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Islamic World News ( 29 Jun 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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'We Call For Full Respect Of All Religions, Ensuring Different Communities Can Live In Harmony': UN On Udaipur Killing

New Age Islam News Bureau

30 June 2022

 

United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric | Photo Credit: AP

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• Islamic Law That Advocates Beheading Being Taught In Madrasas: Kerala Guv Arif Mohammed Khan

• Men Will Represent Women At Religious Scholars' Grand Gathering Of Taliban: Dy PM

• Pakistan Rejects India’s ‘Mischievous’ Attempt To Link Udaipur Accused With Pakistani Organisation

• US To Blame For Muslim Poverty, Iran Guards Commander Tells Pakistan

 

North America

• American lawmakers favour close ties with Pakistan, caution against anti-US rhetoric

• US slams Iran for not responding positively to EU efforts on nuclear deal

• US citizen in Iran prison appeals to Biden for deal

• Key US Republican senator backs sale of F-16 fighter jets to Türkiye

• Pentagon voices support for Türkiye's F-16 fleet modernization plans

• US offers support for potential sale of F-16 jets to Turkey

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India

• Madras High Court Directs DGP To Look Into Complaint Of Two Individuals Misleading Muslim Youth To Collect Donations Through International Channels

• RSS-Linked Muslim Body Demands Death Penalty For Udaipur Tailor's Killers

• Udaipur bishop says no to confrontation after Islamists beheaded a tailor

• ‘Un-Islamic’: Muslim Bodies Condemn Udaipur Tailor Kanhaiya Lal’s Brutal Killing Over Prophet Remarks

• Leaders, Muslim Bodies Condemn Beheading Of Udaipur Tailor Kanhaiya Lal Over Prophet Remarks

• Udaipur tailor murder: Delhi Jama Masjid's Shahi Imam condemns act, says 'not only act of cowardice but against Islam'

• Muslim leaders in India condemn killing of Hindu man

• Perpetrators of 'Talibani barbarism' biggest enemies of Islam, humanity: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Udaipur incident

• Bengal Imam’s association demands strong action in Udaipur murder

• Clerics condemn Udaipur killing, appeal for calm

• Lashkar duo killed in Kulgam encounter

• Udaipur killing a terror attack, act filmed to terrorise society: BJP

• Have been treating Udaipur killing as terror act from the start: DGP

• Udaipur Killing: Time is Ripe for Muslim Clerics to Issue Fatwa Against Blasphemy

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South Asia

• US Seeks to Unfreeze Assets Without Enriching Islamic Emirate: Report

• Deputy PM Mullah Beradar assists 53 million Afghanis to quake-hit families

• Afghanistan: Taliban war crime against civilians in Balkhab

• Taliban and U.S. officials to meet amid quake relief efforts

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Pakistan

• Kartarpur Corridor Symbol Of Pakistan’s Commitment Towards Religious Freedom: COAS

• Pakistan is hurtling along the path of multiple implosions: Dr Naseer Dashti

• JUI minister vows to continue struggle for free, transparent elections

• 'We must not promote famine': Khar calls for easing sanctions on Afghanistan

• TTP refuses to budge from demand for Fata merger reversal

• Sino-Pakistan ties enter a new phase as China’s senior leader calls on PM Shehbaz, Gen Bajwa

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Mideast

• Iranian Envoy Warns of Certain UNSC Members' Abuse of Power

• Israel’s parliament dissolves itself, sets November 1 elections

• Israel’s Bennett will not run in next general election: Spokesperson

• Houthi: Yemeni army’s defence capabilities greater than many Arab states

• Dozens of extremist settlers defile Aqsa Mosque

• Iran Dismisses G7's "Baseless, Unfair" Statement

• Iranian FM Calls for Caspian Sea Littoral States' Cooperation to Strengthen Security

• Iran Condoles with Jordan on Tanker Tragedy Incident

• Israeli military, Palestinians clash at West Bank shrine

• Iran says guard killed at Afghan border

• US, UK military trainers arrive at southeast Yemen port with arms cache: Report

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Europe

• British Foreign Secretary Grilled Over UK Government Links To ‘Authoritarian’ Saudi Arabia

• UK Muslim Doctor Singled Out At Manchester Airport Amid Rising Islamophobia

• France, Türkiye Committed To NATO’s Unity, Strength: French President

• French court finds Salah Abdeslam guilty of murder in 2015 Paris attacks

• Biden, Erdogan agree on 'continued close consultations' between US, Türkiye

• Türkiye's president attends family photo shoot at NATO summit

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Southeast Asia

• Malaysian Health Minister: Remains Of Muslim Covid-19 Patients Can Be Bathed, Shrouded

• Cabinet forms Special Task Force on Jihad Against Inflation: PM

• Umno seeks united front as polls loom, says report

• Hamzah downplays deaths in immigration centres

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Arab World

• Ukraine’s Zelenskyy Cuts Ties With Syria After It Recognized Separatist Republics

• UAE Minister highlights nature-based solutions to mitigate climate change at UN meet

• Saudi Arabia: Mecca, Medina ready to serve Hajj pilgrims with 41 pct more 5G towers

• Car bomb kills at least six in Yemen’s Aden: Officials

• Hajj ministry announces alternative flights, facilities to accommodate pilgrims facing issues from UK, Europe and America

• Iran urges UNSC to condemn Israeli acts of terror, aggression against Syria

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Africa

• Terrorists, Herders Plotting To Attack Churches, Mosques, Markets In Lagos – Primate Ayodele To Sanwo-Olu

• Internet services cut in Sudan’s Khartoum ahead of pro-democracy protests

• Bodies of 20 migrants found in Libyan desert two weeks after last contact

• World bank lends Tunisia $130 million for grains hit by Ukraine war

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:   https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/un-udaipur-killing-religions/d/127371

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'We Call For Full Respect Of All Religions, Ensuring Different Communities Can Live In Harmony': UN On Udaipur Killing

 

United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric | Photo Credit: AP

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Jun 30, 2022

UNITED NATIONS: UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres calls for the full respect of all religions and for ensuring that different communities can live in harmony and peace globally, his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric has said amidst communal tensions in Rajasthan after the killing of a tailor in Udaipur.

Dujarric said this in response to a question on whether the UN chief has a comment on the “resurgence” of religious tensions in India following the killing of Kanhaiya Lal.

Two men, identified as Riaz Akhtari and Ghouse Mohammad, with a cleaver hacked Lal to death in Udaipur city and posted videos online that said they are avenging an insult to Islam, triggering stray cases of violence in the Rajasthan city, a part of which was placed under curfew.

“We very much hope... we call for the full respect of all religions and for ensuring, throughout the world, that different communities can live in harmony and in peace,” Dujarric said at the daily press briefing here on Wednesday.

In response to another question on the arrest of Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair, he said, “We believe in a fundamental right of expression. We believe in the fundamental right of journalists to express themselves and we also believe in the fundamental need for people to respect other communities and other religions. And we don't believe the two are... we believe those two sentiments are very much compatible”.

Zubair was arrested by the Delhi Police on Monday over an “objectionable tweet” he had posted in 2018 against a Hindu deity.

Source: Times Of India

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/we-call-for-full-respect-of-all-religions-ensuring-different-communities-can-live-in-harmony-un-on-udaipur-killing/articleshow/92562982.cms

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Islamic Law That Advocates Beheading Being Taught In Madrasas: Kerala Guv Arif Mohammed Khan

 

Governor Arif Mohammed Khan ( File Photo)

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30th June 2022

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Coming down heavily on the kind of education being imparted in madrasas, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan said Islamic law, that advocates beheading as a punishment for blasphemy, is being taught in Muslim religious schools.

He was speaking to reporters who sought his reaction to the incident in which a 40-year-old man was beheaded in broad daylight in Rajasthan after an exchange of a series of inflammatory social media posts. “The Muslim law does not come from Quran. It was written by individuals during the time of empire (sic) and it provides for beheading. This law is taught in the madrasas to the children,” Khan said.

The governor said that children are prone to be influenced or indoctrinated in madrasas and demanded that what is taught in such institutions should be examined. He added that it was the right of every child to receive broad-based education till the age of 14. “Till the age of 14, you cannot give a child specialised education,” the governor added. He was speaking to reporters after inaugurating the ‘Janabodhan’ campaign against alcohol and drug abuse.

Pinarayi condemns Udaipur incident

T’Puram: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has termed the Rajasthan beheading incident as a cruel act that has shocked the conscience of humanity. He said the incident shows that the growth of religious extremism is the greatest threat to the country.  “The incident goes on to prove that religious fundamentalism will wipe out the last bit of goodness in human beings,” he said

Source: New Indian Express

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2022/jun/30/islamic-law-that-advocates-beheading-being-taught-in-madrasas-kerala-guv-arif-khan-2471213.html

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Men Will Represent Women At Religious Scholars' Grand Gathering Of Taliban: Dy PM

 

A girl sits with women wearing burqas in Afghanistan. October 5, 2021. REUTERS

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Jun 30, 2022

KABUL (AFGHANISTAN): Ahead of the religious scholars' grand gathering of Taliban, the deputy prime minister of the Taliban, Mawlawi Abdul Salam Hanafi announced on Wednesday that the meeting will convene without the participation of women.

Over 3,000 religious scholars, tribal elders, intellectuals, influential figures and national traders will attend the gathering at the Loya Jirga Hall in Kabul on Thursday without the participation of women, stated the deputy prime minister, Khaama Press reported.

"The women are our mothers, sisters, we greatly respect them, when their sons are in the gathering it signifies that they are also involved, in a way, in the gathering," he added.

On being asked whether women could become a part of the assembly, deputy minister Hanafi responded that male delegates would speak on their behalf.

According to Khaama Press, the senior Taliban official stated that the assembly was called at the Ulema's request and the Taliban organized it so that they could talk over a variety of topics, like Islamic regime, national unity, and the improvement of economic and social affairs.

However, civil societies have strongly condemned the decision and have called the gathering illegitimate in absence of women.

It remains unclear what issues would be discussed under the gathering's agenda and whether the issue of reopening girls' schools and women's rights is considered an integral part of the talks, Khaama Press reported.

Taliban has suspended the secondary education of girls and enforced a strict form of Hijab. They have also provided no opportunities for Afghan women to participate in political and public life, to fit the pattern of absolute gender segregation that is aimed at making women invisible in society.

Afghan women had enjoyed unfettered freedom in the country for so many years but are now staring at a bleak future due to a number of restrictions imposed by the Taliban governing aspects of their lives within ten months of Afghanistan's takeover.

Women employees in some banks have already stopped working. Even women police officers have received threats.

Away from the urban areas, women and girls are not allowed to move out on the streets or travel without a male family member accompanying them.

Women are being curtailed from wearing make-up as well as from their reproductive rights.

Unrecognized by most of the international community, the Taliban-led government has committed to disrespecting the human rights of women. The atrocities of the Taliban against Afghan women have been on an incessant surge since the organization seized power in Afghanistan in August last year, banning young girls and women of humanitarian rights.

Source: Times Of India

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/men-will-represent-women-at-religious-gathering-taliban/articleshow/92561692.cms

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Pakistan Rejects India’s ‘Mischievous’ Attempt To Link Udaipur Accused With Pakistani Organisation

 

Islamabad Police personnel standing outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. — AFP/File

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June 30, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday rejected India’s “mischievous” attempt to link the accused of the murder case in Udaipur with a Pakistani organisation.

“We have seen reports in a segment of the Indian media referring to investigations into the murder case in Udaipur, mischievously seeking to link the accused individuals — Indian nationals —  to an organisation in Pakistan,” said the Foreign Office spokesperson in a statement.

The spokesperson, while “categorically” rejecting the insinuations, said that the linking was a “typical” BJP-RSS “Hindutva” driven Indian regime’s attempts to malign Pakistan “including externalising their internal issues through pointing of fingers towards Pakistan”.

“Such malicious attempts will not succeed in misleading the people, either in India or abroad,” said the spokesperson.

A day earlier, the Indian police arrested two men after they beheaded a Hindu tailor on camera in the city of Udaipur over his support online for a former ruling party official whose remarks about the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) sparked global protests.

“Both the accused in the killing have been arrested and we will ensure strict punishment and speedy justice,” Ashok Gehlot, chief minister in the state of Rajasthan, where Udaipur is located, said on Twitter.

However, today Rajasthan’s Home Minister Rajendra Singh Yadav claimed that one of the accused in the case had visited Karachi in 2014.

The Indian Express quoted Yadav as saying that Ghouse Mohammad, one of the accused, was in Karachi for 45 days in 2014.

“Then in 2018-19, he also had movements in Arab countries and visited Nepal a few times. For the past 2-3 years, he had been making calls to 8-10 phone numbers from Pakistan,” Yadav was quoted by the Indian publication.

According to Indian Express, Director General of Police ML Lather said that the accused had gone to visit the office of “Dawat-e-Islami”.

Source: Pakistan Today

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/06/30/pakistan-rejects-indias-mischievous-attempt-to-link-udaipur-accused-with-pakistani-organisation/

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US To Blame For Muslim Poverty, Iran Guards Commander Tells Pakistan

 

Hossein Salami said Iran sees Pakistan's security as important as its own [Getty]

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29 June, 2022

The US military presence in the Muslim world is the reason for poverty, division, insecurity, and conflict in these countries, a top Iranian military commander has told a Pakistani official.

In a meeting with Pakistan's Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Nadeem Raza in the Iranian capital Tehran, Hossein Salami, commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) condemned the impact of US interventions in Muslim-majority countries.

He accused Washington of stirring divisions among Muslim nations, prolonged wars, destruction of homes, displacement of people, insecurity, poverty, and underdevelopment, according to official news agency IRNA.

Salami said Iran and Pakistan's challenges stem from "destructive" US interferences and presence in Afghanistan and the only way to reverse this is through a US withdrawal.

Iran shares a sometimes troubled border with Pakistan and has looked to boost cooperation, particularly on security issues.

Iranian forces have been attacked by Pakistani militants and in February the two countries said they would work closer on border security.

Tehran has also been accused of meddling in neighbouring countries, including Pakistan.

It has huge strategic, economic and political depth in Iraq and has bolstered Bashar Al-Assad's cruel regime in Syria.

Saudi Arabia also accuses it of arming and supporting Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Source: The New Arab

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://english.alaraby.co.uk/news/us-blame-muslim-poverty-irgc-tells-pakistan

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North America

 American lawmakers favour close ties with Pakistan, caution against anti-US rhetoric

Anwar Iqbal Published

June 30, 2022

WASHINGTON: About a dozen US lawmakers gathered on the rooftop of a building across Capitol Hill this week, urging the Biden administration to stay engaged with Pakistan, a country they said was too important to be ignored.

And at least one lawmaker, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, however, offered to use his influence to help repair the damage done to US-Pakistan relations by the anti-American rhetoric of former prime minister Imran Khan.

Congressman Peter Meijer, a Republican lawmaker from Michigan, recalled how his father had spent time in Pakistan when Washington and Islamabad had started building “economic and strategic ties”.

And “now we have an opportunity to continue to develop those ties,” said the congressman while speaking at the fourth annual convention of the Pakistan-American Political Action Committee (PAKPAC) on the Hill.

Senate majority leader says he will help repair ‘damage’ done to ties

Congressman Admiral Ronny Jackson, an influential Republican lawmaker from Texas who also served in the US Navy, said he was “a big supporter of the organisation (PAKPAC) and your cause” and offered to “do anything I can to help” to promote this cause in Congress.

The group describes its cause as “rebuilding the strong ties” that united the two countries until recently, when relations began to strain over Afghanistan.

Several speakers argued that it was wrong to hyphenate bilateral relations with a third country, such as Afghanistan or India, as Pakistan on its own was an important country of 220 million people in a sensitive, nuclearised region.

Congressman André Carson, a Muslim Democrat from Indiana, also spoke about the Kashmir dispute and urged the United States to play a role in defusing tensions, “disagreements and the strife between Pakistan and India”.

Congresswoman Nicole Mallio­takis, a New York Democrat, noted that this was “a critical time for the people of Pakistan” and pleaded for “peace, stability and economic recovery” of the country and “for peace and stability in the region”.

Senator Schumer, who spoke at a meeting of the American-Pakistan Advocacy Group (APDG) in New York earlier this week, also hoped for the restoration of friendly ties between the two countries, noting that Pakistan was once a key US ally.

