NATO Seeks to Disintegrate Libya and Plunder its Rich Oil Resources, Russia and China Concerned By Western Interference in Middle East and North Africa, Condemn the Idea of Ground Military Operation, Russian Special Forces Kill Top Militant in Breakaway Chechnya, Moscow Will Hold Large-Scale Naval Drills With Norway, China Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan Hold Counterterrorism Drill in the Breakaway Region of Xinjiang, the Scenario Called on the Three Countries to Coordinate a Manhunt for anti-China Separatists, Beijing Sees a Role amid Pakistan-U.S. Rift, Urges World to Back Pakistan in Terror Fight, Indian Prime Minister Plans Trip to Afghanistan
NATO Seeks to Disintegrate Libya
A senior Libyan politician warned of the NATO’s suspicious moves in his country, saying that the West is seeking to prolong the war in Libya in a bid to disintegrate the North African country to plunder its rich oil resources.
“We know that the NATO coalition seeks its own interests by prolonging the war and wants to divide the country into several parts, but the Libyan nation is opposed to this option,” Secretary-General of Libya’s National Movement Meftah Lamloum told FNA on Sunday.
Lamloum expressed his deep suspicion about NATO’s goals in Libya, and cautioned that the western countries are seeking to plunder the country’s rich oil resources.
He further opposed foreign military intervention in his country, and underlined that the crisis in Libya can only be settled by the Libyan people.
Since the revolution against Libyan ruler Muammar Qaddafi’s regime began in mid-February, hundreds have been killed and injured in clashes between Libyan revolutionaries and pro-Gaddafi forces.
Many civilians have reportedly been killed since the Western coalition unleashed a major air campaign against the Libyan regime forces on March 19 under a UN no-fly zone mandate.
The Western military alliance has refused to apologize for the deadly bombardments.
Meantime, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also cautioned that the West is using the conflict in Libya as an excuse to sell its arms productions.
“They (the West) have frozen (Libya’s) funds under the pretext of the war and right now they are selling their stockpiled armaments and they withdraw the money for these arms sales from the account of those killed (in the war),” President Ahmadinejad said in Tehran on Thursday.
Fars News Agency | May 8, 2011
Russia, China concerned by western interference in Middle East
Russia and China are concerned about the situation in the Middle East and North Africa and will tighten cooperation in the region. The two countries’ foreign ministers made the decision during talks in Moscow.
Continue Reading >> Press TV | May 6, 2011
Russia kills top al-Qaeda militant in Chechnya
Hot on the heels of the United States special forces operation that ended in the death of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, Russia says its own forces have killed a top al-Qaeda militant in Chechnya.
Continue Reading >> Mail & Guardian Online | May 4, 2011
Russia, Norway to hold joint naval drills next week
Russia and Norway will hold large-scale naval exercise Pomor 2011 on May 11-16, a spokesman for Russia’s Northern Fleet said on Friday.
The drills in the Barents and Norwegian seas will involve Russian Udaloy class destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov from the Northern Fleet, Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen class frigate Helge Ingstad, coastal guard vessels and naval aircraft.
“The drills will include artillery firing at air and surface targets, anti-submarine warfare, an anti-piracy mission, and the freeing of an oil platform or a commercial ship from armed extremists,” Capt. 1st Rank Vadim Serga said.
Continue Reading >> RIA Novosti | May 6, 2011
China, Central Asian states hold anti-terror drill
Security forces from China and two Central Asian neighbors practiced hunting down violent separatists in a counterterrorism drill along a border area where ethnic Muslim rebels have staged attacks against Beijing’s rule, the government said Saturday.
Friday’s one-day exercise involved forces from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan as well as China and took place along their borders in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang, the government and media reports said.
The scenario called on the three countries to coordinate a manhunt for anti-China separatists who had set up a training camp on the Chinese side of the border, the China News Service said. Flushed out, the rebels hijacked a tourist bus that television footage showed black-suited tactical units storming, shattering the windows to get inside.
