New Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett plans to promote a new strategy on Iran during his first visit to the White House. He says he will urge US President Joe Biden not to renew the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.
Biden’s aides hope that the talks will set a positive tone for his relationship with Bennett, a far-right politician and a millionaire who made a fortune in technology. In June, he put an end to Benjamin Netanyahu’s record-breaking 12-year career as prime minister. His tenure was marked by years of tension between the conservative Netanyahu, who was close to Donald Trump, and the last Democratic administration led by Barack Obama with Biden as his vice president.
The leaders ‘ meeting gives the US administration an opportunity to demonstrate the usual conduct of business with its closest ally in the Middle East while it is struggling with the chaotic situation in Afghanistan, Biden’s biggest foreign policy crisis since he came to power.
The negotiations will be relatively restrained, writes Arab News. The two leaders are expected to briefly address a small group of reporters during talks in the Oval Office, but will not hold a joint press conference.
Bennett is as adamant as Netanyahu, promising not to allow Iran, which Israel sees as an existential threat, to develop nuclear weapons. “Iran is making rapid progress in uranium enrichment and has already significantly reduced the time required to accumulate the material needed for a single nuclear bomb,” the Israeli leader said.
Bennett revealed that he would tell Biden: “It’s time to stop the Iranians, and not give them a lifeline in the form of re-entering the expired nuclear deal.” The US official said that Bennett’s expected pleas to the Biden administration to stop efforts to renew the agreement are unlikely to bear fruit.
In 2018, Trump withdrew the United States from the deal between six world powers and Iran. He considered it too profitable for Tehran and re-imposed US sanctions. In a report published last week by Reuters, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran has accelerated uranium enrichment to near weapons-grade levels.
Iran has consistently denied trying to build a bomb, but the country’s enrichment has increased tensions with the West, as both sides seek to resume negotiations on renewing their deal to limit Tehran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.
Bennett told the government that he would present Biden with “an orderly plan that we have formulated over the past two months to curb the Iranians both in the nuclear sphere and in relation to regional aggression.” He did not give any details.
The official representative of the US State Department, Ned Price, indicated: “I leave it to the Israeli Prime Minister to present to the American president any thoughts that the Israeli government may have when it comes to Iran. ”
Bennett, 49, is the son of American immigrants in Israel. A former head of the Israeli West Bank Settler Council, he heads a coalition of left, right, centrist and Arab parties. The Biden administration has already made it clear that it opposes further expansion of Jewish settlements Until now, Bennett, who advocated expansion in the West Bank, is cautious about the settlement issue.
United Russia and experts believe that Vladimir Putin’s meeting with representatives of United Russia showed unity of views and approaches
On the eve of the final part of the pre-election congress of United Russia, on August 22, Vladimir Putin met with representatives of the party. At the meeting, at the suggestion of the head of state, the tasks set for United Russia, how they are solved, as well as answers to new challenges that life constantly poses to Russians were discussed.
In other words, we were talking about a wide range of topics that are somehow affected by the program with which United Russia goes to the elections. As the president noted, the moment has come to ” check the clock, look at what has been done, what needs to be done.” In particular, the issues of social support for Russians, the continuation of the party’s solution of the most important tasks within the framework of the Duma work, issues of territorial development and a very difficult foreign policy situation were considered.
According to experts and representatives of the party, there is a complete mutual understanding between the president, who is one of the founders of United Russia, and those who represent it today in the elections, as well as in the field of lawmaking, in setting tasks and choosing methods for solving them.
Natalia Lindigrin, Executive Director of the Institute of Regional Problems:
– The last meeting, in my opinion, once again confirms that the president sees United Russia as the most constructive political force in the country. With her, he discusses the most important state decisions, consults and gives instructions.
Vladimir Putin supported the party’s program proposals, which concern both support for socially vulnerable citizens and developing small businesses. He also focused on the initiative of Sergei Shoigu on the development of Siberia, Sergey Lavrov’s position in protecting the foreign policy interests of the state. It is noticeable that the tasks set by the leaders of the party list gathered at the meeting today are close and understandable to the president.