The Democratic senator, however, also asked the gathering who they support in Pakistan. Most in the audience said Imran Khan while a minority backed the current government.

Senator Schumer reminded the audience that their former prime minister “did not talk positively about the US” while “the incumbent Pakistani premier is expected to help foster bilateral ties”. Responding to Imran Khan’s allegation of continued US interference in internal Pakistani politics, the senator said the United States did not make its policies on individual likes and dislikes.

Source: Dawn

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1697411/american-lawmakers-favour-close-ties-caution-against-anti-us-rhetoric

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US slams Iran for not responding positively to EU efforts on nuclear deal

29 June, 2022

The US and Iran ended indirect talks on reviving the now-defunct 2015 nuclear deal on Wednesday without any breakthrough, according to officials, with Washington accusing Tehran of not being ready to “to revive the deal or bury it.”

“Two intense days of proximity talks in Doha on #JCPOA. Unfortunately, not yet the progress the EU team as coordinator had hoped for,” said Enrique Mora, the EU’s coordinator for the talks.

Mora said he would keep working “with even greater urgency to bring back on track a key deal for non-proliferation and regional stability.”

The EU official and EU Foreign Policy chief Joseph Borrell had expressed optimism in recent days after they pitched to resume the stalled talks between Washington and Tehran.

A State Department official confirmed that the talks in Doha had ended and thanked the EU for its efforts. “We are disappointed that Iran has, yet again, failed to respond positively to the EU’s initiative and therefore that no progress was made,” the official told Al Arabiya English.

The official added that the US had made clear it was ready to “quickly conclude and implement a deal” for mutual return to compliance with the 2015 deal, also known as the JCPOA.

“Yet in Doha, as before, Iran raised issues wholly unrelated to the JCPOA and apparently is not ready to make a fundamental decision on whether it wants to revive the deal or bury it,” the official said.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/06/29/US-Iran-talks-on-nuclear-deal-end-after-two-days-no-breakthrough-Officials

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US citizen in Iran prison appeals to Biden for deal

29 June, 2022

A US citizen held for nearly seven years in Iran made an appeal from prison Wednesday to President Joe Biden, urging a deal to free Americans regardless of the outcome of nuclear diplomacy.

In an op-ed published in The New York Times, 50-year-old Iranian-American Siamak Namazi said he was concerned about repercussions he might suffer for speaking out while confined to Tehran’s infamous Evin prison.

“But I am compelled to break that silence now because I believe that the Biden administration’s approach to rescuing Americans in distress in Iran has failed spectacularly so far and unless the president intervenes immediately, we are likely to languish in this abyss for the foreseeable future,” he wrote.

“Mr. Biden, I implore you to put the lives of innocent American detainees above Washington politics and make the tough decisions necessary to free all of us immediately.”

Namazi said he had been hopeful last year as the new Biden administration opened talks with Iran on returning to a 2015 nuclear deal, with US officials indicating an agreement was impossible without freeing four Americans.

“That was the right approach. But forgoing an opportunity to free us because the nuclear talks have stalled is not,” he wrote.

Namazi, a businessman, was arrested in October 2015 and handed a 10-year sentence on charges of seeking to overthrow the clerical state, with evidence cited including his fellowships at Washington think tanks.

His father, former UNICEF official Baquer Namazi, was taken into custody in February 2016 as he tried to see him.

The now 85-year-old was ordered released in 2020 but his supporters say he has been denied a passport to travel, despite mounting health concerns, as Iran does not recognize dual nationality.

Iranian media have earlier indicated that a deal was in the works to free Iranian-Americans in return for South Korea releasing some $7 billion frozen on US requests.

Iran released five prisoners in 2016 to coincide with the nuclear deal, which promised sanctions relief in return for Tehran drastically scaling back its sensitive atomic work.

Former US President Donald Trump renounced the accord and the Biden administration has been increasingly pessimistic about returning to the accord, although it is holding a new round of indirect talks this week in Qatar.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/06/29/US-citizen-in-Iran-prison-appeals-to-Biden-for-deal

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Key US Republican senator backs sale of F-16 fighter jets to Türkiye

Servet Günerigök  

30.06.2022

WASHINGTON

Key Republican Senator Lindsey Graham threw his support Wednesday behind a decision by the US on upgrading Türkiye's F-16 fighter jet fleet.

"I support the Biden Administration’s decision to support the sale of new F-16s to our NATO ally, Turkey," Graham, who represents South Carolina, said on Twitter.

"While we have differences with Turkey, they are a NATO ally and it is in America’s national security interests to beef up their capabilities in a troubled region," he wrote.

He added that upgrading Türkiye's "aviation capability will benefit Turkey, the U.S., NATO, and regional security."

His tweets came hours after the Pentagon expressed support for Türkiye's modernization plans for its F-16 fleet.

In a call with reporters, Celeste Wallander, the assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, called Ankara a "highly capable, highly valued, strategic NATO ally," noting that "strong Turkish defense capabilities contribute to strong NATO defense capabilities."

"So the US Department of Defense fully supports Turkey's modernization plans for its F-16 fleet. These plans are in the works," she told reporters.

Wallander said the modernization of the fleet is a contribution to NATO’s security and therefore American security.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/key-us-republican-senator-backs-sale-of-f-16-fighter-jets-to-turkiye/2626371

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Pentagon voices support for Türkiye's F-16 fleet modernization plans

Servet Günerigök 

29.06.2022

WASHINGTON

The Pentagon is backing Türkiye's modernization plans for its F-16 fighter jet fleet, Celeste Wallander, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs said Wednesday.

Speaking on a call with National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby, Wallander called Ankara a "highly capable, highly valued, strategic NATO ally," noting that "strong Turkish defense capabilities contribute to strong NATO defense capabilities."

"So, the US Department of Defense fully supports Turkey's modernization plans for its F-16 fleet. These plans are in the works," she told reporters.

Wallander said the modernization of the fleet is a contribution to NATO security and therefore American security.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/pentagon-voices-support-for-turkiyes-f-16-fleet-modernization-plans/2626034

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US offers support for potential sale of F-16 jets to Turkey

June 2022

The administration of US President Joe Biden has expressed support for Turkey's delayed purchase of F-16 fighter jets after Ankara dropped its opposition to Finland and Sweden’s bid to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Washington "supports Turkey’s modernization of its fighter fleet because that is a contribution to NATO security and therefore American security," Celeste Wallander, Assistant Secretary for Defense for International Security Affairs at the Pentagon, said on Wednesday.

"These plans are in the works. And, they need to be worked through our contracting processes," she added.

"Turkey is a highly capable, highly valued, strategic NATO ally and Turkish defense capabilities, strong Turkish defense capabilities, contribute to strong NATO defense capabilities," she added.

This is the first time Washington expresses public backing for Ankara's request for the fighter jets.

Turkey, a NATO ally, requested to buy several dozen new F-16 fighter jets last October to boost its air force. But with relations between Turkey and the US and its European allies fraught, Washington had so far refrained from expressing any opinion on the sale.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had accused the US of “stalling tactics” over the F-16 purchase.

The warm words from the Biden administration came a day after Turkey agreed to support Sweden and Finland's membership of NATO, where unanimous consent is required for enlargement.

At the beginning of a meeting with Erdogan on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Madrid, Biden thanked his Turkish counterpart "for what you did putting together the situation with regard to Finland and Sweden."

Meanwhile, a senior US official said Ankara had not asked for any "particular concession" to give its green light.

The official said US officials were engaged in ongoing technical talks about Turkey’s request to buy F-16 fighter jets. Congress would have the final say about any such sales.

The sale of US weapons to Turkey became contentious after Erdogan purchased a Russian-made S-400 missile defense system.

Source: Press TV

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/06/30/684784/Biden-Administration-Throws-Support-Behind-Potential-F-16-Sale-to-Turkey

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India

Madras High Court Directs DGP To Look Into Complaint Of Two Individuals Misleading Muslim Youth To Collect Donations Through International Channels

JUNE 30, 2022

It says the allegation levelled by a petitioner was serious and it requires the attention of the police department

The Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the Director General of Police (DGP) to look into a complaint of an individual and his associate misleading the Muslim youth by involving them in unlawful activities and then collect donations through international channels in the guise of helping those youngsters get released from prison.

Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice N. Mala observed that the allegations levelled by a public interest litigant M. Jahufar Sathik of Mannurpet were serious in nature and therefore they call for the attention of the police department. The Bench called for a detailed counter affidavit to the PIL petition by July 20.

In his affidavit, the petitioner, a scrap merchant, stated he was part of a local Muslim forum of 35 to 40 people in 2013 when Mannadi Abdullah approached them for religious preaching. He claimed when he and his friends attended the preaching, they found it was mostly about Jihad and against Hindu leaders who were anti-Muslims.

The petitioner also said he and some of his friends fell prey to the preaching and got involved in a murder case. Totally, 17 persons were charge sheeted in the case and much later, the petitioner came to know that their handcuffed photographs were used to collect donations from Gulf countries.

Source: The Hindu

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/madras-high-court-directs-dgp-to-look-into-complaint-of-two-individuals-misleading-muslim-youth/article65584576.ece

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RSS-Linked Muslim Body Demands Death Penalty For Udaipur Tailor's Killers

June 30, 2022

New Delhi: Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) on Wednesday demanded capital punishment for those who brutally killed a tailor in Rajasthan's Udaipur, calling them "terrorists and devils".

In a statement, the RSS-linked outfit said the perpetrators of the "barbaric" incident have "disgraced" Islam and brought "disrepute and shame" to the "peaceful" Muslims in India and other parts of the world.

"The Manch is deeply shocked by such a heinous murder, and strongly condemns it," the MRM said.

Two men armed with a cleaver allegedly killed Kanhaiya Lal in Udaipur's Dhan Mandi area on Tuesday and posted videos online that said they are avenging an "insult to Islam", triggering stray cases of violence in the Rajasthan city, a part of which was placed under curfew.

In a video clip, one of the two assailants declared that they had "beheaded" the man and went on to threaten Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying their knife will get him as well.

"The Manch demands that these terrorists and devils be given harshest punishment. They must be hanged till death for the barbaric crime that they have committed. The government should set up a fast track court for the trial of the accused in the case," the statement added.

Source: ND TV

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/udaipur-murder-rss-linked-muslim-body-muslim-rashtriya-manch-demands-death-penalty-for-udaipur-tailors-killers-3113393

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Udaipur bishop says no to confrontation after Islamists beheaded a tailor

by Nirmala Carvalho

06/29/2022

Udaipur (AsiaNews) – Bishop John Ganawa of Udaipur has issued an appeal for peace and dialogue following yesterday’s gruesome murder of a tailor by Islamic extremists in the city of Udaipur (Rajahstan).

Kanhaiya Lal was attacked and beheaded by two men yesterday in his shop, which is located in a crowded market in the Maldas area, after he allegedly shared a post on social media in support of Nupur Sharma, spokeswoman for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party.

After making disparaging comments about the Prophet Mohammed during a debate in late May on the Times Now television channel she was suspended from her position.

Since then, the case has inflamed emotions across the country where relations between Hindu nationalists and Muslim communities have been marred by rows and controversies.

Lal was attacked by a man with a sharp weapon, while the other videotaped the crime. Later the scene was posted online along with the two attackers, Mohammed Riyaz Attari and Ghouse Mohammed, brandishing swords and threatening to kill Prime Minister Modi.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said that two men were detained in Rajsamand in connection with the murder.

In view of the situation, the authorities banned any gathering of more than four people in several parts of Udaipur for fear that the incident could trigger further violence.

“I condemn the incident,” Bishop Ganawa told AsiaNews.

“As a representative of the Christian community here in Udaipur, I appeal for peace and harmony among all the communities,” he said.

Source: Asia News

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https://www.asianews.it/news-en/Udaipur-bishop-says-no-to-confrontation-after-Islamists-beheaded-a-tailor-56146.html

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‘Un-Islamic’: Muslim Bodies Condemn Udaipur Tailor Kanhaiya Lal’s Brutal Killing Over Prophet Remarks

29 JUN 2022

Prominent Muslim organisations have condemned the the brutal killing of a tailor in Udaipur, calling it "un-Islamic" and asserting that no person has the right to take law into one's hands.

Bodies like All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind issued statements condemning the murder of Kanhaiya Lal by two men who had posted videos online that claimed they were avenging an insult to Islam.

Delhi Jama Masjid Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari called the killing an "act of cowardice" and "an act against Islam".

Islam is a religion of "peace and tranquillity," he said.

In its statement, the AIMPLB said such acts were against the principles of Islam and no one should take law in their hands.

"Insulting holy personalities of any religion is a serious crime. BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma made derogatory remarks about the holy Prophet of Islam, which is very sad for Muslims. The government not taking any action against Nupur Sharma is like rubbing salt on the wounds. But despite this, taking the law into one's own hands and killing a person by declaring him a criminal is a condemnable act," the statement issued on behalf of AIMPLB general secretary Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani.

"Neither the law allows it nor does the Islamic Shariah justify it. Therefore, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board strongly condemns the incident in Udaipur (Rajasthan)," the statement said.

The board also urged the government to make stringent laws regarding disrespectful comments against holy personalities and take immediate action in such cases.

The board also appealed to the Muslim community to act patiently and not take law into their own hands as well as not indulge in any such action that might disturb communal harmony in the country.

In a statement, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind general secretary Maulana Hakeemuddin Qasmi condemned the "brutal killing in Udaipur apparently on the pretext of the insult to the Prophet" and called it against the law of land as well as "against the religion of Islam".

He said whoever has perpetrated this incident cannot be justified in any way and the act was against the law of the land and "our religion".

"In our country, there is a system of law, no one has the right to take the law into his own hands," Qasmi said.

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind said the Udaipur incident is "barbaric, uncivilised" and there is no room for justification of violence in Islam.

"We strongly condemn it. No citizen should take law in his own hands. Let the law prevail.  The culprits should be dealt with according to the law of the land. In any case, peace should not be disturbed. Nobody should try to take the advantage of this ugly crime," it said.

Bukhari issued a statement saying the "heartbreaking, heinous murder committed in Udaipur has shaken the humanity".

"Islam is a religion of peace and tranquillity. The life of the Prophet of Allah is full of numerous examples of compassion, tolerance, generosity and humanitarianism," the Shahi Imam of the 17th century mosque here said.

"I, myself and on behalf of the Muslims of India, with all the vehemence at our disposal, condemn this act," Bukhari said.

"Had the persons who committed this barbaric act studied the life and character of the Holy Prophet and had they been well versed with the spirit of Quran and shariah, they would not have committed the heinous crime," he said.

Two men, identified as Riaz Akhtari and Ghouse Mohammad, have been arrested for the murder.

In a video clip, Akhtari declared that they had beheaded the man and went on to threaten Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying their knife will get him as well.

Indirectly, the assailants also referred to Nupur Sharma, the BJP leader who was suspended from the party over a controversial remark on Prophet Mohammad. Lal, the tailor, was recently arrested by the local police over some remarks made on social media by him.

Source: Outlook India

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https://www.outlookindia.com/national/-un-islamic-muslim-bodies-condemn-tailor-s-brutal-killing-in-rajasthan-s-udaipur-news-205543

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Leaders, Muslim Bodies Condemn Beheading Of Udaipur Tailor Kanhaiya Lal Over Prophet Remarks

29 JUN 2022

The brutal killing of Udaipur tailor, Kanhaiya Lal, in the broad daylight has shaken the nation after his murder video went viral. It has drawn ire from different political parties, and several leaders urged the State to accord the strictest possible punishment to the accused.

40-year-old Kanhaiya Lal was allegedly beheaded for supporting former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma's remarks against Prophet Muhammad. Two men slit the throat of the tailor, Kanhaiya Lal, and posted a video on social media where they claimed that they are avenging an insult to Islam. This triggered communal tension in the Rajasthan city with a curfew being imposed.

In the video clip, one of the purported assailants declared that they had “beheaded” the man and then threatened Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying their knife will get him as well.

All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday condemned the killing of a tailor in Rajasthan’s Udaipur district for allegedly insulting Islam.

Owaisi, who was addressing a gathering in Bhopal’s Ashoka Garden area as part of his party’s campaign for the Madhya Pradesh local body polls, also demanded the arrest of the suspended BJP spokesperson for her remarks against Prophet Mohammad.