Continue Reading >> The Associated Press | May 7, 2011
China sees a role amid Pakistan-U.S. rift
Renewed strains in relations between Pakistan and the United States following last week’s killing of Osama bin Laden have been seen in China as opening the door for closer engagement with Islamabad.
According to officials and analysts here, China is keen to further tighten its already close relationship with its long-term strategic ally, driven by the view that the country is going to play a crucial, even defining, role in Afghanistan, amid declining U.S. influence there.
Continue Reading >> The Hindu | May 8, 2011
China urges world to back Pakistan in terror fight
China reaffirmed its support on Thursday for efforts by its ally Pakistan to combat terrorism after the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by US forces, and urged the world to help Islamabad.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu stopped short of directly criticising the daring raid by US special forces on Pakistani soil that ended with bin Laden’s death but said national sovereignty “should be respected” at all times.
Continue Reading >> AFP | May 5, 2011
Eye on Afghan endgame, PM plans trip to Kabul
[...] Though Singh has been planning the visit to Afghanistan for sometime now, the recent developments there as well as the killing of Bin Laden have “brought a sense of immediacy to the whole thing”, sources explained.
Continue Reading >> Hindustan Times | May 7, 2011
Washington Provoking China and Russia in Mediterranean Sea, the Main Objective Behind Engineering the Libyan War and Syrian Unrest is to Remove the Two Major Powers from the Region, Pakistan and China Holding Joint Military Exercises, Osama Bin Laden Supposedly Found Hiding Near top Pakistani Army Base, U.S. and Saudi Arabia Trying to Wean China off Iranian Oil, China Focuses on Stability Says Pakistan Made “Important Contributions” to International Fight against Terrorism, Vladimir Putin “Dumbfounded” Over NATO Operation in Libya, Moscow Concerned Over U.S. anti-Missile Base in Romania, Will Deliver 3 Combat Helicopters to Peru
U.S. Provoking China and Russia in Mediterranean
The United States is at the risk of a war with China and Russia as its main objective behind engineering the Libyan war and Syrian unrest is to remove the two major powers from the Mediterranean, a senior former U.S. official has warned.
“Washington is all for invading Libya and is putting more and more pressure to intervene in Syria because we want to… clear China and Russia out of the Mediterranean,” Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, who served as an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration, said during an interview with Press TV on Tuesday.
Continue Reading >> The Journal of Turkish Weekly | April 28, 2011
Pakistan, China to hold joint military exercises
Pakistan and China will hold two joint military exercises in 2011, a Pakistani senior military leader said Tuesday.
The two exercises, one army drill and one air force one, will be held to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Pakistan and China, said General Khalid Shameem Wynne, chairman of Pakistan’s Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.
Continue Reading >> China Daily | February 23, 2011
Frenemies: U.S. ally in hot seat after bin Laden found in Pakistani army town
U.S. officials have left little doubt that they did not sufficiently trust their counterparts in Pakistan to keep quiet on the plan to send a team of U.S. special forces and CIA operatives into the country on Sunday to kill Osama bin Laden. And now that the whole world knows U.S. forces found and killed bin Laden in a large, conspicuously fortified compound in an affluent Pakistani military town less than forty miles from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, American officials are likewise making it clear that they don’t fully buy the Pakistani government’s see-no-evil line on bin Laden’s whereabouts. It’s hard for Pakistani military leaders in particular to make a credible case that they were shocked–shocked!–to learn bin Laden was right there under their noses; the Pakistani army, after all, has a college in Abbottabad about 800 yards away from the compound where bin Laden was found and killed.
Continue Reading >> Yahoo News | May 2, 2011
How U.S. trying to wean China off Iranian oil
The United States collaborated with Saudi Arabia to increase crude oil supplies to China at the expense of Iran, U.S. diplomatic cables show. The move was designed to hurt Iran and win Beijing’s support for sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear programme.
China has long worried that oil supplies from Iran could be choked off if Beijing sides too closely with the West over Tehran’s disputed nuclear activity, which opponents say is intended to give it the means to assemble nuclear weapons. Iran insists its nuclear programme is peaceful.
