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Iran angry over switched Davos agenda

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will not attend the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos this week because its organizers had “abruptly changed its agenda”, its foreign ministry spokesman said on Monday. “He was scheduled to attend … but they abruptly changed the schedule and it was not …

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UK freezing all assets trusted to Hezbullah

Britain expanded the scope of its asset-freezing measures against Lebanese Islamist movement Hezbollah on Thursday to cover the entire organization as well as its military wing. The finance ministry move follows Britain’s decision last year to classify the whole group a terrorist organization due to its destabilizing influence in the …

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Russia wants to extend security network to Gulf states

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday Moscow has been urging Gulf countries to consider a common security mechanism for the region. “We have been suggesting to the Gulf countries to think about collective security mechanisms … starting with confidence building measures and inviting each other to military exercises,” …

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Japan sending troops to Middle East

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet decided on Tuesday to use about 507 million yen ($4.6 million) from this fiscal year’s budget reserves for the Self-Defense Forces in the Middle East, the finance ministry said. The move is aimed at ensuring peace and stability in the Middle East and the …

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Germany calls for reaffirmation of Iran nuclear deal

German chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday repeated a call for all parties to respect the Iranian nuclear accord, despite Iran’s decision to intensify its enrichment of uranium and moves by the United States to impose economic sanctions. Under a deal brokered in 2015, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of …

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Putin, Erdogan want speedy ceasefire in Libya

Turkey and Russia urged Libya’s warring parties on Wednesday to declare a ceasefire on Sunday as warring factions clashed and carried out air strikes in a conflict drawing increasing foreign involvement and concern. Turkey backs Fayez al-Serraj’s Tripoli-based, internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) and has said it will …

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Russia in defence talks with Turkey and Iran

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu held telephone talks with Turkish national intelligence chief and chief of Iran’s general staff, local news agencies reported citing Russian defense ministry. Shoigu and Head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization Hakan Fidan discussed possible joint actions to reduce tensions in the Middle East after the …

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Germans trying to salvage Iran nuclear deal

Germany still wants to save Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six major powers despite Tehran’s announcement on Sunday that it would abandon limitations on enriching uranium, a German Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Monday. “That would be a further breach of the JCPoA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) but not …

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British naval escorts for UK ships in Gulf

Britain’s navy will accompany UK-flagged ships through the Strait of Hormuz to provide protection after the U.S. killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani inflamed tensions in the region. Britain’s defence minister, Ben Wallace, ordered the HMS Montrose and HMS Defender to prepare to return to escort duties in the …

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Iran in talks with Russia over Soleimani assassination

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif over the phone on Friday to discuss the killing of Iran’s military chief Qassem Soleimani, the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement. “Lavrov expressed his condolences over the killing,” the statement said. “The ministers stressed that …

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America employs Swiss as go-between with Iran

A Swiss diplomat delivered a message from the United States to Iran on Friday over the U.S. killing of senior Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani, the Swiss foreign ministry said. “The chargé d’affaires was informed of Iran’s position and in turn delivered the message of the United States,” the ministry …

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British embassy on alert after Soleimani killing

Britain has increased its security and readiness at military bases in the Middle East after the United States killed Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, Sky News reported on Friday without citing sources. Britain has about 400 military personnel in Iraq, who help provide training in the country. They are mostly located …

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Israel, Cyrpus and Greece sign gas pipeline deal

Greece, Cyprus and Israel on Thursday are expected to sign a deal to build a 1,900 kilometer (1,180 mile) subsea pipeline to carry natural gas from the eastern Mediterranean’s rapidly developing gas industry to Europe. They aim to reach a final investment decision in 2022 and completion by 2025. European …

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Nissan executive takes refugee in Lebanon

Former Nissan and Renault Chairman Carlos Ghosn, who was barred from leaving Japan whilst awaiting trial on charges of financial misconduct, on Tuesday said he was in Lebanon. “I have not fled justice – I have escaped injustice and political persecution,” Ghosn said in a statement. He said would “no …

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German, Turkish, Russian talks on Libyan settlement

German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed efforts to reach a diplomatic solution for the Libyan conflict in separate phone calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, whose government intends to send troops to Libya, a government spokesman said on Monday. Turkey’s foreign minister has warned that the …

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Russian gas headed to Bulgaria via Turkey

Bulgaria will start receiving natural gas from Russia’s Gazprom via Turkey from Jan. 1 and would no longer use the route through Ukraine and Romania, Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova said on Monday. Petkova said the new route via the TurkStream pipeline would be more economically viable and could result in …

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Turkey helping bomb victims in Somalia

A Turkish military cargo plane landed in the Somali capital on Sunday to evacuate people badly wounded in a devastating truck bombing in the city a day earlier that killed at least 90 people including two Turkish nationals. The plane also brought emergency medical staff and supplies, according to a …

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Japan sending forces to Gulf after all

Japan will send a warship and patrol planes to protect Japanese ships in the Middle East as the situation in the region, from which it sources nearly 90% of its crude oil imports, remains volatile, Japan’s top government spokesman said on Friday. Under the plan approved by Prime Minister Shinzo …

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