Pompeo criticises Turkey over Russian missiles, alliance reforms at NATO talks



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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo strongly criticised Turkey at a NATO ministerial meeting, participants told AFP on Wednesday, raising the hopes of some allies pushing for sanctions against Ankara.

A US spokesman would not confirm or deny the details of Pompeo‘s participation in Tuesday’s foreign minister’s videoconference, but several well-placed sources described the exchange as heated.

Turkey has faced criticism over its stance in a maritime territorial dispute with fellow NATO member Greece and its support for Azerbaijan in the recently revived conflict with Armenia over a disputed enclave.

European warships are also attempting to enforce an arms embargo on war-torn Libya, where Turkey is supporting the Tripoli government.

Some NATO and EU members — with the notable exception of France — have been cautious about criticising President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government, for fear of escalating the crises.

>> Erdogan calls for boycott of French goods, EU calls his comments ‘unacceptable’

But Pompeo, attending one of his last NATO meetings — as US President Donald Trump’s administration will leave office next month — did not hold back in an exchange with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

‘Short but clear’

Senior participants told AFP that Pompeo accused Turkey of playing into the hands of NATO’s rival Moscow by buying the Russian S-400 missile defence system, despite the allies’ opposition, one participant told AFP.

And he urged Ankara to behave more like an ally, accusing it of thwarting efforts to build unanimity for vital reforms, according to those taking part.

“His intervention was quite short, but very clear,” the senior official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity to describe a closed-door diplomatic discussion.

Another source familiar with the talks said the exchange was “punchy”.

>> Turkey challenges allies and enemies alike in quest for ‘larger role on world stage’

The official US State Department readout of the meeting did not mention Turkey, but Pompeo has been critical of Ankara in recent weeks.

Washington’s top diplomat was in Paris last month, and told the daily Le Figaro that he had spoken with President Emmanuel Macron and agreed that Turkey’s recent actions had been “very aggressive”.

Germany is leading a diplomatic outreach to Turkey to try to resolve some of the European capitals’ concerns, and NATO has set up a “deconfliction mechanism” to head off accidental clashes with Greek forces.

But some EU members are also pushing for economic sanctions.

Macron clashed with Erdogan at December’s NATO summit in London, but the Turkish leader was reportedly defended by Trump.

At this week’s talks the American envoy was less protective of Turkey, and France and Luxembourg joined Pompeo in going on the attack.

Sanctions lists

EU members will decide at a summit on December 10 whether to begin the process of applying sanctions against Turkey for violating Greek waters to search for gas or breaching a UN arms embargo on Libya.  

“Ankara no longer has a lot of support in the EU, as the Turks have not adopted any more positive behaviour since the adoption of the double strategy in October,” an EU official told AFP.

The double strategy — German led diplomacy backed by the threat implied by the EU drawing up lists of potential sanctions targets — still has the support of Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel. 

But, sources told AFP, she may be the last figure standing against sanctions when the EU next meets on the issue.

>> Europe ‘lacks leverage’ over Turkey amid Erdogan migrant threat

(AFP)



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Kryeministri i Izraelit pritet ta vizitojë Bahrejnin


Kryeministri i Izraelit, Benjamin Netanyahu, tha të martën se “së shpejti” do të vizitojë Bahrejnin, me ftesë të Princit të Kurorës, Salman al-Khalifa.

Pas Emirateve të Bashkuara Arabe, Bahrejni normalizoi raportet me Izraelin me anë të një marrëveshjeje të ndërmjetësuar nga Shtetet e Bashkuara.

Vendimi i këtyre vendeve të Lindjes se Mesme shënoi një rreshtim strategjik të rajonit kundër Iranit.

Por, palestinezët janë zemëruar pasi kanë kërkuar zgjidhjen e çështjes së shtetësisë së tyre, para çdo normalizimi të raporteve me Izraelin nga ana e vendeve arabe.

Një delegacion i Bahrejnit vizitoi Izraelin të mërkurën e kaluar.

hënën, një zyrtar izraelit dhe mediat lokale thanë se Netanyahu kishte udhëtuar fshehurazi në Arabinë Saudite të dielën për bisedime me Princin e Kurorës Mohammed bin Salman dhe Sekretarin amerikan të Shtetit, Mike Pompeo, në atë që do të ishte vizita e parë e konfirmuar publikisht nga një udhëheqës izraelit.