But as Saudi deliveries of crude increased to China over the past years, so has Beijing’s support for U.N. sanctions against Tehran — although Chinese state oil conglomerates have been moving into the vacuum created by the withdrawal of most major players from the Iranian oil patch.
Continue Reading >> Reuters | May 2, 2011
China focuses on stability in Pakistan
China has indicated it will deepen cooperation with Pakistan on counterterrorism issues and back its long-term strategic ally’s efforts to maintain stability, in the wake of renewed international concern over the country’s efforts to clamp down on terrorist groups on its soil following Osama bin Laden’s killing.
Continue Reading >> The Hindu | May 3, 2011
China says Pakistan made “important contributions” to international fight against terrorism
China on Tuesday said Pakistan has made “important contributions” to the fight against terror worldwide following the U.S. announcement of Osama bin Laden’s death.
“We noticed that the Pakistani Foreign Ministry has pledged not to allow its territory to be used for terrorist attacks against any country and it will continue to support the world’s anti-terror efforts,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu told a regular media briefing.
Jiang said the south Asian country is at the anti-terror front-line, and its anti-terror resolve is unwavering and its action powerful.
Continue Reading >> Xinhuanet | May 3, 2011
Putin says ‘dumbfounded’ over NATO operation in Libya
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin continued on Wednesday to criticize NATO military operations in Libya, saying that he was “dumb-founded” over how easy decisions are made to use force against countries.
When asked by a Swedish journalist, Putin, who is currently on a visit in Stockholm, said “this happens despite human rights and humanity concerns which the civilized world is believed to advocate,” apparently referring to reports about NATO planes bombing civilian objects in Libya.
“Don’t you think that there is a serious controversy between words and practice of international relations?” he said, adding that this “misbalance” should be eliminated.
Continue Reading >> RIA Novosti | April 27, 2011
US antimissile base to be deployed in Romania
The US and Romania have agreed on the deployment of US missile defence elements on Romanian soil.
Continue Reading >> Voice of Russia | May 3, 2011
Russia to deliver 3 combat helicopters to Peru
The Peruvian Air Force will receive next week three Russian combat helicopters intended for military operations in remote areas of the country.
Continue Reading >> Andina | May 4, 2011
Russia Hopes Turkey Will Eventually Give the Green Light to the South Stream Gas Pipeline Project, “Turkey to OK South Stream When Conditions Met”, “Project is Not in the Best Interest of Ukraine and the Country is Working against it”, Iran Plans to Invest $90 Billion in South Pars Gas Field, U.K. Royal Dutch Shell Drilling 17 Gas Wells in China, Beijing Urges Quick End to American-Led Airstrikes in Libya, Considers the Security Situation in the Asia-Pacific as “Volatile”, Points to the U.S. Reinforcement of Military Alliances and Rising Suspicions in the Region, Seeks to Reinforce Trust With Neighbours, Will Stick to a Defensive Military Doctrine, The World’s Largest Arms Importer is Now India Not China, South Korea U.S. Conduct Large Military Exercise in Yellow Sea, Singapore Thailand U.S. Conclude Military Drill, Naval Exercises Between the Philippines and Malaysia, Venezuela’s $15 Billion Weapons Purchase Concerns Latin America, Joint Ghana U.S. Jungle Warfare Exercise Ends
Russia hopes Turkey will approve South Stream
Russia hopes Turkey will eventually give the green light to the section of the South Stream gas pipeline project that crosses its territory, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.
Turkey has not given its consent to the laying of part of the 15.5-billion-euro marine pipeline across its Black Sea territory. South Stream is designed to diversify Russian gas export routes, and will stretch to Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast and then on to Italy and Austria.
[...] The land section of the pipeline will go across Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia and Austria, with whom Russia has already signed intergovernmental agreements.
