#AceWorldNews – AFGHANISTAN – Nov. 17 – A group of 17 Taliban militants has laid down arms and surrendered to the authorities of Badakhshan province in north-east Afghanistan, the head of Regional Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai said on Monday ./TASS/. reported.
According to him, the group has given all their small arms to the security forces. “Despite the fact that the militants participated actively in the attacks, we’re not going to charge them,” he added. “I’m sure this will have positive impact on the situation in the region and will urge other radicals to return to peaceful life.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that earlier a dozen more Taliban members surrendered in the northeast Afghanistan. The movement leaders give no comments on the reasons for their members switching to the government side.
The government announcements on the extremists giving up armed struggle come amid the “peace process” announced by the new president Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai which implies the activation of negotiations between the government and its Taliban opponents and other extremist organizations.
In accordance with the plan the radicals are guaranteed immunity from criminal prosecution in exchange for refusal to continue the armed struggle.
#AceWorldNews says Turkish police have carried out raids in Istanbul and five other cities, detaining several people allegedly linked to Al-Qaeda, AP reported. Those detained include an employee of a prominent Islamic charity. The aid organization, IHH, confirmed Tuesday that its storage facility near the Syrian border was searched and an employee was detained. However, it rejected any ties to Al-Qaeda and denounced the police raid as an attempt to discredit the organization. The IHH had organized a Gaza-bound aid flotilla which was raided by Israel in 2010. The group rejected last week news reports claiming that it was involved in the shipment of arms to #Syria.
says The process of removing #Syria’s most critical chemical weapons material outside of the country for destruction began on the 7th January 2014, the head of the Joint Mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations confirmed.
“A first quantity of priority chemical materials was moved from two sites to the port of Latakia for verification and was then loaded onto a Danish commercial vessel today,” OPCW-UN Special Coordinator Sigrid Kaag said in a <"http://www.un.org/sg/offthecuff/index.asp?nid=3233">statement from the Joint Mission.
Accompanied by naval escorts from Denmark, Norway and Syria, the ship has now sailed for international waters where it will remain “awaiting the arrival of additional priority chemical materials at the port”, Ms. Kaag added.
“This movement initiates the process of transfer of chemical materials from the #Syrian Arab Republic to locations outside its territory for destruction,” she said in the statement.
Maritime security is being provided by naval escorts from China, Denmark, Norway and Russia.
OPCW-UN encourages Syria “to continue its efforts to complete the removal of chemical materials as soon as possible in a safe and timely manner”, said Ms. Kaag, who is due to report tomorrow to the UN Security Council in New York. The OPCW Executive Council is due to meet at The Hague that same day.
The removal of the chemical agents out of the country involves transporting them from Latakia onto commercial vessels provided by some Member States. They will then be loaded onto a United States ship and destroyed at sea using hydrolysis.
In accordance with the decisions of the Security Council and OPCW Executive Council, #Syria’s chemical weapons will be transported outside its territory to ensure their destruction in the “safest and soonest manner,” and no later than 30 June 2014.
That deadline set will not be met owing to technical difficulties, the Joint Mission announced late last month. It stressed, however, that it would continue to assist Syria as specified under Security Council resolution 2118 and the decisions of the OPCW.
The Joint Mission continues to coordinate with #Syria and the other Member States, Ms. Kaag said, to mobilize resources and undertake all the necessary steps towards the complete removal and elimination of the chemical weapons programme. #Peace
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