Ministri i jashtëm i Arabisë Saudite, Princi Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud mohoi bisedimet e tilla. Netanyahu s’ i konfirmoi ose mohoi raportet.

Që nga shtatori, administrata e presidentit amerikan, Donald Trump ka ndërmjetësuar marrëveshje të Izraelit me Bahrejnin, Emiratet e Bashkuara Arabe dhe Sudanin.

Një delegacion izraelit udhëtoi të hënën në Sudan.

Megjithëse zyrtarët e Shtëpisë së Bardhë kanë thënë që më shumë vende po konsiderojnë normalizimin e lidhjeve me Izraelin, zhvillimet e mëtejshme s’ kanë gjasa të ndodhin para se presidenti i zgjedhur, Joe Biden, të marrë detyrën më 20 Janar dhe të përcaktojë politikën e administratës së tij për Iranin. /REL



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Qytetari i Prishtinës: Mungesa e kolektorëve – rrezik për shëndetin


Në një libër të ri, Papa Françesku për herë të parë i quan ujgurët myslimanë të Kinës një popull “të përndjekur”. Aktivistët e të drejtave të njeriut, për vite me rradhë kanë kërkuar që Papa të bëj një cilësim të tillë.

“Unë shpesh mendoj për popujt e persekutuar: Rohingya, Ujgurët dhe Jazidët”, tha ai në një pjesë të librit, ku gjithashtu flet për të krishterët e persekutuar në vendet myslimane.

Papa më herët ka folur për Rohingya, të cilët janë larguar nga Mianmari dhe vrasjen e Jazidëve nga Shteti Islamik në Irak, por kjo është hera e parë që ai përmendi ujgurët.

Aktivistët e të drejtave të njeriut dhe qeveritë në vende të ndryshme kanë thënë se ndaj ujgurëve në Kinë po ndodhin krime kundër njerëzimit dhe gjenocid. Në kampe të rajonit Ksinijang të Kinës po mbahen më shumë se 1 milionë ujgurë.

Muajin e kaluar, gjatë një konference në Vatikan, sekretari amerikan i Shtetit, Mike Pompeo, akuzoi Kinën për trajtimin e saj ndaj ujgurëve.

Pekini ka hedhur poshtë akuzat si një përpjekje për të diskredituar Kinën, duke thënë se kampet janë qendra të arsimit dhe trajnimit profesional si pjesë e masave kundër terrorizmit dhe deradikalizimit./REL

The post Ferizaj, tre mjekë dhe tre infermierë të infektuar me COVID-19 appeared first on Raporto Korrupsionin! KALLXO.com.

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Në një libër të ri, Papa Françesku për herë të parë i quan ujgurët myslimanë të Kinës një popull “të përndjekur”. Aktivistët e të drejtave të njeriut, për vite me rradhë kanë kërkuar që Papa të bëj një cilësim të tillë.

“Unë shpesh mendoj për popujt e persekutuar: Rohingya, Ujgurët dhe Jazidët”, tha ai në një pjesë të librit, ku gjithashtu flet për të krishterët e persekutuar në vendet myslimane.

Papa më herët ka folur për Rohingya, të cilët janë larguar nga Mianmari dhe vrasjen e Jazidëve nga Shteti Islamik në Irak, por kjo është hera e parë që ai përmendi ujgurët.

Aktivistët e të drejtave të njeriut dhe qeveritë në vende të ndryshme kanë thënë se ndaj ujgurëve në Kinë po ndodhin krime kundër njerëzimit dhe gjenocid. Në kampe të rajonit Ksinijang të Kinës po mbahen më shumë se 1 milionë ujgurë.

Muajin e kaluar, gjatë një konference në Vatikan, sekretari amerikan i Shtetit, Mike Pompeo, akuzoi Kinën për trajtimin e saj ndaj ujgurëve.