Continue Reading >> RIA Novosti | March 22, 2011
“Turkey to OK South Stream When Conditions Met”
Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said Turkey would still abide by the terms of a 2009 agreement with Russia over a proposed underwater pipeline that will carry natural gas to Europe bypassing Ukraine.
South Stream, controlled by Russian Gazprom and Italian Eni, is planned to carry Russian natural gas under the Black Sea to Bulgaria and on to Europe via Italy and Austria. In an exclusive interview with Today’s Zaman, Yıldız reaffirmed the Turkish position on the $21.5 billion pipeline project called South Stream, saying nothing had changed on the Turkish side. “We are still waiting for the environmental impact studies, as well as feasibility studies, on South Stream to see if the required criteria demanded by Turkey are met. If met, there is no question we would give our approval to the project,” he said.
Continue Reading >> Today’s Zaman | March 26, 2011
Minister: Ukraine Works Against South Stream
The South Stream natural gas pipeline project is not in the best interest of Ukraine and the country is working against it, according to Ukrainian Minister of Energy Yuriy Boyko.
Boyko said his country is undergoing “tense discussions” with Russia, the main country supporting the project, set to deliver gas to southern and central Europe, bypassing Ukraine.
“South Stream is a political project of our Russian partners, who want to create an excess of transit capacities for gas, like what they did back in the day for oil,” said the Ukrainian minister, quoted by MIGnews.
Boyko said that in collaboration with Ukraine’s “EU partners,” the country will be putting efforts so that in the end the pipeline be not built.
Sofia News Agency | April 2, 2011
Iran Plans to Invest $90B in South Pars
Iran’s Oil Ministry plans to invest about $90 billion in South Pars gas field in the current Iranian calendar year (started March 21), Oil Minister Masoud Mirkazemi said.
According to Mirkazemi, about $60 billion of the mentioned amount will be allocated to the upstream projects and about $30 billion to the downstream sector, SHANA News Network reported.
The official also noted that an extra $20 billion will be invested in the petrochemical projects of the giant field.
Mirkazemi further said that the Oil Ministry plans to complete the developing projects of all the remaining phases of the field within 35 months.
The Iranian oil minister also stressed the need for foreign investment in the site to speed up the projects, saying that once all the phases of the South Pars come on stream, the field can produce 25 million cubic meters of natural gas and about 40,000 barrels of liquefied natural gas per day, making the country’s annual revenue from the field hit $110 billion, Press TV reported.
The South Pars gas field is located in the Persian Gulf in the border zone between Iran and Qatar. The field’s reserves are estimated at 14 trillion cubic meters of gas and 18 billion barrels of liquefied natural gas.
Payvand Iran News | April 1, 2011
Shell Drilling 17 China Gas Wells
U.K. oil major Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA.LN) is drilling 17 wells in China, including for tight gas and shale gas, Reuters reported Sunday, citing Chief Executive Peter Voser.
If drilling is successful, Shell plans to spend $1 billion a year during the next five year years on shale gas in China, Voser was quoted as saying.
MarketWatch | March 20, 2011
China Urges Quick End to Airstrikes in Libya
China escalated its opposition to American-led airstrikes on Libya on Tuesday, joining Russia and India in calls for an immediate cease-fire and suggesting that coalition forces were imperiling civilians by exceeding the United Nations-mandated no-fly zone.
[...] China’s response to the campaign has been the most forceful, warning that the assault could bring about a “humanitarian disaster.” In a news briefing Tuesday, Jiang Yu, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, called for an end to hostilities. “We’ve seen reports that the use of armed force is causing civilian casualties, and we oppose the wanton use of armed force leading to more civilian casualties,” she said.
China was one of five countries to abstain from the United Nations resolution that authorized the allied airstrikes against the forces of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, which have been seeking to crush a rebellion against his four-decade rule. Russia, Brazil, India and Germany also abstained, while South Africa joined nine other Security Council members in supporting the resolution approved last week.
In its decision to abstain rather than block the resolution through its veto power, China said it was heeding the wishes of the Arab League and the African Union.