I would especially like to note that this conversation, although it took place on the eve of the voting day, went far beyond the limits of the electoral season and its results. It is clear that the party is determined to continue working, including on its people’s program. And the president is counting on the implementation of everything that was discussed, regardless of the electoral context.
Andrey Krasov, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Defense, Member of the Board of the Russian Association of Heroes, Hero of the Russian Federation, LLC:
– First, I will focus on the issue that was paid attention to by the president and two people who are among the five (leading the federal list of the party in the elections. – Ed.), Sergey Shoigu and Sergey Lavrov. This is, of course, a security issue. This is very relevant, because we understand what events are happening around Russia now: The exercises of the pseudo-defense organization of NATO have become more frequent, its contingent is strengthening near the borders of the Russian Federation. What has happened now in Afghanistan is also optimistic.it does not add to the world community. And we understand that if we do not pay attention to the issue of Russia’s security, then any plans that we have now, they are not feasible. Therefore, stability in the state, stability in our society and stability in every family is necessary. Why is this necessary? To move on. A lot has been done over the past five years, but this is, we can say, a step from which it is necessary to start and move on: to develop the country, our society, and improve the well-being of our families.
If we ensure the safety of our citizens, so that they can look to the future without fear, can give birth to children, take them to kindergartens, schools, so that children study at universities and then work, then we can implement social projects, among other things. First of all, these are those projects that are aimed at the family, at supporting, including large families, children who are brought up in single-parent families. Such steps were taken by the state on behalf of Russian President Vladimir Putin at a difficult time for the country. And everything possible has been done so that our Armed Forces can fulfill their tasks according to their intended purpose.
The Taliban have introduced an amnesty for all officials of the former Afghan government, in particular for ex-President Ashraf Ghani and Vice-President Amrullah Saleh. This was announced on August 22 by a high-ranking Taliban leader, Khalil ur-Rahman Haqqani. According to him, if politicians decide to return to the country, they will not be persecuted. Meanwhile, new evidence of atrocities committed by the terrorist “Taliban”, banned in Russia, is coming from Afghanistan.
In an exclusive interview with the Pakistani Geo TV channel, Haqqani stressed that there is no hostility between the Taliban, the former president of the country and other officials who left Afghanistan. Therefore, if they still want to return to the country, they will not be retaliated against.
“We forgive Ashraf Ghani, Amrullah Saleh and Hamdullah Mohib (National Security Adviser. – ” MK ” ), “he noted, adding that the hostility between the Taliban and these three arose solely on religious grounds. – For our part, we forgive everyone, from the general to the common man.”
Haqqani also said that it was not the Taliban who started the war against the United States. According to him, the members of the group decided to take up arms only after the Americans “invaded their homeland in order to fight against their culture and religion.” However, the Taliban still won a “huge victory” over their enemies, especially given the fact that the Afghan army numbered about 350 thousand soldiers, and also received support from the United States and NATO, he said.
According to a senior representative of the radical Islamist movement, the Taliban really want all Muslim countries to reconcile with each other. In addition, Haqqani advised all states of the world to provide their citizens with proper rights and said that an “inclusive government”will be formed in Afghanistan. “Very capable, educated people will form an Afghan government in Afghanistan,” he said. “It will include people who unite the masses.”
Moreover, one of the leaders of the group called on the Afghans fleeing the country not to spread propaganda that the Taliban will take revenge on them. Haqqani promised that all nationalities living in the country can feel at ease. “Tajiks, Balochis, Hazaras and Pashtuns are all our brothers,” he assured. – All Afghans are our brothers, and, therefore, they can return to the country. The only reason for our enmity was the desire to change the system. Now the system has changed.”
Nevertheless, the human rights organization Amnesty International recently reported that the Taliban recently killed several representatives of the Afghan ethnic minority – Hazaras living in the province of Ghazni. Human rights activists noted that this incident was a “terrifying evidence of the methods of rule” of the militants.
Residents of the village of Mundarakht in the Malistan region said that they had to flee to the mountains when fighting broke out between government troops and Taliban militants. However, when some of them returned back for food, they found their homes looted.