Pekini ka hedhur poshtë akuzat si një përpjekje për të diskredituar Kinën, duke thënë se kampet janë qendra të arsimit dhe trajnimit profesional si pjesë e masave kundër terrorizmit dhe deradikalizimit./REL



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US President-elect Biden to nominate long-time adviser Blinken for secretary of state



President-elect Joe Biden is building out his administration with several key picks for national security and foreign policy roles.

John Kerry, a former secretary of state, will lead the incoming administration’s effort to combat climate change. Alejandro Mayorkas will be nominated as the secretary for the Department of Homeland Security.

Biden also plans to nominate Antony Blinken as his secretary of state, according to multiple people familiar with the Biden team’s planning.

Blinken, 58, served as deputy secretary of state and deputy national security adviser during the Obama administration and has close ties with Biden. If nominated and confirmed, he would be a leading force in the incoming administration’s bid to reframe the U.S. relationship with the rest of the world after four years in which President Donald Trump questioned longtime alliances.

Biden is moving forward with plans to fill out his government even as Trump refuses to concede defeat, has pursued baseless legal challenges in several key states and has worked to stymie the transition process. The stakes of a smooth transition are especially high this year because Biden will take office amid the worst pandemic in more than a century, which will likely require a full government response to contain.

In nominating Blinken, Biden would sidestep potentially thorny issues that could have affected Senate confirmation for two other candidates on his short list to be America’s top diplomat: Susan Rice and Sen. Chris Coons.

Rice would have faced significant GOP opposition and likely rejection in the Senate. She has long been a target of Republicans, including for statements she made after the deadly 2012 attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya.

Coons, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, lacked the granular experience in managing day-to-day foreign policy issues that Blinken would bring to the job.

Biden is likely to name his Cabinet picks in tranches, with groups of nominees focused on a specific top area, like the economy, national security or public health, being announced at once. Advisers to the president-elect’s transition have said they’ll make their first Cabinet announcements on Tuesday.

If Biden focuses on national security that day, Michèle Flournoy, a veteran of Pentagon policy jobs, is a top choice to lead the Defense Department. Jake Sullivan, a longtime adviser to Biden and Hillary Clinton, is also in the mix for a top job, including White House national security adviser.

For his part, Blinken recently participated in a national security briefing with Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and has weighed in publicly on notable foreign policy issues in Egypt and Ethiopia.

Depleted State Department workforce

Biden’s secretary of state would inherit a deeply demoralized and depleted career workforce at the State Department. Trump’s two secretaries of state, Rex Tillerson and Mike Pompeo, offered weak resistance to the administration’s attempts to gut the agency, which were thwarted only by congressional intervention.

Although the department escaped massive proposed cuts of more than 30% in its budget for three consecutive years, it has seen a significant number of departures from its senior and rising mid-level ranks, from which many diplomats have opted to retire or leave the foreign service given limited prospects for advancements under an administration that they believe does not value their expertise.

A graduate of Harvard University and Columbia Law School and a longtime Democratic foreign policy presence, Blinken has aligned himself with numerous former senior national security officials who have called for a major reinvestment in American diplomacy and renewed emphasis on global engagement.

“Democracy is in retreat around the world, and unfortunately it’s also in retreat at home because of the president taking a two-by-four to its institutions, its values and its people every day,” Blinken told The Associated Press in September. “Our friends know that Joe Biden knows who they are. So do our adversaries. That difference would be felt on day one.”

Blinken served on the National Security Council during the Clinton administration before becoming staff director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when Biden was chair of the panel. In the early years of the Obama administration, Blinken returned to the NSC and was then-Vice President Biden’s national security adviser before he moved to the State Department to serve as deputy to Secretary of State John Kerry.

Biden also is expected to tap longtime diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Trump administration still hindering transition

Biden has pledged to build the most diverse government in modern history, and he and his team often speak about their desire for his administration to reflect America. He is being watched to see whether he will make history by nominating the first woman to lead the Pentagon, the Treasury Department or the Department of Veterans Affairs or the first African American at the top of the Defense Department, the Interior Department or the Treasury Department.

Ron Klain, Biden’s incoming chief of staff, said Sunday the Trump administration’s refusal to clear the way for Biden’s team to have access to key information about agencies and federal dollars for the transition is taking its toll on planning, including the Cabinet selection process. Trump’s General Services Administration has yet to acknowledge that Biden won the election — a determination that would remove those roadblocks.