Continue Reading >> The New York Times | March 22, 2011
China to Reinforce Trust With Neighbours
The Chinese government on Thursday said it viewed the security situation in the Asia-Pacific as “volatile”, pointing to the United States “reinforcing” regional military alliances and rising suspicions among China’s neighbours.
In a national defence white paper issued on Thursday, China said it would seek to expand confidence-building measures with its neighbours, as well as stick to a defence policy that was defensive in nature.
The white paper, the seventh that China has issued since 1998, portrayed a strained regional security environment, describing the Asia-Pacific region, in particular, as “volatile.”
“Relevant major powers are increasing their strategic investment,” said the paper. “The United States is reinforcing its regional military alliances, and increasing its involvement in regional security affairs.”
Continue Reading >> The Hindu | March 31, 2011
The World’s Largest Arms Importer is Now India, Not China
India has spent US$80 billion to modernize its military to keep up with China and now, India has become the world’s number one arms importer according to Swedish think-tank keeping tabs on global arms transactions. India makes up 9 percent of global arms purchases while China has 6 percent of market share in comparison.
“India has ambitions to become first a continental and [then] a regional power,” Rahul Bedi, an analyst with London-based Jane’s Defence Weekly, told AP.
“Just from what they have already ordered, we know that in the coming few years India will be the top importer,” said Siemon Wezeman, a senior fellow at SIPRI told the International Business Times.
SIPRI’s report stated India’s defense budget for the coming fiscal year is in the region of $32.5 billion, 40 percent more than in 2009. In addition, India will spend over $50 billion in the next five years to modernize its military – including purchasing new fighter jets and aircraft carriers.
“The kind of purchases that India is buying, no country in the world buys,” added Bedi of Jane’s Defence Weekly. India has also been importing 82 percent of its weapons from Russia and plans to purchase 250 to 300 advanced fifth-generation stealth fighter jets worth $30 billion in the next decade.
SIPRI also included in its report:
Average volume of global arms transfers in 2006-2010 increased 24 percent from 2001-2005.
Asia and Oceania accounts for 43 percent of arms imports, Europe for 12 percent, 17 percent in the Middle East, 12 percent in the Americas and 7 percent in Africa.
The largest arms importers are locate in Asia with India accounting for 9 percent of all imports, 6 percent in China, 6 percent in South Korea and 5 percent in Pakistan.
USA remains the world’s largest exporter of military equipment and totals 30 percent of global arms exports in 2006-2010; of which 44 percent were exported to Asia and Oceania, 28 percent in the Middle East and 19 percent to Europe.
EconomyWatch | March 30, 2011
S. Korea, US Conduct Large Military Exercise in Yellow Sea
A large-scale South Korea-U.S. military exercise in the Yellow Sea seeks to prepare for North Korea`s use of nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, submarines and special forces to destroy or blockade major infrastructure in the South.
Continue Reading >> Donga.com | March 24, 2011
Singapore, Thailand, US Conclude Military Exercise
Singapore, Thailand and the United States concluded the trilateral “Exercise Cope Tiger 2011″ at Korat Air Base in Thailand on Friday.
[...] About 100 aircraft and 34 ground-based air defence systems were deployed.
[...] More than 2,300 personnel took part.
Continue Reading >> Channelnewsasia | March 26, 2011
Military Exercises Strengthens RP-Malaysian Relations
The ten-day military exercises between the Philippine Navy and the Royal Malaysian Navy, which concluded March 25, has been beneficial to both parties and was a success in its purpose, the Naval Forces West (NFW) claimed. The activity opened on March 16.
Continue Reading >> Zamboanga Today | April 1, 2011
Hugo Chavez’s $15 Billion Weapons Purchase Concerns Latin America
With the acquisition of hundreds of tanks, helicopters and bulletproof vehicles as well as submarines and missile networks, Venezuela is arming itself at a speed unprecedented in the history of the South American country.