“I condemn the (Udaipur) incident. Killing someone is not allowed in the law. Nobody can kill others. We will not take the law in our hands. This is a crime. But we demand that Nupur Sharma should also be arrested,” he said. Terming the tailor’s killing as gruesome, he said the government must take the strictest action, adding that the AIMIM’s consistent stand was to oppose such violence. During his speech, Owaisi also criticised Congress and BJP and accused them of hobnobbing with each other.

Prominent Muslim organisation Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind condemned the heinous killing of a tailor in Rajasthan’s Udaipur on Tuesday, saying such an act cannot be justified in any way and is against the religion of Islam.

In a statement, Maulana Hakeemuddin Qasmi, general secretary of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, condemned the “brutal killing in Udaipur apparently on the pretext of the insult to the Prophet” and called it against the law of land as well as “against the religion of Islam”.

“In our country, there is a system of law, no one has the right to take the law into his own hands,” Mr. Qasmi said.

The Indian American Muslim Council also condemned the murder along with prominent journalist Rana Ayyub.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot took to Twitter to assure that the accused persons would be "punished severely in court".

Attacking the Gehlot government, Union minister Anurag Thakur said, "The brutal and brutal murder of an innocent person in Udaipur is a big question mark on the legal system of the Gehlot government."

Condemning the act, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that he was "deeply shocked".  "I am stunned by this heinous murder. Barbarism in the name of religion cannot be tolerated. Those who spread terror through this act of brutality should be severely punished immediately. We all have to defeat hate together. I appeal to all, please maintain peace and brotherhood," he wrote on Twitter.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said the violent incident in Udaipur should be condemned. "The culprits should get the harshest punishment. Spreading hatred and violence in the name of religion is fatal for our country and society. We have to together strengthen the efforts for peace and non-violence," she said in a tweet in Hindi.

BSP chief Mayawati urged people to maintain peace and order.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said, "I unreservedly condemn the horrific beheading of shopkeeper KanhaiyaLal in Udaipur by two Muslim youth, who then posted a gruesome video of the murder on social media."

Condemning the murder, Kerala CM said, "Strongly condemn the barbaric murder in #Udaipur. Request the authorities to take stern action against those responsible. Such heinous acts would only serve to upset our harmonious living. Appeal to everyone to maintain peace and calm and let the law take its course."

Source: Outlook India

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https://www.outlookindia.com/national/leaders-muslim-bodies-condemn-beheading-of-udaipur-tailor-kanhaiya-lal-over-prophet-remarks-news-205456

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Udaipur tailor murder: Delhi Jama Masjid's Shahi Imam condemns act, says 'not only act of cowardice but against Islam'

June 29, 2022

The Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Delhi, on Wednesday, condemned the brutal murder of a tailor in Udaipur by two men in a broad daylight and said it was “not only an act of cowardice but an act against Islam.”

In a statement, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, Shahi Imam, Jama Masjid, Delhi said: “The heartbreaking, heinous murder committed in Udaipur has shaken the humanity. The inhumane incident of the murder of a man named Kanhaiya Lal by two persons named Riaz and Ghous, and that too in the name of the Holy Prophet, is not only an act of cowardice but an act against Islam.”

“I, myself and on behalf of the Muslims of India, with all the vehemence at our disposal, condemn this act,” he said.

Elaborating that Islam is a religion of peace and tranquility, with the life of the Prophet of Allah having numerous examples of compassion, tolerance, generosity and humanitarianism, Bukhari stated: "Had the persons who committed this barbaric act studied the life and character of the Holy Prophet and had they been well versed with the spirit of Quran and shariah, they would not have committed the heinous crime."

For the unversed, two men - Riaz Akhtari and Ghouse Mohammad - slit the throat of a tailor, identified as Kanhaiya Lal, in Udaipur on Tuesday, 28 June, days after he made a social media post in support of suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma.

The accused have, subsequently been arrested from Rajsamand. They had filmed the incident of killing Kanhaiya Lal and shared it on social media saying they were avenging Islam.

In a video clip, Akhtari declared that they had "beheaded" the man and went on to threaten Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying their knife will get him as well.

On Wednesday, the he Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday has directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to take over the investigation of the murder of tailor Kanhaiya Lal Teli in Udaipur, Rajasthan on Tuesday.

Source: Firstpost

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https://www.firstpost.com/india/udaipur-tailor-murder-delhi-jama-masjids-shahi-imam-condemns-act-says-not-only-act-of-cowardice-but-against-islam-10850221.html

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Muslim leaders in India condemn killing of Hindu man

Shuriah Niazi  

29.06.2022

NEW DELHI

Prominent Indian Muslim organizations, and leaders on Wednesday called the murder of a Hindu man in India’s Rajasthan state on Tuesday a "disgrace to humanity and an act of defaming Islam."

Reacting to a video posted on social media by two men claiming that they avenged an insult to Islam, Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind, a leading Muslim organization, said in a statement that no one has the authority to take law into their own hands.

Mobile and internet services and large gatherings remained restricted in the western Udaipur city on Wednesday, a day after police arrested two Muslim men for allegedly killing a Hindu tailor. The two cleaver-wielding men filmed the act and posted it on social media and also threatened to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the same manner.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind’s President Maulana Mahmood Asad Madani strongly condemned the killing, saying: “This incident is a great challenge to the law enforcement agencies of the country. No matter whosoever is the killer, no one has the authority to take law into his own hands.”

He said Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind is against all forms of extremism and demands that strict action should be taken against such persons irrespective of their religion, caste, and ethnicity.

Social Democratic Party of India’s National Secretary Taslim Ahmed Rehmani, denouncing the incident, said: “This ghastly murder cannot be accepted in a civilized society. I demand fast track court shall try this case and murderers must be hanged publicly.”

Asaduddin Owaisi, the chief of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, another Muslim organization, said that no one can take law into their own hands.

“I condemn the gruesome murder in Udaipur Rajasthan. There can be no justification for it. Our party’s consistent stand is to oppose such violence,” tweeted Owaisi.

Rajasthan's Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said that both the accused have been arrested.

Meanwhile, tension prevailed in the whole state after the incident. The federal government is treating the gruesome killing as a terror attack and dispatched a team of the anti-terror probe agency National Investigation Agency (NIA) to Rajasthan.

The state government also announced the imposition of prohibitory orders for a month and cut internet services for 24 hours across the state.

In a video, the two Muslim men claimed that it was a retaliation for anti-Islam remarks made by Nupur Sharma, an official of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Source: Anadolu Agency

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https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/muslim-leaders-in-india-condemn-killing-of-hindu-man/2625569

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Perpetrators of 'Talibani barbarism' biggest enemies of Islam, humanity: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Udaipur incident

Jun 29, 2022

NEW DELHI: Minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Wednesday condemned the brutal murder of a tailor in Udaipur and said perpetrators of "Talibani barbarism" are the biggest enemies of both Islam and humanity.

Two men with a cleaver murdered a tailor in Udaipur and posted videos online, claiming that they are avenging an insult to Islam.

No community or country can tolerate such barbarism and brutality, Naqvi told reporters.

"We should beware of such elements who want to shatter the strength of India through their nefarious and heinous conspiracies. We have to work united to defeat such evil forces," the senior BJP leader asserted.

Two men, identified as Riaz Akhtari and Ghouse Mohammad, have been arrested for the murder.

In a video clip, Akhtari declared that they had beheaded the man and went on to threaten Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying their knife will get him as well.

Indirectly, the assailants also referred to Nupur Sharma, the BJP leader who was suspended from the party over a controversial remark on Prophet Mohammad. Kanhaiya Lal, the tailor, was recently arrested by the local police over some remarks made on social media by him.

Source: Times Of India

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https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/perpetrators-of-talibani-barbarism-biggest-enemies-of-islam-humanity-mukhtar-abbas-naqvi-on-udaipur-incident/articleshow/92539721.cms

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Bengal Imam’s association demands strong action in Udaipur murder

By Rabi Banerjee

June 29, 2022

Bengal Imam Association strongly condemned the 'gruesome murder' of Kanhaiya Lal, a tailor of Udaipur, who supported the statement of former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma on social media.

“It's a crime against humanity as Allah has said. Killing an innocent person is anti-Islam. I don’t know from where they have come. They might bear Arabic names but they are not Muslims,” said Md Iyahiya, chairman of the Imam’s association in Bengal.

Tension has gripped several border villages in Bengal as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has alerted all district police while being on tour in Western part of Bengal.

Ironically, the situation suddenly turned volatile after Banerjee in a party meeting in Asansole asked the people to launch a 'political jihad' against the BJP.

A 10-member-delegation led by Suvendu Adhikari, leader of the opposition, is scheduled to meet governor Jagdeep Dhankhar today, said Raj Bhavan, Kolkata.

“They are going to meet governor today at 5.30pm regarding alarmingly worrisome stance taken by Mamata Banerjee at a public meeting in Asansol yesterday,” said the statement issued by Raj Bhavan.

However, Banerjee, today condemned the incident in Rajasthan and asked people from every community to maintain peace. Yiyahiya also said that the comment of a particular person did not fall on any political party.

Source: The Week

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https://www.theweek.in/news/india/2022/06/29/bengal-imams-association-demands-strong-action-in-udaipur-murder.html

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Clerics condemn Udaipur killing, appeal for calm

Jun 30, 2022

Varanasi: Condemning the brutal killing of a tailor in Udaipur by fanatics, Muslim clerics and forums including Bunkar Biradarana Tanzim have appealed to the citizens for maintaining peace. A group of lawyers staged a demonstration against the incident on Wednesday.

Though men in khaki in Kashi are already on high alert mode since May 20 when the first Friday namaz after the completion of court-mandated survey and videography of Gyanvapi premises in which a shivling was purportedly found in the ablution pond, was conducted in a tense atmosphere, they further increased alertness mainly in mixed populated and communally sensitive localities since Tuesday night.

Mufti-e-Banaras Abdul Batin Nomani strongly condemned the killing of tailor Kanhaiya Lal and said that the act of taking law in hand by killers can’t be justified as it was not only against law but also Islam. He appealed to the people of the city to keep emotions under check and cooperate in maintaining peace and communal harmony.

Weavers’ bodies including Bunkar Biradarana Tanzim Barah, BBT Pancho and BBT Baeesi also condemned the Udaipur incident. The chiefs of these organisations including Sardar Ekramuddin, Sardar Jiya-ul-Hasssan and Sarday Nurul Hassan said that it is disgrace to humanity and an act of defaming the religion of Islam. They appealed to the people to extend full cooperation to district administration and police in maintaining peace.

A group of lawyers led by the president of Banaras Bar Association Dhirendra Nath Sharma staged demonstration in Kutchehri premises and also gave a memorandum to the district administration demanding stern action against the killers.

On the other hand, the men in khaki intensified patrolling and route marches especially in the mixed populated and communally sensitive areas. Commissioner of police A Satish Ganesh said that extra alert was already being maintained by police in the city since May 20 but since Tuesday night further enhancement in security measures was ensured.

Teams of officials were engaged to meet the religious authorities and prominent people to seek their cooperation in maintaining communal harmony, said CP adding, foot patrolling and route marches had also been intensified apart from increasing pickets in sensitive and mixed populated areas.

Source: Times Of India

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https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/varanasi/clerics-condemn-udaipur-killing-appeal-for-calm/articleshow/92556964.cms

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Lashkar duo killed in Kulgam encounter

Jun 30, 2022

SRINAGAR: Two local Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists were shot dead in an encounter in Nawapora area of Mirbazar hamlet in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Wednesday. The operation that took place on the day the first batch of Amarnath pilgrims set out for the holy cave shrine, assumes significance as the site of the gun battle was very close to the national highway (Yatra route).

Kashmir Zone Police, in a tweet quoting IGP (Kashmir Zone) Vijay Kumar, identified the slain duo as categorised terrorists Yasir Wani from Wangund, Kulgam, and Raees Manzoor from Chotipora, Shopian. Arms and ammunition including an AK-47 rifle and one pistol, along with other incriminating materials were recovered from the spot of the firefight.

The anti-terror operation was launched in the afternoon by a joint team of the Army, CRPF and police after receiving inputs about the presence of terrorists in the area. As the security forces headed toward a suspected hideout, holed-up terrorists opened fire at the search party, triggering an encounter in which the two terrorists were killed.

Lashkar terrorists arrested in Budgam, Bandipora

Srinagar: Two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists were arrested — one each in central Kashmir’s Budgam district and north Kashmir’s Bandipora district respectively — on Wednesday.

In Budgam, police while investigating a narco-terrorism module arrested Showkat Ahmed Ganie, a Chadoora resident, who was involved in distributing proceeds from the sale of narcotics to active terrorists and operatives to fund terrorism in the Kashmir Valley. He also provided logistic support to the outfit.

Source: Times Of India

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https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/lashkar-duo-killed-in-kulgam-encounter/articleshow/92555670.cms

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Udaipur killing a terror attack, act filmed to terrorise society: BJP

June 29, 2022

Hours after the Union Home Ministry directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to take over the Udaipur murder case of Kanhaiya Lal Teli, a tailor, the ruling BJP on Wednesday termed the beheading as a “terror attack” and held the Congress government responsible for the incident saying its “appeasement and discriminatory policies” are leading to such incidents.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters in Delhi, BJP spokesperson Rajyavardhan Rathore said Teli’s killers filmed the incident and made the video viral in an attempt to terrorise society. “The Chief Minister of Rajasthan calls this incident a murder. When someone makes a video of a murder and makes it viral, it is not an ordinary incident. This is not a murder, this is a terrorist attack. The action (filming the incident) has been taken to terrorise the entire society,” Rathore said.

Two men hacked Kanhaiya Lal Teli to death inside his shop in Udaipur on Tuesday, and posted a video online of the incident claiming it was in retaliation for the victim sharing remarks made by BJP’s Nupur Sharma on the Prophet.

According to Rathore, a Lok Sabha MP from Jaipur Rural, extremist groups have been flourishing in the state and the Ashok Gehlot government has been “directly or indirectly” promoting them.

Rathore alleged that the Congress government in Rajasthan is responsible for Teli’s killing and that it has taken many steps during its tenure to appease one community. “Not a single week has gone by in the last six months when terrorist or jihadi incidents have not taken place in Rajasthan. The government of Rajasthan is solely responsible for this,” Rathore said. “There are different laws for different religious communities. There are restrictions for the festivals of one community but others are given police protection to conduct their festivals,” he said.

He said Teli had sought police protection but the administration tried to put pressure on him instead. “The Chief Minister, who is also the Home Minister, should take moral obligation – either he should take responsibility or should quit. But he has been playing vote bank politics and has been helping the extremist forces that are hurting the interests of the nation…and the state intelligence was being used for political intelligence,” Rathore said.

Source: Indian Express

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https://indianexpress.com/article/india/udaipur-killing-terror-attack-filming-act-done-terrorise-society-rajyavardhan-rathore-7998624/

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Have been treating Udaipur killing as terror act from the start: DGP

Jun 30, 2022

By Sachin Saini

The Rajasthan Police have been treating the brutal killing of a Hindu tailor by two Muslim men as an act of terror “from the very beginning” and have also booked the accused under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), state directorate general of police (DGP) M L Lather said on Wednesday.

Preliminary investigation by the state police has revealed that one of the accused, Gaus Mohammed, a resident of Udaipur who was apprehended by Rajasthan Police on Tuesday evening, had made a trip to Pakistan in 2014, and was closely connected to an organisation named Dawaat-e-Islami, the DGP said.

“During the course of the investigation, it has emerged that Gaus Mohammed was closely connected with an organisation called Dawat-e-Islami. Keeping this in mind and following instructions from chief minister Ashok Gehlot, we have been treating the case as an act of terror right from the beginning,” Lather said.

Keeping in mind these aspects and the nature of the attack, the state police notified the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and appealed for help, Lather added.

“We have also filed a case under UAPA,” he said.

Source: Hindustan Times

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https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/have-been-treating-udaipur-killing-as-terror-act-from-the-start-dgp-101656529562741.html

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Udaipur Killing: Time is Ripe for Muslim Clerics to Issue Fatwa Against Blasphemy

JUNE 30, 2022

In response to the barbaric murder of an Udaipur tailor, Kanhaiya Lal, by two Muslim men, Hazrat Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, general secretary of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), gave an interesting statement. On the face of it, he criticised the killing, calling it a “brutal attack on a poor man” by “some non-ethical minds”. But when one looks at the finer points of the statement, it becomes obvious that this was a conditional criticism.