The report of the human rights group says that the Taliban shot at least six Hazaras, and tortured three more. According to eyewitnesses, one of them, 63-year-old Jaffar Rahim, had the muscles cut out from his arm and tried to strangle him with his own scarf. A man has been charged with working for the Afghan government after cash was found in his pocket.
In turn, 40-year-old Syed Abdul Hakim was taken out of the house by the militants and beaten with sticks and rifle butts. After that, his hands were tied, and then he was shot. Two bullets hit the leg, two more – in the chest. His body was left lying next to a stream…
There are reports from Afghanistan that the Taliban have started searching for Afghans who helped the United States and NATO. This is reported in a secret document of the Norwegian Center for Global Analysis, prepared for the UN. The militants allegedly have a list of addresses of people who collaborated with foreign forces.
Earlier, the Afghan media and social media users said that the militants publicly executed four commanders of the Afghan National Army in Kandahar. TOLO News correspondent Muslim Shizrad wrote on Twitter that the execution was carried out at a local stadium. Among the victims is Commander Hashim Regwal, who is close to the former head of the provincial police, General Abdul Razak, who was killed in 2018.
The journalist published a video recording, which shows a large crowd of people. At the same time, the voice-over claims that the residents were gathered for a public execution. According to the Afghan media, the militants have long-standing scores with Razak’s supporters. It is noted that he was particularly cruel towards the Taliban.
Recall that on August 15, the Taliban announced the establishment of control over the entire territory of Afghanistan. The militants said that they would soon announce the creation of the Islamic emirate of Afghanistan, and also demanded the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country.
The country’s president, Ashraf Ghani, resigned on the same day and left the country, explaining this as a desire to avoid bloodshed. In a message posted on his Facebook page, the Afghan leader acknowledged the defeat of his government. According to initial data, the politician went with his wife and two advisers to Uzbekistan. Other sources reported that the president had flown to Oman or Tajikistan. According to a representative of the Russian embassy in Afghanistan, Ghani fled the country with cars stuffed with millions of dollars that did not even fit into his helicopter.
Later, the UAE Foreign Ministry confirmed that the Afghan leader and his family are in the country. The ministry reported that the ex-head of state who fled from Afghanistan was accepted for humanitarian reasons. Ashraf Ghani himself denies the export of huge sums of money from the country, assuring that he took with him only the clothes that he was wearing.
Despite the fact that the fugitive president said that he was conducting consultations on returning to his homeland. However, it was more appropriate for him, as a politician whom the Taliban called nothing but an American “puppet”, to wait out the time in a foreign country. Because it is unlikely that the Taliban guarantees are worth much.
An eloquent example here is the story of the brother of an Afghan who worked as an interpreter for the Americans. The man was accused not only of helping the United States, but also of providing security for his brother, who was translating for the American military. Several threatening letters were sent to the poor guy. “You are accused of helping the Americans,” the Taliban wrote in the first of these messages, adding: “You are also accused of providing security for your brother, who was a translator.” To the addressee fightershe was ordered to appear at a “court hearing”. The second handwritten letter is a notification of his non-appearance at the hearing. In the third letter, the Taliban informed the man that because he had rejected previous warnings to stop “serving the invading crusaders” and ignored the summons to appear at the hearing, he was found “guilty in absentia” and would be sentenced to death. “These court decisions are final, and you have no right to object,” the third letter says. – You have chosen this path for yourself, and your death is inevitable. ”
Former Estonian Prime Minister Tiit Vyakhi called the national security policy extremely one-sided, the Postimees portal reports.
The entrepreneur made this statement while speaking at the economic conference of the Center Party of Estonia.
“We are talking one-sidedly about security, all these missile, tank and air bases, they say, we are intimidating Russia with this. In fact, we are rather angering Russia. Why are we angering the bear? It is better to cooperate with him, ” he said.
The Pentagon has begun to withdraw from the territory of Afghanistan military units engaged in ensuring the safety of evacuation from the Kabul airport. This was reported by the Fox TV channel.