Continue Reading >> McClatchy | March 21, 2011
Joint Ghana, US Military Exercise Ends
The Africa Partnership Station (APS) 2011 jungle exercise, conducted by personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) and the United States Marines, has ended at Achiase Jungle Warfare in the Eastern Region.
[...] The two-week training exercise comprised 100 troops from GAF and 42 US Marines.
Continue Reading >> Vibeghana | March 22, 2011
Uruguay Joins South American Nations in Recognizing Palestinian Statehood, French Foreign Minister : European Union Should Consider Recognizing Palestinian State, Mossad Ex-Chief : Israelis and Palestinians Won’t Agree Anytime Soon on Clear Borders for a New State, Israel Seizes Boat “Carrying Weapons from Turkey to Gaza”, “Arms Came from Iran Via Turkey, Syria, and Egypt”, Iran on Arms Seizure : “Zionist Regime is Full of Lies”, “Turkey Stops Iranian Cargo Plane en Route to Syria”, Turkish Government Denies, Egypt Uncovers Israeli Spy Network Reporting on “Developments in the Country” and Collecting Detailed Information About the Size of Armed Forces Stationed on the Streets Government Officials and Natural Gas Lines in Sinai Peninsula, Egyptian Military Delegation in Damascus to Restore Relations, Saudi Troops Deployed in Bahrain, Iran Warns Against Foreign Military Intervention Recalls Ambassador from Bahrain Cancels Jordanian Monarch’s Trip, Saudi Envoy Delivering Message from King Abdullah to Syria’s President Situation in Bahrain Discussed, Syrian Foreign Minister on a One Day Visit to Tehran “to Confer on the Latest Developments in the Region”, China Paying $6 Billion to Develop Iran Oil Fields, Warship Deal With Russia Losing Support in France “Because of Concerns Among Russia’s Neighbors”, Turkish Prime Minister in Moscow, Russia to Build Turkey’s First Nuclear Power Station, Final Step in Visa-Free Regime
Uruguay Joins South American Nations in Recognizing Palestinian Statehood
Uruguay has joined a string of South American nations in recognizing an independent Palestinian state.
A Foreign Ministry statement says Uruguay has communicated its decision to the Palestinian Authority.
However the statement does not explicitly say whether the country recognizes
Palestine’s borders predating the Six-Day War of 1967, when Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza.
Foreign Ministry officials declined Tuesday to clarify the matter.
More than a half-dozen countries in South America have recognized Palestine recently, though in different ways.
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay recognized the pre-1967 borders.
Chile and Peru said the issue must be worked out between Israelis and Palestinians.
Haaretz | March 16, 2011
French FM : EU Should Consider Recognizing Palestinian State
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Tuesday that the European Union should consider the option of recognizing a Palestinian state if no peace agreement with Israel is reached.
“Recognizing the Palestinian state alone is useless,” he said, explaining that the measure should be taken in collaboration with other countries within the EU. Juppe made the statement during a hearing at the Committee on Foreign Affairs of National Assembly in the lower house of the French Parliament. “We’re not there yet, but personally I think it is an option that one must have in mind,” he added.
YnetNews | March 15, 2011
Mossad Ex-Chief Halevy Says Mideast Talks Won’t Settle Borders
Israelis and Palestinians probably won’t agree anytime soon on clear borders for a new state, leaving them to maintain current political arrangements for another generation, former Mossad Director Efraim Halevy said.
Even if Palestinians declare a state later this year and garner significant support at the United Nations, the move will have little practical significance and will probably perpetuate Israeli’s occupation of the West Bank.
Continue Reading >> Bloomberg | March 10, 2011
IDF Seizes Boat Carrying Weapons from Turkey to Gaza
The Israeli navy seized a ship on Tuesday that was apparently smuggling weapons destined for Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The Israel Defense Forces Spokesman Unit said that the ship “Victoria” originated from the Lattakia port in Syria and sailed to Mersin, Turkey. It was seized while on its way from Turkey destined for the El-Arish port in Egypt.