Rahmani said, “It is a grave crime to defame and slander any religious personality. The derogatory words spoken by (former) BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma against Prophet Mohammed are very painful for the Muslim community. The inaction of the government against this crime is nothing but rubbing salts on our wounds.”

The statement is problematic as it condemns the killing but in the same breath attempts to justify it. In fact, the biggest culprit, as per Rahmani, is the Government of India which failed to act against Nupur Sharma, whose “derogatory words” have “pained” the Muslim community. So, in the larger scheme of things, these two Muslim men were provoked to act in a gruesome manner by the statement of Nupur Sharma and the failure of the BJP government to act against her!

What Rahmani conveyed indirectly, Congress leader Pawan Khera said it bluntly. He wrote on Twitter, “Kanhaiya Kumar, Akhlaq and Pehlu Khan — all became victims of hatred. Who is creating an atmosphere of fanaticism in the country? Who is creating controversies in society? Who is gaining political mileage by spreading hatred? Everyone knows who he is. Everyone is watching, but he is silent.”

It is this mindset that invariably makes people look for the “root cause” of any dastardly incident; they invent one when there is none. This mindset stops the society as a whole from introspecting where the problem actually lies. In this narrative, a make-believe victimhood is invented, while the real victims are left to lick their own wounds.

According to Wikipedia, blasphemy in Islam is an impious statement or action involving Allah that finds a much wider gaze in the vernacular, encompassing not just ridiculing or vilifying of Islamic qualities but also disputing any of the religion’s essential doctrines. In nations like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia, blasphemy cases are becoming rampant as a tactic for persecuting minorities. According to the Centre for Social Justice, at least 1,500 individuals were accused of blasphemy, and at least 75 people accused of blasphemy were murdered in Pakistan. According to a study conducted by a US government advisory body, Pakistan used blasphemy laws more than any other country on the planet.

In recent years, many people have been lynched after being accused of blasphemy. Pakistan’s anti-defamation laws, which carry the death penalty, are reported to be often utilised to settle personal scores in the Muslim-majority nation, according to rights groups. The bulk of the 71 nations that have made blasphemy illegal are Muslim-dominated countries. Penalties vary in severity, as does the degree to which these laws are implemented. Blasphemy is punished by death in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Brunei, Mauritania, and Saudi Arabia. With a possible punishment of three years in jail, Italy has the worst blasphemy laws among non-Muslim-majority nations. Apostasy is illegal in half of the world’s 49 Muslim-majority countries. This means that leaving Islam could get you in trouble with the law.

In addition to the high-profile cases such as the one involving The Satanic Verses in 1988 and the Charlie Hebdo massacre in 2015, there have been a few other cases like the 2019 Kamlesh Tiwari case, wherein the victim was shot and stabbed for ‘blasphemous’ statements; or, the Kishan Bharwad case, which saw a 27-year-old man from Ahmedabad being shot death for an alleged ‘blasphemous’ social media post, which apparently was a repost.

The murder of Kanhaiya Lal does not come as a surprise to those who have a basic understanding of Islam. For, there are interpretations of the holy book, which are especially taught in religious seminaries and madrassas, that find themselves to be antithesis of modern, liberal sensibilities. There are verses that divide humanity into believers and non-believers, with the latter having no chance of redemption, however good he might be.

Societies that fail to discuss and adapt with the passage of time are destined to perish. Sanatan Hindu Dharma is thousands of years old; hundreds of sages sacrificed their lives to advance it. They also allowed detractors to discuss and debate the shifting values of life as time passed.

Islam, on the other hand, is believed to be a perfect and perfected religion. This leaves hardly any scope for debate, discussion and dissent. It is this mindset that stops any reform. For, how can a perfect religion be reformed? And if it is reformed, how can it be a perfect religion? When a fake news is spread about someone ridiculing the Prophet, then this mindset ensures there are people readily available to go to any extreme length to “avenge” the so-called mocking.

The two men who killed Kanhaiya Lal, therefore, don’t think they have done anything wrong. Their video makes it abundantly clear that they are only adhering to the religious texts. In this backdrop, it is necessary to put a full-stop to the radicalistion of Islamic institutions, the incitement of Muslims to riot on the streets, and the dissemination of religious texts that incite violence. The government must take this issue seriously and organise a conference with Muslim ulema and encourage them to push liberal values.

Muslim clerics must be encouraged to issue fatwa against blasphemy, which is at the root of the problem. The administration must make it clear that the idea of blasphemy has no place in a democracy like India. Also, it’s time we looked at the problem without being apologetic or without trying to do a balancing act. Such politically correct statements may sound nice but in the long term it only helps strengthen Islamist forces in the country.

Source: News18

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https://www.news18.com/news/opinion/udaipur-killing-time-is-ripe-for-muslim-clerics-to-issue-fatwa-against-blasphemy-5465551.html

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South Asia

 

US Seeks to Unfreeze Assets Without Enriching Islamic Emirate: Report

June 30, 2022

The administration of US President Joe Biden is in talks with the Islamic Emirate to create a mechanism by which Afghanistan’s Central Bank will be able to partially use assets while erecting safeguards that would ensure the funds are not siphoned off for misuse by the Islamic Emirate, the Washington Post reported, citing sources privy to the issue.

This comes as a delegation of the Islamic Emirate, led by the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amir Khan Muttaqi, left Kabul on Wednesday for Doha.

“It would be accurate to say negotiations are underway,” said Shah Mehrabi, an economics professor at Montgomery College in Maryland and a senior member of Afghanistan’s Central Bank board since 2002, as quoted by the Washington Post. “We are in the process of trying to come up with a mechanism that will allow the transfer of reserves to the central bank of Afghanistan.”

The Islamic Emirate said that its delegation in Qatar would meet with the US special envoy for Afghanistan Thomas West and officials from the US Department of Treasury.

“The delegation will hold talks with (Thomas West) the US Special envoy for Afghanistan, and US Department of Treasury officials on political, economic, and banking issues,” said Zia Ahmad Takal, deputy spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Central Bank said that efforts are underway to unfreeze the Afghan assets.

“The Afghanistan Bank welcomes any steps which are aimed at releasing Afghan assets. These assets belong to the people of Afghanistan,” said Mohammad Sabir Momand, a spokesman for the Central Bank.

Meanwhile, economists said that if Afghan assets are used as humanitarian aid, the humanitarian crisis will increase.

“The US talks with the Taliban officials about the formation of mechanisms for humanitarian assets is a political and economic tactic; on the one hand they want to show their level of engagement to the (Afghan) government, and on the other hand it is a massive strike on the Afghan economy, particularly the currency,” said Shakir Yaqobi, an economist.

“Allocation of Afghan assets for the humanitarian crisis is a big oppressive action against the people of Afghanistan,” said Rohullah Ahmadzai, an economist.

Source: Tolo News

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https://tolonews.com/afghanistan-178715

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Deputy PM Mullah Beradar assists 53 million Afghanis to quake-hit families

June 30, 2022

KABUL: First Deputy Prime Minister of the Islamic Emirate on economic affairs, Mullah Abdul Ghani Beradar, visited Khost and Paktika provinces and donated an aid of up to 53 million Afghanis to the earthquake victims’ families, a statement from his office said.

Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Beradar expressed sympathy and condolence to the quake-hit families, according to the statement.

“The Islamic Emirate stands with you and will support you until your destroyed homes are reconstructed and your lives returned normal,” the statement quoted Beradar as saying.

The Islamic Emirate has already delivered aids for the victims of the tragedy, the statement added. Beradar also distributed about 53 million Afghanis to rebuild their houses and shelter, according to the statement.

In addition, it’s planned that in the coming days, several million Afghanis to be distributed for the quake-affected families in a transparent manner by the Disaster Management Commission.

Meanwhile, expressing their support tribal elders, scholars, and influential figures of the southeast provinces praised the Islamic Emirate’s efforts.

“The Islamic Emirate is the people’s system, and the system has come as a result of your sacrifices,” said the deputy prime minister.

Source: The Kabul Times

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https://thekabultimes.gov.af/deputy-pm-mullah-beradar-assists-53m-afg-to-quake-hit-families/

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Afghanistan: Taliban war crime against civilians in Balkhab

June 30, 2022

According to local sources, Taliban terrorist militants displaced and shot dozens of civilians after taking control of various areas of Balkhab district.

According to local sources in Balkhab district, Taliban militants shot dead nine civilians on June 25, including five miners, two shepherds, and two other civilians in the Jah Mirk, Gowarz, and coal mines.

On the other hand, hundreds of people fled from the villages of Takhshar, Qala-e-Gag, Larkord, Hoosh, etc, to the mountains for fear of Taliban armed violence.

Clashes and protests have also taken place in the districts of Darreh Suf in Bamyan province, Lal and Sarjangal in Ghor province and Yakawlang.

The exact number of people killed by Taliban is not known, but video evidence from Balkhab confirms the allegations of civilian casualties.

After controlling the city of Tarkhoj, the center of Balkhab district, the Taliban militants, with the cooperation of infiltrators, succeeded in identifying the dissatisfied residents and some supporters of Mehdi Mojahe.

According to local sources, their homes were looted and most of them were captured and tortured on various charges and shot if they resisted. At the same time, the Taliban governor in Balkhab has announced that the government has no problem with the people and they can continue their normal lives!

Source: ABNA24

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https://en.abna24.com/news//afghanistan-taliban-war-crime-against-civilians-in-balkhab_1271144.html

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Taliban and U.S. officials to meet amid quake relief efforts

JUNE 29, 2022

Last week’s devastating earthquake in southeastern Afghanistan killed around 770 people, according to UN figures.

Afghan finance and central bank officials from the Taliban-led government departed for Qatar on Wednesday to meet with a U.S. Treasury department official, after last week’s deadly earthquake highlighted how critical relief efforts have stumbled under the weight of the country’s spiraling economic woes.

Last week’s devastating earthquake in southeastern Afghanistan killed around 770 people, according to UN figures, though the Taliban put the death toll at closer to 1,150, with thousands injured. The UN says 155 children are among those killed in what was the deadliest earthquake to hit the impoverished country in two decades.

The quake struck a remote, deeply impoverished region of small towns and villages tucked among rough mountains near the Pakistani border, collapsing stone and mud-brick homes and in some cases killing entire families. Nearly 3,000 homes were destroyed or badly damaged in Paktika and Khost provinces.

News of a meeting between Taliban government officials and U.S. officials was confirmed by Taliban Foreign Ministry spokesman Hafiz Zia Ahmad, who said the Afghan delegation will be led by Foreign Minister Maulvi Amir Khan Muttaqi. He said the officials will meet in Doha, Qatar with the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and officials from the U.S. Treasury Department to discuss Afghanistan’s economic and banking sectors.

The Washington Post first reported on Tuesday that senior Biden administration officials are working with Taliban leadership on a mechanism to allow Afghanistan’s government to use its central bank reserves to deal with the country's severe hunger and poverty crises while erecting safeguards to ensure the funds are not misused.

The Biden administration froze some $9 billion in foreign Afghan central reserves after the Taliban seized power in last August, prompting a chaotic and deadly withdrawal of U.S. and NATO allied forces.

The international sanctions that followed choked off bank transfers for months into the country, even for many aid groups still operating there. Afghans have since struggled to withdraw money from local banks and tens of thousands of public sector employees continue to see their salaries delayed as the Taliban leadership seeks ways to collect taxes and other fees to keep the government running.

No government has yet recognised the Taliban's rule over Afghanistan. The former insurgents have resisted international pressure to maintain the previous rights gained by Afghan women, instead imposing restrictions on women's dress and limiting access to schools for teenage girls.

Even before the Taliban takeover last year, Afghanistan's economy had been deeply reliant on foreign aid. The UN and an array of overstretched aid agencies in the country have tried to keep Afghanistan from the brink of collapse, including the International Committee of the Red Cross which is paying the salaries of health care staff and the operational costs of more than 30 hospitals across the country.

Overstretched aid agencies said the earthquake underscored the need for the international community to rethink its financial cut-off of Afghanistan since Taliban insurgents seized the country. That policy, halting billions in development aid and freezing vital foreign reserves, has helped push the economy into collapse and plunge Afghanistan deeper into humanitarian crises and near famine.

Source: The Hindu

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https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/taliban-and-us-officials-to-meet-amid-quake-relief-efforts/article65582443.ece

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Pakistan

 

Kartarpur Corridor symbol of Pakistan’s commitment towards religious freedom: COAS

June 28, 2022

RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa Tuesday said that Kartarpur corridor is the practical manifestation of Pakistan’s unwavering commitment towards religious freedom and harmony.

A 12-member delegation of British Sikh soldiers – headed by Major General Celia J Harvey, Deputy Commander Field Army UK – visited the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and met Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the military’s media wing said.

“Pakistan respects all religions and also recognises the need for promotion of religious tourism in the country,” Gen Bajwa was quoted as saying by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Tuesday.

The delegation also visited Lahore where the dignitaries witnessed a flag-lowering ceremony at the Wagha border.

According to the ISPR, the British Sikh soldiers visited Lahore Fort, Allama Iqbal Mausoleum and Badshahi Mosque.

During their stay, the delegation visited several religious sites in the country which included Darbar Hazrat Mian Mir, Haveli Naunihal Singh, Gurdwara Janamasthan Guru Ram Das, Samadi Ranjeet Singh, Gudwara Dera Sahib, Kartarpur Corridor, Nankana Sahib and Dera Panja Sahib.

They also visited Orakzai District and witnessed Samana Fort, Lockhart Fort and Saragarhi Monument, the military’s media wing said.

Source: Pakistan Today

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https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/06/28/kartarpur-corridor-symbol-of-pakistans-commitment-towards-religious-freedom-coas/

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Pakistan is hurtling along the path of multiple implosions: Dr Naseer Dashti

Jun 29 2022

By Rahul Kumar

New Delhi, Jun 29: The first thing that strikes you about Dr Naseer Dashti-foremost Baloch intellectual and author, is his carefree and cheerful nature. He loves to laugh at his banter. He starts a conversation with ease, even with a stranger, even if he must be playfully sarcastic.

Outside the London Bridge train station, under the shade of the Shard, our conversation starts with, "I know you Indians have an obsession with Turko-Mongols, so I will take you to a Turkish restaurant to eat". Finding no good reason to find favour with Turks, given today's tumultuous geopolitics, I question him on his statement.

Without batting an eyelid, Dashti retorts: "Of course, you love the Turks-you have cities named after their marauders and plunderers, your media glorifies Turkish invaders like Shahjahan and Akbar, you even have structures, cities and roads named after Turkish slaves who ruled India for a while, and you have adopted Turkish foods as Indians...", and he reeled off a few more examples.

The second thing that strikes you after some time is that he holds contrarian views about international relations and global politics. Like the other Baloch leaders in exile, Dashti misses no opportunity to make fun of Pakistan. "Pakistan was purposely created as a client State to serve the interests of the British empire. The welfare of people or the socio-economic up-gradation of the region was not the agenda for the creation of Pakistan", he says with effortless ease but with firm conviction.

While in Pakistan, he had published two books in Quetta-the capital of conflict-torn Balochistan which borders Afghanistan and Iran. The phobia-driven Pakistan government banned the books after labelling them anti-Islam and anti-Pakistan. Once the government levied the dreaded blasphemy charges against Dashti, he knew it was time to find a sanctuary. So, in 2008, he fled Pakistan for the safety of the UK.

Excerpts from the interview:

IN: What is your view of the Baloch struggle?

Dashti: The Baloch national struggle is moving forward at a slow pace. Many internal and external factors are hampering its progress. However, I don't believe in the contention of many critics and analysts that it is directionless. On the contrary, I think it will ultimately overcome its weaknesses and be in a position to gain its objectives.

Pakistan has come down heavily on the Baloch resistance through the brutal use of force. The Pakistani army has made Balochistan a war zone. The land has been under an undeclared martial law for many decades.

Then there are divisions and mistrust among the Baloch nationalist groups. Some analysts believe that there is political disorientation among the resistance groups. Political mobilisation in Balochistan has become impossible because of the brutalities of the security apparatus of Pakistan.

