#AceWorldNews – ASTRAKHAN – September 28 – Iran President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday flew to Astrakhan, in Russia, where he will participate in the 4th Caspian Sea Summit.
Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are the five littoral states of the Caspian Sea, which acquired special geopolitical significance following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the emergence of newly independent countries.
Rouhani flew to Russia following a trip to New York, where he attended the 69th annual session of the United Nations General Assembly.
#AceNewsServices UKRAINE September 15 Nato countries have started an annual military exercise in west Ukraine, with Kiev saying some Nato states have also begun to ship weapons.
The exercise – “Rapid Trident” – began on Monday (15 September) in Yavoriv, near the Polish-Ukrainian border.
According to a Nato statement, the 11-day drill will practice “peacekeeping and stability operations”, including “countering improvised explosive devices, convoy operations, and patrolling”.
It includes 200 US soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Italy.
It also includes 1,100 troops from Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, and the UK and from former Soviet republics Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine itself.
Rapid Trident is taking place at the same time as “Maple Arch” – another Nato drill involving Canandian, Lithuanian, and Polish soldiers in Poland.
Ukraine has taken part in similar events since 2006 under its “Partnership for Peace” programme with the Western alliance.
#AceWorldNews – TEHRAN – April 09 – (PTV) – Azeri President Ilham Aliyev has arrived in the Iranian capital of Tehran to hold talks on a range of issues, including bilateral ties.
Aliyev arrived at Mehrabad International Airport on Wednesday and was welcomed by Iranian Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi.
The Azeri president’s visit to Iran comes at the invitation of his Iranian counterpart President Hassan Rouhani.
During his visit to Iran, Aliyev is scheduled to hold talks with President Rouhani on bilateral relations as well as regional and international developments.
The two presidents are also set to sign some documents of cooperation.
The administration of Rouhani has been seeking to improve ties with Iran’s neighbours, including Azerbaijan Republic.
#AceWorldNews – British troops would participate in military drills in Ukraine in July, the British newspaper Guardian said on Thursday.
The personnel would be part of a group of about 1,300 troops, mostly American, to participate in the Rapid Trident 2014 exercise, the newspaper said.
Rapid Trident 2014 is to “promote regional stability and security, strengthen partnership capacity and foster trust while improving interoperability between the land forces of Ukraine, and NATO and partner nations,” according to the US forces in Europe website.
In addition to US and UK troops, Rapid Trident 2014 will include units from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Canada, Georgia, Germany, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Ukraine.
#AceWorldNews says a Turkish newspaper has reported the expulsion of one of its journalists from the country after criticizing Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Twitter.
The move comes a day after the country passed strict laws governing internet controls, allowing websites to be blocked without a court ruling first being sought. Mahir Zeynalov, 27, from Azerbaijan, was herded onto a plane in Istanbul by police after writing a tweet that allegedly constituted a “blunt assault on Erdogan’s honour and reputation and his personal rights,” according to Erdogan’s lawyers.
#AceWorldNews says some 6,000 opposition activists protested in Yerevan on Saturday against a controversial new obligatory pension scheme.
The new plan, which took effect on January 1, essentially forces all people born after 1974 to pay five percent of their wages into private pension funds.
“A government racket has come into force that allows the authorities to put their hands into people’s pockets,” said Naira Zohrabyan, a lawmaker of the opposition Prosperous Armenia party.
Unemployment is a major concern in the ex-Soviet state, and protesters said the new law may force them to look for work abroad.
“People’s wages are their own private property and no one has the right to tell them what to do with them,” computer programmer Artur Garibyan told AFP at the rally in central Yerevan.
“This law should not be obligatory,” said Garibyan, 34.
The controversial new pension scheme has drawn ire from across society against the government of President Serzh Sarkisian.
A landlocked country of 3.2 million that was badly affected by the global downturn, Armenia is economically isolated because its borders with two neighbours Turkey and Azerbaijan have long been closed owing to political disputes.
Nevertheless officials have forecast that the country’s gross domestic product will grow by 5.2 percent this year.
On the downside, inflation is projected at about 4.0 percent.
The Security Council today recognized and encouraged the active contribution of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the work of the United Nations in the fields of peacemaking, preventive diplomacy, peacekeeping and peace building.
Reading out a statement, Ambassador Agshin Mehdiyev of Azerbaijan, which holds this month’s rotating presidency of the Council, said the 15-member body “recognizes and further encourages” the active contribution of the OIC in the work that aims to realize the purposes and principles embodied in the UN Charter.
“The Council notes the commitment of both the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to foster a global dialogue for the promotion of tolerance and peace, and calls for enhanced cooperation to promote better understanding across countries, cultures and civilizations,” according to the statement.
During the meeting which preceded the statement, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon <“http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=7233“>urged the OIC and all leaders to “do everything possible to repair rifts and rebuild confidence between Muslim communities as well as stem the influence of radical armed groups and violent extremists.”
The UN chief urged partnerships to be strengthened between the UN and OIC which “could be uniquely placed” to launch a major initiative with partners to help end the “profoundly worrying” heightened tensions between Sunni and Shia communities in Syria and other parts of the world.
“This upheaval that has caused the loss of so many civilian lives and represents such a threat to wider security,” Mr. Ban stressed in his remarks to the 15-member Council.
The UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has been “making progress” in dismantling and destroying the Syrian chemical weapons programme, said Mr. Ban, while urging continued efforts to reach a comprehensive political agreement “which reflects the will of the Syrian people.”
Highlighting other regions where the OIC would play a positive role, the top UN official highlighted that organization’s potential role to help break the status quo in the occupied Palestinian territory and forge a way forward in the Middle East peace process within the agreed frame.
He also cited the OIC’s plans to visit Myanmar and welcomed the delegation’s “constructive engagement” to reduce tensions.
Mr. Ban also highlighted the OIC’s efforts in Afghanistan and Sudan, and urged further partnerships in Mali, following the milestone presidential election there.
Noting that the OIC and its member States have made significant efforts to mitigate the terrorist threat, the UN chief stressed the importance of addressing the conditions conducive to the spread of extremism and terrorism, including by strengthening efforts to peacefully resolve conflict, promote the rule of law, protect human rights and ensure good governance.
“Terrorism is not associated with any particular religion, culture or people’s,” he said. “However, in recent years, terrorist violence has disproportionately affected countries that are members of OIC, from the Sahel and North Africa to the Middle East and South Asia.”
He noted that the importance of intercultural dialogue between and within faiths “is more important than ever” and urged continued efforts to foster a culture of peace and co-existence through efforts such as the UN Alliance of Civilizations.
In 2005, an initiative of Spain and Turkey created the UN Alliance of Civilizations, a forum where civil society, governments and the private sector could learn from each other and stand up for tolerance and inclusively and against extremism and polarization.
- Sanctions on Islamic states in contravention of UN laws, minister (theiranproject.com)
- Hillary Clinton: Part of OIC Campaign to STIFLE FREEDOM OF SPEECH (tomohalloran.com)
- 14th OIC Trade Fair opens in Tehran (theiranproject.com)
- Organization of Islamic Cooperation Plans to Kill Free Speech Globally, U.S. Top Target of Agenda (libertynews.com)
- Organization of Islamic Cooperation Seeks to Silence Free Speech Globally Beginning With the US (freedomoutpost.com)
- Remember Obama’s “57 State” Campaign Comment? It Just So Happens There Are 57 Member States of “Organization of Islamic Cooperation” (libertynews.com)