Continue Reading >> Haaretz | March 15, 2011
Netanyahu : Arms on Seized Ship Came from Iran Via Syria
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that weapons seized by the Israel Navy from a ship bound for Egypt earlier in the day had come from Iran, via Syria, and were intended for militants in Gaza.
“We are currently collecting information and the one thing that is certain is that the weapons are from Iran with a relay station in Syria”.
Continue Reading >> Haaretz | March 15, 2011
Iran on Arms Seizure : “Zionist Regime is Full of Lies”
Iranian Army Commander-General denies sending weapons to Gaza on “Victoria” ship; Hamas also claims weapons weren’t for them.
Continue Reading >> The Jerusalem Post | March 16, 2011
“Turkey Stops Iranian Cargo Plane en Route to Syria”
Turkish government denies earlier reports that plane was stopped because it carried weapons meant for Syria, says it is “standard procedure” for planes to be checked.
The Turkish government on Wednesday denied reports that Turkish military jets forced an Iranian cargo plane to land at Biyarbakir airport Tuesday night in order to check it for Iranian arms meant for Syria, reported AP.
The government confirmed that the Iranian plane landed in Turkey, but that it is standard procedure for cargo planes to request permission to fly over Turkey and that sometimes they are required to make unscheduled landings to be searched.
Continue Reading >> The Jerusalem Post | March 16, 2011
Egypt Uncovers Israeli Spy Network
Egyptian authorities have uncovered a spy network that has been working for Israel, said an official report on Wednesday. The discovery is the first of its kind since the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak last month.
Official reports circulated by state newspapers said state security prosecutors were interrogating one of the suspects involved in the cell, and he will remain in custody pending investigations. Initial reports said the suspect is Egyptian and that the network includes another foreigner and two Israelis who fled the country before the uncovering of the network.
State-owned al-Ahram newspaper reported on Wednesday that the foreigner admitted he came to Egypt after the 25 January revolution to report on developments in the country. It is believed he is a Syrian national who entered Egypt under the guise of being a businessman.
The suspect said he was working for Mossad, Israeli intelligence, according to al-Ahram.
Bikya Masr | March 17, 2011
Israeli spy Ring Aimed at Conducting Espionage against Egyptian Army
Mossad agents were arrested in Egypt 5 days ago, and the mission was sent to collect detailed information about the size of the Egyptian armed forces stationed on the streets; its places, prominent Egyptian government officials and natural gas lines in Sinai”, Israeli online edition said.
“The cell received its first assignment after the January 25 revolution on the purpose of gathering key strategic and political information about the situation in Egypt,” The Hebrew-language news site Inyan Merkazi said.
The Higher State Security Prosecution ordered the imprisonment of the first suspect in custody for 15 days while investigations take place. The suspect is a 34-year-old Jordanian who arrived in Cairo during the demonstrations and allegedly sent information concerning recordings of phone calls made by Egyptian officials and important locations in Cairo to Israel. He was charged with spying for Israel and harming Egypt’s national interests by the Public Prosecutor.
IkhwanWeb | March 18, 2011
Egypt’s New Rulers Friendly with Assad
Egypt’s temporary military rulers sent a delegation to Syria on Thursday to meet with President Bashar al-Assad. Egyptian General Murad Mohammed Muafi and Assad agreed to boost cooperation between the two countries, according to Syria’s SANA news agency.
The meeting follows long-term tension between Egypt and Syria. Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak refrained from developing warm ties with Assad due to disagreement over Syria’s role in Lebanon.
Continue Reading >> Israel National News | March 18, 2011
Saudi Troops Have Entered Bahrain : Saudi Official
More than 1,000 Saudi troops, part of the Gulf countries’ Peninsula Shield Force, have entered Bahrain where anti-regime protests have raged for a month, a Saudi official said Monday.
The troops entered the strategic Gulf kingdom on Sunday, the official told AFP, requesting anonymity.
The intervention came “after repeated calls by the (Bahraini) government for dialogue, which went unanswered” by the opposition, the official said.
