Category Archives: World

PS752: EU expects transparent investigation

*The European Union acknowledges the statements made by the Iranian authorities taking responsibility for the crash of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight PS 752 on 8 January* reads the statement of the spokesperson of the European External Action Service.

*We deplore this tragedy which has caused the death of so many people from various countries and we reiterate our heartfelt condolences to their families and loved ones.

*In view of the commitments given by President Rouhani, the EU expects that Iran will continue to cooperate fully and undertake a comprehensive and transparent investigation, which should abide by international standards, into how this tragedy occurred. Appropriate measures need to be taken to ensure that such a horrible accident can never occur again*.

New Oman Sultan promotes peace

Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the Middle-East’s longest-serving monarch, has died at the age of 79 after long illness. His death was announced by the state Oman News Agency via its official Twitter account. The royal court in the country declared three days of mourning.

Sultan Qaboos seized power in a 1970 palace coup and reformed his Arabian sultanate into modernity while carefully balancing diplomatic ties between Tehran and the Washington. The new agency phrased his “balanced policy” of mediating between rival camps in a volatile region, which had earned the world’s respect.

The British-educated sultan reformed a nation that was home to only three schools and archaic laws, banning electricity, radios, eyeglasses and even umbrellas when he took the throne.

Under his reign, Oman became known as a popular tourist destination and a key Mideast interlocutor, helping the U.S. free captives in Iran and Yemen and hosting visits by Israeli officials for talks about Palestinian issue.

The European leaders expressed their condolences to the nation.

Oman’s new ruler Sultan Haitham bin Tariq al-Said promised to maintain the Gulf Arab state’s foreign policy of peaceful coexistence and maintaining friendly ties with all nations.

Lavrov on sovereignty over S.Kuril

Japan should recognize Russia’s sovereignty over the Southern Kuril Islands to allow both countries conclude a peace treaty, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said to reporters on November 23.

Russian diplomat issued this comment as a reaction on a statement by Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, which clarifies that the Japanese government would continue negotiations with Russia on a peace treaty proceeding from its baseline position: first to settle the territorial problem and then to conclude a peace treaty.

With all the respect for the Chief Cabinet Secretary, we are nonetheless guided by the agreements that are reached at the highest level between the Russian president and the Japanese prime minister. They have agreed to move forward in discussing the problems that remain, proceeding from the 1956 declaration, which clearly states that first Russia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty over all our lands, including those territories, are recognized, thus recognizing the results of World War II, and then everything else will possibly be discussed,” Lavrov underlined.

Chile: EU deplores loss of life

“The European Union recognises the relevance of the recent demonstrations in Chile and its people’s legitimate demands, noting also the latest decisions of the President on a social package and changes in his government, as well as the cancellation of the COP 25 and APEC Summits”reads the statement by the spokesperson of the European External Action Service on the latest developments in Chile.

“We deplore the loss of life and reject any violence. Human rights must be respected in all circumstances and any breach should be duly investigated. In this context, the decision of the Chilean government to request the presence of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and of other human rights organisations is important.

“The lifting of the state of emergency and the government’s intention to launch a broad dialogue with all Chileans could be conducive to effective responses to the expectations of the citizens.

“As a longstanding partner and friend of Chile, the European Union is ready to support the Chileans in their aspirations to move towards a more sustainable, equitable and inclusive development.”

Clashes at demonstrations in the capital of Santiago have left at least 20 people dead and led to the resignation of eight key ministers from Pinera’s cabinet.

The Chilean President has now canceled the hosting of the economic APEC forum and COP25 environmental summit, which were both due to take place later this year.

EU calls Baku to release protestors

Dozens of people were detained on October 19 in Baku, Azerbaijan, following their attempt to rally peacefully.

Excessive and unprovoked force was reportedly used to disperse the crowds and arrest participants. Such incidents need to be investigated. We equally call on the authorities to release peaceful protesters remaining in detention”  says the Statement by the Spokesperson on the latest developments in Azerbaijan.

*Freedom of assembly is a fundamental human right and we expect Azerbaijan to ensure that it can be fully exercised, in line with the country’s international obligations.*

Police in Azerbaijan on Saturday detained scores of protesters, including the leader of the main opposition Popular Front, at the start of a planned rally against low salaries, corruption and a lack of democracy in the energy-rich ex-Soviet state. 

