and Partnership, held in the Iraqi capital on Saturday (28 August) brought many regional countries together including those who are usually at odds with each other. The conference was co-hosted by Iraq and France and was the first large gathering of Arab leaders in Baghdad since 2012. 
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Friends in need: praise for Georgia and Azerbaijan for their role in the evacuation of Kabul

Friends in need: praise for Georgia and Azerbaijan for their role in the evacuation of Kabul

Both Georgia and Azerbaijan have been providing essential transit support for the evacuation from Kabul airport. 120 Azerbaijani soldiers returned back from Afghanistan on Friday (27 August) having been part of the defence of Kabul airport until the end. A larger Georgian contingent returned from the north of the country recently.