Tag Archives: terrorism

NATO: Turkey opens perspective to Scandinavians

Madrid 29.06.2022 Turkey Sweden and Finland signed a trilateral memorandum on Tuesday, 28 Juin, in view of the perspective of the Nordic countries’ NATO membership process after an important meeting in Madrid in which Ankara has framed its demands, especially in the field of terrorism.

Turkey “got what it wanted” from the talks with Sweden and Finland talks, the Turkish presidency said in a written statement, underlining that full cooperation was agreed on with Turkey on fighting the PKK terrorist group and its affiliates.

Solidarity will be demonstrated towards Turkey in its fight against all branches of terrorism, it said. Furthermore, Sweden and Finland also agreed not to support the PKK organization’s Syrian wing, the YPG, as well as the Gülenists Group (FETÖ), all of them regarded as extremists in Ankara.

“As prospective NATO Allies, Finland and Sweden extend their full support to Turkey against threats to its national security,” the trilateral memorandum read.

“To that effect, Finland and Sweden will not provide support to the YPG/PYD, and the organization described as FETÖ in Turkey” the document continues.

“Finland and Sweden reject and condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, in the strongest terms,” it continued, highlighting that Finland and Sweden condemn all terrorist organizations perpetrating attacks against Turkey, and express their deepest solidarity with Ankara.

“Finland and Sweden commit to preventing activities of the PKK and all other terrorist organizations and their extensions, as well as activities by individuals in affiliated and inspired groups or networks linked to these terrorist organizations,” the memorandum said, adding that Finland and Sweden will address the issue of Turkey’s pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects expeditiously.

However, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto told reporters after the meeting that the trilateral memorandum does not list individuals for extradition but rather describes principles for extraditions related to terrorism, not individual citizens.

NATO leaders will formally invite Finland and Sweden to join the alliance Wednesday, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said during the membership process.

“I’m pleased to announce that we now have an agreement that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO. Turkey, Finland and Sweden have signed a memorandum that addresses Turkey’s concerns, including around arms exports, and the fight against terrorism,” Stoltenberg said Tuesday after crunch talks in Madrid.

The Turkish presidency added that the Nordic countries have also agreed to lift their embargoes on weapons deliveries to Turkey, which were imposed in response to Ankara’s 2019 operation into Syria.

The two countries will ban “fundraising and recruitment activities” for the PKK, and “prevent terrorist propaganda against Turkey.”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted Sweden and Finland to abandon their long-held nonaligned status and apply to join NATO. However, Turkey had opposed the move on the grounds that these two countries were supporting terrorist organizations.

The agreement comes at the opening of a crucial summit dominated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. U.S. President Joe Biden and other NATO leaders arrived in Madrid for a summit that will set the course of the alliance for the coming years. The summit was kicking off with a leaders’ dinner hosted by Spain’s King Felipe VI at the 18th-century Royal Palace of Madrid.

Diplomats and leaders from Turkey, Sweden and Finland earlier held a flurry of talks in an attempt to break the impasse over Turkey’s opposition to expansion. The three countries’ leaders met for more than two hours alongside Stoltenberg on Tuesday, Juin 28, before the agreement was announced.

Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson hailed the “very good agreement” with Turkey and said the move would make the alliance stronger.

“Taking the next step toward a full NATO membership is of course important for Sweden and Finland. But it’s also a very important step for NATO, because our countries will be security providers within NATO,” Andersson told Agence France-Presse (AFP) in an interview.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also hailed Turkey’s agreement to drop its objections to Finland’s and Sweden’s membership of NATO.

“Fantastic news as we kick off the NATO Summit. Sweden and Finland’s membership will make our brilliant alliance stronger and safer,” Johnson wrote on Twitter.

On the other side, a U.S. official said on the same day that Turkey did not demand concessions from Washington to support Finland and Sweden.

“There was no request from the Turkish side for the Americans to make a particular concession,” a senior administration official told reporters.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official called Turkey’s decision a “powerful shot in the arm” for NATO unity, Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah writes.

Kazakhstan: CSTO troops to quell protests

Brussels 06.01.2022 Anna van Densky The Collective Security Council of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) approved the decision to send peacekeeping forces to Kazakhstan, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, incumbent chair of the Council in 2022, said on Thursday, January 6. (Image: social media).

“In view of the address of President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and considering the threat to national security and sovereignty of the Republic of Kazakhstan, caused in particular by interference from the outside, the CSTO Collective Security Council in accordance with Article 4 of the Collective Security Treaty made the decision to send CSTO Collective Peacekeeping Forces to the Republic of Kazakhstan for a limited period with the aim of stabilisation and normalisation of the situation in this country,” Pashinyan wrote in Facebook.

On January 2, crowds took to the streets in the cities of Zhanaozen and Aktau in the Mangystau Region, in southwestern Kazakhstan, protesting against high fuel – liquid gas – prices.

