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Turkey to take over Somalia's naval defence for a decade

Turkey to take over Somalia's naval defence for a decade

The Somali cabinet formally approved a defence and economic cooperation agreement with Turkey on Wednesday, authorising Ankara to build, train and equip the Somali navy and reportedly defend its territorial waters amid tensions with Ethiopia. The agreement strengthens Turkish political and military position in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea region amid increasing concerns about security in the strategic waterway. Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre described the agreement at the cabinet meeting as a “historic” one that would become a “legacy” for the Somali nation in the long run.  “This agreement will put an end to the fear of terrorism, pirates, illegal fishing, poisoning, abuse and threats from abroad,” he said, according to the local reports. A Turkish defence official declined to comment, saying that the contents of the agreement would be public simultaneously as it is ratified by the Turkish parliament and the president. “We cannot reveal the details as it has a long way to be ratified,” the official added.  The Turkish Navy already operates off the shore of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden under a UN mission to combat piracy and armed robbery since 2009. 

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Turkey to take over Somalia's naval defence for a decade

Turkey to take over Somalia's naval defence for a decade

The Somali cabinet formally approved a defence and economic cooperation agreement with Turkey on Wednesday, authorising Ankara to build, train and equip the Somali navy and reportedly defend its territorial waters amid tensions with Ethiopia. The agreement strengthens Turkish political and military position in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea region amid increasing concerns about security in the strategic waterway. Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre described the agreement at the cabinet meeting as a “historic” one that would become a “legacy” for the Somali nation in the long run.  “This agreement will put an end to the fear of terrorism, pirates, illegal fishing, poisoning, abuse and threats from abroad,” he said, according to the local reports. A Turkish defence official declined to comment, saying that the contents of the agreement would be public simultaneously as it is ratified by the Turkish parliament and the president. “We cannot reveal the details as it has a long way to be ratified,” the official added.  The Turkish Navy already operates off the shore of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden under a UN mission to combat piracy and armed robbery since 2009. 
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Sweden one step closer to joining NATO

Sweden one step closer to joining NATO

The Turkish Grand National Assembly (Parliament), on Tuesday, 23 January, ratified the agreement on Swedish membership of NATO, bringing the Scandinavian country one step closer to fulfilling its historic decision to abandon its decades-long neutrality and join the military alliance in the face of Russian aggression against Ukraine, and the threat that poses to the European security order. The ratification was adopted by the national assembly in a vote of 287 to 55. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is now expected to sign the accession agreement. formalising the process of Turkish ratification. All members of NATO have to approve the addition of new members to the organisation. The only remaining NATO country to finalise the ratification process is Hungary  “Today we are one step closer to becoming a full member of NATO,” tweeted Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson. On Tuesday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán reached out to Kristersson, asking him to come down to Budapest and negotiate about the NATO bid, an idea swiftly rejected by Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström.
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New maritime task force to patrol Red Sea following Houthi attacks on shipping

New maritime task force to patrol Red Sea following Houthi attacks on shipping

The United States has announced the establishment of Operation Prosperity Guardian, an important new multinational security initiative under the umbrella of the Combined Maritime Forces and the leadership of its Task Force 153, which focuses on security in the Red Sea. A Pentagon statement said that "Operation Prosperity Guardian is bringing together multiple countries to include the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles and Spain, to jointly address security challenges in the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, with the goal of ensuring freedom of navigation for all countries and bolstering regional security and prosperity.” The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza has spilled over into the Red Sea as Houthi rebels in Yemen, who control parts of the country including its capital and some of its Red Sea coastline, intensify their attacks on shipping passing through the Red Sea. BP on Monday, became the latest of a number of global companies that announced the suspension of use of the vital Red Sea route which connects the Gulf region and the Indian Ocean to Europe through the Suez Canal. The United States has condemned the attacks and promised decisive action to deal with them.  The Pentagon announced on Monday the formation of a new international mission focused on countering attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea.
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Turkiye and UK sign landmark security and defence agreement