The material support for a protracted war in the Baloch national struggle is not according to the need of the resistance. For the moment, the external support necessary for the success of any national liberation struggle is not visible.

Despite all these weaknesses, the will of the Baloch people to throw away the yoke of slavery is strong. They will keep resisting the occupation forces.

IN: But there have been large-scale attacks on the Pakistani military by Baloch armed organisations. Also, the Baloch groups are believed to be using modern weapons bought from the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Dashti: Armed resistance and political mobilisations are two parts of a national liberation struggle. Their combined objective was to persistently target the financial and strategic interests of the colonial power until the occupation forces were tired or the colony became ungovernable.

In my opinion, isolated events are part of the game but not the whole thing. There will not be a significant impact until you strike the enemy daily. The Baloch national resistance still needs to grasp the realities of a protracted and exhaustive war against the colonial power.

Regarding getting arms from the Taliban, it is a socio-historical fact that everything is for sale in Afghanistan - friendships, enmity, fighting force, Mujahideen, Taliban and weapons. The Taliban may have sold the weaponry to the Baloch parties. But any kind of weapon is available in the international market. If you have the money, you buy them. So, the Baloch might have purchased some weapons. Although I am not an expert in this field still, according to my knowledge, the Baloch fighters use only simple weapons - grenades, Kalashnikovs and rocket launchers, nothing sophisticated.

IN: The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is in shambles. The Baloch seem to have inflicted heavy damage to the mega-project through their attacks on Chinese nationals.

Dashti: The Baloch resistance has had some impact on the progress of CPEC, but in my opinion, CPEC has become a thing of the past. There are other factors involved in its inglorious demise. While we analyze Pakistan's economic and political situations, we must keep in mind that this Allah-given country is not an independent State. Socially, politically, and economically, it is highly dependent on the West's support, led by the USA and the UK. You have to understand that the West controls everything in Pakistan, not China.

Do you know how many Pakistani generals have homes in Shanghai or other Chinese cities? But nearly every serving or retired general in Pakistan bought businesses and homes in the West. Their salaries come from the IMF and World Bank. And political and moral support for the military rule in Pakistan has always been forthcoming from the western democracies.

In the disguise of CPEC, the fundamental objective of the Chinese was to make Gwadar a strategic base. In many ways, the Gwadar port project became the main causative factor in the demise of CPEC. The Middle East is a sensitive piece of land for the West. They do not want anything to harm their interests in the Gulf.

They do not want China to reach the Indian Ocean-which is still a historical and perhaps a psychological obsession for the Western powers. If we go back to the history of the colonial era, in this region, India was essential for the prosperity of the colonial power. Now it is the oil in the Persian Gulf. Therefore, they are sensitive to this. The West cannot afford to let China have a naval base in the mouth of the Persian Gulf, which in a way, is still the lifeline of Western industrial nations.

IN: But China which has invested so heavily in CPEC will not let go of its investments in Pakistan.

Dashti: China has not invested anything in CPEC. All of it is a loan to Pakistan with high-interest rates. China has been expanding its colonial influence in Asia and Africa by adopting the role of a moneylender. Except for these loans and political rhetoric of eternal friendship, the factual position is that there is nothing socially, politically, linguistically, religiously and historically common between Pakistan and China.

We should bear in mind that China cannot confront the West. It cannot afford to lose the lucrative markets in the West. China's strength lies in selling cheap goods to Europe and the Americas.

After the demise of CPEC, China will pressure Pakistan to pay back its debts, and we have to see where Pakistan gets the money to pay back the Chinese.

IN: Talking of religion, Pakistan is an Islamic State. So why has Islam not been able to bind its people together in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan?

Dashti: Religion has never been a binding factor in politics involving different nations. People and nations prophesied the same religious and mythological beliefs and fought bloody battles in Asia and Europe.

Take the example of Europe. Christianity did not unite Europe. Similarly, the Sindhis, the Baloch and the Pashtuns did not want Pakistan. The academics of the British Empire created the theory of Muslims as a nation in the 19th century to counter the Russian moves toward central Asian Khanates, whose population was mainly Muslims. Later, this theory was used in the division of India after retaining Indian colonies became untenable. Is it not amazing that the Christians, Buddhists and followers of other faiths in India were not declared as nations, and no land was allotted to them.

In Pakistan, the Sindhis, the Baloch, and the Pashtuns do not have anything in common with the ruling Punjabi Muslims. They are separate nations but are not strong enough to fight the Pakistani army. To free themselves from the clutches of Pakistan, they need two things-a protracted struggle and support from outside. External support is imperative because there is no example in history where nations have been able to gain independence without external support.

However, in some examples, subjugated nations become independent because colonial powers implode. And Pakistan is moving in that direction at a fast pace.

IN: Are you trying to say that Pakistan faces an existential threat?

Dashti: Yes, the implosion of Pakistan is imminent.

The West has been sustaining Pakistan for 75 years, but now it is not in a position to sustain it further. When the West needed Pakistan, it was included in the Central Treaty Organisation (CENTO) and the Southeast Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO). Now it appears that Pakistan has exhausted its utility for the West. The West is now beginning to align with India in various ways, and if things go smoothly in this direction, they might not need Pakistan anymore.

Western taxpayers might not be able to afford billions of dollars to feed the Pakistani army. We should remember that the only binding force in Pakistan is its army. It is an army which is genetically mercenary. Without perks and privileges, the military will not fight against the Baloch, Sindhis, and Pashtuns. With this, Pakistan will eventually collapse. But it still depends upon New Delhi, London, and Washington to decide what should be the post-Pakistan scenario or what would be the fates of the Baloch, Sindhis and Pashtuns.

Source: Daiji World

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https://www.daijiworld.com/news/newsDisplay?newsID=973805

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JUI minister vows to continue struggle for free, transparent elections

June 29, 2022

Minister for Communications Asad Mahmood on Wednesday said that Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Pakistan (JUIP) would continue struggle for free, fair and transparent elections in the country and not allow rigging in this process.

He stated this while addressing here in the National Assembly after the speech of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari regarding conduct of local government elections in Sindh.

He said that JUIP believed in the democratic process and it always struggled for fair and transparent elections. He said that the reforms were being carried out by the government regarding the electoral process.

Source: Pakistan Today

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https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/06/29/jui-minister-vows-to-continue-struggle-for-free-transparent-elections/

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'We must not promote famine': Khar calls for easing sanctions on Afghanistan

June 30, 2022

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar has called for an easing of Western sanctions against Afghanistan under the Taliban government, saying the basic functioning of the Afghan economy must not be endangered.

The Taliban takeover last year prompted foreign governments, led by the United States, to cut development and security aid, and the strict enforcement of sanctions has debilitated the country's banking sector.

In an interview with Germany's Welt newspaper published on Thursday, Khar said isolating Afghanistan economically was pushing the country into economic collapse.

"If the country remains locked out of international banking and its foreign assets remain frozen, then that is what will happen. We must not promote famine," she added.

Khar said the Western troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, in which Germany was also involved, had serious repercussions because it was not preceded by a negotiated solution, as she called on Germany to play an active political role in easing sanctions.

"In the current situation, it is not a good idea to continue to starve Afghanistan and risk an economic implosion in the country," she said, adding that economic support was necessary to help the Afghan people.

"How is it that we spent $3 trillion on the war, but today don't even have $10 billion on Afghan survival? I don't understand this behavior," she added.

Taliban takeover

The Taliban took back power in Afghanistan in August last year after the United States pulled out its troops, almost 20 years after the group was ousted by US-led forces following the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

Days after the takeover, the US administration froze about $9.5 billion of the Afghan government’s reserves in US banks to compensate the victims of the 9/11 attacks. Banks have also placed severe restrictions on withdrawals by private customers, and many in the country have resorted to selling household possessions to buy food for their families.

Afghanistan has been in the grip of a major humanitarian crisis and the United Nations says more than half of Afghanistan's 38 million people face hunger. The country's economy, already battered by decades of war, went into freefall after the Taliban's return.

Source: Dawn

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1697485/we-must-not-promote-famine-khar-calls-for-easing-sanctions-on-afghanistan

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TTP refuses to budge from demand for Fata merger reversal

Pazir Gul

June 30, 2022

NORTH WAZIRISTAN: The proscribed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has categorically stated that the insurgent group would not back down from its demand for the reversal of the merger of erstwhile Fata with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

“Our demands are clear and especially the reversal of Fata merger with KP is our primary demand which the group cannot back down from,” said Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud, chief of the outlawed group during an interview with a YouTuber. The interview, which was made available on YouTube on Wednesday, has been apparently conducted somewhere in Kabul.

Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah had recently ruled out the reversal of Fata merger with KP which was done through a constitutional amendment in 2018.

Negotiations between the government of Pakistan and TTP have been held in Kabul under the auspices of the Afghan Taliban’s interim government in the neighbouring country. A 57-member jirga comprising elders of major tribes and clans from KP visited Kabul and held talks with the TTP leaders.

TTP had announced ceasefire for an indefinite period. However, security forces kept conducting search and strike operations against militants in the region, particularly in North Waziristan district. Similarly, attacks on security forces also continued.

With an automatic assault rifle kept by his side, the proscribed group chief said that negotiations between the TTP and the government were in progress but no major breakthrough had been made so far.

“The talks have yet to reach a conclusion,” said Noor Wali, sporting a traditional black turban. He belongs to South Waziristan and has moved to Kabul for holding talks with the government.

He claimed that Corps Commander Peshawar Lt Gen Faiz Hameed was representing the Pakistan government in talks while from the TTP he was leading its delegation.

He said the Afghan Taliban were hosting and facilitating the negotiations. He said if the government showed “seriousness”, then a breakthrough in talks would be possible. He confirmed that the government had released some prisoners, but at the same time, ‘our colleagues are also being arrested’.

Source: Dawn

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1697452/ttp-refuses-to-budge-from-demand-for-fata-merger-reversal

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Sino-Pakistan ties enter a new phase as China’s senior leader calls on PM Shehbaz, Gen Bajwa

By Mian Abrar

June 29, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Mr. Yang Jiechi, Director of Central Committee on Foreign Affairs, China, Wednesday held separate meetings with the Pakistani top leadership including Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and federal cabinet members.

Mr Yang Jiechi is a special aide of Chinese President Xi Jinping and a member of the Political Bureau (Politbureau) of the Central Committee of Communist Party of China (CPC) and is considered expert in holding key dialogue.

As Director of the Central Commission on Foreign Affairs, Yang Jiechi has a prominent role in China’s foreign relations. He has previously served as China’s Foreign Minister from 2007-13 and State Councilor from 2013-17.

During his meeting, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif told the Chinese dignitary that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the growing economic linkages had deepened the roots of the abiding friendship between the peoples of Pakistan and China.

“Atop this unshakeable foundation, the Pakistan-China partnership would continue to play its valuable role as a factor of peace and stability in the region and beyond,” the prime minister said during a meeting with Yang Jiechi, Member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Director of its Foreign Affairs Commission, who called him.

The prime minister said that Pakistan stood ready to work closely with China for realizing both countries’ shared vision of connectivity, prosperity and public well-being.

Pakistan would also continue to support Chinese investors with competitive incentives, access to high-quality infrastructure and unwavering security arrangements, he added.

Director Yang Jiechi is accompanied by Vice Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Commerce, Vice Chairman of the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) and Deputy Secretary General of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The prime minister underscored the significance of Director Yang’s visit for accelerating the implementation of the leaders’ consensus on further enhancing bilateral relations across all domains.

He highlighted that economic cooperation had become a mainstay of the wide-ranging Pakistan-China partnership. He expressed satisfaction at growing bilateral trade and financial linkages, with China’s unstinting support playing an invaluable role in helping Pakistan offset external shocks to the global economy and demonstrating the continued resilience of Pakistan-China cooperation at a time of heightened uncertainty on the world stage.

The prime minister particularly thanked China for renewal of the RMB 15 billion (US $ 2.3 billion) syndicate facility. The prime minister also thanked China for its support and assistance to Pakistan’s efforts towards preventing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic by providing millions of vaccine doses as well as protective and medical equipment.

He underlined that as a flagship of the visionary Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), CPEC had transformed Pakistan’s economic base and strengthened capacity for self-development.

He reaffirmed the Government’s resolve to accelerate the pace and complete CPEC projects at the earliest.

The prime minister also underscored the high importance Pakistan attached to the strategic ML-I and other key projects including Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), Babusar Tunnel, and desalinization plant in Karachi.

The prime minister reiterated his strong condemnation of the Karachi terrorist attack and underscored Pakistan’s determination to bring the perpetrators to justice.

He reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to enhanced measures for safety, security and protection of the Chinese nationals, projects and institutions in the country.

Recalling the recent visit of tri-services delegation to China led by the Chief of Army Staff, he expressed satisfaction at the expanding defence and security cooperation between Pakistan and China which was contributing to the regional peace and stability.

While emphasizing the need for enhanced people-to-people contacts, he thanked China for facilitating return of Pakistani students to resume their on-campus studies, and expressed hope that the remaining students would be able to return soon.

The prime minister also appreciated Chinese decision for the resumption of PIA flights to China and increasing the frequency of weekly flights.

Exchanging views on international issues of mutual interest, he also highlighted the adverse impact of India’s unabated repression and gross violations of human rights in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The prime minister thanked China for its principled stance and steadfast support on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

The prime minister and director Yang also exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan including the humanitarian and economic crises.

The need for international cooperation and unfreezing of assets to avert humanitarian catastrophe and ease the misery of the Afghan people was underscored.

Extending a warm welcome to Director Yang, the prime minister conveyed the most cordial greetings and best wishes for President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.

The prime minister noted that director Yang’s visit marked the continuation of high-level exchanges between Pakistan and China, which were the hallmark of the time-tested all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries.

He also recalled his extensive conversation with Premier Li Keqiang in May 2022, during which both leaders had reviewed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations and exchanged views on the regional and international situation.

At the head of a high-level delegation, Director Yang is paying a visit to Pakistan on June 29 and 30. On arrival in Islamabad, Yang was received by Syed Tariq Fatemi and Mr. Zafaruddin Mahmood, Special Assistants to the Prime Minister, and Ambassador Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, Additional Secretary, and other officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Following the meeting, the Prime Minister hosted a banquet in honour of Director Yang and his accompanying delegation. During the visit, the two sides concluded following Protocols/MoUs:

MoU on terms of reference/scope of works of G2G joint technical working group for realignment of Karakoram Highway from Thakot to Raikot, protocol on the sanitary and phytosanitary requirements for Rhodes grass exported from Pakistan to China, protocol on quarantine and health requirements for buffalo embryos to be exported from Pakistan to China and acceptance letter of 3000 sets of solar home system.

The Chinese side announced the roll-over of $2 billion SAFE deposits. It was also conveyed that China would export 200,000 MT of urea fertilizer to Pakistan.

Reiterating cordial invitation to President Xi Jinping, the prime minister said the people of Pakistan were looking forward to welcoming President Xi on his next state visit to Pakistan at the earliest.

Chinese leader calls on Gen Bajwa

Separately, the senior Chinese CPC leader called on COAS Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa here at the GHQ.  The meeting of Mr Yang Jiechi with the COAS is considered very important and a follow-up of the meetings held during the recent visit of COAS Gen Bajwa to Beijing.

During the meeting, matters of mutual interest, defence collaboration, progress on CPEC and regional security were discussed in detail.

The COAS said that Pakistan values China’s role in global and regional affairs and Pakistan looks forward to enhance bilateral strategic partnership.

“COAS reiterated that Pakistan remains committed to cooperate with its international partners for peace and stability in the region,” the ISPR quoted the army chief as saying.

The visiting dignitary thanked COAS for special measures taken for provision of safe and secure environment for Chinese personnel employed on various projects in Pakistan and efforts towards regional stability. He also assured to play his role for further improvement in diplomatic cooperation with Pakistan at all levels.

The COAS had not only led a high-level military delegation to Beijing from 9-12 June and held delegation-level talks with the deputy chief of the PLA but he also he had met with President Xi Jinping who is also the chief of the PLA.

A source told Pakistan Today that during the meeting, Pakistan and China decided to expand the bilateral cooperation to the next stage and key decisions would be taken in the near future in this regard.

