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Stories in this section cover various issues and stories from all around the world.

Mongolia and USA to establish direct air travel routes

Mongolia and the United States of America have agreed to establish direct air travel routes.

Meeting in Washington DC on Tuesday (24 January), Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs Richard T. Yoneoka, and Mongolian State Secretary of the Ministry of Road and Transport Development Batbold Sandagdorj, signed a Memorandum of Consultations finalising the first ever bilateral air transport agreement between the two countries.

patrickn97 Wed, 01/25/2023 - 15:39 Ramstein summit: no decision on German tanks as countries make military aid pledges
No decision has been reached on whether Berlin will approve the supply of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine at Ramstein Air Force base summit of global defence leaders in Germany on Friday (20 January). The BBC reports that the Polish Defence Minister, Mariusz Blaszczak, remains optimistic that efforts to supply the tanks would be successful, saying, "Defence ministers of 15 countries met on the sidelines of today's conference and we talked about this topic...I am convinced that coalition building will end in success." Both leading up to and during the summit on Friday, numerous countries had made separate pledges of military equipment to Ukraine. The Netherlands, Canada, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Lativa, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, the UK, Sweden, Finland, Germany and the United States are among those to have pledged further military aid to Ukraine in the past week.
patrickn97 Fri, 01/20/2023 - 17:14

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Erdogan says there is no problem between Turkey and the US that the two strategic partners cannot solve
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey and the United States are be able to resolve bilateral problems and develop cooperation based on common interests. Erdogan is in New York to address this year's UN General Assembly. “There is no problem between Turkey and the U.S. that they, as two strategic partners and 70-year-long allies, cannot resolve. Although we have some differences of opinion over the issues concerning our national security, we share similar attitudes in many regional and global matters,” Erdogan said on Sunday (18 September) at a dinner event organized by the Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC). Stating that Turkey is one of the countries most affected by terrorism and at the forefront of the fight against terrorism, Erdogan said they would continue to resolutely fight against all terrorist organizations, including PKK-YPG, ISIL and FETO, without making any distinction. “We will definitely remove the bloody and dark shadow of terrorism from our region,” he said.
dennis2020 Tue, 09/20/2022 - 06:36
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World leaders gather in London for the funeral of Elizabeth II

World leaders gather in London for the funeral of Elizabeth II

World leaders have descended on London this weekend ahead of Monday's funeral of Queen Elizabeth II who died on 8 September. US President Joe Biden is among the world leaders already in the British capital. The fifty-six Commonwealth countries, who were held in special affection by the Queen, will all be fully represented, most of them by their heads of state or prime ministers. Monday's funeral will be culmination of days of public events to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the accession to the throne of her son King Charles III. Tributes for Queen Elizabeth have come from across the UK, the Commonwealth and the rest of the world, with most highlighting the Queen's extraordinary sense of duty and service, served with commitment over the seventy years of her reign.  Tens of thousands of people queued for many hours to pass by the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II which has been laying in state at London's Westminster Hall, a reflection of the very solid bond that the Queen had forged with her people during her long reign.
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Xi sets the tone, and Putin answers questions

Xi sets the tone, and Putin answers questions

Chinese President Xi chose Central Asia for his first foray overseas after a long hiatus due to the Covid pandemic, travelling to Kazakhstan, and then onwards to Samarkand to attend the meeting of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) and have various bilateral meetings. Chinese protocol these days demand that all meetings with Xi are fully masked, and so attired delegations troded in to meet the Chinese leader: Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev was early in queue. There was Uzbekistan's president Miriyzoyev, who for good measure gave President Xi Uzbekistan's "Order of Friendship", and Belarus President Lukashenko. But most interest was focused on when Putin's turn came. Increasingly the Russian leader is starting to look like the junior partner in the relationship with Xi. Certainly the official language was all proper and correct, but there was something in the body language that showed Putin's awkwardness at the new situation.Putin said Russia will consolidate and deepen bilateral and multilateral communication and collaboration with China, and expand cooperation in key areas such as economy, trade and energy. “We highly value the balanced position of our Chinese friends when it comes to the Ukraine crisis,” Putin said in televised remarks to Xi. “We understand your questions and concern about this. During today’s meeting, we will, of course, explain our position.” "Questions and concern" - not exactly enthusiastic support then by China for Putin's adventure in Ukraine.
Iran nuclear deal continues to be elusive

The United States has said it will not be rushed into a nuclear deal with Iran

Iran’s latest moves were a step backwards and Washington would not rush to rejoin the JCPOA agreement at any cost, US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken said on Friday.

EU mediators last month appeared to make progress in restoring the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) after Iran largely agreed to a proposed final text. Diplomats in Brussels sounded moderately optimistic in recent pronouncements.

dennis2020 Sat, 09/10/2022 - 08:11
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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."