Turkiye and UK sign landmark security and defence agreement

The UK and Türkiye, on Friday (25 November) agreed to work more closely together to help bring greater stability, security and prosperity to both nations. UK Defence Secretary, Grant Shapps, signed a Statement of Intent on defence co-operation, with his Turkish counterpart, Minister of National Defense, Yaşar Güler. This will provide the framework for closer working to deliver additional activities that will benefit the security and prosperity of both countries and, in so doing, enhancing national, regional and international security. Following the signing, activity will see closer collaboration between both countries’ defence industries, the identification of possible joint training exercises in the Mediterranean, and the exploration of security support around North Africa and the Middle East. As well as discussing the need for de-escalation in the Middle East, the British Defence Secretary thanked his counterpart for utilising Türkiye’s influence as the gatekeeper to the Black Sea to enable the export of millions of tons of Ukrainian grain to nations who need it most. There was strong agreement on the need to keep focused on our collective support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s continuing aggression.
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Netherlands and Denmark to give Ukraine advanced F16 aircraft

Netherlands and Denmark to give Ukraine advanced F16 aircraft

The Netherlands and Denmark announced Sunday they will give F-16 warplanes to Ukraine, a long-awaited announcement that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called an important motivation for his country’s forces, as they continue to repell Russian aggression. After months of entreaties from Zelensky for F-16s to bolster the Ukrainian air force, the US recently gave approval for the Netherlands and Denmark to provide Ukraine the American-made jets. Zelensky traveled to both countries Sunday to finalize the delivery deals.’’F-16s will certainly give new energy, confidence, and motivation to fighters and civilians. I’m sure it will deliver new results for Ukraine and the entire Europe,″ the Ukrainian leader said. Ukraine hopes the jets will give it a combat edge, after launching a counteroffensive against the Kremlin’s forces without air cover from Western aircraft, placing its troops at the mercy of Russian aviation and artillery. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte welcomed Zelensky to the Netherlands on Sunday. The two leaders inspected two gray F-16s parked in a hangar at a Dutch base in the southern city of Eindhoven. A few hours later, Zelensky and his wife were received by Danish prime minister Frederiksen, other Danish Cabinet ministers and Crown Princess Mary at the Skrydstrup air base in southern Denmark where Ukrainian pilots will receive F-16 training in coming months. The two leaders climbed into a Danish F-16 and tried out the seats.
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Poland to station 10,000 troops on border with Belarus amid Wagner concern

Poland to station 10,000 troops on border with Belarus amid Wagner concern

Poland has announced on Thursday (10 August) that it will station some 10,000 troops on its eastern border with Belarus. The decision comes after the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on 29 July that Wagner Group mercenaries could infiltrate Poland from Belarus, where they are currently stationed. The Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said that the 10,000 soldiers will be moved to the country's border with Belarus "to scare away the aggressor so that it does not dare attack us", adding "we have to be ready for various scenarios, we do not exclude anything".
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Turkey agrees Sweden NATO membership as summit begins in Lithuania

Turkey agrees Sweden NATO membership as summit begins in Lithuania

The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has agreed to Sweden's membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), hours before the military alliance's summit is due to get underway in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius on Tuesday (11 July). The NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday evening (10 July) that President Erdogan would forward Sweden's bid to the Turkish parliament in Ankara and "ensure ratification". He described it as a "historic step" but stressed that a "clear date" for Sweden's formal accession to the organisation could not yet be given as this relies on both the Turkish parliament as well as Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary and the Hungarian parliament. Hungary and Turkey remain the only two NATO members who are not yet to retify Sweden's membership. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Tuesday that ratification of Sweden's bid is now "only a technical question". Reacting to the news, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said: "I am very happy, it is a good day for Sweden."
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Swedish negotiators head to Ankara for renewed talks on NATO membership

Swedish negotiators head to Ankara for renewed talks on NATO membership

Swedish negotiators are in the Turkish capital city of Ankara today, on Wednesday (14 June), for the first set of talks with Turkey on its NATO membership bid since President Erdogan's election victory on 28 May. Sweden applied for NATO membership alongside Finland on 18 May 2022, almost three months after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. While Finland joined the military alliance on 4 April, Sweden's bid continues to be held up by objections from Turkey and Hungary. Sweden's chief NATO negotiator Oscar Stenström and top civil servant in the Swedish foreign ministry, Jan Knutsson, are expected to meet Akif Cagatay Kilic, the new security advisor appointed by President Erdogan following his 28 May victory. The two sides will discuss Sweden's membership of NATO, and the extent to which the country has fulfilled its promises in the so-called "trilateral memorandum" between Turkey, Sweden and Finland signed at NATO's summit in Madrid on 28 June last year. Last Sunday (4 June), NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg urged Turkey to approve Sweden's membership ahead of the bloc's summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 11-12 July.