According to the Foreign Office, during his two-day visit, Director Yang Jiechi will hold talks with the foreign minister and call on the prime minister.

It further said that Director Yang Jiechi will be accompanied by vice ministers for foreign affairs and commerce, vice chairman of China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA), and deputy secretary general of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The visit is part of the regular high-level exchanges between Pakistan and China. Recently, these interactions included a virtual meeting between the foreign ministers on May 11, 2022; Prime Minister Shehbaz’s telephone call with Premier Li on May 16, 2022; and foreign minister’s visit to China on May 21-22, 2022.

Source: Pakistan Today

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/06/29/sino-pakistan-ties-to-enter-a-new-phase-as-chinas-senior-leader-calls-on-gen-bajwa/

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Mideast

 

Iranian Envoy Warns of Certain UNSC Members' Abuse of Power

2022-June-29

"A candid review of the Security Council's practices reveals that the Council's authority and powers have been repeatedly abused by certain States," Takht Ravanchi said, addressing an open debate on “Implementation of the note by the President of the Security Council”.

He said that those states, “in pursuit of their short-sighted political objectives, particularly against developing countries, regard this body as their preferred tool to exert pressure on other countries”.

Those states, by conducting such actions, both violate the UN Charter and show disrespect to the Council’s authority and powers, Takht Ravanchi added.

“Such conduct not only breaches the UN Charter and fundamental principles of international law, but also demonstrates disrespect for the Council's authority and powers, jeopardizing its integrity and efficiency.”

The Iranian diplomat also called on the world body to evaluate the efficacy of sanctions and their humanitarian consequences at various stages of conflict and suspend or lift them when necessary.

He noted that sanctions have grave humanitarian repercussions, as the world witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Security Council must assess the effectiveness of sanctions and their humanitarian repercussions at various stages of conflict and suspend or lift them as needed. Sanctions, as is well acknowledged, have serious humanitarian consequences as we have all witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic, putting civilian populations' health and lives in grave jeopardy. Furthermore, working in an environment where sanctions are prevalent is often difficult for humanitarian actors,” he said.

Takht Ravanchi called on the UNSC to continually improve its effectiveness and transparency, adding it also needs to ameliorate its interaction and communication with non-Council members.

“To that end, reforming and evolving the Council into a fully transparent, rule-based, and, above all, accountable body is the most efficient method to ensure its transparency, efficiency, and effectiveness. That is the reason why the Council's ‘working methods’ are among the five primary topics under consideration in the ongoing Security Council reform discussions,” he said.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010408000381/Iranian-Envy-Warns-f-Cerain-UNSC-Members'-Abse-f-Pwer

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Israel’s parliament dissolves itself, sets November 1 elections

30 June, 2022

Israel’s parliament voted Thursday to dissolve itself and send the country to the polls in November for the fifth time in less than four years.

Yair Lapid, Israel’s foreign minister and architect of the outgoing coalition government, will become the country’s caretaker prime minister just after midnight on Friday. He will be the 14th person to hold that office, taking over from Naftali Bennett, Israel’s shortest serving prime minister.

The government collapsed just over a year after it was formed in a historic move that saw longtime leader Benjamin Netanyahu ousted after 12 years in power by a coalition of ideologically diverse parties, the first to include an Arab faction.

The motion to dissolve passed with 92 lawmakers in favor, and none opposing, after days of bickering by coalition and opposition lawmakers over the date of new elections and other last minute legislation.

New elections will be held on November 1.

The move brings a formal end to a political experiment in which eight parties from across the Israeli spectrum tried to find common ground after a period of prolonged gridlock in which the country held four elections in two years.

The upcoming elections are an extension of Israel’s protracted political crisis, at the heart of which sits Netanyahu and his ongoing corruption trial.

The four deadlocked elections in the previous three years were largely referendums on Netanyahu’s fitness to serve while facing charges of accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust. Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing.

Lapid, a former talk-show host who heads a center-left party, is expected to campaign as caretaker prime minister to keep the job as the main alternative to Netanyahu, and will likely get an early boost when he welcomes President Joe Biden to the country next week.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/06/30/Israel-s-parliament-dissolves-itself-sets-November-1-elections

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Israel’s Bennett will not run in next general election: Spokesperson

29 June, 2022

Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will not stand at the upcoming general election, his spokesperson said Wednesday evening, just hours ahead of the expected dissolution of parliament.

Bennett announced to lawmakers from his Yamina party “his intention not to stand at the next elections,” his spokesman told the media, as MPs prepared to vote to dissolve Israel’s current legislature, paving the way for national elections later this year.

Barring an 11th-hour shock agreement to save the coalition, Bennett’s eight-party alliance is due to end by midnight, installing Foreign Minister Yair Lapid as caretaker prime minister, in the absence of a new government being cobbled together from the existing parliament.

The move to end Bennett’s year-long tenure would trigger a fifth election in less than four years and could see ex-premier Benjamin Netanyahu reclaim power.

Bennett, a religious nationalist, has led a coalition of right-wingers, centrists, doves and Islamists from the Raam faction, which made history by becoming the first Arab party to support an Israeli government in the Jewish state’s 74-year history.

The motley alliance formed in 2021 offered a reprieve from an unprecedented era of political gridlock, ending Netanyahu’s record 12 consecutive years in power and passing Israel’s first state budget since 2018.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/06/29/Israel-s-Bennett-will-not-run-in-next-general-election-Spokesperson

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Houthi: Yemeni army’s defence capabilities greater than many Arab states

29 June 2022

The leader of Yemen’s Ansarullah resistance movement on Wednesday commended the country’s meteoric progress in developing indigenous long-range ballistic missiles, stressing that Yemenis have overcome difficult stages and challenges over the past eight years of Saudi-led war.

In a speech broadcast live from the Yemeni capital, addressing a group of visiting tribal leaders and locals from the northern Yemeni province of Hajjah, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi declared that the Yemeni forces and fighters from allied Popular Committees today possess military capabilities much superior than those of many Arab countries.

“We now manufacture long-range ballistic missiles that can hit the depths of Saudi-led coalition member states. The production of various types of missiles is well underway and continues to improve,” the Yemeni resistance leader remarked.

“Yemeni missiles are becoming more precise, stronger, more destructive and deadlier. Despite expensive and sophisticated American air defense systems, enemies are unable to intercept and bring down our missiles,” he hastened to add.

The Ansarullah leader underscored that production of military equipment was taken into serious consideration after the start of the Saudi-led aggression, and great achievements were made in the area through patience, sacrifice and research.

“From pistols to Kalashnikov rifles, cannons and missiles, all kinds of weapons are manufactured indigenously. This is a great and impressive achievement,” Houthi underscored, with a hint of pride.

“We have achieved great results in the military sphere, the first of which was to prevent the complete occupation of the country by aggressors. Enemies are expected to repeat their actions. We must put on stronger fronts, and build our military capabilities. Thank God, we have reached a level in military capabilities that many Arab countries have not attained,” he added.

The Ansarullah leader further said that Yemenis were in the eighth year of confronting the US and Saudi-led aggression, adding that they have gone through "difficult stages and taken on daunting challenges.”

“Hajjah province has always been at the forefront of popular struggle against the Saudi-led aggression, and its residents have enormously contributed to the battle and have had an active participation in it," Houthi noted.

“By means of crippling blockade, enemies sought to pit Yemeni people against each other and throw them into internal strife. The foes, however, failed in all their conspiracies to sow the seeds of sedition and wage a propaganda war, as they were faced with the vigilance of Yemeni nation."

The Ansarullah chief went on to say that the Saudi-led coalition and its allied Takfiri militants have carried out numerous massacres in Hajjah province as they targeted ordinary people at weddings and outdoor markets in the province on several occasions.

“Our resilience and steadfastness have frustrated enemies, and drove them to utter despair. Various countries in the world were surprised in the wake of the determined resistance, and treated Yemeni people with great respect. We have trodden a long path and our future will be bright, God willing,” Houthi stated.

American policies and those of Zionist lobby groups have created major crises in different parts of the world, including in Muslim world, he said.

“The United States is involved in a new state of war with Russia and China. The Ukraine conflict is the product of Washington’s provocative and divisive policies throughout the world. We have two options in the face of international crises and enemies’ conspiracies: either to embrace negligence, irresponsibility and despair and be overwhelmed, or to follow a movement of faith and mobility with reliance on God,” the Ansarullah chief said.

He called for close cooperation, especially at the security level, to confront enemies, stating that Yemeni authorities must cooperate in security and social spheres and forge more intimate relations with the nation.

Saudi Arabia launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with its Arab allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and other Western states.

The objective was to reinstall the Riyadh-friendly regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and crush the Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen.

Source: Press TV

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/06/29/684768/Yemeni-forces%E2%80%99-military-capabilities-much-superior-than-many-Arab-countries--Ansarullah-chief

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Dozens of extremist settlers defile Aqsa Mosque

June 30, 2022

Hordes of extremist Jewish settlers desecrated the Aqsa Mosque in Occupied al-Quds on Wednesday morning.

According to local sources, dozens of settlers entered the Mosque in groups through its Maghariba Gate and toured its courtyards under police escort.

During their tours at the Islamic holy site, the settlers received lectures from rabbis about the alleged temple mount and a number of them provocatively performed Talmudic prayers.

The Aqsa Mosque is exposed to daily desecration by Jewish settlers and police forces in the morning and the afternoon except on Fridays and Saturdays.

Meanwhile, Jerusalemite activists and figures have urged their compatriots, who live in the holy city or are able to reach the holy city, to perform I’tikaf (religious retreat) at the Aqsa Mosque during the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah (the 12th month of the Islamic calendar).

Source: ABNA24

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https://en.abna24.com/news//dozens-of-extremist-settlers-defile-aqsa-mosque_1271138.html

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Iran Dismisses G7's "Baseless, Unfair" Statement

2022-June-29

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kan’ani said the country “strongly condemns” passage of the statement, describing it as “baseless, one-sided, and unfair”.

The statement, he said, “deliberately ignores” the US departure from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and others as well as Washington’s subsequent re-imposition of illegal sanctions against the Iranian people.

The Iranian official reprimanded the countries that had issued the statement for their cooperation with the US in imposing sanctions and their refusal to confront the coercive economic measures.

He also spurned any accusations directed towards Iran’s peaceful nuclear energy program, saying the statement “deliberately” ignores the Islamic Republic’s ban on all nuclear weapons.

Kan’ani reminded that the G7 countries were facing Iran with “factitious allegations” while they, themselves, were in possession of the world’s “biggest nuclear arsenal”.

The spokesman, meanwhile, blasted the statement for trying to portray Iran’s comprehensive cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’ nuclear body, in a bad light.

The official further rejected all allegations against Iran’s “legitimate and defensive missile program,” reminding that the country’s missile work can never be subject to any negotiation or compromise.

“It is necessary that the parties that have issued the statement rather be accountable for their sales of billions of dollars of advanced weapons, which is one of the most important factors of instability in our region,” Kan’ani asserted.

Addressing the human rights allegations made through the statement, the official said the countries throwing the allegations were the very same states that have closed their eyes to the “flagrant violation” of the Iranian nation’s rights as a result of the sanctions.

The statement was issued during a meeting of the group’s sevenfold members (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the US) in Germany on Tuesday.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010408000331/Iran-Dismisses-G's-Baseless-Unfair-Saemen

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Iranian FM Calls for Caspian Sea Littoral States' Cooperation to Strengthen Security

2022-June-29

Iran constantly laid emphasis on the necessity for designing a mechanism for collective work in the fields of protecting regional security and boosting joint economic cooperation among the five Caspian neighbors, Amir Abdollahian said, addressing the Caspian Sea states ministerial meeting in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, on Tuesday.

“This issue is highly significant in terms of the security and national interests of all the Caspian littoral states,” he added.

Amir Abdollahian welcomed relevant proposals to that effect, including one put forward by Russia, saying Moscow’s latest initiative would systematize and strengthen cooperation in the strategic region.

He also voiced Iran’s support for the holding the second “Caspian Economic Forum” in Russia, saying that the Islamic Republic believes the five Caspian Sea neighbors need to attach special importance to trade and transportation, as two important sectors that could facilitate growth and development in those countries.

It has been four years since the signing of the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea, Amir Abdollahian said.

In this regard, although we have taken an important step, very important issues still remain unresolved, such as “the designation of maritime zones” and “the demarcation of basins and sub-basins”, the minister added.

Iran, Azerbaijan Republic, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan are the five Caspian littoral states.

In relevant remarks in April, Amir Abdollahian said that his country attaches much importance to increased cooperation among the Caspian Sea littoral states.

Amir Abdollahian made the remarks in a phone conversation with his Turkmen counterpart Raşit Meredow on several regional and international issues as well as the Tehran-Ashgabat ties.

He pointed to the continuous development of friendly relations between Iran and Turkmenistan, emphasizing the positive view of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the expansion of the relations in all fields, specially the need to increase cooperation between the Caspian Sea littoral states.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010408000278/Iranian-FM-Calls-fr-Caspian-Sea-Liral-Saes'-Cperain-Srenghen-Secriy

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Iran Condoles with Jordan on Tanker Tragedy Incident

2022-June-29

Kanani expressed his sorrow and sadness to the Jordanian government and people, specially the families of the victims, following the incident in the Jordanian port of Aqaba that killed and injured dozens of Jordanian citizens and some foreign nationals.

Ten people were killed and 250 others were injured in a gas leak from a tanker carrying toxic gas in the Jordanian port of Aqaba.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010408000509/Iran-Cndles-wih-Jrdan-n-Tanker-Tragedy-Inciden

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Israeli military, Palestinians clash at West Bank shrine

30 June, 2022

Palestinian gunmen opened fire at Jewish worshipers on Thursday at a flashpoint holy site in the occupied West Bank, wounding an Israeli military officer and two civilians, the Israeli army said.

The Palestinian official news agency Wafa said a Palestinian teenager was wounded by live fire and 16 others by rubber bullets in clashes with Israeli forces at the site near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, a frequent point of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

Some Jews believe the biblical Joseph is buried at the site, while Palestinians say it’s the tomb of a Sheikh. Jewish worshipers escorted by the Israeli military often visit the shrine to pray.

The Israeli military said Palestinian gunmen opened fired on hundreds of Jewish worshipers who came to the site overnight on Thursday. The commanding officer of the unit suffered slight injuries, and two civilians were wounded, the army said.

Last month, a Palestinian teen was killed and at least 15 Palestinians were wounded in clashes with the military near the shrine, according to Wafa.

In April, Palestinians set fire to the shrine before they were dispersed by Palestinian security forces, an incident that drew condemnation from Israeli leaders.

Thursday’s clash was the latest in a wave of violence that has persisted for months following a string of deadly attacks inside Israel, Israeli arrest raids across the West Bank, and the killing of a Palestinian-American Al Jazeera reporter.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/06/30/Israeli-military-Palestinians-clash-at-West-Bank-shrine

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Iran says guard killed at Afghan border

29 June, 2022

An Iranian border guard was killed in an “incident” in the country’s southeast at a border crossing with Afghanistan, Iran’s foreign ministry said Wednesday.

“The dimensions of this unfortunate incident in the Milak border area, which led to the martyrdom of the dear border guard of the Islamic Republic of Iran, are being investigated by the authorities and will be announced as soon as the issue is clarified,” ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said.

He expressed condolences to the family of Mohammad Sayyad who was killed at Milak crossing in Sistan-Baluchestan province.

Afghan officials told AFP there had been no clashes between Iranian and Afghan forces near the border.

“Officials in Afghanistan’s caretaker government are expected to take serious action to clarify the dimensions of the issue, punish the perpetrators and take the necessary measures to prevent similar incidents,” Kanani added.

Iran, like many other nations, has so far not recognized the new government formed by the Taliban after it took power amid a hasty withdrawal by US-led foreign forces in August.

While Iran insists that the Taliban form an inclusive administration, the movement has formed an all-male cabinet made up entirely of members of the group, and almost exclusively of ethnic Pashtuns.

Water rights issues have also increased tensions between the two neighbors.

In January, demonstrators in Sistan-Baluchestan rallied at a border crossing for a protest over water from the Helmand River.

Last year, then Afghan president Ashraf Ghani inaugurated Kamal Khan Dam on the river, announcing that Afghanistan would no longer supply “extra” water to Iran for free but instead exchange it for oil.