Over the past few days, the United States has deployed about 6.5 thousand troops to Kabul. Most of the military personnel were transferred to the airport of the Afghan capital from the Middle Eastern states, where the US military bases are located.
The soldiers and officers of the US army were tasked with ensuring the safety of the evacuation of US and NATO military and civilian personnel, as well as Afghan refugees.
At the same time, US President Joe Biden said earlier that he was not going to back down from his plan to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan by August 31, 2021. There is also an agreement on the timing of the withdrawal of troops with the Taliban (the Taliban movement is banned in the Russian Federation as a terrorist organization). The militants of the movement promised the American side that they would perceive as an occupation attempts to delay the withdrawal of troops after August 31, and then there will be corresponding consequences.
Video from the Kabul airport struck with drama: the US plane is stormed
Photo: pixabay.com The Algerian Foreign Ministry announced the severance of diplomatic relations with Morocco amid accusations of forest arson.
According to the head of the department, Ramtan Lamamra, in the entire history since gaining independence, Morocco has regularly “carried out base acts” against Algeria, such behavior has been ” purposeful since the 1963 war.” He accused the kingdom of having links with terrorist groups, which the Algerian authorities consider to be involved in the arson of forests.
The diplomat also accused the Moroccan special services of spying on officials of a neighboring country.
Earlier, on August 18, the Supreme Security Council of Algeria on August 18 announced a review of relations with Morocco in connection with the arson of forests in mountainous areas.
A portrait of Joseph Stalin was hung on the building of the City hall of Valencia in Spain. He appeared on the balcony with the inscription ” in defense of Stalin” and hung for a few minutes. It happened on the European Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Stalinism and Nazism.
The action was organized by activists of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Spain. They also published a photo on their Twitter page, in which the portrait of the leader of the Soviet people was hung on the streets of other cities. In particular, it appeared near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, ABC reports.
These actions are allegedly directed against the ” criminalization of communism and attempts to hide the successes of the labor movement”. Also in messages on Twitter, the party condemned the equalization of Nazism and Stalinism. Upon the fact of the incident, the employees of the city hall have already contacted the police.
Russia can help resolve the confrontation between the Taliban movement (banned in the Russian Federation as a terrorist organization) and its opponents in the northern province of Panjshir. This point of view was expressed by the representative of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar, Suheil Shaheen.
According to a senior Taliban official, the possibility of Russia’s assistance in resolving the Panjshir conflict will be discussed. The Russian side, as Shahin noted, can “contribute to the cause of peace and reconciliation” on Afghan soil.
Thus, the Taliban movement demonstrates a relatively friendly attitude towards Moscow and actually calls on Russia to act as a mediator in the conflict with the former Northern Alliance. Although twenty years ago, Moscow relied on the Northern Alliance, supporting its then leaders Ahmad Shah Massoud and Rashid Dostum against the Taliban movement.
The Taliban with machine guns laugh like children: footage from a Kabul park
Former President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko was attacked in the center of Kiev. According to eyewitnesses, the politician was doused with green paint near the Khreshchatyk metro station when he was accompanied by his wife and colleagues on his way to the Cabinet of Ministers.
As follows from the published footage, Poroshenko was not seriously injured, most of his face was covered by an antiviral mask from the caustic liquid. The former first lady was also not injured.
After the attack, Poroshenko was surrounded by police and military, put in a car and taken away.
Washington is afraid of Russia’s “appetites” in the Arctic
Military experts are sure that the White House should prepare for the confrontation between Washington and Moscow in the Arctic, since global warming “provides a service” to Russia, geographically located in the immediate vicinity of this region.
According to The National Interest, American military specialist Caleb Larson, commenting on the consequences of global warming for different countries, said that Russia will receive a certain benefit from it, since due to its unique geographical location it will take advantage of the development of the Arctic.
“Due to climate change, the northern sea routes will increasingly remain ice-free, … navigation for Russian vessels will be significantly simplified… It will also be easier for Russia to develop minerals, ” the expert is sure.
Larson stressed that Washington needs to prepare for the fact that Russia’s “appetite” in the Arctic will only increase over the years.