“We’re not in a position to get background checks on Cabinet nominees. And so there are definite impacts. Those impacts escalate every day,” Klain told ABC’s “This Week.”

Even some Republicans have broken with Trump in recent days and called on him to begin the transition. Joining the growing list were Sens. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Former Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, a longtime Trump supporter, told ABC that it was time for the president to stop contesting the outcome and called Trump’s legal team seeking to overturn the election a “national embarrassment.”

Meanwhile, planning was underway for a pandemic-modified inauguration Jan. 20. Klain said the Biden team was consulting with Democratic leadership in the House and the Senate over their plans.

“They’re going to try to have an inauguration that honors the importance and the symbolic meaning of the moment, but also does not result in the spread of the disease. That’s our goal,” Klain said.

(AP)



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Netanyahu, vizitë sekrete në Arabinë Saudite


Disa media izraelite kanë raportuar se kryeministri i këtij vendi, Benjamin Netanyahu ka vizituar në mënyrë sekrete Arabinë Saudite më 22 nëntor, për të takuar udhëheqësin de fakto të mbretërisë, si dhe Sekretarin amerikan të Shtetit, Mike Pompeo.

Transmetuesi publik izraelit, Kan, ka cituar disa zyrtarë anonimë të Izraelit duke konfirmuar se Netanyahu dhe udhëheqësi i agjencisë së spiunumit Mossad, Yossi Cohen, kanë zhvilluar takime me princin saudit të kurorës, Mohammed bin Salman si dhe me diplomatin e lartë amerikan, në qytetin Neom të Arabisë Saudite.

Edhe media tjera izraelite janë duke raportuar për informacion të njëjtë.

Zyra e Netanyahut dhe ambasada amerikane në Jerusalem s’ kanë komentuar për udhëtimin e raportuar, i cili do të përbënte të parin të ndonjë kryeministri izraelit në Arabinë Saudite.

Këto takime vijnë pasi Izrali ka nënshkruar marrëveshje historike për të normalizuar lidhjet me dy aleatë sauditë në Gjirin Persik- Emiratet e Bashkuara Arabe dhe Bahreinin.

Ky afrim, që bazohet në shqetësimet e përbashkëta ndaj Iranit, është ndërmjetësuar nga administrata në shkuarje e presidentit amerikan, Donald Trump.

Arabia Saudite ka thënë publikisht se do të mbajë qëndrimin që ka me dekada për të mos pasur lidhje me Izraelin derisa të mos zgjidhet konflikti me palestinezët.

Megjithatë, sauditët kanë lejuar aeroplanët izraelitë që të udhëtojnë mbi territorin e tyre në destinacionet e reja në vendet e Gjirit dhe Azisë. /REL/



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Netanyahu made secret trip to Saudi Arabia, met MBS, says Israeli media



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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secretly visited Saudi Arabia on Sunday and met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and visiting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo there, Israel’s Kan public radio and ArmyRadio said on Monday. 

The broadcaster cited unnamed Israeli officials as saying that Netanyahu and the head of the Mossad spy agency Yossi Cohen “flew yesterday to Saudi Arabia, and met Pompeo and MBS in the city of Neom”, referring to Prince Mohammed’s initials.

Multiple other Israeli media outlets reported similar information on Monday morning.

Netanyahu’s office and the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem had no immediate comment.

Tracking private from Israel to Saudi Arabia 

Avi Scharf of Israel’s Haaretz newspaper published aviation tracking data showing that a business jet had made a brief trip from Tel Aviv to Neom, on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast, where Bin Salman and Pompeo had a scheduled meeting on Sunday.

A Gulfstream IV private jet took off just after 1740 GMT from Ben-Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, according to data from website FlightRadar24.com. The flight traveled south along the eastern edge of the Sinai Peninsula before turning toward Neom and landing just after 1830 GMT, according to the data. The flight took off from Neom around 2150 GMT and followed the same route back to Tel Aviv.

Pompeo traveled with an American press pool on his trip throughout the Mideast, but left them at the Neom airport when he went into his visit with the crown prince.