Iran has hosted millions of Afghan refugees for decades, but fresh waves have flooded the country since the Taliban’s return to power.

The two nations have the Persian language in common - known as Farsi in Iran and Dari in Afghanistan - but a majority of Afghans are Sunni Muslims compared to their mostly Shia neighbors.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/06/29/Iran-says-guard-killed-at-Afghan-border

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US, UK military trainers arrive at southeast Yemen port with arms cache: Report

29 June 2022

A top-ranking Yemeni official says US and British military trainers have arrived at a port in the country’s southeastern province of al-Mahrah bordering Saudi Arabia and Oman on vessels loaded with munitions as well as military and logistical equipment.

The provincial governor, al-Qatabi Ali Hussein al-Faraj, told Yemen’s official Saba news agency on Wednesday that large arms shipments aboard military vessels disembarked at the port of Nishtun, and that British and American military trainers are stationed at al-Ghaydah International Airport.

“The Saudi-led coalition of aggression is involved in the smuggling and trade of narcotics in the area in order to perpetuate insecurity, advance its fiendish plots and deter the local population from confronting the invaders,” Faraj said.

The senior Yemeni official noted that occupiers and their allied Takfiri militants are trying to plunge Mahrah province into utter chaos and confusion as locals are fiercely opposed to the presence of foreign forces.

Faraj stressed that the boiling public rage over the deployment of foreign troops to Mahrah indicates that the battle to liberate the province from the clutches of invaders and their mercenaries is reaching its final stages.

Last month, the leader of Yemen’s popular Ansarullah resistance movement said the United States, with the help of its allied Takfiri militant groups, was building several military bases in the country’s eastern provinces of Hadhramaut and al-Mahrah as well as on the Red Sea coast.

Addressing a delegation of tribal leaders from the western Yemeni province of Ibb on May 19, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi said Washington was setting up military installations in eastern Yemen and the country's southern coastal city of Aden.

He asserted that the Yemeni nation cannot accept Washington’s diktats, warning that the enemies are hell-bent on sowing the seeds of discord and division among people by hook or by crook.

“We must work for security and social stability in Ibb province through compromise and cooperation among local authorities,” the top Yemeni resistance leader told the delegation.

He said the “enemies” have begun to mobilize military reinforcements by taking advantage of the UN-brokered ceasefire, which clearly shows their orientation towards the next stage of the war, and bears testimony to their failure in the previous phase.

Car bomb attack hits motorcade of high-ranking official in Yemen's Aden

In a separate development, at least five guards and two pedestrians were killed when a car bomb targeted a motorcade of a high-ranking security official in Yemen's southern port city of Aden on Wednesday afternoon.

A local source was quoted as saying in media that the blast struck the convoy of General Saleh Al-Sayd, commander of security forces in the neighboring southern province of Lahj, when his motorcade was passing through a main street near Aden airport.

Source: Press TV

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/06/29/684758/US,-British-military-trainers-arrive-at-Nishtun-port-in-southeastern-Yemen,-large-arms-shipments-sent-as-well--Report

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Europe

 

British Foreign Secretary Grilled Over UK Government Links To ‘Authoritarian’ Saudi Arabia

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

British foreign secretary Liz Truss on Tuesday dodged a volley of questions from parliamentarians on her government's ambiguous stance on Saudi Arabia’s dismal human rights record while describing the kingdom as a “partner.”

Truss faced the grilling at a foreign affairs committee hearing, when asked about the Arab kingdom’s rights record by Labour MP Chris Bryant.

n being asked whether Saudi crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman was responsible for the murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Truss sufficed to say that Saudi Arabia is an "important partner of the United Kingdom.”

Washington Post columnist Khashoggi, who was murdered and dismembered by a Saudi hit squad at the kingdom’s Consulate in Istanbul in 2018, used to be a vocal critic of the Saudi regime and the crown prince. The CIA has concluded that the murder was ordered by the Saudi de-facto ruler.

The top British diplomat’s failed attempts at deflecting the question on Khashoggi’s diabolic murder came days after she asserted that London had to serve as a “robust counterweight to authoritarian regimes.”

“Eighty-one executions in one day in Saudi Arabia, and you don’t think that’s an authoritarian regime?” Bryant pressed, referring to the execution of 81 people in Saudi Arabia in a single day in March.

Truss again withheld her answer, saying her main focus was on, what she called, “the threat from Russia,” adding, “It is important to build a close trading relationship with the [Persian] Gulf states” as the UK was trying to wean itself off Russian oil imports.

“If a country is an authoritarian regime, it’s fine to do business with it as long as the authoritarianism is only within its own borders, is that right?” Bryant continued, to which Truss again brought up Russia and China.

Truss went on to state that she had previously raised human rights concerns with the leaders of the Gulf states, but Bryant said that the foreign secretary's spokesman said that she had done no such thing.

“You can’t remember a single human rights issue that you’ve raised with a Gulf state leader?” Bryant pushed.

The British government opened trade negotiations last week with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

While its original list of objectives for a deal included references to “human rights” and the “rule of law,” these entries were dropped from the final list.

Source: Press TV

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/06/29/684767/UK-Saudi-Arabia-human-rights

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UK Muslim Doctor Singled Out At Manchester Airport Amid Rising Islamophobia

June 29, 2022

Pakistani British surgeon and president of the British Hernia Society, Dr. Aali Sheen, claimed he was the victim of "racial triaging" at Manchester Airport security as a recent study revealed that Islamophobia is on the rise in the country.

Sheen said he was exposed to racism when security at Manchester Airport told him to queue for a full-body scanner, while white passengers were ushered in another direction. The surgeon, who was traveling with his two children, added that he soon saw a Muslim family also being singled out from other passengers to be scanned.

Sheen told Manchester Evening News about his encounter with a security guard at Manchester Airport before flying to Grenoble, France on April 3 this year, according to Turkish daily Yeni Şafak.

The leading surgeon said he queued for two hours before reaching security for his 8 a.m. flight, noting that a security guard pointed toward a queue at the scanner even though the smaller arch metal detector was on and usable.

Recounting the incident, Sheen explained: "I said, 'Why?' He said because they have a system. What kind of system is this, I asked him. I challenged him. I knew the reason. To me it was clear. He said 'do as you are told.' He was really rude to me and I said 'don't talk to me like that.' I told him he had to give me a reason."

"Then I packed my bags and looked behind me and saw a distinctly Muslim family, and they were all going through the same scanner as me. They were being directed there by the same person. Other white people were passing through another scanner," he continued.

Sheen made a formal complaint when he landed at his destination but the airport only responded after his local member of parliament got involved.

'Expect attack at any time'

Meanwhile, a new study by the Muslim Engagement and Development group (MEND) of more than 100 British mosques found that 35% of Islamic centers faced at least one anti-Muslim attack every year.

MEND regional manager, Nayeem Haque, told Sky News that the figures were “indicative of a wider trend of Islamophobia,” in Britain.

“We believe the Islamophobic narrative being peddled in wider society is to blame for the rise in attacks we’ve seen in the Muslim community,” he said.

Haque pointed out that there was now more anxiety among Muslims about visiting a place of worship, which corresponds to what was said by Mohammed Kozbar, chairperson of Finsbury Park Mosque – the mosque that suffered a fatal terrorist attack five years ago.

“Our community still feels the fear and intimidation, and they expect an attack at any time. What happened was not a one-off. The situation is even worse than it was five years ago. Islamophobia is on the rise, and no one can deny that,” Kozbar cautioned.

The comments are backed up by recent government data for England and Wales showing that religiously aggravated offenses are at an all-time high, according to Bloomberg citing a Press Association report using data from the British Home Office. A total of 76,884 racially and religiously aggravated offenses were recorded in 2021, up 15% from 66,742 in 2020, putting it at an all-time high.

The hate crime offenses include racially or religiously aggravated assault, harassment and criminal damage.

Although the government took steps with the "Places of Worship Protective Security Scheme" aimed at supporting places of worship at risk of attacks and hate crimes, the MEND report found that only 33% of mosques in England and Wales that applied for the scheme were provided funding, leaving the remaining 66% exposed. Haque believes that a streamlined process to access funding for mosques needing security is required.

Source: ABNA24

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://en.abna24.com/news//uk-muslim-doctor-singled-out-at-airport-amid-rising-islamophobia_1270822.html

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France, Türkiye committed to NATO’s unity, strength: French president

Burak Dag 

29.06.2022

French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday that his country and Türkiye are committed to the unity and strength of NATO.

Macron wrote on Twitter that both countries will continue to make efforts to ensure the export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Marcon earlier on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Madrid.

Türkiye has been actively engaged with Kyiv and Moscow to secure the export of millions of tons of grain from Ukraine and prevent a food shortage of global proportions.

Tons of Ukrainian grain are stuck due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, causing global shortages and price hikes.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/france-turkiye-committed-to-nato-s-unity-strength-french-president/2626332

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French court finds Salah Abdeslam guilty of murder in 2015 Paris attacks

Cindi Cook  

29.06.2022

PARIS

A French court on Wednesday found Salah Abdeslam guilty of murder and terrorism in the 2015 Paris attacks trial.

The full verdicts will be read Wednesday evening, bringing the near-ten-month-long trial to a close. Abdeslam, the main defendant, was read his verdict by the Paris chief prosecutor, who had requested a life sentence without the possibility of parole, as reported by French news outlet France24.

Other 19 defendants standing trial were also found guilty on all counts, some in absentia. The requested sentences range from five years to life.

Five judges presided over the trial that officially ended on Monday, moving then to a secret locale in Paris to render the full decisions.

The sentences are being handed down after the lengthy deliberations over the night of horror at Bataclan nightclub, Paris terraces, and Stade de France on Nov. 13, 2015, killing 130 people.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/french-court-finds-salah-abdeslam-guilty-of-murder-in-2015-paris-attacks/2626310

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Biden, Erdogan agree on 'continued close consultations' between US, Türkiye

Servet Günerigök  

29.06.2022

WASHINGTON

The Turkish and US presidents agreed on "continued close consultations" between Washington and Ankara during a meeting in Madrid, the White House said on Wednesday.

The meeting between Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Joe Biden took place on the margins of the NATO summit.

The two leaders discussed Sweden and Finland's NATO membership bids, the Ukraine war, as well as the situation in the Aegean and Syria.

"President Biden reiterated his desire to maintain constructive bilateral relations, and the leaders agreed on the importance of continued close consultations between our governments," the White House said in a statement.

The US president also welcomed Ankara's conclusion of a trilateral agreement with Finland and Sweden that paved the way for NATO to invite them to join the alliance.

"The leaders discussed their continued support for Ukraine in its defense against Russian aggression, as well as the importance of removing Russian obstacles to the export of Ukrainian grain," the statement said.

The two leaders also talked about the importance of maintaining stability in the Aegean and Syria.

In a brief conversation before a closed-door meeting, Erdogan said steps being taken to strengthen NATO will have a "special contribution" in the context of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

The Russia-Ukraine war has had negative effects on grain and oil, the Turkish president said, adding: "We are trying to resolve the process with a balanced policy in this regard. We hope that we will get results with this balanced policy."

He expressed hope of opening corridors soon to the countries that are currently lacking grain.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/biden-erdogan-agree-on-continued-close-consultations-between-us-turkiye/2626262

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Türkiye's president attends family photo shoot at NATO summit

Beyza Binnur Donmez 

29.06.2022

MADRID

Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday attended a family photo shoot at the NATO summit.

The leaders posed for a family photo following the official welcoming ceremony at the IFEMA Convention Center in Madrid.

Ahead of the photo shoot, Erdogan shook hands with Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

In the photograph, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stood to Erdogan's right, while Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob stood to his left.

Later, the Turkish president shook hands with his US counterpart Joe Biden, Johnson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, and Stoltenberg -- and exchanged greetings.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkiyes-president-attends-family-photo-shoot-at-nato-summit/2625682

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 Southeast Asia

 Malaysin Health Minister: Remains Of Muslim Covid-19 Patients Can Be Bathed, Shrouded

29 Jun 2022

KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 — Under revised procedures for the management of remains of Muslim Covid-19 patients, the bodies can now be bathed and shrouded, with the adoption of precautionary measures, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

Khairy said the bathing and shrouding would be done by a trained mortuary operator at the hospital with the use of complete and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as avoiding aerosol-generating procedure (AGP) activities.

He said only two next-of-kin who were fully vaccinated and wearing complete PPE were allowed to help with the bathing and shrouding at the hospital.

“The MOH would like to announce that the management procedures for bodies of Muslim and non-Muslim Covid-19 victims have been reviewed to ensure they stay relevant with the current situation.

“This review is also in line with the Resolution of the Third Special Meeting of the Muzakarah Committee of the National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs Malaysia in 2021 which convened on July 26, 2021,” he said in a statement today.

Previously, the procedure for handling the remains of Muslim Covid-19 patients allowed only “tayammum” (dry purification using purified sand or dust) to be done without the need for bathing, it was to be managed completely in the hospital without the involvement of the next of kin.

Meanwhile, for the management of non-Muslim bodies of Covid-19 patients, Khairy said if the last rite procedure required a change of new clothes, the clothes could be placed on the body without the AGP procedure and only two fully vaccinated next of kin were allowed to participate.

In addition, under the revised procedures, only one body bag is to be used for each body, as compared to two body bags for one body previously.

According to the health minister, the MOH does not set the number of next of kin who can be involved in the funeral ceremony but they must wear PPE.

Source: Malay Mail

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https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2022/06/29/khairy-remains-of-muslim-covid-19-patients-can-be-bathed-shrouded/14915

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Cabinet forms Special Task Force on Jihad Against Inflation: PM

06- 29- 2022

KUALA LUMPUR: The Cabinet today agreed to form a Special Task Force on Jihad Against Inflation to help Malaysian families face the rising cost of living.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (pix) said the main role of the special task force is to gather all information from ministries, agencies and the public, and to formulate strategies and coordinate actions to resolve issues relating to inflation, especially in controlling price hikes more efficiently and effectively.

“The task force will function like the one which handled the Covid-19 pandemic, and they will have meetings twice a week, namely on Mondays and Thursdays.

“A press conference will be held after every meeting to answer all questions on issues raised by the people,” he said in a statement here today.

Ismail Sabri said the move was taken following the rising cost of living faced by the people due to climate change and geopolitical uncertainties, including the Russia-Ukraine crisis which is expected to drag on and affect fuel and food commodity markets.

The Special Task Force on Jihad Against Inflation will be chaired by Minister of Communications and Multimedia Tan Sri Annuar Musa.

It will have five members namely Minister of Finance Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, Minister of Agriculture and Food Industries Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee, Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said an officer will be appointed at each ministry as the focal point to provide immediate responses to the special task force with the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs as its secretariat.

Source: The Sun Daily

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https://www.thesundaily.my/local/cabinet-forms-special-task-force-on-jihad-against-inflation-pm-IJ9391802

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Umno seeks united front as polls loom, says report

June 26, 2022

KUALA LUMPUR: After a few years of internal discord following Umno’s shock election defeat in 2018, party leaders have been working to bridge the divide between two main factions ahead of the next general election (GE15), says a Supreme Council member.

Former Perak menteri besar Zambry Kadir said that a consultative committee, comprising members from both camps met twice since last month to hash out issues such as food security and the rising cost of living, The Straits Times reported.

“The purpose of the committee is to discuss government policy with regard to political and economic issues in the best interest of the party and the people,” Zambry told the Singapore daily.

He added that it was to reach an understanding and present a united front with GE15 possibly happening this year.

According to The Straits Times, Zambry, who is also Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary-general, led the group aligned to Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, while rural development minister Mahdzir Khalid spoke for those who are aligned to Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

One of the main points of contention that divides the two factions in the party is the timing of GE15.

Those aligned to Zahid want it to be held this year, to build on the momentum gained from state election victories in Melaka and Johor.

However, all Umno leaders serving in the Cabinet want the current government to serve its full term until July 2023.

In the meantime, the former has started to take the necessary action in the event Parliament is dissolved this year.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/06/26/umno-seeks-united-front-as-polls-loom-says-report/

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Hamzah downplays deaths in immigration centres

June 28, 2022

PETALING JAYA: Home minister Hamzah Zainudin has downplayed reports of deaths in immigration centres, saying that people should not be too quick to point fingers at the authorities.