Two days later, the protests engulfed Almaty, in the country’s southeast, where the police used flashbangs to disperse the crowd, as well as other cities, including Atyrau, Aktobe (in the west), Uralsk (in the northwest), Taraz, Shymkent, Kyzylorda (in the south), Karaganda (in the northeast) and even Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan.

The president imposed a two-week state of emergency in the Mangystau Region and in the Almaty Region, as well as the republic’s largest city of Almaty and the capital Nur-Sultan.

On January 5, the head of the state also accepted the government’s resignation, but vowed to keep his grip on power.

Reportedly 353 members of Kazakhstan’s law enforcement were injured in the clashes with protesters in Almaty, 12 were killed, the Khabar-24 TV channel said quoting the Almaty commandant’s office.

According to the TV channel, one of the victims was beheaded. “This proves the terrorist and extremist nature of criminal formations,” the commandant’s office was quoted by national media.

EU committed to defeat Da’esh

Brussels 28.06.2021 “The EU remains firmly committed to the Global Coalition against Da’esh. The job is not yet finished in Iraq and Syria, where the core of Da’esh is still active, even if gone largely underground. Stabilisation and reconstruction are key to prevent its resurgence. We also see a growing influence of Da’esh in areas already made vulnerable by conflict, including West Africa and Mozambique. The pandemic and its impact on local economies are also creating new opportunities for Da’esh to exploit” the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell said, while addressing in Rome the ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition against Da’esh.

“This is why our collective action remains crucial to ensure sustainable progress” the diplomat continued.

“In Iraq, the EU has invested over €1.3 billion since 2014 in development, humanitarian and security assistance. Since 2017, we support civilian Security Sector Reform through an EU Advisory Mission (EUAM Iraq), with a team of up to 80 international staff. The mission works very closely with the Ministry of the Interior and will soon extend its presence also to Erbil.

“When I met with Foreign Minister [of Iraq, Fuad] Hussein last week, I also announced the deployment of an EU Election Observation Mission for the October elections.

“On Syria, we continue to push for a political solution in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254. We insist on the importance of non-normalisation with Syria in order to maintain pressure on the regime to engage in the UN process. In March, the EU co-chaired the 5th Syria Conference in Brussels to mobilise the international community in support of the Syrian people.

“The EU also supports the stabilisation of the North East with projects to build resilience against radicalisation, prevent violent extremism, and in support of vulnerable children and youth.

[The humanitarian and security conditions in the camps remain difficult. The EU visited the region last week and will launch new stabilisation assistance, including for camps and prisons.]

“Turning to Africa, I warmly welcome the new Coalition members from the African continent who join us for the first time today.

“In Sahel, we have to pay closer attention to the region: in Central Mali we see every day two grave security incidents causing deaths or injuries. This is of concern to all of us. For this reason, the EU is committed to keep up its military and civilian engagement. We have three [Common Security and Defence Policy] CSDP missions in the region, with around 1,000 staff to support host countries in the fight against terrorism. The EU also supports the G5 Sahel Joint Force and stabilisation efforts in support of local populations.

We again welcome a role for the Coalition in the Sahel region. A role that has to be played in close coordination with international efforts in the framework of the Coalition for the Sahel.

Finally, on Mozambique. The humanitarian and security situation in Cabo Delgado is rapidly deteriorating. At the request of the Mozambican government, the EU is finalising the planning for an EU military CSDP mission aimed at providing human-rights compliant training and capacity building to selected units of the Mozambican armed forces.

The EU is further engaged with humanitarian, development and stabilisation assistance adding up to nearly €60 million for projects to build confidence between security forces and local communities.

“Two years after the defeat of Da’esh by Coalition forces in Iraq and Syria, it is clear that there is still much work to do. The EU will continue to do its part, together with the Global Coalition and its partners”.

Kabul: EU condemns girl school attack

Brussels 08.05.2021 “The European Union mourns with those who have lost loved ones in the latest horrendous terrorist attack in Afghanistan. The targeting of civilians, including school children attending the Syed Al-Shahda school for girls in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighbourhood of Kabul, in a bomb attack is a blatant and despicable violation of international humanitarian law”, reads the statement by the EEAS spokesperson on the terrorist attack in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighbourhood in Kabul, Afghanistan.

“We condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms. Those responsible must be held to account, and those that support their actions should feel total shame. The attack is an attack not only on the Afghan population, but on all those worldwide that respect the equal rights of women and girls, and on all those that value education and the right of children to forge their futures”.

“The European Union has consistently called for an immediate ceasefire in Afghanistan, in which a lasting peace can be achieved through an inclusive, negotiated political settlement among Afghans. Our priority remains to support a prosperous, stable and secure Afghanistan, where the human rights of all – including women, children and minorities – are protected and respected”.

