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Armenia and Azerbaijan recognise each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty

Armenia and Azerbaijan recognise each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty

After hours of negotiations, with the mediation of European Council president Charles Michel, and French president Emanuel Macron, the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan , Nikol Pashinyan and Ilham Aliyev, have taken a historic step towards lasting peace. Both countries have recognised each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty, and committed to tangible steps to establish peace and stability in the region. President Macron tweeted early this morning "Tonight, Armenia and Azerbaijan confirmed their commitment to the Charter of the United Nations and the Alma Ata 1991 Declaration through which both recognize each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty." The four leaders held two long sessions of negotiations on the margins of the summit of the European Political Community which was launched at Prague Castle on Thursday afternoon (6 October). It is also understood that a number of other decisions were taken. It was agreed that the EU will deploy on the Armenian side of the Armenia-Azerbaijan border a civilian monitoring mission, for a period of two months starting from October.

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Guterres warns the world: "Winter is coming"

Guterres warns the world: "Winter is coming"

UN Secretary General, Antonio Gutteres has warned  global leaders that the world is in ‘great peril’ and facing a winter of discontent. Guterres said leaders meeting in person for the first time in three years must tackle conflicts and climate catastrophes, increasing poverty and inequality — and address divisions among major powers that have gotten worse since Russia invaded Ukraine. In speeches and remarks leading up to the start of the leaders’ meeting Tuesday, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres cited the “immense” task not only of saving the planet, “which is literally on fire,” but of dealing with the persisting COVID-19 pandemic. He also pointed to “a lack of access to finance for developing countries to recover — a crisis not seen in a generation” that has seen ground lost for education, health and women’s rights. Guterres delivered his “state of the world” speech at Tuesday’s opening of the annual high-level global gathering. UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said it contained “a sober, substantive and solutions-focused report card” for a world “where geopolitical divides are putting all of us at risk.” In an alarming assessment, Guterres told world leaders that nations are “gridlocked in colossal global dysfunction” and aren’t ready or willing to tackle the major challenges that threaten the future of humanity and the fate of the planet.
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Erdogan says there is no problem between Turkey and the US that the two strategic partners cannot solve

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.
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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.
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Armenia triggers mutual defence mechanism with Russia and CSTO

Armenia triggers mutual defence mechanism with Russia and CSTO

In the aftermath of deadly clashes with Azerbaijan overnight, which left dozens of Armenian soldiers killed or injured, Armenia has triggered mutual defence clauses in its agreements with Russia and with the Russia led Collective Security Treaty Organisation, of which Armenia is a full member. Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan spoke on the phone with Russian president Vladimir Putin as the fighting was raging. Armenia's Defence and Foreign Ministers have also been in touch with their Russian counterparts. Armenia has a defence treaty with Russia. Armenian leaders have also been in touch with the Secretariat of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, of which Armenia is a full member. It is understood that the Council of the CSTO is to meet soon to discuss the matter. There is increasing frustration in Armenia at the failure of both Russia and the CSTO to support it in the face of what it claims to be Azerbaijani aggression.
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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.