According to the regulations of the Gulf Cooperation Council, “any Gulf force entering a member state becomes under the command of the government,” the official added.
The Bahraini government has not confirmed the presence of Saudi troops in the archipelago, which is home to the US Fifth Fleet.
Continue Reading >> AFP | March 14, 2011
Iran Warns Against Military Intervention in Bahrain, Recalls Ambassador
Iran warned against the consequences of military interventions of foreigners in Bahrain and recalled its ambassador from Manama due to the relevant disputes, local media reported on Thursday.
In telephone conversations with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari and Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister Muhammad al-Sabah on Wednesday over the recent developments in Bahrain, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi talked about the military meddling in Bahrain.
Iranian foreign minister called for the continued consultations between regional countries to prevent a humanitarian crisis in the Gulf kingdom.
Iranian Parliament (Majlis) Speaker Ali Larijani also warned against foreign military intervention in Bahrain, saying the ” tragic occurrence, would exacerbate the situation in the country.”
“The entering of foreign forces into Bahrain will complicate the situation in the region and make it difficult to find a solution to the ongoing crisis in the country,” Larijani was quoted as saying by satellite Press TV.
Larijani described the move as “detrimental” to the region and added “Foreign troops are committing a bigger crime as they are involved in the crackdown against Bahraini people.”
Continue Reading >> Xinhua News Agency | March 17, 2011
Jordanian Monarch’s Trip to Iran Cancelled
Iranian MP, Hamid Resai has announced that the King of Jordan’s visit to Iran has been cancelled. “In view of the current critical situation,” he said, “the Jordanian Abdullah’s trip to Tehran did not meet the approval of senior Islamic Republic officials.”
Continue Reading >> Payvand Iran News | March 15, 2011
Message from Saudi King to President al-Assad on Bilateral Relations, Developments in Arab Arena
President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday received a message from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia highlighting the special relations between their brotherly countries.
The message was delivered during President al-Assad’s meeting with Advisor to the Saudi King, Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah.
The latest developments in the Arab arena, including the situation in the brotherly Kingdom of Bahrain, were discussed in the message.
Continue Reading >> SANA | March 17, 2011
Syrian FM Due in Tehran Today
Syrian Foreign Minister Valid Muallem is due to visit Tehran on Thursday to confer with the Iranian officials on the bilateral relations between the two countries and the latest developments in the region.
Muallem is also scheduled to meet a number of high ranking Iranian officials in addition to his counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi during his one day visit.
Muallem and Salehi’s latest meeting was on January 29 in Damascus.
Iran and Syria have forged an alliance ever since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the two countries’ officials exchange visits on a regular basis.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was last in Tehran at the head of a high-ranking politico-economic delegation in October 2010.
The two countries enjoy strategic relations in a wide variety of fields.
Fars News Agency | March 17, 2011
China Paying $6 Billion to Develop Iran Oil Fields
An Iranian official said Beijing has contracted Iran’s Azadegan oil fields for projects estimated at more than $6 billion. The contractor was identified as the state-owned China National Petroleum Corp. assigned to cooperate with the National Iranian Oil Co, Middle East Newsline reported.
Continue Reading >> World Tribune | March 14, 2011
Warship Deal With Russia Losing Support in France – Paper
The agreement to sell advanced warships to Russia is losing support in France because of Moscow’s wish to get hold of sensitive military technology and concerns among Russia’s neighbors, Le Figaro daily said on Wednesday.
[...] A number of Russia’s neighbors have expressed concern over the upcoming deal, in particular Georgia, Lithuania, and Japan, especially after a Russian Defense Ministry source said in early February the ships would be inducted with the Pacific Fleet to protect the South Kuril Islands claimed by Japan.
Continue Reading >> RIA Novosti | March 16, 2011
Russia, Turkey to Take final Step in Visa-Free Regime
The final official step in the process of introducing a visa-free regime between Black Sea neighbors Russia and Turkey will be taken during Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s three-day visit to Russia.
Continue Reading >> Today’s Zaman | March 15, 2011