An explosion outside a girls’ school in Kabul, Afghanistan on Saturday left at least 30 dead and 52 injured, including students, as Ramadan draws to a close and foreign forces accelerate their withdrawal, leaving behind a country torn apart by 20 years of conflict.

EU condemns Iraq execution of terrorists

Brussels, 19.11.2020 The European Union diplomacy has issued a statement, expressing “sincere sympathy” to convicts, and families of those executed on terrorism charges in Iraq. In a written statement, attributed to a spokesperson, the European diplomacy has risen to defence of human rights of the convicts, condemning in the “strongest possible terms”, the executions, assessing them as criminal acts in themselves.

“Earlier this week, twenty one individuals convicted on terrorism-related charges were reportedly executed in Nasiriyah Central Prison, also known as Al Hoot, in Iraq. The European Union condemns in the strongest terms the criminal actions for which they were sentenced and expresses its sincere sympathy to any victims and their families. At the same time, the European Union recalls its opposition to the use of capital punishment under any circumstances.

“The European Union considers the death penalty a cruel and inhumane punishment, which fails to act as a deterrent to crime. It represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity while any miscarriages of justice are irreversible.

“The European Union therefore calls on Iraqi authorities to refrain from any future executions, to declare and maintain a de facto moratorium on the use of capital punishment, and to pursue a consistent policy towards the abolition of the death penalty in the country”.

According to Amnesty International, China is leading in executions, but the exact number remains unknown as this data is classified as a state secret; the global figure of at least 657 excludes the thousands of executions believed to have been carried out in China.
From available data, without China, 86% of all reported executions took place in just four countries – Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Egypt.

At the end of last year, 106 countries had abolished the death penalty in law for all crimes, and 142 countries had abolished the death penalty in law or practice.

France: EU condemns barbaric attacks

Brussels 29.10.20 “I condemn the hideous and brutal attack which has just taken place in Nice and am wholeheartedly with France. My thoughts are with the victims of this heinous act” the European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen wrote on her Twitter micro blog.

“The whole of Europe stands in solidarity with France. We remain united and determined in the face of barbarism and fanaticism” von der Leyen underlined.

At present, three people have died from knife attack committed in the church Notre Dame at heart of Nice. Among the victims a beheaded elderly women. It is a terrorist attack according to Mayor Christian Estrosi.
“In Nice the entire Christian world was targeted. I address my thoughts to all Christians in France and around the world” the Mayor said in his video addresse.

Only a few hours after the attack on the Notre-Dame basilica in Nice, Jean Castex launched a vigipirate plan at the “emergency bombing” level across the country. This is the highest level. The Prime Minister also announced that a Defense and Security Council was scheduled for “tomorrow morning”. Emmanuel Macron is also on his way to Nice.

According to information gathered by Europe 1 and Franceinfo, three people have died including the guardian of the church. One of them was reportedly beheaded. Several people are injured. One of them is said to be in serious condition. A police and demining operation is still in progress in the Notre-Dame basilica in Nice. “The detonations you hear are those caused by the national police services, do not panic, the situation is under control,” wrote the local national police on Twitter. According to the local daily Nice-matin, a stabbing attack therefore took place in the Notre-Dame basilica located on Avenue Jean Médecin in the heart of downtown Nice. Shots were also heard, causing panic among residents.

The mayor of Nice said the perpetrator of the knife attack has already been arrested by municipal police. He would have “repeated Allah Akbar repeatedly,” the mayor reported on BFMTV. The anti-terrorism prosecution has opened an investigation for “murder and attempted murder in connection with a terrorist enterprise” and “criminal terrorist association”.

Christian Estrosi asked “the people of Nice to avoid the area to let the police and emergency services work”. The city Councilor of Nice has also confirmed that “everything suggests a terrorist attack in the Notre-Dame basilica”. He also said on BFMTV: “It is time for France to break free from the laws of peace”.

vigipirate plan was decreed by the Prime Minister Jean Castex.

Armenia accuses Turkey in terrorism export

Brussels 21.10.2020 Armenian President Armen Sarkissian assess Nagorno-Karabach conflict as a regional threat, and accuses Turkey of being the major obstacle to peaceful solution to the conflict.
During his visit to the NATO HQ in Brussels, the President agrees there is no military solution for the conflict:
«We are lucky that we have platform of the OSCE Minsk group, with the three co-charis United States, France and Russia, and I appreciate work of all co-chairs, the Presidents of these three countries, and recent efforts of Russian Federation, and President Putin, and Minister Lavrov» the President of Armenia said.
However he regretted that there was no trilateral meeting possible in Moscow, and the parties had to meet in bilateral talks, and «the war continues in and around Nagorno-Karabach». He aslo added that the military actions against civilians are unacceptable.