“If we detain someone, that means they have committed a crime. When someone commits a crime, they have to go through the existing legal process,” he said during an event in Putrajaya.

“If we detain someone who commits a crime and we put them in a depot, and then they die, who should we blame?”

Hamzah said this when asked to comment on a report on deaths in immigration detention centres in Sabah.

“If I knew someone was going to die and (therefore) should not be placed in a (immigration) depot, I would be great,” he said.

“Sometimes people die even while walking… They don’t even have to be in a depot. So, this should not be an issue.”

On Saturday, a group of Indonesian NGOs, the Sovereign Migrant Workers Coalition (KBMB), released a report stating that the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta recorded 149 Indonesians who died while in five Sabah detention centres over a period of 18 months, between 2021 and 2022.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/06/28/hamzah-downplays-deaths-in-immigration-centres/

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Arab World

 

Ukraine’s Zelenskyy cuts ties with Syria after it recognized separatist republics

29 June, 2022

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced cutting ties with Syria after Damascus recognized the independence of Ukraine’s two separatist republics.

“There will no longer be relations between Ukraine and Syria,” Zelensky said in a video on Telegram.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Syrian state news agency SANA cited a foreign ministry official as saying: “Syria has decided to recognize the independence and sovereignty of both the Lugansk People's Republic and the Donetsk People's Republic.”

“We will communicate with both countries to agree on frameworks for strengthening relations, including establishing diplomatic relations in accordance with established rules,” the official added.

Prior to launching the invasion of Ukraine, Russia recognized the independence of Ukraine’s breakaway states of Donetsk and Lugansk.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/06/30/Ukraine-s-Zelenskyy-cuts-ties-with-Syria-after-it-recognized-separatist-republics

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UAE Minister highlights nature-based solutions to mitigate climate change at UN meet

30 June, 2022

The UAE Minister of Climate Change and the Environment Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, participated in the UN Ocean Conference (UNOC), co-hosted by the governments of Portugal and Kenya in the Portuguese capital Lisbon, WAM (Emirates News Agency) reported.

Running from June 27 to July 1, UNOC seeks to drive the development of much-needed science-based innovative solutions aimed at starting a new chapter of global ocean action to support the implementation of UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14: Life Below Water. The conference is running under the theme ‘Scaling up ocean action based on science and innovation for the implementation of Goal 14: Stocktaking, partnerships and solutions.’

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Mariam Almheiri said, “It was a pleasure to attend UNOC that comes at a crucial time for ocean conservation. At the 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in the UAE next year, we aim to continue the dialogue on accelerating the deployment of ocean-based climate solutions. We are keen to exchange knowledge and experience with other countries, and explore opportunities for effective partnerships in this space. Because if we want to have a fighting chance of keeping global warming within 1.5˚C, we need to make the most of every solution available to us, and we need to do it together.”

During the interactive dialogue titled ‘Addressing Marine Pollution,’ the Minister explored ways to tackle marine pollution from land- and sea-based sources that has a serious negative impact on the world’s oceans.

Almheiri also attended the high-level meeting on ocean and climate that took place under the theme ‘From Lisbon to Sharm el-Sheikh: accelerating ocean-based climate solutions.’

The event’s outcomes will inform policy and investment decisions to be made in the run-up to COP27 and beyond.

In her opening remarks at the meeting, Minister Almheiri highlighted the importance of leveraging nature-based solutions, especially blue carbon ecosystems, to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The UAE works to protect its marine and coastal environment and preserve its vital ecosystem services in line with its commitment to implementing SDG 14. These include expanding the network of marine protected areas, implementing fishing regulations, developing the aquaculture industry, combatting marine pollution, and rehabilitating degraded marine ecosystems.

The UAE has achieved the two targets of SDG 14 that had a deadline in 2020. Having designated 16 marine protected areas that account for 12.01 percent of its marine and coastal territory, the country reached Target 14.5 that entails conserving at least 10 percent of coastal and marine areas. In addition, the nation maintains global leadership in the Marine Protected Areas category of the Environmental Performance Index (EPI).

Through integrated management of its marine protected areas, whose effectiveness is being regularly evaluated, the UAE has also achieved Target 14.2 that requires countries to implement measures to sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems, and take action for their restoration.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/06/30/UAE-Minister-highlights-nature-based-solutions-to-mitigate-climate-change-at-UN-meet-

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Saudi Arabia: Mecca, Medina ready to serve Hajj pilgrims with 41 pct more 5G towers

30 June, 2022

Saudi Arabia’s digital regulator, the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), said its IT infrastructure is now fully operational and ready to serve Hajj pilgrims in Mecca and Medina, according to the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

With around one million pilgrims expected for the Hajj season this year, CITC ensured that the right infrastructure be in place so the pilgrims can remain connected during their time in the holy cities, SPA reported on Wednesday.

The regulator said that it deployed 41 percent more 5G towers in the respective areas. There are now 2,600 5G towers to ensure superfast connectivity, as well as 5,900 communication towers and 11,000 Wi-Fi access points.

“The Kingdom’s infrastructure readiness will not only help smooth the passage of fulfilling a lifelong dream, it will significantly enhance their digital experience,” CITC Governor Dr. Mohammed bin Saud al-Tamimi said.

Overseas worshippers will partake in the Hajj pilgrimage this year for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With worshippers traveling to Saudi Arabia from every part of the planet, we are ensuring that this year’s pilgrims have the most innovative and interactive Hajj experience in history. That’s why the ability to seamlessly communicate this life-changing experience is so important,” the CITC Governor added.

Hajj is followed by Eid al-Adha where Muslims traditionally sacrifice a sheep and distribute it among friends, family and the poor for food.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/06/30/Saudi-Arabia-Mecca-Medina-ready-to-serve-Hajj-pilgrims-with-41-pct-more-5G-towers

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Car bomb kills at least six in Yemen’s Aden: Officials

29 June, 2022

A car bomb attack on the convoy of a Yemeni military official in the southern port city of Aden killed at least six people and wounded several others on Wednesday, military officials said.

The head of security forces of Lahj province Saleh al-Sayed survived the assassination attempt, three military officials said.

Two of them said at least five civilians and one military officer were killed and six others were seriously wounded in the attack.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack but al-Qaeda militants have stepped up their operations in south Yemen recently. At least 10 Yemeni soldiers were killed there in two separate attacks last week.

Instability in the south, where the internationally-recognized government is based, complicates international efforts to end the seven-year-old conflict.

Several attacks have been recorded despite a ceasefire agreement.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/06/29/Car-bomb-kills-at-least-six-in-Yemen-s-Aden-Officials

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Hajj ministry announces alternative flights, facilities to accommodate pilgrims facing issues from UK, Europe and America

June 30, 2022

RIYADH: The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday that it will secure alternative flights and provide additional seats for pilgrims coming from Britain, the US, and Europe.

In cooperation with relevant authorities, visas will also be issued immediately to the pilgrims entering the Kingdom as part of the efforts.

This comes after people faced technical issues while applying for hajj via the electronic portal and had access to limited seats on flights.

Source: Arab News

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2113826/saudi-arabia

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Iran urges UNSC to condemn Israeli acts of terror, aggression against Syria

30 June 2022

Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations says the Islamic Republic recognizes Syria’s right to self-defense in the face of Israeli attacks, urging the UN Security Council to strongly condemn the regime’s acts of aggression against the Arab country.

Addressing a monthly UN Security Council session on the situation in Syria on Wednesday, Majid Takht-Ravanchi said Israel continues its acts of aggression and terrorist attacks on Syria as well as violations of the Arab country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by occupying parts of it.

“The Security Council must unequivocally condemn the Israeli aggression and terrorist attacks against Syria. We recognize Syria’s legitimate right to self-defense under international law and the United Nations Charter,” he said.

“We strongly condemn Israel’s repeated violations of Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, including recent terrorist attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, particularly the attacks on Damascus International Airport on June 10th, which resulted in the cancellation of all flights, including humanitarian flights.”

Syria and the Israeli regime are technically at war due to the latter’s 1967-present occupation of Syria’s Golan Heights.

The regime maintains a significant military presence in the occupied territory, which it uses as one of the launchpads for attacks on Syrian soil.'

The regime's attacks on Syria have grown significantly in scale and frequency after 2011 when Syria found itself in the grip of foreign-backed terrorism.

Elsewhere in his address, Takht-Ravanchi reiterated Iran's stance on avoiding military approaches and solving the crisis in Syria through diplomatic channels.

"As Iran has repeatedly emphasized, there is no military solution to the Syrian crisis. The crisis should be settled peacefully and in accordance with the principles of international law, especially full respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries," he said.

He emphasized that Iran supports Syria cross-border aid mechanism if it does not violate Damascus's sovereignty and territorial integrity and heed legitimate concerns of the Syrian government.

The top diplomat said the Constitutional Committee plays a crucial role in the political settlement of the Syrian crisis, adding an Iranian delegation was in Geneva, acting in concert with all parties to advance its aims.

Iran welcomes the Constitutional Committee's announcement that its next session would be held on June 25-29, he noted.

The Islamic Republic, he said, emphasizes that the committee must act in full accordance with its internal regulations and free from outside pressure or artificial deadlines and be a truly Syrian-led and -owned process.

The Iranian envoy further noted that guarantors of the Asana Format have expressed earlier this month their commitment to advance a long-lasting political process that works in line with Security Council Resolution 2254 (2015).

He said Iran would continue its efforts to help release detainees and called on all parties to support the humanitarian endeavor, adding that the recent amnesty announced by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was a valuable contribution to peace.

Provision of humanitarian aid is essential and must not be prevented by politics, but be executed with full respect for Syria’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity.

Israel must be compelled to cease its attacks on Syria: Sabbagh

Addressing the same meeting, Syria's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Bassam Sabbagh voiced regret at the Security Council’s failure to condemn Israel’s aggression in Syria, particularly against the Damascus International Airport, and said Israel must be compelled to cease its attacks on his country.

Sabbagh also condemned Israel’s ongoing military attacks against Syria, which jeopardize security in the region.

He said the Syrian government has achieved significant progress in the last few months, demonstrating its keenness to support national reconciliation and local settlements.

President Assad's amnesty decree issued in April benefitted a host of detainees, he added and said diplomatic missions abroad and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs have received applications and requests in that regard.

Syrian institutions continue their efforts to strengthen the legal architecture, he said, noting that a number of important decrees and laws have been enacted to regulate areas such as the possession of weapons and ammunitions, amending the penal code, and abolishing life imprisonment with hard labor.

The Syrian government is committed to removing all impediments for the safe, voluntary and dignified return of refugees to their places of origin, Sabbagh emphasized.

He urged the countries that prevent Syrian refugees from returning to their homeland to stop those practices, emphasizing the need to lift unilateral coercive measures imposed on Damascus.

Citing the concluding statement from the eighteenth Astana Meeting on Syria, he stressed the importance of taking new actions to combat terrorism and refusing all attempts to create a new reality on the ground by autonomous initiatives in northeast Syria.

He welcomed the release of detainees and abductees in June, expressing appreciation for the support of Russia and Iran in this regard.

Source: Press TV

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/06/30/684792/Iran-Syria-Israel-Takht-Ravanchi-Bassam-Sabbagh-Security-Council-aggression-attacks-

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Africa

 

Terrorists, herders plotting to attack churches, mosques, markets in Lagos – Primate Ayodele to Sanwo-Olu

June 29, 2022

By Nsikak Nseyen

The leader of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, Primate Elijah Ayodele, on Wednesday, issued some warnings to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on the state of insecurity in the state.

Primate Ayodele said deadly terrorists, who are disguising as herders are planning to attack churches, marketplaces, and mosques in Lagos State.

In a statement signed by his media aide, Osho Oluwatosin, Primate Ayodele warned of a major attack on the Southwest zone.

He revealed that terrorists, kidnappers and armed robbers have surrounded Lagos State and that the governor needs to re-organize the security system of the state to avert the danger that he foresees.

He said: “Southwest governors should rise up now; there will be a major attack that will shake the zone especially in Lagos State. Terrorists have surrounded the states in the zone.

“I’m calling the attention of the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to beef up the security, outfits should be re-organized so that Lagos can be safe. Lagosians, churches, mosques, supermarkets, markets should be conscious at this moment; this is a message from the Lord.

“Terrorists, Kidnappers, armed robbers are in Lagos; the governor should fight these challenges as urgent, including the whole southwest. The governors should come together and form unified security to fight this.”

The man of God explained that deadly terrorists and herders are in the southwest, with Lagos being their focus, while declaring fasting and prayer sessions from 1st of July to 3rd of July, 2022 to avert the impending security crisis in the zone.

Source: Daily Post Nigeria

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://dailypost.ng/2022/06/29/terrorists-herders-plotting-to-attack-churches-mosques-markets-in-lagos-primate-ayodele-to-sanwo-olu/

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Internet services cut in Sudan’s Khartoum ahead of pro-democracy protests

30 June, 2022

Internet services were cut in Sudan’s capital Khartoum on Thursday ahead of pro-democracy protests, a Reuters reporter said, the first time for months that web access had been blocked in the lead up to rallies.

The protests mark the third anniversary of huge demonstrations during the 2019 uprising that toppled long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir, and led to a power-sharing arrangement between civilian groups and the military.

Last October, military leaders toppled the transitional government in a coup, triggering mass rallies that have called on the military to quit politics and continued for more than eight months.

fter the military takeover, there were extended internet blackouts in an apparent effort to hamper the protest movement.

Staff at Sudan’s two private sector telecoms companies, speaking on condition of anonymity, said authorities had ordered them to shut down the internet once again on Thursday.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/06/30/Internet-services-cut-in-Sudan-s-Khartoum-ahead-of-pro-democracy-protests-Report

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Bodies of 20 migrants found in Libyan desert two weeks after last contact

29 June, 2022

The bodies of 20 migrants who got lost in the Libyan desert near Chad have been found, the ambulance service said on Wednesday, showing pictures of them lying around a black pick up truck on the sand.

The bodies were discovered by a truck driver traveling through the desert and were recovered on Tuesday about 320 kilometers southwest of Kufra and 120 kilometers from the border with Chad.

“The driver got lost... and we believe the group died in the desert about 14 days ago since the last call on a mobile phone there was on June 13,” Kufra ambulance chief Ibrahim Belhasan said by phone.

Two of the bodies were Libyans and the others were believed to be migrants from Chad crossing illegally into Libya, Belhasan said.

Libya has become a major launching point for migrants seeking to reach Europe via the dangerous route across the desert and over the Mediterranean.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/north-africa/2022/06/29/Bodies-of-20-migrants-found-in-Libyan-desert-two-weeks-after-last-contact

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World bank lends Tunisia $130 million for grains hit by Ukraine war

29 June, 2022

The World Bank has announced a $130-million loan to help Tunisia cover the cost of cereal imports whose prices have spiraled since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The package aimed “to lessen the impact of the Ukraine war by financing vital soft wheat imports and providing emergency support to cover barley imports for dairy production,” the lender said.

It would also help buy “seeds for smallholder farmers for the upcoming planting season,” it said in a statement late Tuesday.

Tunisia was already dealing with heavy public debt, a low credit rating and steep inflation before the Ukraine war, and has been left reeling by Russia’s military blockade of Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea.

“Tunisia faces a major grain supply shock due to difficulties in accessing financial markets and rising global prices which affected the ability to procure imported grain,” said the World Bank’s Tunisia country manager Alexandre Arrobbio.

Last year Tunisia imported 60 percent of its soft wheat, used for bread, and 66 percent of its barley from the Russian Federation and Ukraine.

The loan approved Wednesday aims to ensure “affordable bread for the poor, barley for livestock, and agricultural inputs for domestic grain production,” the World Bank said.

Bread is a vital part of Tunisian’s diets and bread shortages or price hikes have contributed to political upheaval in the past.

The World Bank said its loan program was “expected to reduce import dependency through incentives to sustainably increase domestic grain production,” the World Bank said.

The lender has in the past urged Tunisia to focus on crops with “greater labor intensity,” such as citrus fruits, arguing that Tunisia “does not have a strong comparative advantage in cereals.”

In April the government unveiled a program to support farmers with access to better seeds, technical assistance and state-backed loans in a push to boost its self-sufficiency in grains.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/north-africa/2022/06/29/World-bank-lends-Tunisia-130-million-for-grains-hit-by-Ukraine-war-

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