The protesters who attempted to rally in the streets of the capital had put forward demands of higher salaries for state employees and fair and independent elections. The human rights groups have been criticising Azerbaijan for a long time for a poor fundamental rights records. 

Popular Front leader Ali Kerimli said that some 50 people, mostly organizers of Saturday’s unauthorized rally, had already been detained earlier in the week, exact numbers of arrested are unknown.

Incumbent President Ilham Aliyev rules the country after death of his farther – the first President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev (1993-2003) who previously was the First secretary of the Communist party of Soviet Republic (1969-1982), and member of the Politburo of the USSR. The spouse of the President AlieyvMehriban – is his first Vice-President of Azerbajan. (Image above: President and First Vice-President of Azerbaijan).

EU diplomacy sidelined Yemen conflict

At present there is a visible diplomatic apathy in the EU, regarding the protracted Yemen conflict, blaming on too many foreign actors, stirring the ongoing feud, which have already degraded into proxy war through involvement of multiple external players, supplying belligerent parties with weapons. However the revenues of arms exporters, namely the Europeans. are not the sole responsible for the warfare, continuously claiming lives of Yemenis, and escalating tensions in the Persian Gulf.

The desire of the European Union to preserve the nuclear deal with Iran, keeps out of focus numerous Tehran illicit activities, aggravating various conflicts, including civil war in Yemen, increasingly destabilizing the entire region. The recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities, which damaged half the production, evoked accusations from the West, presuming the rockets were launched from Iran’s territory. Tehran has vehemently denied any involvement in the offensive, claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels fighting a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. However Iran responded reasoning the attack on Aramco oil plans as an act of “legitimate defense” of Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

Since regional tensions escalated following the attacks on Saudi’s oil facilities mid-September, the Yemen conflict was upgraded on diplomatic agenda. Especially in view of the protection of vessels in the Persian Gulf from Iranian attacks, as well as the prevention of the illicit arms trade and the protection of civil aviation.

Nowadays there is growing concern among foreign policy experts, pointing at intensified engagement between the Houthi leadership with Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, and Hezbollah chiefs, conspiring operations to strengthening Iran position in the Strait of Hormuz, and weakening Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel.

In the context of the escalations of tensions, on October 21-22 the diplomats have been gathering for a conference in Bahrain (Manama) to discuss the security issue in the Gulf. The even has been co-hosted by the U.S. and Poland, and is regarded as a part of Warsaw Process (Ministerial’s Maritime and Aviation Security Working Group). So far there have been little information about the EU diplomacy participation, and input of the representatives of the European External Actions Service – who claim to be highly sought after “global player”. The conference was attended on a diplomatic level by a delegation representative, the spokesperson confirmed, adding the EEAS position remains unchanged, based on the EU Council conclusions.

The EU continues to reaffirm that only a negotiated and inclusive political solution can end the conflict in Yemen.The EU has contributed with over €560 million in assistance since the beginning of the conflict.

What is defined nowadays by experts as a “proxy war” erupted in in 2014, when Houthi rebels captured the capital, Sanaa. However, in reality it was a new chapter in a long saga of confrontation between the Iran-backed Shia movement and loyalist forces since 2004.

The United Nations Security Council reacted upon belligerent spell of Houthi with resolution 2201 “deploring” their “unilateral actions’ ” and calling for the immediate halt of hostilities. The message of the global community has repeated several times, condemning the violence, including after March 26, 2015, when the Saudi-led coalition that included the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Sudan, and Morocco launched its first military operation.

The Yemeni Civil War is a protracted conflict (since 2015) between two factions: the Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi led Yemeni government and the Houthi armed movement, along with their supporters and allies. Both claim to constitute the official government of Yemen.

According to the UN report due to the protracted conflict, Yemen is the most affected country with in acute need for humanitarian aid for 24.1 million people, including children, who are prime victims of the bloodshed and hunger.

In September 18 drones and seven cruise missiles hit a major oil field and processing facility in Saudi Arabia, which blamed Iran for the attack.

Hong Kong extradition bill withdrawn

The embattled Hong Kong  leader announced on September 4 that she was withdrawing a controversial extradition bill that would have given Beijing the power to move people away into Republic of China‘s legal system. The bill that sparked the huge ongoing anti-government protests, which are now in their third month, but abandoning the bill for a time being does not remove it from the agenda.

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