Officially, no ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia

Pompeo has tried to coax the Gulf powerhouse to follow its neighbours, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, in establishing formal relations with Israel — a rapprochement built largely on shared concerns about Iran.

Riyadh has so far declined to normalise ties with Israel, saying Palestinian statehood goals should be addressed first.

But the Saudis have allowed Israeli airliners to overfly their territory to newly available Gulf destinations and to Asia.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)



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US Secretary of State Pompeo meets Afghan govt, Taliban negotiators in Qatar



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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met negotiators from the Afghan government and the Taliban in Doha Saturday, amid signs of progress in their talks as Washington speeds up its withdrawal.

Pompeo‘s visit comes in the wake of a deadly rocket attack which struck densely populated areas of Kabul, killing at least eight people in the latest outbreak of violence in the Afghan capital.

The Taliban denied responsibility and the Islamic State group claimed the deadly strike.

Pompeo met separately with the Afghan government and Taliban negotiation teams in a luxury hotel in the Qatari capital.

“I would be most interested in getting your thoughts on how we can increase the probability of a successful outcome,” Pompeo said as he met the Afghan government side, noting the shared interest in such a scenario.

He also met Qatar’s ruler, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, the foreign minister, on his stop in Doha, which is the Taliban’s base for diplomacy.

The outgoing top US diplomat is on a seven-nation tour of Europe and the Middle East, as President Donald Trump shores up late-term priorities.

Earlier this week, the Pentagon said it would soon pull some 2,000 troops out of Afghanistan, speeding up the timeline established in a February agreement between Washington and the Taliban that envisions a full US withdrawal in mid-2021.

Trump has repeatedly vowed to end “forever wars”, including in Afghanistan, America’s longest-ever conflict that began with an invasion to dislodge the Taliban following the September 11, 2001 attacks.

President-elect Joe Biden, in a rare point of agreement with Trump, also advocates winding down the Afghanistan war, although analysts believe he will not be as wedded to a rapid withdrawal.

Breakthrough?

The Taliban are speaking to Afghanistan’s government for the first time.

The talks started on September 12 in Doha but almost immediately faltered over disagreements about the agenda, the basic framework of discussions and religious interpretations.

Several sources told AFP on Friday that the two sides appear to have resolved some of the issues, however.

Among the sticking points so far, the Taliban and the Afghan government have struggled to agree on common language on two main issues.

The Taliban, who are Sunni hardliners, are insisting on adherence to the Hanafi school of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence, but government negotiators say this could be used to discriminate against Hazaras, who are predominantly Shiite, and other minorities.

Another contentious topic is how the US-Taliban deal will shape a future Afghan peace deal and how it will be referred to.

The Doha peace talks opened after the Taliban and Washington signed a deal in February, with the US agreeing to withdraw all foreign forces in exchange for security guarantees and a Taliban promise to start talks.

Violence surging

Despite the talks, violence has surged across Afghanistan, with the Taliban stepping up daily attacks against Afghan security forces.

Trump’s plan to slash troops by January 15 — less than a week before his successor Joe Biden is to be sworn in to office — has been criticised by Kabul residents who fear it will embolden the Taliban to unleash a new wave of fighting.

Afghan civilians have long borne the brunt of the country’s bloodshed.

Officials in Kabul also worry it will harden the Taliban position at the negotiating table, where the future of hard-won gains including women’s rights are on the line.

Saturday’s strike on the Afghan capital saw a barrage of rockets slam into various parts of central and north Kabul — including in and around the heavily fortified Green Zone that houses embassies and international firms.

The Islamic State group said in a statement that 28 Katyusha rockets had been fired by “soldiers of the caliphate”.

Afghanistan’s Interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian had earlier blamed the Taliban, saying “terrorists” had fired a total of 23 rockets. However, the Taliban denied responsibility, saying they “do not blindly fire on public places”.

The Iranian embassy said on Twitter that its main building had been hit by rocket fragments after a projectile landed on the premises. No one on the compound, located just outside the Green Zone, was wounded.

Recent big attacks in Kabul, including two horrific assaults on educational institutions that killed nearly 50 people in recent weeks, follow a familiar pattern in the aftermath, with the Taliban denying any involvement while the Afghan government pins the blame on them or their proxies.

(AFP)



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