The Armenian President has underlined his concerns about the role of NATO ally – Turkey.
«…It looks sometimes that it is no longer conflict with Republic of Artsakh, or people of Nagorno-Karabach and Azerbaijan, but there is a third party as well, supporting Azerbaijan both politically, diplomatically, heavliy militarily, a third party that had supported and brought to the area Islamic terrorists; and unfortunately the third party is a member of NATO» the President of Armenia concluded.

«I belive if Turkey stops being part of the conflict, that will contribute to the cease-fire, and to understanding that there should be peaceful solution. I belive we will reach the seaze-fire there, and hopefully and after that go back to the negotiations at the table of the Minsk group, and finally find a peaceful solution for the conflict» the President underlined.

The hosting meeting Secretary General of NATO said the Alliance does not take side in the conflict.

«It is important for NATO and the international community, that the hostilities end» Jens Stoltenberg said, underlinying that the suffering should stop and the peaceful solution is found. «It is vital that all side now show restraint, observe the seaze-fire and de-escalate. Any targeting of civilians is unacceptable and must stop».
He underlined that the key is to find a sustainable solution.
The efforts of the co-chairs of the Minsk group «remain essential» Stoltenberg concluded.

None of the leaders accpeted the questions after the statements.

Russian journalist Prokopyeva fine «unjustified»

“On Monday 6 July, a Russian court found prominent journalist, Ms Svetlana Prokopyeva, guilty on charges of justifying terrorism after having stated in a radio programme that a terrorist attack at an FSB building was linked to the social and political situation in Russia, and that the incident was a result of the State’s ongoing restrictions on political and civil liberties. She has been ordered to pay a substantial fine, which we consider unjustified” reads the statement by a spokesperson of the European External Action Service on the sentencing of journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva in Russia.

“The prosecution of Ms Prokopyeva is testimony to the ever-shrinking space for independent journalism and civil society in the Russian Federation over recent years. Incidents of intimidation, threats and violence against journalists are frequently reported, while the fundamental freedoms of expression and freedom of the media in the country are repressed and severely curtailed, including through politically-motivated arrests and court proceedings such as the one against Ms Prokopyeva. Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of democratic societies, which can thrive only if citizens have access to reliable information and can make informed choices. We expect the Russian Federation to uphold its international and domestic obligations and ensure that journalists are able to work in a safe environment without fear of reprisal”.

“The EU reaffirms its determination to defend press and media freedom, as well as all human rights, within its borders and worldwide”.

Afghanistan: explosion at Helmand market

A car bombing and mortar shells fired at a crowded market in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province on Monday, Juin 29, killed 23 people, including children, a statement from a provincial governor’s office said.

The attack could not be independently confirmed as the Taliban controlled area, is remote and inaccessible to reporters. At present both the Taliban and the Afghan military blamed each other for the killings of the civilians.

The statement from the office of the Helmand province governor, General Mohammad Yasin, did not provide further details and there was no claim of responsibility for the bombing.

A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yusouf Ahmadi, denied the insurgents were involved in the attack. The Taliban claimed the military fired mortars into the market while the military said that on contrary it was a car bomb and mortar shells fired by the insurgents targeted the civilians.

The army said there was no military activity in the area on Juin 29 and that two Taliban fighters were also killed when the car bomb detonated at the marketplace. Animals brought for sale – sheep and goats – were also killed.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani strongly condemned the “brutal and inhumane act.”

“The government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan once again calls on the Taliban to refrain from war and violence and to accept the will of the Afghan people, which is the end of the war and the start of negotiations,” Ghani’s statement said.

EU diplomats focus on Russia and Turkey

#Gymnich: Statement by the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell following the informal meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Zagreb, (Image: archive).

“…Turkey and Russia were in our agenda. Our relations with these two countries are difficult, but we have to improve them from different points of view. We have been accumulating difficulties and we have to restart a new approach to overcome these difficulties. [In our relations] with Russia we have five guiding principles since the Crimea crisis, which are very well fitted to the situation. We have to increase our engagement on selective issues, in which we have to have a good partnership with Russia: energy, climate change, Artic, Russia’s engagement in Syria and Libya, playing important roles that affect our security. Today has been an interesting approach on how to deal with that.

“On Turkey the situation is strongly linked to the crisis in Idlib. [We are] at the beginning of a migration crisis, the consequences of the Turks letting people go, making [them] maybe believe that the borders of Europe were open. We have to defend our borders, we have to conciliate the respect of the human rights of migrants with the fact that our borders cannot be violated, people cannot across the borders illegally. At the same time we have to talk with the Turks about many issues that affect directly our security, because Turkey is also playing an important role in the Libyan crisis.

“Tomorrow we are going to approve a statement putting [down in] black and white the conclusions, but today has been an open discussion about these two important neighbours which are unavoidably part of our security and part of our most important concerns.”


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